Australian and UK Salaries Compared: Part Two 2012

bag of moneyIn 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.


Let’s continue…

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.

Figures today…

Salaries compared Aus & UKSo there they are, the updated figures. How do they compare?

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.

It doesn’t!

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 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…

Visa Assessment Service
{ 57 comments… add one }
  • Alex B August 28, 2015, 11:31 am |

    After having lived in Australia the last few years, and having lived in the USA and UK, I can now say upon reflection….. Australia is massively more expensive than these other countries.

    If you live in the cheapest cost areas of AU, its a little better, but in a big city, you have to take a big “haircut” in some aspect of your lifestyle compared to the USA, and much of the UK(London and Manchester excepted).

    Australia is still a great place to live, but its primarily due to the intangibles of life, not in costs. On costs, unless your salary is double what it was in US or UK, your lifestyle will decline here when measuring tangible buys. This is assuming you are in the higher end of middle class or better. If you are a lower end Tradesman, it can actually be better for you in AU.

    I know Bob will respond that it’s just not true, hard yakka says this, etc. I would say that living in the outskirts of Brisbane is going to be cheaper, and for those that bought a house almost ten years ago have much lower housing costs. For those coming now, or in last two years, prices for buying or renting in Sydney, Melbourne, or Perth, are very high, and payments for this alone will force you to budget much less on other things, and take a lifestyle paycut.

    So, in my opinion, Australia is still a great country for overall lifestyle, and things to do, but accept that for most people, its going to come with a pay cut equivalent on what you can pyrchase, day to day convenience, and enjoy besides the great outdoors related activities.

    For me, I still like Australia, but the rose coloured glasses are off, and I see that while many great qualities, it’s actually harder to live well here in many other ways.

    • BobinOz August 29, 2015, 5:28 pm |

      Well, this is still a subject that divides people. About half the comments on here about this say Oz really isn’t expensive at all when all is considered, and the other half, like you, say it is.

      I’m going to agree with you on one thing, Sydney and Melbourne have got ridiculously expensive over the last few years, but not for the general cost of living, just the price of houses. But the thing is, they ARE our London and Manchester, and if you make an exception for them in England, you have to do the same for those cities here in Australia.

      If you take that into account, then the cost of living in both these countries is the same.

      As for the USA, that’s where I am right now, San Francisco to be precise. I bought a beer during happy hour in a very average, even boring, cafe. It was schooner sized, about 400 ml. $4. Nice. Bought a second, happy hour over. Now it was $8.75, plus, of course, they want 8.75% state tax, plus, of course, the server expects a good tip, actually, to be very precise, 18%, it’s the going rate.

      Now this beer costs over 11 bucks! That’s over $15 AUD! Not nice, the beer would have been much cheaper in Australia, between $6-$10 depending where you go.
      No tip required, no state tax.

      My daughter was looking at Polaroid cameras, $100 here in the USA, plus state tax, then converted to AUD = $150+

      Here, in Australia, they are $99.

      I know that is not a comprehensive cost comparison, just saying.

  • Nigel August 5, 2014, 11:38 am |

    Hi bob.. thankh for all the interesting articles and blog.. its a really good read.. I just want to find out something. . As I am from Malaysia, if my annual salary is RM200k and I live comfortably here in Malaysia, will I be able to live comfortably in Australia with Aus100k salary annually? All this figures are before tax. Tq so much bob..

    • BobinOz August 5, 2014, 7:16 pm |

      Hi Nigel

      Unfortunately, I have no idea what RM200k gets you in Malaysia, so I simply can’t compare. All I can say is that Aus 100k is a pretty good salary, so much depends on how many dependents you might be bringing with you and where you want to live. But you may like to know that your salary is above the average, which is around $70,000 per year.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Gethin June 26, 2014, 8:40 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Great website and some very useful stuff on here! I am currently looking to migrate to OZ from Wales in the UK. I am a mechanic here and am looking to get a job as a diesel mechanic working on agricultural machinery as that’s what I am qualified in, and I understand that this is my best bet to gain entry/residency to the country. The migration agency has said that I could expect to earn $53k ish a year. Would this be be enough to live comfortably on? I an 26 and single and would be coming over to settle on my own. Ideally I would be looking to move somewhere fairly near either Brisbane or Melbourne as i would like to have an active social life. Any advice/help would be much appreciated!!

