What salary data tells us about 457 visa changes

Angus Kidman 28 April 2017


Many of the job categories being adjusted are in low-wage jobs. Which ones pay the least?

One of the key reasons given for recent changes to Australia's skilled migration visa system has been to stop potential exploitation of the system to import workers from overseas who are cheaper than Australian residents. The new rules for skilled migration visas, which will come into full effect in 2018, include a requirement that the salary for the role meets the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT), which is currently set at $53,900.

The changes include 216 jobs being removed from the skilled migration list; others remain but will have tightened criteria. This got us wondering: just how well-paid are the roles that have been on the list to date? So we grabbed average salary and median age data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for each of those positions where data was available, and compiled them into the table below. These figures includes everyone employed in those positions, not just people on visas, but provides an indication of how those roles vary in pay.

Across all these roles, the median age is 41.9, and the median cash earnings per week are $1,426,90. A large number of sports instruction jobs (including diving, skiing and tennis instructors) shared the lowest typical weekly earnings of $399.10. Those roles are not being removed from the eligibility list, but anyone taking those roles would need to earn much more than that to meet the income threshold requirement. The top-paid position? Mining engineer and petroleum engineer, with weekly cash earnings of $3,263.50 - enough to easily meet the salary criteria.

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Below, we've listed the median age and average salary for each of the occupations that were previously eligible for visas. You can sort on any column by clicking on the heading, or find a particular job, age or salary using the search box.

