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What are Australia’s highest-paying occupations and industries?

  • January 20 2022
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What are Australia’s highest-paying occupations and industries?

By Jon Bragg
January 20 2022

The highest-paying jobs in Australia also have the largest gender pay gaps.

highest-paying occupations

What are Australia’s highest-paying occupations and industries?

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  • January 20 2022
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The highest-paying jobs in Australia also have the largest gender pay gaps.

highest-paying occupations

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed managers and professionals are the highest-paying jobs in Australia by average hourly earnings.

Managers earned an average of $65.10 per hour in May last year, according to the biennial survey of employee earnings and hours from the ABS, while professionals made an average of $57.90.

Across all occupations, workers earned an average of $42.50 per hour, while the lowest average earnings were recorded for sales workers ($30.50) and labourers ($31).

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“Hourly earnings comparisons are useful in understanding gender pay differences, beyond weekly earnings measures, given men are more likely to work full-time than women,” explained ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis.

“On average, men earned $44.50 an hour, compared to $40.20 an hour for women. Average hourly earnings were higher for men than women in all eight occupation groups.”

The highest-paying occupations also had the biggest gender gaps in dollar terms, with a difference of $11.50 for managers and $8.50 for professionals.

In percentage terms, the difference between the earnings of males and females was highest for community and personal service workers at 19 per cent and managers at 16 per cent.

Machinery operators and drivers had the lowest gender pay gap in both dollar ($3.80) and percentage (10 per cent) terms.

On a weekly basis, the average worker was earning $1,394 in May 2021, including $1,625 for men and $1,167 for women.

Sixty-two per cent of full-time workers during the period were men, making an average of $1,934 per week compared to $1,676 for women.

“Women make up the majority of part-time employees (69 per cent) with slightly higher weekly earnings, on average, than men working part-time ($746 compared to $722),” said Mr Jarvis.

“This reflects the greater use of part-time working arrangements by women than men in higher paying jobs.”

Employees in the mining industry reported the highest average weekly cash earnings of $2,798, followed by workers in the electricity, gas, water and waste services industry ($2,061) and finance and insurance ($1,990).

Accommodation and food services ($665) and retail trade ($865) had the lowest average weekly cash earnings.

Median weekly earnings overall were $1,209, with the top quarter of earners making more than $1,814, while the bottom quarter received less than $750.

What are Australia’s highest-paying occupations and industries?
highest-paying occupations
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