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The best-paying jobs in Australia

Want to know what the best-paying jobs in Australia are at the moment? Check out our list of some of the highest paying careers.

When you’re choosing a new career, there are many factors to consider. One aspect that’s often high up the list is how much you’ll get paid. By understanding salaries and pay scales, it’s easier to plan for your career path. With this in mind, we take a look at some of the best-paying jobs in Australia. 

Our list covers a broad range of industries and sectors. As you might expect, those in fields such as medicine and IT generally pay well. However, there are many roles that offer the potential for a high salary without the need for such lengthy degrees. Ultimately, your passion and enthusiasm for your work are often just as important as how much your job pays.


Project Manager

What is a project manager?

Project managers work in many different fields. They’re responsible for the planning, financing, risk assessment, resource management, and delivery of projects. It’s a role that requires a wide range of skills, and many of these can be transferred from one industry to another.  There is a particular demand for project managers in Australia in the construction, digital, and financial services sectors. As such, it’s among the best-paying jobs in Australia. 

How do you become a project manager?

There are many routes that you can take to become a project manager. As well as a degree in business or project management, you could also consider an industry-specific qualification such as IT or engineering. You will also need national accreditation at the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM). 

How much do project managers make?

The median average salary for a project manager in construction is AUD 98,500. This can range up to AUD 153,000.

Explore project management courses

Learn some of the basics of managing a project and start building your skills. Doing so can lay the foundations for becoming a project manager. 

 

IT Systems Architect

What is an IT systems architect?

A system architect is an essential role in the planning, design and delivery of IT projects. They assess the scope of a project and recommend the right IT systems and networks to achieve its goals. It’s a role that requires an understanding of how businesses operate, as well as how IT infrastructures are assembled and interact. Systems architects look at the hardware, software, networks, and security of a project. 

How do you become an IT systems architect? 

As you might expect, you’ll need a detailed knowledge of a variety of areas of IT. A degree in computer science or software engineering is beneficial, and you’ll also need to have experience working with people. Project management experience and certification can certainly help too, as can computer programming experience. 

How much do IT systems architects make? 

The median average salary for a technical architect is AUD 165,000.

Explore IT and computer science courses

You’ll need a wide range of IT skills to become a systems architect. An online course can help you start to build your knowledge base.

 

Surgeon

What is a surgeon?

A surgeon is a doctor who leads a variety of medical professionals to make sure surgeries and other procedures run smoothly. They are the physicians who carry out operations, and they are also responsible for preoperative diagnosis, postoperative care, and a range of administrative duties. Usually, they specialise in one particular area of medicine.  The role of surgeon is one of the best-paying jobs in Australia. 

How do you become a surgeon? 

To become a surgeon, you must first qualify as a medical doctor. From there, you’ll usually spend several years training in a range of surgical situations within a hospital. After your initial training, you’ll then further specialise and gain clinical experience. 

How much do surgeons make?

The median average salary for a general surgeon is AUD 152,000. However, at the top end, you could earn up to AUD 360,000.

Explore healthcare courses

Start your journey to becoming a surgeon by learning some of the fundamentals of various areas of healthcare.

 

Data Analyst

What is a data analyst? 

There is a huge demand for data analysts at the moment. Companies in just about every industry are looking for people who can gather, organise, and interpret data. These professionals provide insight to organisations, creating reports, analysing findings, and suggesting actions. Data analysts work with a variety of other teams to help them make business decisions. 

How do you become a data analyst? 

Usually, you’ll need a degree in a relevant field to become a data analyst. This could be something like computer science, economics, mathematics or statistics. You could also take a postgraduate qualification. You’ll need to demonstrate skills in analysis, databases, data modelling, and other similar abilities.  

How much do data analysts make?

The median average salary for a data analyst is AUD 71,000. However, this can range up to AUD 99,000. 

Explore data science courses

Learn some of the basics of collecting, processing and analysing data with one of our data science courses. 

 

Lawyer

What is a lawyer? 

A lawyer is a term used for a professional who is qualified as a solicitor or barrister. The former is someone who advises clients on legal matters. The latter is someone who prepares cases and appears in court representing their clients. Lawyers primarily uphold the law and protect the rights of their clients, whether in an advisory or more active role. 

How do you become a lawyer? 

To get one of these best-paying jobs in Australia, you’ll usually need to complete an LLB qualified undergraduate degree. You could also take a law conversion course if you have an existing qualification. After completing your studies, you’ll need to apprentice at a firm in your chosen field. 

How much do lawyers make? 

The median average salary for an attorney/lawyer is AUD 68,000. However, this can range up to AUD 118,000.

Explore law courses

Start building your knowledge base today with one of our law courses. They cover a broad range of topics, from international law to criminal justice.

 

Engineer

What is an engineer? 

Engineers work across many different sectors, using technology, science and maths to solve problems. They’re involved with the planning, designing, analysis and building of machines, structures, and systems. They also have to take into account things like project scope, safety, cost, and limitations. Engineering has six major branches, with many subcategories under each. 

How do you become an engineer?

Like many of the best-paying jobs in Australia, engineers require a high level of education before they’re qualified. You’ll usually need to start with an Associate Degree or Advanced Diploma in the field, followed by a bachelor’s degree focused on the area you want to specialise in. After your studies, you’ll want to register as a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) or Registered Professional Engineer (RPEng) from Engineers Australia.

How much do engineers make? 

The median average salary for a mechanical engineer is AUD 73,000. However, this can range up to AUD 111,000.

Explore engineering courses

You can learn about some of the different fields of engineering with one of our online courses. Take the first steps to becoming an engineer today. 

 

Software Developer

What is a software developer? 

Software developers, also known as software engineers, use their knowledge of science, maths, and computer programming to develop new technologies. As well as writing code and designing programs, you’ll use your knowledge of how computers work to solve complex problems. It’s one of the best-paying jobs in Australia, and there are roles in many different industries. 

How do you become a software developer? 

To become a software developer, you’ll need to have a detailed understanding of a range of computer and IT systems. A degree in computer science or other IT-related field is often a good place to start, but hands-on experience is often the most sought-after skill. 

How much do software engineers make?

The median average salary for a software engineer is AUD 78,000. However, this can range up to AUD 110,000. 

Explore coding and programming courses

Skills in understanding code and writing computer programs are essential for aspiring software engineers. Learn some of the basics with one of our online courses. 

 

Psychiatrist

What is a psychiatrist? 

Psychiatrists are doctors who specialise in treating mental health conditions. They’re unique among other professionals in their field, as they can prescribe medication to patients. Usually, psychiatrists specialise in one specific area, treating patients with specific conditions or in certain age groups. 

How do you become a psychiatrist? 

As psychiatrists are doctors, you’ll first need to complete a medical degree. From there, you’ll need to spend at least 12 months completing on-the-job training in a hospital. Once you’ve completed this initial training, you’ll have to enrol with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and complete further specialist training. 

How much do psychiatrists earn? 

The median average salary for a psychiatrist is AUD 124,000. However, this can range up to AUD 300,000. 

Explore psychology and mental health courses

An understanding of how the mind works is an essential part of becoming a psychiatrist. A course in psychology and mental health can be a great place to start.

 

Category Job Market, FutureLearn Australia