JobWeekly cash earningsMedian age
Accommodation and Hospitality Managers$1,886.4049.7
Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers$1,354.3037.9
Advertising Manager$2,455.9045.7
Advertising Specialist$1,644.2036.4
Aeroplane Pilot$3,253.5042.6
Agricultural Technician$1,232.7048.1
Air Traffic Controller$3,253.5042.6
Air Transport Professionals$3,253.5042.6
Ambulance Officer$1,815.8040.2
Amusement Centre Manager$1,325.9042.8
Anaesthetic Technician$886.9042
Animal Attendants and Trainers$684.1030.1
Antique Dealer$1,279.8044.7
Apparel Cutter$850.2050.1
Architectural Draftsperson$1,791.1042.8
Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians$1,791.1042.8
Art Director$1,461.2040
Art Teacher$425.4033.6
Artistic Director$1,557.6038.6
Arts Administrator or Manager$2,505.8045.5
Bed and Breakfast Operator$1,886.4049.7
Betting Agency Manager$1,279.8044.7
Boarding Kennel or Cattery Operator$1,891.4046.1
Book or Script Editor$1,211.3034.4
Broadcast Transmitter Operator$986.7036.8
Building and Engineering Technicians$2,580.4043.9
Building Associate$1,791.1042.8
Building Inspector$1,791.1042.8
Business Broker$1,192.9039.7
Business Machine Mechanic$1,331.4036
Cafe or Restaurant Manager$1,12038
Call or Contact Centre Manager$1,858.1044.2
Camera Operator$986.7036.8
Cardiac Technician$886.9042
Careers Counsellor$1,120.8045.7
Chemical Plant Operator$2,945.4044.8
Chemistry Technician$1,29040
Chief Executive or Managing Director$2,665.2048.8
Chief Information Officer$2,710.4043.5
Cinema or Theatre Manager$1,891.4046.1
Clinical Coder$1,121.4041.9
Clothing Patternmaker$850.2050.1
Clothing Trades Workers$850.2050.1
Commissioned Defence Force Officer$2,878.5050.5
Commissioned Fire Officer$2,878.5050.5
Commissioned Police Officer$2,878.5050.5
Commodities Trader$1,623.7040.7
Communications Operator$1,331.4036
Community Arts Worker$1,000.3042.2
Community Worker$979.6042.8
Company Secretary$2,387.4042.2
Conference and Event Organiser$1,351.5034.5
Conservation Officer$1,426.9039.3
Construction Estimator$1,791.1042.8
Contract Administrator$1,457.2042.6
Corporate General Manager$2,713.9045.9
Corporate Services Manager$2,305.4046.5
Corporate Treasurer$2,387.4042.2
Court Bailiff or Sheriff$1,090.5041.4
Customer Service Manager$1,858.1044.2
Dance Teacher$425.4033.6
Dancer or Choreographer$1,354.3037.9
Database Administrator$1,971.3040.4
Defence Force Senior Officer$2,713.9045.9
Dental Hygienist$1,119.3043
Dental Prosthetist$1,119.3043
Dental Specialist$1,603.4041.9
Dental Technician$1,119.3043
Dental Therapist$1,119.3043
Director of Photography$1,461.2040
Disabilities Services Officer$979.6042.8
Diversional Therapist$552.7050.5
Diving Instructor$399.1031.4
Dog Handler or Trainer$684.1030.1
Dog or Horse Racing Official$399.1031.4
Drama Teacher$425.4033.6
Dressmaker or Tailor$850.2050.1
Drug and Alcohol Counsellor$1,120.8045.7
Earth Science Technician$1,29040
Education Adviser$1,416.9045
Education Managers$2,159.6049.9
Education Reviewer$1,416.9045
Electorate Officer$1,502.3040.6
Emergency Service Worker$1,642.3043.1
Engineering Professionals$1,996.9040
Enrolled Nurse$980.2045.8
Entertainer or Variety Artist$1,354.3037.9
Environmental Consultant$1,426.9039.3
Environmental Health Officer$1,623.3043.7
Environmental Manager$2,505.8045.5
Environmental Research Scientist$1,426.9039.3
Environmental Scientists$1,426.9039.3
Equipment Hire Manager$1,891.4046.1
Exercise Physiologist$1,713.4036.6
Facilities Manager$1,891.4046.1
Faculty Head$2,159.6049.9
Family and Marriage Counsellor$1,120.8045.7
Family Support Worker$979.6042.8
Film and Video Editor$1,461.2040
Film, Television, Radio and Stage Directors$1,461.2040
Finance Broker$1,623.7040.7
Finance Manager$2,730.8045.1
Financial Brokers$1,623.7040.7
Financial Dealers$3,160.9038.6
Financial Institution Branch Manager$1,891.4046.1
Financial Investment Adviser$2,232.4041
Financial Investment Manager$2,232.4041
Financial Market Dealer$3,160.9038.6
Fire Fighter$1,642.3043.1
Fire Protection Equipment Technician$894.9036.1
First Aid Trainer$615.4039.9
Fisheries Officer$1,149.8047.2
Fitness Centre Manager$1,325.9042.8
Fleet Manager$1,863.2052.8
