What are the highest-paying industries in Australia in 2023? Well… with so much change and disruption over the last few years, it’s interesting to note the change we’ve seen in earning potential across job types and industries (not to mention the rise in the number of billionaires in this country 🙄).
There’s also been a significant change to the way we work here in Australia over the past few years. Thanks to the growth of some work formats on the back of COVID-19, more people are working remotely or in hybrid/flexible work arrangements, and the gig economy continues to thrive.
In recent years, we’ve seen increases in work opportunities across various sectors, and according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, unemployment rates remained steady at 3.5% at the end of 2022 – a historic low. And although this may be a positive sign for job hunters, economic uncertainty prevails given the 7 consecutive interest rate hikes from the RBA in 2022.
Having said all that, there are career opportunities in Australia right now, with impressive salaries. And while there are MANY motivating factors when it comes to working and career progression, earning a decent salary is a top priority for many.
On that note – what are the highest-paying industries in Australia right now? Let’s find out.
Let’s Set the Scene…
We factored a number of variables into our research for this post.
Firstly, we looked at jobs that require a degree or official qualifications. In this cohort, salaries vary based on a few different factors, including:
- The state you live in
- Your role seniority
- Your professional qualifications
- The length of time you’ve been with a particular company or within a specific role.
In analysing the highest-paying industries in Australia, we also looked at jobs that don’t require qualifications but do require expertise.
Highest Paying Industries in Australia Right Now: Degree Needed
👨🏽⚖️ 1. Law
Professionals in law provide advice, guidance, and representation across different areas of society and the justice system. Their goal is to support individuals and organisations seeking fairness, justice and compensation for breaches of Australia’s laws. According to Michael Page, general counsel roles for experienced practitioners within ASX100 companies currently have the highest paying job in Australia. Their average annual salary is $437,500.
Legal practitioners are required across all sectors and sub-sectors of society, including government, public and private industry. Legal practitioners typically specialise in a niche area of law (such as commercial law, property law, or family law, for example). The requirement of legal practitioners is to have expert knowledge and experience across the areas of law and the legal system of their practice.
Legal practitioners most commonly work either in private practice, where they serve a range of clients. Or they work as in-house counsel or consultant.
Some of the highest-paid roles in the legal industry include:
- General Counsel
- Litigation Lawyer
⛏ 2. Energy & Mining
The energy and mining industry in Australia remains significant, despite the ongoing shift to green energy and power. The industry covers traditional sources of energy and mining including oil, natural gas and coal. In addition, a wide range of renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric dams, biomass, wind, geothermal, and solar now make up this crucial industry.
The Head of operations roles in the energy and mining industry are paid a significant average salary of $325,000 annually, according to Michael Page.
The industry includes organisations producing and supplying all forms of energy; the management of energy sources; and the delivery of energy across a wide range of commercial and residential customers.
The energy and mining sector has been an important driver of industrial growth over the past century, providing power to the rest of the economy.
The roles in this industry are varied and often highly specialised (outside of roles that feature across multiple industries like OHS, marketing, accounting or law). The highest-paying roles in the energy and mining sector include:
- Chemical Engineer
- Petroleum Engineer
- Atmospheric Scientist
- Power Plant Operator
- Mine Manager
- Production Manager
- Nuclear Technician
📈 3. Financial Services
The financial services sector is broad and complex. It includes banking, investment, advisory, insurance, accounting and tax, foreign exchange, and the ASX. The jobs in this sector are both highly coveted and challenging, which typically makes for lucrative careers.
Jobs in financial services cover public, private, government and NGO organisations. The key factor about financial services, is the industry itself, is just one source of employment. Financial services experts can also work across almost any industry where financial expertise is required.
In the financial services industry, jobs abound in retail, personal finance, and commercial finance. The top average salaries sit at around a high of $200k excluding bonuses.
