Australia's Top 10 Highest Paying Careers

2018 ATO statistics show the following to be the top 10 highest paying careers in the nation:

  1. Surgeons $393,467
  2. Anaesthetists $359,056
  3. Internal Medicine Specialists $291,140
  4. Financial Dealers $263,309
  5. Psychiatrists $211,024
  6. Other Medical Practitioners $199,590
  7. Judicial and Other Legal Professionals $198,219
  8. Mining Engineers $166,557
  9. Chief Executives and Managing Directors $158,249
  10. Engineering Managers $148,852

Reference: Australia's top 10 highest-earning occupations

Does anyone here work in any of these professions? What are your thoughts?

Comments

  • +30 votes

    Chief Executives and Managing Directors $158,249
    Is that per month? Else these are very poorly paid Chief Executives.

    • +23 votes

      Most small businesses or even some sole traders reckon they have a CEO or MD
      Typically earning peanuts or losing money, offsets the minority in big business

      •  

        Never realised that the sole traders/small businesses owners called themselves CEO/Managing Directors. I assumed they referred to themselves as Owners Or Chairman. I always thought of CEO/Managing Directors as salaried employees.

        • +9 votes

          Even the article says 940,000 businesses filed a tax return, 166,000 individuals referred to themselves as CEO.
          Average CEO only has 5 people under them haha

        • +12 votes

          Go look up instagram - all the insta models are "CEO of my own business". Employee count: 1.

        • +1 vote

          Even Instagram influencers call themselves CEO, it's such a saturated title these days.

      • +4 votes

        Many CEOs have earn $1 in salary, and benefit other ways.

        • +4 votes

          CEO would know a thing about dodging tax

        • -1 vote

          No. "Many" is incorrect.

          1) this is not america (where there is a reason to do this).
          2) there is no reason to do this in Australia.

        • +3 votes

          We have a shareholder meeting where one of the items is to increase the non ex directors overall pay by half a mil a year. just a touch above CPI

          I know a whole bunch of people that would give the company a better return on investment namely the entire workforce if they used that for the grunts over people who attend a few meetings and nod when the CEO wants them to.

          The other problem is they can sit on quite a few boards so they aren't actually invested in the company's day to day so it's a joke really that they can sit for so many, which can easily take annual income for part time work to 11 mil.

          Well I say problem not for them

          @Bloom 5 direct I wouldn't disagree I'd say fairly spot on out of those 5 people there will be one accountable to the CEO only The secretary, the other four will head up divisions so 5 yes but can be ultimately responsible for 1000's

        • +2 votes

          They do this in America because all their "real" wages comes from offloading shares.

          https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/FB/insider-transactions
          Check Zukerberg share sales. This month alone he's paid himself $32,450,940 USD.
          He'll pay 15% tax or less (depending on how long he held).

          Don't have a public company? Well, you'll be paying personal income tax which is 37% if you earn over $500K USD

  • +9 votes

    Engineering Managers $148,852

    What? Senior Engineers make more than that.

    • +2 votes

      That's about right, isn't it? The manager is supposed to manage, they don't necessarily have to have the skills of the people they're managing.

      • +5 votes

        Not quite. Engineering Managers are usually Principal+ level engineers and have considerable responsibilities for design and construction activities. It's not a soft skills management job.

        Project Managers don't necessarily need to have the skills of the people they are managing, but those that do are usually more efficient/desirable and tend to earn even more than Engineering Managers based on their track records of delivering successfully.

    • +1 vote

      I'd guess the rest of Australia will be bringing the number down, I worked for a few companies in Toowoomba and Gold Coast before moving to Sydney, got an immediate 3x pay rise when I moved to Sydney.

    • +2 votes

      Where i work (13,000 employees), engineering managers start at $174,000 package. Senior engineers earn between $115k-$165k depending on duration with organisation and their experience. The average pay in the organisation that I work for is probably around $140k. Graduates start at $71k + super.

      • +1 vote

        That sounds about right, although we tend to pay slightly higher across the board. It could be because majority are expats and market in high demand & short supply currently.

      • +2 votes

        Graduates with no experience as actual engineers earn over $70k pa out of university? Wow, I'd imagine their working hours would be pretty crazy given the high starting salary?

        •  

          yep probably 38-42 hours a week

        • +2 votes

          Not going to disclose too much information but it's 35 hour weeks for grads. Anything above 35 hours, they can accrue hours and take a day off but there are conditions and limits on how much you can accrue.

          As a senior engineer, my min. is 38 hours/week but I usually end up doing 40-45 so that does cut my hourly rate a bit.

          •  

            @gezza90: Thats an amazing deal - I know a civil eng who started in 2017 on $57k + super, with about 40-45 hours straight off the bat!

          •  

            @gezza90: Sounds like Arup or one of the top tier eng companies.

          • +1 vote

            @gezza90: What the. They've got a way better deal than law grads. Once you go out after your 5-7 years of uni (it's pretty damn hard to stand out without doing a double degree or postgrad) and do your additional training to practice (PLT for circa 10k), if you then are lucky enough to find a job you're usually on 50k pa working 55-65 hours a week. Yet high school students still choose law, crazy.