    Many thanks, Gethin

    • BobinOz June 28, 2014, 10:38 pm |

      Hi Gethin

      Thanks, glad you like my website.

      $53k is a little below the average salary here, but being as you will be on your own, I think he will get by just fine. Much depends on what you need to pay for accommodation though, you will need to keep your rental costs as low as possible.

      You can rent rooms in houses for around $100 a week, or maybe a flat share or something for a couple of hundred dollars. But as long as you can keep your accommodation costs down, I think you’ll be fine.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Max September 27, 2013, 6:48 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    Great blog!! Thank you.

    I am trying to work out if the current cost of living in Aus compared to the salary I have been offered works out better than what I earn/spend in London.
    I earn £20k/yr pre tax and with rent at £650/month minus bills. In total I spend almost most of the £1,200 a month, once food and bills and the odd beer has come out.
    I have been offered a job in Perth on $50k a year and although I dont know my costs wondered if this would be more beneficial financially. I am a Citizen so will be paying tax like most Australians. Any help would be great. Ta.

    • BobinOz September 30, 2013, 1:55 pm |

      I think the critical element for you here Max will be the amount of money you need to pay in rent. I’ve heard rental properties in Perth are particularly expensive so that could represent the biggest difference in expenditure for you between Perth and the UK.

      Other than that, I always advise that if you earn double the amount in dollars here as you did in pounds back in the UK, you should be able to maintain about the same standard of living. See my page How much do you need?.

      So you should be all right, just try and keep your rent down if you can.

  • Will September 18, 2013, 5:00 pm |

    Thanks for the reply bob it’s much appreciated. You mentioned about high mortgage repayments what would you say is an average repayment per month. We are hopefully looking at a 3/4 bed.

    Many thanks

  • Will September 18, 2013, 8:29 am |

    Hi Bob many thanks with your reply on my last question I have another one :). Me and my family are looking to make the move over from the uk in late 2014 there is 4 of us me my wife and our 2 little ones (5 year old and 1 year old). We are looking for some where outside of sydney neither of us mind a bit of a drive to commute to work. My wife is a midwife so should be on 70/80k a year and I am a pest control tech I think around 50/60k a year from the research I have done. In your opinion is it doable for the 4 of us to live on these wages outside of sydney.
    On a different note I watched your video about your new noisy neighbour it did make me giggle. Has he gone now?

    Again many thanks for your website it’s a great help.
    Look forward to hearing from you soon.

    • BobinOz September 18, 2013, 3:59 pm |

      Hi Will

      Sydney can be expensive, but as long as you are both working and earning those kinds of salaries, and your rental/mortgage payments are not ridiculously high, yes it is doable.

      If you have a look at my page about Sydney, you’ll find the link underneath “Australian Cities” in the main navigation at the top of this site, you’ll probably get more information from the comments on that page.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Dimitrios Andriopoulos September 6, 2013, 5:55 am |

    I wanted firstly to thank you for your amazing site, I am planning to go to live to Australia (currently in the UK) and this site is proving to be my sacred book! So I spent already a couple hours and will bookmark this site for further study.
    Thank you very much for your info, and you have now one more faithful follower

    • BobinOz September 6, 2013, 7:02 pm |

      Wonderful news Dimetrios, the more faithful followers a better. Glad you have found my website useful, and good luck with your plans to come and live here in Australia.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Steve white August 16, 2013, 1:14 am |

    Hi Bob.

    One “must do on arrival” thing for me is to visit Australia zoo. Now this does seem a little pricey to me regardless of exchange or yakka rates. Can you get discounts via on-line voucher promo sites.
    P.S. current uk salary 22000.00 current rent 950.00 for pokey 2 bed flat,30 miles from London,and no bills included. Aus 1 Uk 0.

    Thanks for a great blog


    • BobinOz August 16, 2013, 10:36 pm |

      I don’t know about those discount vouchers Steve, I’ve only been to the Australia Zoo once and I’m sure I paid full price. It’s well worth it though, I can honestly say it’s the best zoo I have ever been to in the whole wide world, and I’ve been to a few.

