What Is Considered Competitive/Attractive Salary Package Nowadays?

Recently I've been actively seeking new job opportunities on LinkedIn and Seek. Today I was randomly browsing on Seek and found a job ad looking for Administrative Assistant in Sydney, under the job description, it says Attractive Salary Packaging – based on experience but as a guide $45-$60K plus Superannuation.

I know it varies from role to role, and it really depends on the industry and location, etc. But how could a salary package barely above the national minimum deemed attractive? I've also seen some companies list "close to train station/ in the CBD area" as a benefit for working for this company because it's close to all kinds of amenities.

I'm just curious to know what you guys would consider as a competitive/attractive salary package when starting a new job.


  • +13

    WFH full time or only come in once in a while

  • +10

    It will be attractive to some people.

    What do you expect them to put in the ad - 'Terrible Salary Packaging, avoid this role'?

    • +2

      Well they could just put the salary guide there, ditch the word "attractive" or "competitive"… otherwise it feels like someone trying to sell me an overpriced item while telling me this is the best price on the market

      • +5

        You're reading too much into the wording.

        Part of a job search is to filter out the pfaff and try to decipher what exactly the role is and make your own judgment as to whether it's suitable for you. You can't analyse every word they use and accept as gospel. They don't spend a huge amount of time or thought writing these ads.

        Besides, as mentioned earlier - this job will be attractive to some people. Your interpretation of 'attractive' and 'competitive' isn't universal. Also bear in mind that not all jobs described as 'Admin Assistant' are equal. two jobs with the same description and same salary package might entail a substantial difference in workload/stress/hours worked etc.

        • Yea you are right, I shouldn't read too much into the wording, the job advertiser probably have been using the same wording and format over the years, like how we job seekers use the same resume wording and format for every job we apply…

          • @CharityCase: yeah good point.

            • +1

              @andresampras: Full disclosure: I've been an experienced and motivated quick learner with advanced excel skills ever since I graduated from uni ;)

      • They should 100% put the salary on offer in the job listing. Screw companies that don't :angry:

        • What I hate more is companies that don't put thier name on the advertisment. How do I know I want to work for you, if I don't know who you are? Of coarse it's the way recruitment companies stop you from contacting the place directly, but it's still crap.

  • +1

    Would be attractive to an unemployed Administrative Assistant. TBH, doesn't sound like a particularly skilled position.

  • +2

    $45-60K equates to around $22-30/hour. With minimum wage being around $20/hr (I think it's still a little less, but rounding up), the chance to earn $30/hr does seem attractive. I would assume someone with no experience would be getting the $22.

    A quick search on Seek shows an entry level admin assistant in sydney offering $30-40k, others not entry level show $20/hr. Country average on Seek shows $50-60k. So on those terms it does it does look competitive and the chance to earn $60k seems attractive.

    As for other jobs, it depends entirely on the job.

    • Under every job advertised on Seek, at the bottom it will give you some insights on how much salary advertised for the same role over the last year. I don't know how informative it is though but I often find jobs advertised well below the industry average still put wording like "attractive/competitive" which is just just cringy to read.

      • +2

        Salary packaging sometimes means salary sacrifice, nothing to do with the salary itself. For example, they might support you salary sacrificing your car lease, phone, laptop, etc with ease. My current employer I bought a phone from JB, sent my employer the receipt and next pay cheque got a few hundred dollars extra, they made it easy. Not all employers allow salary sacrificing as there's a cost to them.

        Attractive salary package means it's a big number when you bundle together salary + super + bonus. Some places have ok bonuses, others might have an award with over the standard superannuation and the base salary is crap.

        The only different case is working for hospitals and charities, often FBT doesn't apple to a lot of stuff so you can sacrifice tonnes of stuff out of pre-tax wages.

        This information on wages supplied by Seek/LinkedIn is generally rubbish. For the company I worked for (I was "Business Manager" for the recruiting team so I looked after data and contracts and stuff) we had to spend a huge amount of time getting that info scrubbed from our job ads because the wrong people were applying for our jobs thinking they had an idea what the salary was. Admin Assistant can mean many different things at many companies depending on skill level required.

        Job ads are usually templates on the backend, so they all say attractive/competitive, that's because HR teams these days analyse the market and make sure they're offering the same as everyone else. There's not that much variance between the same job at different companies these days. They all have ranges that they'll pay employees in, they might go higher in the range if they're really desperate for someone.

