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The Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Australia


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Highest Paying Jobs in Australia Below, we reveal the highest paying jobs in Australia, based off our salary tool, which uses our proprietary data from real placements made at PageGroup.


In 2020, few industries were left unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic and as a result, many lost their jobs or had their hours cut significantly. However, there were silver linings amid the uncertainty – a number of Australian businesses continued to hire new staff and offer high-paid roles across technology, construction and financial services.


Further, the legal sector claims the top spot for the highest salaries, with General Counsel positions ranking at the top of the list. General Counsel positions with less than a years’ experience are still falling well into the six figures.


Highest Paying Jobs in Australia in


Job TitleSalary
General Counsel$438,000
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)$320,000
Sales Director$260,000
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)$350,000
General Manager$275,000-280,000
Internal Medicine Specialist$268,247
Investment Strategist or Director$250,000
Last Updated


The Australian occupation market is continually advancing, with numerous individuals watching out for the current best-paying positions as we enter 2021. In case you’re hoping to change into a job that is lucrative, stable and offers great job development, here are some potential pathways to watch out for.


The 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Australia


Highest Paying Jobs in Australia 2021


10. Psychiatrist


Psychiatrists are mental health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat various mental health concerns including depression, bipolar and addiction. Psychiatrists are also able to prescribe medicine, adding another lawyer of complexity to their roles.


On average, psychiatrists earn $213,683 a year, although it’s not unheard of to earn over $300,000.


To enter this meaningful profession, you need to:


  • Complete a Bachelor of Medicine degree.


  • Become a registered Medical Practitioner and gain at least two years of post-degree medical experience.


  • Apply to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) to complete further training.


  • Specialise in an area of Psychiatry for six years.



9. Investment Strategist or Director


After about 10 years of experience, Investment Strategists or Directors enjoy a median base salary of $250,000 and a maximum of $320,000.


Investment Strategists or Directors are at the executive level of a company and are responsible for creating investment goals and strategies, collaborating with investment officers, and analyse the performance of various investments.


To get into this challenging field, you will have to:


  • Complete a Bachelor’s Degree in finance, economics or mathematics — typically, a Master’s Degree will be required as well.


  • Have at least 10 years of work experience in asset allocation, securities analysis or portfolio management.


  • Join an industry association.


8. Internal Medicine Specialist


Another high-earning position in healthcare is as an Internal Medicine Specialist. Typically known as a General Physician (GP), these medical professionals treat a broad range of illnesses and ailments.


The average income for Internal Medicine Specialists sits at $268,247 a year.


To enter the field, you’ll have to:


  • Complete an undergraduate medical degree or a relevant Bachelor’s Degree paired with a postgraduate qualification like a Doctor of Medicine.


  • Complete an internship at a recognised hospital.


  • Get registered with the Medical Board of Australia.


  • Obtain GP fellowship with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).


7. General Manager


The median salary for General Managers is between $275,000-280,000. In thriving industries like Construction, General Managers can make $400,000-500,000.


As the name suggests, General Managers oversee all company operations, including allocating budget resources, formulating policies, monitoring staff, improving administration processes and engaging with vendors.


To start bringing home the bacon as a General Manager, you’ll have to:


  • Complete a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration or similar.

You might even want to complete an advanced degree like a Master of Business Administration (MBA) to increase your employability.

  • Gain experience across an organisation, particularly in the areas of managing people and overseeing processes.


6. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)


Unsurprisingly, the executive-level position of Chief Financial Officer is consistently high-paying. The average base salary for this role is $350,000, but can up to an incredible $450,000 with bonuses.


CFOs are responsible for managing the financial activities of an organisation, including tracking cash flow, financial planning and analysing company strengths and weaknesses.


To earn bank as a CFO, you should:


  • Complete a Bachelor’s Degree in business, economics, accounting or finance.


  • Complete a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination or a Master of Business Administration (MBA).


