Australia’s highest-paying jobs
As demand for workers continues to outstrip supply, salary is a vital tool for attracting and retaining the best talent. But how competitive is your offering?

Click on the table below to discover the highest-paying jobs in your industry.

See the trends

Tight market conditions mean competition for workers is high

Australia’s unemployment rate is at its lowest point in decades. SEEK Senior Economist Matt Cowgill says the economy is running hot, largely due to substantial government stimulus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Reserve Bank slashed interest rates and both state and federal governments spent significant amounts of money to support businesses and households during the pandemic," says Cowgill. "Much of that money is being spent now, propelling demand in the economy, which is supporting demand for workers."

“In addition, the unemployment rate is at 3.9%, which is the lowest that we've seen since the mid-1970s,” adds Cowgill. “Generally, when the unemployment rate goes down, we expect to see wage growth start to pick up as businesses compete to find the staff they need.”

Trends across the country

The volume of job ads on SEEK was 22.5% higher in April this year compared to the same time in 2021, however applications are down year-on-year. These two factors have led to significantly increased competition between employers and, in some instances, the need to offer higher salaries to secure talent.

In Victoria, Psychiatry roles ($198,034) top the list of highest-paying jobs advertised on SEEK, while Physicians ($177,599) and Medical Officers ($160,550) are also commanding strong salaries.

Kevin Alexander, Managing Director of Adecco Australia, attributes this to the state’s protracted lockdowns during the pandemic.

“Melbourne had the longest lockdown in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic and our amazing medical staff in Victoria worked longer and harder during that time, which increased burnout,” he says.

“Salary growth in this area is to be expected to ensure existing staff are looked after and to support the increase in demand as the healthcare system navigates a return to normal while also coping with the COVID-19 virus.”

While roles in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) feature strongly in the highest-paying list for New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and Queensland, mining roles dominate the ranks in Western Australia. Superintendent ($185,592) and Project Manager ($180,642) roles recorded the strongest year-on-year growth across the west.

“With the WA border now open, the state is bringing back to life the full work force of this industry and we can see that through wage growth,” says Alexander.

“Throughout other states, strong demand for workers is seen in ICT, engineering and construction, which is in line with skill shortages across the board,” adds Alexander. “As a result, salary is increasing to find top talent in these areas and we see this continuing well into the coming months.”

Beyond the bottom line: what to offer candidates

Knowledge of salary trends in your industry can inform your recruitment strategy, open conversations with talent and hopefully land candidates in your roles. SEEK’s Laws of Attraction research shows that salary is a top driver for candidates to apply for a job so it’s important to understand what other employers are offering in your industry.

But it’s also worth keeping in mind that candidates are looking for more than money.

Leeann Soden, Executive Search Director at Hudson, says that while a competitive salary is essential in the current market, flexibility and career development are also high on the must-have list.

“Companies offering ongoing development to employees on both a professional and personal level will see their organisation set apart from the rest,” she says. “Supporting employees to upskill or undertake further learning to enhance their skill set is really appealing in this market. Without it, top talent will seek an the opportunity elsewhere.”

“Companies must also provide a flexible timing schedule,” adds Soden. “Be sure to communicate this flexibility to candidates, so they will feel more comfortable and opt to explore your company's opportunity. Remember, it's all about prioritising convenience in the modern era if you want to attract top talent.”

A salary that matches – or exceeds – the industry average will capture candidates’ attention. But don’t forget that factors like flexible work conditions and career development opportunities are highly valued as well.

Source: SEEK Employment Report April 2022.