The highest earning jobs in Australia

Peter Terlato 29 November 2016


Doctors dominate the list of well-paid professions.

Surgeons, legal officials, finance executives, cricketers, traders and metallurgists are just a few of the vocations which enjoy significantly high incomes in Australia.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released its annual Taxation Statistics Report for 2012-13, which lists the 50 highest earning occupations for both men and women.

For men, neurosurgery is the most lucrative career, while judges are the highest paid female workers.

Top 50 average incomes

Neurosurgeon $577,674Judge – law $355,844
Ophthalmologist $552,947Neurosurgeon $323,682
Cardiologist $453,253Plastic and reconstructive surgeon $281,608
Plastic and reconstructive surgeon $448,530Futures trader $281,600
Gynaecologist; Obstetrician $446,507Vascular surgeon $271,529
Otorhinolaryngologist $445,939Gynaecologist; Obstetrician $264,628
Orthopaedic surgeon $439,629Gastroenterologist $260,925
Urologist $433,792Magistrate $260,161
Vascular surgeon $417,524Anaesthetist $243,582
Gastroenterologist $415,192Ophthalmologist $217,242
Diagnostic and interventional radiologist $386,003Cardiologist $215,920
Dermatologist $383,880Urologist $213,094
Judge – law $381,323Surgeon – general $210,796
Anaesthetist $370,492Medical oncologist $208,612
Cardiothoracic surgeon $358,043Specialist physicians – other $207,599
Surgeon – general $ 357,996Specialist physician – general medicine $207,225
Specialist physicians – other $344,860Otorhinolaryngologist $200,136
Radiation oncologist $336,994Dermatologist $195,030
Medical oncologist $322,178Diagnostic and interventional radiologist $180,695
Securities and finance dealer $320,452Cardiothoracic surgeon $175,500
Thoracic medicine specialist $315,444Paediatric surgeon $175,314
Specialist physician – general medicine $315,114Endocrinologist $174,542
Intensive care specialist $308,033Member of parliament $173,331
Renal medicine specialist $298,681Rheumatologist $169,409
Neurologist $298,543Intensive care specialist $169,369
Financial investment manager $288,790Emergency medicine specialist $165,786
Investment broker $286,530Orthopaedic surgeon $159,479
Paediatric surgeon $282,508Neurologist $155,217
Clinical haematologist $271,738Renal medicine specialist $155,133
Futures trader $264,830Psychiatrist $152,437
Endocrinologist $258,972Clinical haematologist $147,970
Cricketer $257,527Paediatrician $147,347
Rheumatologist $256,933Securities and finance dealer $145,208
Dental specialist $253,442Dental specialist $140,505
Magistrate $246,737Actuary $136,819
Equities analyst; Investment dealer $245,826Radiation oncologist $135,678
Paediatrician $239,405Financial investment manager $134,481
Stock exchange dealer Stockbroker $238,192Petroleum engineer $133,315
Psychiatrist $234,557Mining production manager $133,061
Emergency medicine specialist $232,595General medical practitioner $129,834
Member of parliament $232,093Thoracic medicine specialist $127,645
Pathologist $224,378Stockbroker $124,433
Company secretary – corporate governance $218,432Paving plant operator $123,281
State governor $212,652Mining engineer $119,564
Actuary $196,144Tribunal member $119,219
Sports physician $187,468Occupational medicine specialist; Public health physician; Sports physician $118,310
Petroleum engineer $185,808Geophysicist $117,575
General medical practitioner $184,639Chief executive officer; Executive director; Managing director; Public servant – secretary or deputy secretary $116,855
Chief executive officer; Executive director; Managing director; Public servant – secretary or deputy secretary $181,849Engineering manager $116,732
Mining production manager $179,439Metallurgist $110,359

Earlier this month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its Wage Price Index (WPI) for September, revealing the greatest gains in annual wage growth were in health care and social assistance, up 2.4% year-on-year.

However, in a speech addressing monetary policy last month, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) governor Philip Lowe said excess capacity, lower commodity prices and reduced pricing power had led to the slowest rate of wage increases since the late 1990s.

Wondering what degrees offer the best return on investment? The highest paid graduates, now working full-time, are employed in engineering and related technologies, and management and commerce.

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