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The top 10 highest paying industries in Australia in 2018
Whether you’re just starting out in your career or you have a few years’ experience under your belt, it goes without saying that you want to secure the best possible salary as you move up in your career. Often, earning an attractive salary comes down to building the right skill set.
We recently released the 2018 Michael Page Salary Guide, which outlines salary benchmarks for a wide range of industries across many sectors throughout Australia. Take a look at the top 10 highest-paying industries for 2018, according to our report:
Not surprisingly, professionals with skills in finance, accounting, and tax are highly sought-after by banking and financial services organisations, as well as other businesses looking for talent to manage their financial needs. For example, CFOs, heads of finance, and finance directors can expect to earn an average of $375,000 a year at large companies, or $250,000 at SMEs – so a career in finance is likely to be a lucrative one.
Businesses spanning a wide variety of industries recruit for legal professionals – so demand is high – but experience level and the size of the organisation have an impact on earnings. For example, legal professionals with 0-3 years’ experience who work for SMEs earn an average of $205,000 a year, while more experienced professionals at ASX 100 companies earn an average yearly salary of $438,000.
Although the retail industry has a reputation for low-paying jobs, building commercial awareness and retail business acumen offers a solid path to a financially rewarding retail career. At the upper echelons of retail, managing directors and CEOs in the food and non-food industries secure the highest salaries on average, at $500,000 a year, while those in the apparel industry are just behind at an average of $450,000 a year.
Engineering & Manufacturing
The need for professionals with engineering expertise in many sectors means engineering and manufacturing professionals tend to be paid relatively generously across the board. At the top end, operations directors are paid generously in most areas, including equipment and utilities. However, operations directors in the oil and gas industries earn the most, at an average of $350,000 at large companies and $275,000 at small-to-medium-sized companies.
Powers of negotiation and persuasion along with solid product knowledge go a long way toward a successful career in sales. Sales talent with the ability to craft and oversee sales strategies are highly sought-after by businesses across the board. Sales directors, for example, are some of the highest paid professionals in the IT&T, consumer goods, and industrial B2B services sectors, earning a maximum of approximately $330,000 a year (including on-target earnings).
Jobs in the property sector equals attractive salaries for many employees – especially those who work in the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) space. REIT fund managers with more than 7 years’ experience, for example, earn an average of $350,000 a year, while those with 0-7 years’ experience earn between $150,000 and $260,000 on average. Development directors and managers also earn between $250,000 and $350,000 at the upper end.
Skills in supply chain management, vendor management, logistics, and operations are highly valued in a variety of industries. For example, senior procurement professionals working at smaller businesses earn an average of $235,000 a year, while those at large businesses can expect a salary of around $350,000.
A business is only as successful as its marketing efforts, which is why highly skilled marketing professionals are needed in virtually every industry. At the top, experienced marketing talent can earn up to $300,000 a year, with the highest paying marketing jobs being at financial services and consumer goods businesses.
The digital sector is constantly growing, and so is the need for skilled digital professionals. Those with specialist expertise in e-commerce and user experience are especially well-paid, followed by professionals with skills in SEO, SEM, and CRM.
HR professionals with key experience in talent management, change management, and employee retention are likeliest to attract high salaries in the HR sector. Top-level HR professionals can earn up to $400,000 at large organisations (with the average salary being $295,000), or an average of $268,000 a year at SMEs.
Preparing to take the next step in your career? Use our average salary benchmark tool to see what you could be earning in a new role. If you’re in the process of salary negotiation, you can also find out how your salary compares with industry averages using our salary calculator, or calculate your net income after a payrise using our payrise calculator.