  • Gain leadership experience within the financial department of a company. It’s possible to become a CFO within 10 years if working for a small or medium sized company, but will take longer if you’re with a large company.


5. Sales Director


Sales Directors consistently earn the big bucks year after year. Specifically, Sales Directors in the consumer, tech and telecommunications, pharma and medical device industries are likely to earn more than their counterparts in other industries.


Sales Directors have a base salary of $260,000, with potential bonuses ranging from $50,000-150,000 a year! It’s also possible to become a Sales Manager without a tertiary degree, making it one of the highest-paying non-degree jobs.


As a Sales Director, you will lead your company’s sales team, set quotas and goals, create sales plans and analyse data.

To become a Sales Director, you have to:


  • Gain experience as a Sales Consultant and then a Sales Manager, developing your skills and gradually taking on more responsibilities.


  • Get qualifications if you are working in a specialised industry.



 4. Chief Technology Officer (CTO)


Considered an ’emerging role’, Chief Technology Officers are now highly sought-after. The technology sector continues to thrive, driven by the growth of big data, the rise of AI, and the challenges posed by COVID-19.


In 2020, a CTO or Head of Technology earned a median base salary of $320,000 per year, up by $20,000 since 2019.


CTOs are tasked with managing the technical aspects and resources of an organisation, working towards technological development and ensuring digital readiness.


To become a CTO, you need to:


  • Complete a Bachelor’s Degree or higher in a computer science-related field, with a focus on cybersecurity, big data and AI.


  • Gain work experience across areas like network architecture, information security management, and big data engineering. CTOs typically have 15 years of experience in other IT roles before they are entrusted to lead an entire organisation’s technology strategy.


  • Develop skills in business, leadership and decision-making.


3. Surgeon


Right behind Anaesthetists on the income scale are their colleagues, Surgeons. Surgeons carry out preoperative diagnosis, operations and postoperative treatments for a variety of conditions. All Surgeons have to start off as a general surgeon before entering a speciality if they choose to.


General Surgeons have an average salary of $320,186. Neurosurgeons, however, average an annual salary of $600,387, showing that it can really pay off to specialise!


To make it to the operating theatre, you need to:


  • Complete a medical degree, followed by training in a clinical setting for 2-3 years


  • Apply to enter the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ Surgical Education and Training (SET) program in your third year.


  • Become a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) if you would like to train independently.


  • Potentially choose a specialisation, from cardiovascular to plastic surgery.



2. Anaesthetist


With the risk and complexity that is involved, it’s no surprise that Anaesthetists tend to be incredibly high earners. Anaesthetists work as part of a surgical team, administering general or local anaesthetic to patients.


The median income for an Anaesthetist is an impressive $385,242, meaning that half of all Anaesthetists actually earn more than this.


To work in this high-stakes field, you will need to:


  • Graduate with a medical degree, typically taking 4-6 years.


  • Complete an internship at an accredited hospital.


  • Gain admission from your relevant state or territory’s Admissions Authority within five years of graduation.


  • Finish your residency at an accredited hospital.


  • Undergo five years of specialist training with the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.


1. General Counsel


It’s no secret that law is an incredibly high-paying industry. If you’re looking to make big bucks, private and in-house law is the niche to get into. According to Michael Page, General Counsel is the most lucrative job title in Australia.


A General Counsel is the chief lawyer of a legal department, typically within a company or government department. After building around seven years of experience, general counsels can expect to earn around $438,000 a year if working in-house at ASX 100-listed companies.


To secure a high-paying position as an in-house lawyer, you will need to:


  • Complete a Bachelor of Law undergraduate degree or a Juris Doctor postgraduate degree.


  • Complete Practical Legal Training (PLT).


  • Gain admission from your relevant state or territory’s Admissions Authority within five years of graduation.


  • Apply for a Practicing Certificate from your local Law Society.


  • Complete 18-24 months of supervised practice at a law firm.



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