      •  

        Which engineering field is this?

        •  

          All fields but they're more discipline based for example, control systems engineer, electrical engineer, rolling stock engineer, safety assurance engineer, systems engineer, bridge engineer, telecommunications engineer etc.

          See I studied civil engineering and I'm in systems engineering. I mainly specialise in system architecture, requirements, verification/validation and concept design. There's a fair portion of engineers that don't do exactly what they studies. I guess it depends on the industry they end up in? Be it oil and gas, defence, transport, built infrastructure

    •  

      depends on company… my employment agency pays managers more than senior devs. client sites i work do otherwise.

  • +16 votes

    I work in one of these, but I'm quite junior in relative terms so make nothing like what is suggested. Nor do many people I know.
    I have friends that are medical specialists and they are cashed but they have done study basically up to the age of 35 and they're the smartest people I know. They deserve it.

  • +17 votes

    They've chosen to provide average rather than median figures.

    The problem with averages is they get dragged around by small numbers of uncommon values.

    So for example median national income 44K, average national income 65K.

  • +2 votes

    I'm surprised mining engineers make so little. I have friends who don't have a degree and make more than that in mining.

    • +9 votes

      Howdy Seano, mining engineer here. I suspect that the 'low salary' is due to the fact that our position title changes as we get some way into our careers so the statistics don't show the earnings for the mid-later stages of your career which will be skewing salaries down. Our titles become fairly specific statutory positions we hold later in the career (Registered Manager / Underground Mine Manager / Quarry Manager etc.) With limited people holding these positions they likely don't make the cut for statistical significance in lists like these.

  • +4 votes

    About a 100,000 ppl in the USA die because they don't have adequate access to health care every year so iI don't what you are smoking….

    I generally agree the US does things better then us but health for average and poor people is shit

    If you have top insurance (i.e. Are rich) it is obviously better the Australias system… but the Doctors/Surgeons that work at the top level in the states make 20-100x more then doctors and surgeons here in Australia so your point is mute.

    Also Medical school can run it a bill of around 120k+ on top of that the insurance for some doctors can be over 20k a year an obstruction working in private practice can be paying over 100k just for idementy insurance.

    You have no idea what you are on about our doctors and health professionals including nurses are criminaly underpaid.

    If you have a problem with your go it is probably because he is bulk billing in which they get $32.50 per comsult in which about a 3rd of that goes to the clinic owner so if you expect them to spend more then 5mins with you then go to a gp that charges a gap….

    Get your facts straight

  • +32 votes

    Only 2 professions above the Ozbargain average $300k a year wage.

    Lot a surgeons on this forum!!!

    • +2 votes

      I need my shoulder (rotator cuff) done - can anyone do me a deal?

      • +1 vote

        Shop around!!! The newly fellowed (ie younger) ones are just as good and lots cheaper!

        •  

          I was joking, I don't need any work done at the moment. I have had my shoulder done twice but an older experienced surgeon (he is professor and lectures as well), first in 2004, I was kinda surprised to see he had not retired when I needed some more work done in 2016. Both times were fully covered by HBF.

    •  

      The party is over in medicine for several reasons.

      1. Private health is eating itself by becoming more expensive than people can afford and a minority of doctors are killing the golden goose by asking big gaps. Outside of Sydney gaps are rare.
        Why is it getting more expensive? Well I got a note from an 85 yr old saying she had just got her 4th hip replacement.
        At about 80G a time putting 4 hips in the unproductive elderly is sucking us all dry.

      2. Medicare is becoming a vote winner with people. In the UK the party that spends the most on the health service wins and that is coming here. With medicare expanding private will go to about 20% uptake i suspect rather than the current 45%.

      3. Doctors themselves cant be bothered. I make a lot of money but its draining and too intense in the private sector where you are whole responsible for every little issue that happens with sometimes hard to please patients. One of my kids gets panic attacks when he hears my car start in the middle of the night to go in to the hospital. i'm sick of being an absentee father and am reducing my workload through choice.
        I'm old school with a hard work ethic - the new generation want a life and a salaried medicare job suits them more.

      I dont include the increased numbers of doctors being trained in this reduction in doctors pay prediction.
      this is because there are limited training numbers in surgery - even now they are barely trained when coming out so if you think there will be lots more surgeons in the future then ask what numbers will they have done?

  •  

    doesn't the average AFL player earn 370 grand a year?

    •  

      It gets expensive paying for fake tans and manicures

    •  

      Technically NBA player would be higher than those listed.

      •  

        didn't know the NBA is played in Australia? The NBL is and the average wage is $136'000, which is pretty poor when even A-League players are on $182'000 a year.

        AFL will have the highest average wage as a sportsperson, followed by NRl players

        • +2 votes

          Where does it say within Australia? It's according to the ATO and says nothing about being a resident for taxation purposes, so your sarcasm is an airball. Plenty of Australian mine engineers work outside our territorial waters. None of Australia's top earning sportmen play within Australia yet many still lodge tax returns here. Aaron Baddeley has made more than US$22 mill! They only have to lodge a tax return with foreign earnings to make this list. The 3 point arcs are different for the NBL so it's a different game.

