What are the highest-paying jobs in Australia in 2021?


Published June 2021

We all know that money is just one of many considerations to make when choosing a career but let’s face it: it’s an important factor and it (quite literally) pays to be informed. 

The most recent set of income statistics from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) outlines the top 10 occupations by average taxable income for the 2018–19 income year. Our favourite aspect of these findings is insight it gives into the highest-paying occupations. 

There are no shocks when it comes to these top job figures, and the hierarchy of occupations hasn’t changed since the last report. However, the number of people in the profession and income has significantly shifted in some cases. The medical, finance and engineering industries dominate the top 10, while hospitality and cleaning occupations ranked lowest.  

Which jobs in Australia pay the most? 

1. Surgeons 

There are 4,150 Australians in this profession, and they top the earnings bracket with an average taxable income of $394,303.   

2. Anaesthetists 

There are 3,142 anaesthetists nationwide, and they earn an average taxable wage of $386,065.   

3. Internal medicine specialists 

This field is quite broad, and encompasses paediatricians, cardiologists, clinical haematologists, endocrinologists, oncologists, neurologists, rheumatologists, intensive care specialists, gastroenterologist and more. The 9,559 employees in this category earn an average of $304,752 each year. 

4. Financial dealers 

4,720 Australians work as financial dealers, and they earn an approximate taxable income of $275,984.  

5. Psychiatrists 

There are 3,001 psychiatrists in Australia, earning an average taxable income of $235,558.  

6. Other medical practitioners 

This very broad category includes other medical practitioners not mentioned above — that’s 28,404 Australians, who earn an average of $222,933.   

7. Judicial and other legal professionals 

The legal industry is just over 3,800 strong in Australia, and workers in this cluster of professions earn an average taxable income of $188,798.   

8. Mining engineers 

Australia is home to 8,856 mining engineers, who earn an average taxable wage of $184,507.   

9. CEO and managing directors 

There are over 190,386 workers in the higher echelons of executive management, who work in a variety of companies of all sizes. Their average income is $164,896.  

10. Engineering managers 

There are over 25,500 engineering managers in Australia, and they earn an average taxable income of $159,940.  

To find out more about Australians’ income characteristics and view the latest findings, head to the ATO website. 


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