Flight Attendant$1,222.6039.3
Flying Instructor$3,253.5042.6
Food Technologist$1,540.2039.5
Funeral Director$959.9043.7
Funeral Workers$959.9043.7
Furniture Finisher$1,021.7046.5
Futures Trader$3,160.9038.6
Gallery or Museum Curator$1,371.7048.3
Gallery or Museum Technician$760.2047.1
Gas or Petroleum Operator$2,945.4044.8
Graphic Designer$1,243.2036.7
Graphic Pre-press Trades Worker$1,077.5045.1
Gymnastics Coach or Instructor$399.1031.4
Hair or Beauty Salon Manager$1,279.8044.7
Hardware Technician$1,34937.1
Health and Welfare Services Managers$2,721.9050.6
Health Diagnostic and Promotion Professionals$1,417.6044.7
Health Information Manager$1,371.7048.3
Health Promotion Officer$1,417.6044.7
Helicopter Pilot$3,253.5042.6
Horse Riding Coach or Instructor$399.1031.4
Horse Trainer$684.1030.1
Hospital Pharmacist$1,287.6036.8
Hotel or Motel Manager$1,286.5044.2
Human Resource Adviser$1,565.8037.6
Human Resource Manager$2,662.1043.8
ICT Account Manager$2,56943.3
ICT Business Development Manager$2,56943.3
ICT Customer Support Officer$1,34937.1
ICT Managers$2,710.4043.5
ICT Project Manager$2,710.4043.5
ICT Quality Assurance Engineer$1,925.7042.2
ICT Sales Representative$2,56943.3
ICT Security Specialist$1,971.3040.4
ICT Support and Test Engineers$1,925.7042.2
ICT Support Engineer$1,925.7042.2
ICT Support Technicians$1,34937.1
ICT Systems Test Engineer$1,925.7042.2
ICT Trainer$2,726.9047.2
Importer or Exporter$1,348.9044.5
Industrial Pharmacist$1,287.6036.8
Information and Organisation Professionals$1,502.3040.6
Insurance Agent$1,455.5036.9
Insurance Broker$1,623.7040.7
Insurance Investigator$1,426.5042.5
Insurance Loss Adjuster$1,426.5042.5
Insurance Risk Surveyor$1,426.5042.5
Intellectual Property Lawyer$2,224.2041.7
Intelligence Officer$1,802.4042.1
Intensive Care Ambulance Paramedic$1,815.8040.2
Interior Decorator$894.9036.1
Interior Designer$1,113.1031.9
Journalists and Other Writers$1,446.8039.3
Judicial and Other Legal Professionals$2,224.2041.7
Kennel Hand$684.1030.1
Laboratory Manager$2,505.8045.5
Landscape Gardener$919.3041.3
Liaison Officer$1,502.3040.6
Library Technician$760.2047.1
Licensed Club Manager$2,084.3049.5
Life Science Technician$1,29040
Life Scientist$1,45739.8
Life Scientists$1,45739.8
Light Technician$986.7036.8
Maintenance Planner$2,580.4043.9
Make Up Artist$986.7036.8
Management Consultant$2,119.9043.1
Marine Biologist$1,45739.8
Marine Surveyor$2,374.6050.1
Marine Transport Professionals$2,374.6050.1
Market Research Analyst$1,644.2036.4
Marketing Specialist$1,644.2036.4
Master Fisher$2,374.6050.1
Meat Inspector$1,149.8047.2
Media Producer$1,557.6038.6
Medical Laboratory Technician$886.9042
Medical Technicians$886.9042
Metal Fitters and Machinists$1,795.1040.6
Metallurgical or Materials Technician$2,580.4043.9
Middle School Teacher$1,573.4039.1
Migration Agent$1,502.3040.6
Mine Deputy$2,580.4043.9
Mining Engineer$3,263.5037.3
Minister of Religion$797.6043.3
Mothercraft Nurse$980.2045.8
Multimedia Designer$1,243.2036.7
Multimedia Specialist$1,355.5032
Music Director$619.6055.1
Music Professionals$619.6055.1
Music Teacher$425.4033.6
Musical Instrument Maker or Repairer$986.7036.8
Natural and Physical Science Professionals$1,713.4036.6
Network Administrator$2,048.5041.8
Network Analyst$2,048.5041.8
Newspaper or Periodical Editor$1,446.8039.3
Nurse Manager$1,952.1047
Occupational Health and Safety Adviser$1,623.3043.7
Operating Theatre Technician$886.9042
Optical Dispenser$894.9036.1
Optical Mechanic$894.9036.1
Organisation and Methods Analyst$2,119.9043.1
Other Sports Coach or Instructor$399.1031.4
Other Sports Official$399.1031.4
Park Ranger$1,426.9039.3
Parole or Probation Officer$979.6042.8
Patents Examiner$1,502.3040.6
Pathology Collector$886.9042
Performing Arts Technicians$986.7036.8
Petroleum Engineer$3,263.5037.3
Pharmacy Technician$886.9042
Picture Framer$1,021.7046.5
Plastics Technician$894.9036.1
Plumbing Inspector$1,791.1042.8
Police Officer$1,851.7039.3
Policy Analyst$1,802.4042.1
Policy and Planning Manager$2,44346.1
Post Office Manager$1,279.8044.7
Potter or Ceramic Artist$598.8042.3
Power Generation Plant Operator$2,945.4044.8
Precision Instrument Maker and Repairer$1,476.4042.2