      I’m not a zoo lover, but kids are which is why I’ve been so often. The Australia Zoo I really liked though, the animals seemed to like living there as well which is what made the difference for me.

      When looking at rental prices here, do be sure to remember that the prices quoted are weekly, not monthly as they are in the UK.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Amanda Hall July 14, 2013, 1:08 am |

    Hi Bob, my husband and i are thinking about moving to oz. I am a neonatal nurse with midwifery background and my husband has an engineering background. We are looking at any area. We have 2 kids, 8 and 5, so obviously family orientated a must. Any top tips on a where to aim our search. Thanks amanda

    • BobinOz July 15, 2013, 9:30 pm |

      Have a read of my page A Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia and see if that helps you to narrow down your search a bit. Then check out the individual pages for each city and have a good look at the comments, they are mostly made by people who genuinely know what these places are like to live in.

      Hope that helps, Bob

  • Rory Corbett June 1, 2013, 11:18 am |

    Hi Bob,

    Love your website.
    Your one of the resources we used when we decided to emigrate to Oz.
    Just got our PR after 2 years in Sydney and now Brissie( Woolloongabba).
    Love the weather and beaches but hate all the unnecessary rules. ( I’m Irish, we don’t do rules very well).

    Now I’m off to eat like a king and that’s no old wives tale!



    • BobinOz June 3, 2013, 11:59 pm |

      Hi Rory

      Congratulations on getting your PR, next stop citizenship 🙂

      As for those silly rules, yes, they are irritating, but Queensland isn’t sometimes referred to as “the nanny state” for nothing. Anyway, what does “eat like a king” mean?

      Don’t answer that 🙂

  • Alex B May 4, 2013, 4:31 am |


    Lets try to remember, this is Bobs site, and we must allow for him to have his opinion. We are enjoying the fruits of his hard work and maintenance, and ought to cut him some slack on opinion/perceived arrogance.

    Personally, I don’t think Bob is far off, and Brisbane, outside the CBD, tends to be cheaper than Perth, and definitely Sydney. However, you are correct that Australia is much more expensive for many things than other countries. However, you often get paid more, so hard to judge just on prices alone.

    The fact that people are constantly pointing out the high cost of living in Australia….is due to the fact that the cost of living is often higher in Australia. As an example, for all the downsides of living in the States (where I live right now), the high cost of living is not one of them. Why? It doesn’t have a high cost of living is why (outside of super spendy areas).

    Instead of attacking Bob for arrogance, lets just agree to disagree on this item with Bob, and say opinions vary. Overall, Bob provides an invaluable service with his site, and we can thank him for his continued hard work, and providing us insight into his view as a newer immigrant to Oz.

  • Russell May 3, 2013, 1:57 am |

    Bob – your attitude to people’s comments are quite incredible to me – someone compliments you or your website, and agrees with your findings, and you accept it, regardless of whether they provide evidence for it past their own experiences. However, someone else contradicts what you say, and all of a sudden their personal experience is not good enough for you, and you quite callously shoot them down; you quite blatantly tell him that his comment
    “A visit to the supermarket can easily set you back $100 for a modest amount of food. Spend £65 in any UK supermarket and you can eat like a king!”
    is meaningless, discounting the fact that the guy lived in Perth until 2008. I live in Perth at the moment, and I can tell you that myself and my partner – who do our best to shop around for prices etc – do spend an average of $120 a week on food shopping alone, and this is not allowing for overly luxurious spending. I have lived in England before, and have visited there recently, and I can tell you that Pierre is absolutely correct – for 65GBP for one weeks’ shopping, one can indeed eat ‘like a king’.
    I can understand where you’re coming from when you demand links to sources etc, but you have to understand that what you are doing is tantamount to a male doctor correcting a woman about what it feels like to have a period, just because he’s studied it.
    I hope you take my points into consideration, and try to not be so outright arrogant and demeaning to people who are offering you a conflicting point of view to yours in the future


    • BobinOz May 3, 2013, 6:19 pm |

      Russell, I really don’t get it. If somebody agrees with what I’m saying, why would I want them to back it up with evidence when I have clearly seen the evidence for myself?