          Greg Norman/golf course designer is another occupation earning higher than this list. International TV decluttering specialist. Davis Cup Captain. Chase chaser. Antidiscrimination commissioner. Royal commission commissioner. FIA approved Formula 1 driver. Ombudsman. Wildlife wunderkind presenter.

          PS I do give you full points for using the apostrophe as a thousand separator. That's really novel.

          •  

            @Frugal Rock: Don't know why you're getting on your high horse? Clearly says "ATO statistics show the following to be the top 10 highest paying careers in the nation" - "technically" the NBA isn't played in our nation, is it?

            • -2 votes

              @toblerone21: Do you think all Australian mines are in Australia? The NBA doesn't have to be in Australia for a player to lodge a tax return of the 16 million stated in the story. Andy Thomas was a space shuttle astronaut yet Australia had no space program and the thermosphere isn't in Australia. Andrew Bogut legally has to lodge an Australian tax return for 2018/19. Ben Simmons, we don't know but probably will. Rebel Wilson films most of her films outside Australia. She still has to lodge a local tax return for her earnings here.

              About your high horse statement, why did you change from being unsure about the NBA being in Australia to being sure that it wasn't? Was that just a rhetorical pantomime? (Funnily enough there were NBL vs NBA games in 2018.)

              •  

                @Frugal Rock: Rebel Wilson resides in California which may mean that her accountant may tick the RNN or FRNN box.

              • +1 vote

                @Frugal Rock: The article is clearly about Australian occupations, not overseas jobs. Again your last comment falls short of mark, how is a NBA team V a Aussie team considered a NBA game?

                That's like saying the English Premier League has been played here because Chelsea came over the other year there, no it's called a pre-season friendly.

                •  

                  @toblerone21: The article is about occupations listed in the 16 million tax returns submitted. It says nothing about the location of those occupations. Many pilots perform the majority of their jobs outside Australian airspace. Foreign diplomats might lodge a tax return even though they reside in a foreign embassy here. Given that goat farmer, not just farmer is listed as an example, NBA player is just as valid as a career definition.

                  Only you suggested that the NBA vs NBL games were NBA games. I didn't. You raise EPL. Yes, Australian EPL stars lodging Australian tax returns should probably be on this high earning list. All it takes is to lodge a tax return with a high income and EPL player in the job declaration and they don't have to be a resident for tax purposes.

                  You didn't answer the question about why you changed your stance from acting confused to quite sure. Why was that?

                  •  

                    @Frugal Rock: quote me as I don't understand where I changed my mind? I'm confused at the suggestion of an NBA player being on a list called 'Australia's top 10 highest paying jobs'

                    It's not 'highest paid overseas jobs for Australians'. The highest average sports playing career IN AUSTRALIA has to be in the AFL. I only asked a question as to why it wasn't on that list which still hasn't been answered.

                    •  

                      @toblerone21: "didn't know the NBA is played in Australia?"

                      vs

                      "NBA isn't played in our nation"

                      •  

                        @Frugal Rock: sarcasm sir, Have a good day!

                        •  

                          @toblerone21: Were you trying to be sarcastic when you measured salaries in feet?

                          I think your funniest moment was thinking all Australian mine engineers and engineering managers work on projects inside Australia. You might want to look at Qatar's stadium constructions, Dubai and even the BHP dam collapse in Brazil.

                          • +1 vote

                            @Frugal Rock: You really are a strange man, why do you keep re-editing and adding more comments on your post trying to make yourself look smart? Clearly the NBA isn't played in Australia, so why should it be included in this list?

                            Once again, have a good day! I'll let you get the last word in since that's all you wanted :)

        •  

          You muppets actually think people declare their occupation as "AFL player" or "NBA player"?
          It's called athlete / sportsman / etc and majority earn stuff all, do it for the enjoyment not money

    • +1 vote

      A couple of years ago I read that the standard rookie deal is about $140k. Of course the average player makes more than that.

    •  

      …shit maybe I should play some footy instead…..seems pretty easy, just get the ball, spear tackle your opponents if need be to get the ball off them and kick it in the goals!

  • +3 votes

    IT contractors, electricians & plumbers should all be on this list, unless they have income hidden away in company structures instead of earning salary.

    This list from 2016 seems to indicate much higher wages when break surgeons up into specialised areas.

    • +1 vote

      IT contractors, electricians & plumbers should all be on this list, unless they have income hidden away in company structures instead of earning salary.

      Lol - surgeons have have companies and trusts too hide away their "earnings". The average of 393k is just what they show on their tax return (my guess is just enough to put a few kids through private school).

      Just as a rough example, a private ObGyn charges like 5k (in Sydney) for a delivery - I'm guessing that's bucketed into #3 291k (?). To make that the doctor would only need to have 1 delivery per-week. Do you think the average ObGyn is only working 1 day a week? (Yeah, I know my example is a bit extreme, but you get the idea).