    • Current minimum wage in Aus is $20.33/hr

    • +1

      With minimum wage being around $20/hr (I think it's still a little less, but rounding up), the chance to earn $30/hr does seem attractive

      Most minimum wage jobs are factory line workers, or retail & hospitality. It is much better in the office shuffling papers than working in a hot factory or dealing with customers who don't want to part with $2.

  • +4

    $200k + CBD car space would be attractive.
    $45k + bus ticket would be competitive.

    • +2

      Some people get bus tickets too???

      • Maybe get their bus tickets reimbursed

  • +1

    Some people on here would be paid 100% in crypto. Then it drops 40% tomorrow and they need to take out a loan against it to buy a cheap loaf of sliced bread for next week.

    Attractive is subjective. Given it is $60k I'd say it only appeals to those who are driving taxis or making $50k or less.

    You wouldn't really move for less than +20% of what you are being paid right now because don't forget you might have to do the job for 12 months+ before moving on otherwise you might sound like just job hopping.

    • Crypto based salaries must be pegged to the AUD (or USD) surely?

      • Only if you instantly convert it to fiat.

        If you get paid in volatile alt coins you'd have to basically online 24/7 to try to get the best price. It is like digitalised hyper inflation.

        Where as people in Zimbabwe get their pay and race to the market, you get your crypto paid and you'll be watching the screens so you can race to the market.

  • It’s very much relative to the role and the person but yes I wouldn’t call $45-60k ‘attractive’. $60k is decent for an admin assistant though.

    For me anything over $110k is attractive as I earn $125k and am happy with that but would be happy with less. For others that would be a pittance.

    • For others that would be a pittance.

      A pittance for the average WP user.

      • +1

        The average ozbargain user earns $180k+

        • +5

          $200K+ now.

          Or you have $5m in crypto but you're still working and take out loans for daily spend so you don't get a CGT liability.

        • yikes! thats double the ABS stats!

  • +2

    But how could a salary package barely above the national minimum deemed attractive?

    Because it's for an -

    Administrative Assistant

    E.g. receptionist. I don't think the pay for answering phones is every exceptional.

    • +1

      People expect too much haha

  • Is now a good time for everyone to post job and salary? I would find that very interesting - does anyone know if this type of data has been captured on OzB before?

    • +3

      Why? From the past threads, most people here seem to be on $300K+ (and drive Toyota Camrys, Aurions and Corollas). lol

      • Why?

        I am curious - are you not?

        • +1

          I am very curious, but as Baa has mentioned below, in the past they have often turn into bragging sessions and it becomes difficult to work out who may or may not be telling the truth… haha

      • +2

        most people here seem to be on $300K+ (and drive Toyota Camrys, Aurions and Corollas)

        That is $300k and driving a Tesla but want everyone else to drive Camry and Corollas. You can't have the plebs on the same level.

      • Corolla here ;)

    • +1

      It comes up occasionally on here and I believe WP has an ongoing thread where people share this information.

      Tends to turn into more of a bragging match rather than a heap of useful data.

      That being said there are places like Glassdoor where you can at least get ballpark salary ranges for certain type of jobs in various industries.

    • Have you ever seen an ozbargain poll? It's the internet, people lie to big note themselves, or lie because it's funny. I will always pick either end of the poll options because it's amusing.

      I've stated my (actual) wage on here somewhere before I think, but it's changed since then anyway. You will never ever get enough people telling the truth to get stats, but you can probably assume that it's much like the general spread of wages across the country.

  • Anything that's 20-30% more than what you're currently on should be pretty "attractive".

  • $60k/$30p.h is pretty decent pay for an admin assistant.

  • +1

    Be glad they list the salary. Almost every job in my field doesn't, I don't want to go through your pain in the ass process only to find out ya offering 3 jars of vegemite an hour.

    • I somehow find its relatable, I've applied jobs without salary listed on the ad, they will ask you what salary you expected then cut that number down by $10k or $20k, I don't know maybe it's just me

      • +1

        If you do have some reasonable admin experience look into public service jobs. The salaries are all publicly listed there’s opportunities to upskill and advance your career if find you like it.

