In September 2009 I wrote a post called Cost of Living in Australia: Salaries Compared. The conclusion was that salaries in Australia were about 31.7% higher than those in the UK.
Today, three years on, I’m going to do my experiment again.
This is a ‘live’ experiment, I have no idea how it will turn out. Yes, I’m as excited as you are.
I’m going to look at exactly the same 10 job specs as I did last time, I’m going to find out average annual salaries for each of those jobs for both Australia and the UK. I’m going to use the same websites I used back then, namely MyCareer (now taken over by Adzuna, see update at the bottom of the page) in Australia and ThisIsMoney in the UK. Before we go ahead with this experiment though, here’s a question I’m asked quite a lot.
How much money will you earn in Australia?
Easily answered. Visit the following Australian Government’s website…
…search your trade and find all sorts of information about it, including your expected weekly income.
Then I’m going to add them all up, see the difference, calculate the changes and come up with a new percentage which reflects the difference in salaries between our two countries.
Just to save you flicking backwards and forwards, here’s my previous table.
Figures as at September 2009
Okay, I’m going in with my calculator! I’ll be back in a…
Ah, all done. Here’s the new table, click on it to enlage it if you want.
At first glance, it would appear that salaries in Australia have risen by about 10% over the last three years, whereas in the UK they’ve fallen by about 4.5% during the same period.
But there are a couple of things I should mention here; firstly, three years ago I added 6% to every UK salary because the figures were one year older than those in Australia. That was probably an overcompensation and it’s probably safe to say that salaries in the UK over the last three years have largely remained flat.
Secondly, Graphic Designers here in Australia are not listed as such any more in the source of my information. The closest I found was ‘Web Design and Usability’, but the salary for that, at $88,457, is a lot higher than it was for graphic designers three years ago, which was $61,473.
That seems like a high jump, so maybe we should discount that one as perhaps it’s not like for like anymore.
But even if I take that one out of the figures completely for Australia, salaries here have still increased by 7% since 2009. So…
- Salaries have probably remained flat in the UK over the last 3 years
- Salaries up 7% in Australia over the same period
…seems to be a fair conclusion.
The new results.
Last time I did this experiment, I took the exchange rate of 1.866 AUD/GBP, which was current at the time, and calculated how much those doing these jobs in the UK would have earned in Australian dollars. Calculations then showed that based on the 10 occupations I’d chosen, Australians earned about 24% more for doing those jobs here.
I then looked at average annual salaries in both Australia and the UK as published by our respective governments, and from there calculated (based on the exchange rate at the time) that Australian wages were 31.7% higher than in England.
So, now that the exchange rate is closer to $1.50 AUD per GBP, how has that affected the calculations? Let me explain.
Why doesn’t it?
I have since realised that it matters not a jot what the exchange rate is here to Australians earning Australian dollars. The exchange rate only matters to holidaymakers or visitors who have earned their money elsewhere, not in AUD.
That is all explained in my post called the hard yakka.
So I am not going to “add them all up, see the difference, calculate the changes and come up with a new percentage” as suggested earlier. If I did, it would show Australian salaries to be 70% or so higher than UK salaries, and it just doesn’t work like that. It’s just the pound is weak against the Australian dollar.
That said, wages are undoubtedly higher here than in the UK, how much higher though is hard to judge. Some will also tell you that the cost of living here in Australia is higher than the UK, I’m not so sure.
I think its swings and roundabouts, petrol cheaper, alcohol dearer, that sort of thing. But when you take into account the higher salaries here, I think the standard of living in Australia is better than most people would probably have in the UK, assuming one factor:
- Aim to earn twice as much in Australian dollars here as you would earn in the UK in GBP.
Anything above that, and I believe you would be better off. Checking my above table, you can see that isn’t difficult to do.
Originally I got my Australian salaries from mycareer.com but they have since been taken over by Adzuna. To find out how you can search for and find average salaries in many countries for all kinds of occupations, please check out my latest post on the subject…