Some of the highest-paid jobs in the industry include:
- Portfolio Manager
- Financial Analyst
- Financial Risk Manager
- Personal Finance Advisor
- Private Equity Associate
- Corporate Finance Manager
- Investment Banker
- Economic Analyst
- Hedge Fund Manager
💬 4. Marketing & Public Relations
Marketing is a vital resource for almost every sector in Australia and remains one of the highest-paying industries. And marketing services are always in demand, given the essential nature of the growing reach and awareness of organisations, irrespective of industry.
The salary distribution in the marketing industry is quite broad and is heavily based on qualifications, experience, whether the skills required are niche, in short supply (and therefore hard to source), and whether the marketing expertise requires specialist industry knowledge.
Like financial services, marketing expertise is in demand across almost every sector (it’s hard to think of a sector that doesn’t need marketing). Hence, its universal reach and impact
From our research, we learned that the highest-paid marketing jobs include the following:
- Chief Marketing Officer
- CRM Manager
- Creative Director
- Social Media Manager
- Marketing Director
- SEO/PPC Specialist
- Director of Brand Strategy
👩🏻⚕️ 5. Healthcare
The healthcare industry covers private and public medical organisations and facilities, including surgery, mental health services, GP doctors, pharmaceuticals and more. The wide-ranging nature of the industry means there is a broad variety of jobs, pay scales and salaries across the multitude of subsectors.
Many healthcare and medical roles require educational qualifications in specific medical fields to enable professionals to practice. Due to the specialist nature of many medical positions, the salaries can reflect individuals’ commitment to their professional development and industry status.
Some of the highest-paid job titles in the healthcare industry include:
- Oral Surgeons
- Emergency Physicians
Highest Paying Industries in Australia Right Now: No Degree Needed
If you’ve decided that heading to university is just not the education path you’re keen to take, you may have found yourself wondering: ‘what are the highest-paying industries with no degree required?’ And ‘what certification is actually required to pursue those opportunities?’ 🤔
While most of the following roles require a level of training or higher education, it’s still possible to earn more than the average Australian weekly earnings of $1,633.80 while building a satisfying, successful career.
Here are the top 5 careers for which you don’t need a degree:
👨🏽🔧 1. Construction Manager
According to Indeed, the average salary of a Construction Manager in Australia is $154,536 per year.
In addition to project management, construction managers often work directly with customers so strong interpersonal skills and a knack for developing rapport are necessary to work well with staff and clients.
Although no degree is required, a Diploma in Leadership and Management would be a great adjunct to experience.
🔐 2. Ethical Hacker
To catch a hacker, you must become a hacker yourself. With an average annual salary in the realm of $101,000 (according to Payscale) ethical hackers are responsible for “white-hat hacking”, which refers to third-party security research. Ethical hackers are commonly hired by various companies and even government bodies to test cybersecurity vulnerabilities across the digital spectrum.
A great qualification to support this career would be to study for a Diploma of Information Technology (Cyber Security).
👨🏼💻 3. Project Manager
The average salary of a project manager in Australia is 122,585 per year in Australia, according to Talent.com.
A project manager is responsible for overseeing their team’s tasks, ensuring that projects are done within their prospective timeframes and that their projects produce successful outcomes.
If you want to gain skills and knowledge to prepare for a career as a project manager, a Diploma in Project Management would be a great option.
💻 4. Digital Marketing Manager
Talent.com states that the average salary of a digital marketing manager is $101,254 per year.
If you have a strong interest in working across digital advertising and lead generation, you’ll thrive in this role as the digital marketing manager is responsible for creating strategies to optimise ads in order to boost the revenue of a company or organisation.
A good qualification to consider for this career is a Diploma of Social Media Marketing.
🤓 5. ICT Manager
The average salary for an ICT manager in Australia is $129,500 per year in Australia. (Source: Talent.com)
The ICT manager is responsible for creating strategic plans and policies related to ICT that directly impact an organisation or company.
A Diploma in Information Technology would be the best study pathway for this career.
And remember, it’s never too late to change your career ideas and go after something new.
Also, please do contact us if you have any feedback or comments.