Average Salary in Australia by Age & Industry

Let’s face it, money is the one thing that keeps our society ticking and it’s, therefore, something all of us a pretty curious about. Luckily enough, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed the average Australian salary, finally helping you understand if you’re income is in-line with the rest of the country.

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Average Weekly Wage & Annual Salary in Australia

According to the latest data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average weekly ordinary time earnings for full-time adults in Australia in November 2020 was $1,712 (seasonally adjusted).

Important to note is that salaries in Australia can be affected by changes in levels of earnings per employee as well as the composition of the labour force which includes factors like full-time, part-time, casual and junior employees. This also includes variations in occupational distribution across industries, between industries and of hours worked and paid for.

This also compares with the median weekly earnings of:

  • $577 for part-time employees ($30,004 annually);
  • $1,463 for full-time employees ($76,067 annually); and
  • $1,110 across the board ($57,720 annually).

We’ve compiled the important information to help you work out the average Australian salary by age and industry. So, next time you meet someone, and they tell you what they do, you’ll probably have a pretty good shot at knowing their salary too, without having to ask the invasive question. We got ya back!

Young worker at Mcdonalds

Average Salary in Australia – By Age

Age has a significant impact on salaries in Australia. For example, people in casual employment receive a wage according to their age – the younger they are, the lower the wage. According to the ABS, between 45 and 54 is when you are earning the most. Young people evidently suffer when it comes to wage, and this can be put down to job types, as young people often rely on casual work while they study.

However, leading research analyst at the University of Sydney, Damien Oliver suggest there may also be aspects of discrimination at play. “There is plenty of evidence to show that the labour market is strong and sophisticated enough to promote employment opportunities for young people without resorting to discrimination,” he writes.

This information supports the growing theme of an increasingly hostile environment for many young millennials in the Australian workforce. The average age of people under 20 is the lowest, which is about 7 per cent of Australia’s labour force. Additionally, the average wage earned by people aged 21-34 is also fairly low. Whilst this age group has now usually entered the workforce, they are in start-up positions and are still working on gaining experience to help improve their payslip.

Diving a little deeper than the ABS statistics, however, co-working organisation Instant Offices have supplied national benchmarks by age. Here is how much you should be earning for your age.

  • 20 & under:
    • Average weekly earnings: $383.70
    • Average yearly salary: $19,952
  • 21 to 34:
    • Average weekly earnings:$1,127.60
    • Average yearly salary: $58,635
  • 35 to 44:
    • Average weekly earnings: $1,503.70
    • Average yearly salary: $78,192
  • 45 to 54:
    • Average weekly earnings: $1,544.20
    • Average yearly salary: $80,298
  • 55 & older:
    • Average weekly earnings:$1,373.40
    • Average yearly salary: $71,417

Two Australian Doctors

Average Income in Australia – By Gender

To much unpopular opinion, gender also impacts the average income of Australians. The average Australian salary of men and women in 2018 according to ABS has a ratio difference of 0.689. Our current pay gap is 13.4%. Women earned $1,099.40 per week compared to $1,594.70 per week for men.

Whilst the gender pay gap is slowly getting smaller, it still exists. This pay gap is evident in all industries except for modelling and sex work, which says a lot. Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) director Libby Lyons said even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Australian employers had become “complacent” about gender equality. One shocking reality is that gender pay gaps are often influenced by discrimination and bias. The pay gap is also influenced by women and men working in different industries and jobs, with women dominating part-time and casual work much more than men. Also, women take up a huge share of unpaid caring and domestic work and spend greater time out of the workforce which impacts their ability to work in senior roles.

The average weekly earnings in Australia by gender are:

  • Females full-time salary: $1,562.00 per week
  • Males full-time salary: $1,804.20 per week

Corporate Australian Staff

Highest Earning Industries in Australia

Different industries also have different wage brackets. Depending on what industry we go into, we can have a pretty good idea regarding wage opportunities. Wage growth in Australia has been pretty dismal, with the same industries remaining on top and the same industries remaining down the bottom.

Here is a list of the average weekly ordinary time earnings for full time adults in Australia by Indsutry:

  1. Mining: Average weekly earnings: $2,633.20
  2. Information media & telecommunications: $2,033.60
  3. Professional, scientific & technical services: $2,001.40
  4. Electricity, gas and water services: $1,944.10
  5. Education and training: $1,838.30
  6. Public administration & safety: $1,824.50
  7. Transport, postal & warehousing: $1,685.20
  8. Healthcare & social assistance: $1,675.60
  9. Construction: $1,629.40
  10. Wholesale trade: $1,578.40
  11. Manufacturing: $1,555.90
  12. Rental, hiring & real estate services: $1,539.80
  13. Financial & insurance services: $1,539.80
  14. Administrative & support services: $1,526.00
  15. Arts & recreation services: $1,464.40
  16. Other services: $1,322.80
  17. Retail Trade: $1,289.30
  18. Accommodation & food services: $1,161.10

Two Australian Police Officers

Weekly Australian Tax Table

The Australian government offers a weekly tax table tool, which is super helpful when it comes to working out salaries, tax and everything in between. To use this table, you need to work out the withholding amount. To do this, you calculate your employee’s total weekly earnings and add any allowances and irregular payments that are to be included in this week’s pay to the normal weekly earnings, ignoring cents. Use the appropriate column to find the correct amount to withhold. If your employee is claiming the tax-free threshold, use column 2 or use column 3 if not.

The next few steps are shown to you in the tool, which you can find here.

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General FAQs

What is the average income in Australia 2021?

The average weekly ordinary time earnings for full-time adults in Australia in November 2020 was $1,712.

What is the highest earning industry in Australia?

Mining, Resources & Energy is the highest paying industry with the average advertised salary now at $116,000 a year.

What is the average household income in Australia?

The average household earns just over $116,000 per annum.