Primary Products Inspectors$1,149.8047.2
Primary School Teacher$1,309.3041.9
Print Finisher$795.9043.9
Print Journalist$1,446.8039.3
Printing Machinist$1,329.3043.9
Prison Officer$1,552.5044.7
Private Tutors and Teachers$425.4033.6
Procurement Manager$2,729.2046
Production Manager$2,359.7046.9
Production Manager$2,359.7046.9
Program Director$1,461.2040
Program or Project Administrator$1,457.2042.6
Property Manager$1,192.9039.7
Public Relations Manager$2,455.9045.7
Public Relations Professional$1,679.4035.4
Quality Assurance Manager$2,505.8045.5
Quarantine Officer$1,149.8047.2
Radio Journalist$1,446.8039.3
Radio Presenter$1,557.6038.6
Railway Station Manager$1,863.2052.8
Real Estate Agency Principal$1,192.9039.7
Real Estate Agent$1,192.9039.7
Real Estate Representative$1,192.9039.7
Records Manager$1,371.7048.3
Recreation Officer$1,000.3042.2
Recruitment Consultant$1,565.8037.6
Regional Education Manager$2,159.6049.9
Rehabilitation Counsellor$1,120.8045.7
Research and Development Manager$3,005.8045.3
Resident Medical Officer$3,008.3040.5
Residential Care Officer$979.6042.8
Retail Buyer$1,845.5038.7
Retail Pharmacist$1,287.6036.8
Retirement Village Manager$1,886.4049.7
Roof Tiler$98033.2
Safety Inspector$1,892.1048
Sales and Marketing Manager$2,455.9045.7
Sales Representative$1,647.3040.3
Sales Representative$1,647.3040.3
Saw Maker and Repairer$1,476.4042.2
School Laboratory Technician$1,29040
School Principal$2,430.3046.2
Science Technicians$1,29040
Screen Printer$795.9043.9
Small Offset Printer$1,329.3043.9
Snowsport Instructor$399.1031.4
Social Professionals$1,128.4047
Software and Applications Programmers$1,874.3037.3
Software Tester$1,874.3037.3
Sound Technician$986.7036.8
Specialist Managers EXCEPT · Ambassador · Archbishop · Bishop$2,505.8045.5
Sports Administrator$2,505.8045.5
Sports Centre Manager$1,325.9042.8
Sports Development Officer$399.1031.4
Sports Umpire$399.1031.4
Stage Manager$1,461.2040
Stock and Station Agent$1,480.8049.7
Stockbroking Dealer$3,160.9038.6
Student Counsellor$1,120.8045.7
Supply and Distribution Manager$2,729.2046
Surveying or Spatial Science Technician$1,791.1042.8
Swimming Coach or Instructor$399.1031.4
Systems Administrator$1,971.3040.4
Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages$1,002.4041.2
Technical Director$1,461.2040
Technical Sales Representatives$1,647.3040.3
Technical Writer$1,446.8039.3
Technicians and Trades Workers$894.9036.1
Telecommunications Cable Jointer$1,326.1039.1
Telecommunications Linesworker$1,326.1039.1
Telecommunications Technician$1,326.1039.1
Television Equipment Operator$986.7036.8
Television Journalist$1,446.8039.3
Television Presenter$1,557.6038.6
Tennis Coach$399.1031.4
Textile, Clothing and Footwear Mechanic$1,795.1040.6
Training and Development Professional$1,760.3043.5
Transport Company Manager$1,863.2052.8
Travel Agency Manager$1,279.8044.7
Travel Attendants$1,222.6039.3
Tribunal Member$2,224.2041.7
University Lecturer$1,536.8044.1
University Tutor$1,536.8044.1
Urban and Regional Planner$1,794.7041.9
Vehicle Body Builder$1,390.9041.5
Vehicle Painter$1,060.9035.5
Vehicle Trimmer$1,390.9041.5
Veterinary Nurse$755.9035.5
Video Producer$1,461.2040
Visual Arts and Crafts Professionals$598.8042.3
Vocational Education Teacher$1,229.4048.4
Vocational Education Teacher$1,229.4048.4
Watch and Clock Maker and Repairer$1,476.4042.2
Web Administrator$1,34937.1
Web Designer$1,243.2036.7
Web Developer$1,355.5032
Welfare Worker$1,000.3042.2
Wine Maker$1,540.2039.5
Wood Machinist$1,021.7046.5
Wood Machinists and Other Wood Trades Workers$1,021.7046.5
Wood Turner$1,021.7046.5
Wool Buyer$1,845.5038.7
Wool Classer$894.9036.1
Workplace Relations Adviser$1,565.8037.6
Youth Worker$979.6042.8

Source: ABS statistics of weekly income per job grouping

You can also check out a fuller set of figures, including roles split by gender and salary where that data is available. If you're curious about the jobs that still potentially qualify for skilled migration, we have a full list of those and a detailed guide to how the 457 visa is being replaced.

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