      • they will ask you what salary you expected

        Never answer this. Ask them what their budget for the role is as they must have one.

        • really? that sounds a bit arrogant tbh, especially after an interview is finished

          • @CharityCase: If they are asking about salary expectations after the interview, then it is a poor interview and the question back still applies.

            They have a position opening and they know how much they will spend on an employee (this is their budget). They generally ask you this to find out if you are cheap or too expensive, when really they should be providing the information about their expectations.

            It's like going to the shop to buy a loaf of bread and the shop owner asks how much you have to spend instead of telling you how much they are selling it for.

      • they will ask you what salary you expected then cut that number down by $10k or $20k

        Just tell them you expect to be paid 200k+, that way you won't be disappointed if they give you 150k instead, or hourly rate; $60 an hr, that way you won't be disappointed if they only pay $40 an hr.

  • +1

    It's vocabulary inflation of modern times.

    In some companies you have people's title as seniors, managers and directors, but still doing the same job (as someone at a lower grade title)…

  • But how could a salary package barely above the national minimum deemed attractive

    When you have no income, and little experience, that would be attractive… Depending on conditions, location, size of business and 129048230498 other variables.

  • +1

    FMD, it's getting thin in here.

    Obviously a $60k package will be attractive to someone whose skills typically command $50k.

    It won't be so attractive to someone whose skills typically attract $100k.

    Or whatever other relative measures you want to use.

  • Why do I get the feeling you would feel the same about real estate listings?

  • +1

    Maybe you need to be attractive to apply for the position?

    • +1

      No wonder we ugly folks get paid peanuts

  • because words like “attractive” are subjective. Calling it a “competitive” or similar, can be proven wrong

  • Not sure how the marjet defines 'attractive ', but fir many employees, it would include work-life balance options, such as DV leave, WFH, flexible hours.

    On the financial level, higher employer superannuation contributions, above award pay rates and extra holidays would go down well, too.

  • +1

    Competitive/Attractive is relative to the median amount that is paid for the type of role.

  • +2

    Horses for courses. One man’s pittance is another man’s fortune. Also the old saying that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys comes to mind. Sometimes a monkey is all that is required however. This message is brought to you by clichés unlimited.

  • +3

    Personally, I'd class competitive/attractive into a few categories along the lines of:


    • Minimum market rate (use glassdoor etc.,), ideally more if that's where your priority is. I think a lot of people are willing to give up extra remuneration for the perks in the other categories.
    • Using examples:
      • Say an admin is $50k, then $50k-$65k
      • If a project engineer is $90k, then $90k-110k
      • If a project manager is $120k, then $120-150k
      • If a customer service rep is $55k, then $55-$70k.

    Work life balance

    • Hard to determine so you'll need people to give you an insight into the company or through online.
    • Best idea is if you don't need to do OT, simply 7-3/8-4/9-10/10-6 or equivalent. Where required (say once every 2-4 weeks) to hit a deadline is all good.
    • If it's continuously like 9-11 hours a day, and even possibly weekends, then take into account the remuneration to see if it is still "competitive" and whether these hours impact your life (e.g., personal time).
    • WFH, flexibility in locations, hybrid work models. Maybe even few hours taken away in the afternoon, made up for at night because people need to pick up and look after their kids etc., My perfect set up is 3/2 or 2/3 (3 office, 2 home or 3 home, 2 office).


    • Bonuses (could be department wide flat values or performance based)
    • Health/development/learning perks (I don't count EAP as a perk because I think it should always be offered)
    • Reimbursements (Gyms/healthcare/transport)
    • Stipends
    • Extra days off


    • Culture - Is it a high pressure, constant blame, stressful place? Are people relaxed, supportive, and easy to get along with?
    • The people - do you enjoy working with the people? Does it seem to be a good environment?
    • The company, ability to see yourself here in 3-5 years - is there a viable pathway?

    So my perfect pick is:

    • Remuneration: ≥ Market
    • Work life balance: 3 office, 2 home or 2 office, 3 home. Ideally minimising OT.
    • Perks: Gym membership, learning perks, and maybe a monthly team lunch.
    • Others: Career pathway since I'm still relatively new and seeking more opportunities. Otherwise, more of a growth/collaborative and less blame environment would be nice.
    • Very well said and puts things in perspective

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