      If somebody told you the sky was green, you would clearly ask them why they think that or for some kind of proof, whereas if they told you the sky was blue, why would you?

      My point to Pierre, and now to you, is that a statement like “eat like King!” Is absolutely meaningless. Which King? What meal? When I compare prices, I compare like for like, say a jar of mustard in the UK with a jar of mustard in Australia, just as I did in my post comparing grocery prices. These kind of comparisons, which are thoroughly researched, do have meaning.

      And I can assure you Russell, I’m not arrogant.

      • Russell May 3, 2013, 7:59 pm |


        You might not try to be arrogant – you may even believe yourself to be quite modest – I’m just telling you how you come across in any post I’ve seen where someone telling you their personal experiences contradict your findings.
        As I’m sure you’re aware, ‘eat like a king’ is an expression, simply meant to convey the image of a large and luxurious meal. That is all. Asking “Which king? What meal?” is unnecessarily pedantic; the equivalent of responding to ‘it’s just an old wive’s tale’ with “Who’s wife? How old?”. The point Pierre was trying to make was that, for the same price, you can get a lot more food in an English supermarket than a supermarket in Perth. Try logging on to some English supermarket’s websites and doing an online shop, and then buying the same things from Australian supermarket’s website – I’ve just done that, and the difference is immediately apparent.
        In addition, rent is phenomenally high in Perth compared to most places in England – when I lived in England, I was paying 650GBP/pm($985) for a three bedroom, three story house with a huge back garden. My partner was paying 750GBP/pm($1135) for a three bedroom roomy flat in the town centre of a very nice area(Fleet) close to London. In Perth, our small three bedroom unit with tiny back garden costs us $1900/pm. I lived in England for quite a long time, and knew many different people from all walks of life. There ARE advantages to living in Australia over England, certainly, but cost of living is not one of them.


        • BobinOz May 5, 2013, 9:31 pm |


          Thank you for explaining the expression “eat like King”, without you I would have never known it means “a large and luxurious meal”. It leaves me wondering though, what exactly is “a large and luxurious meal”?

          As I’ve pointed out before, these kind of expressions are meaningless and I don’t think it was arrogant of me to say that, it’s just explaining the reality.

          If you had bothered to click on the link I provided to you in my reply to your previous comment, you would have seen that I did login to some English supermarkets and I did do an online shop and I did provide a very detailed comparison of supermarket prices in Australia as compared to the UK and came to some conclusions that may well surprise you. But, of course, you’d need to click the link and read it rather than blindly continuing your Bobinoz bashing.

          I think what I have provided for my readers is far more useful than throwaway expressions.

          Perth, as anyone knows who lives here in Australia knows, is not really representative of this country when it comes the cost of living. It has never been Australia’s cheapest city being as isolated as it is, and now with the mining boom going on, it’s got even more out of line with the rest of the country.



        • Layla Turner October 18, 2013, 2:33 pm |

          Hey Russell
          I’m from the UK and I’ve lived in Australia (specifically Perth) in from 2008-2010 and in 2012.
          This statement IS meaningless “A visit to the supermarket can easily set you back $100 for a modest amount of food. Spend £65 in any UK supermarket and you can eat like a king!”.
          Some simple maths will put this into perspective and explain why it’s meaningless, (using my personal wages as a model):

          In Perth – on $25 bucks an hour
          $100 on groceries = 4 hrs work

          In UK – on 7 GBP an hour
          65 GBP on groceries – over 9 hrs work (which for most people constitutes 1 day and 2 hours work).

          I’m not being arrogant, you should just remember this before you throw your toys out of the pram.
          I hear this off people all the time.
          “Ooh that cost you $200 dollars, what is that in pounds??”
          Argh! It doesn’t matter because you’re not earning pounds in Aus, you’re earning dollars.
          Sure a block of cheese in Coles may cost $8 and you may think “Wow I can buy that in Asda for 1.52 GBP…”.
          Yes. Yes you can buy it for that much, but are you earning 21 pounds an hour in the UK??
          I think not.
          It’s why you’re here and not there.

  • Alex B March 20, 2013, 7:21 am |


    Like thousands of others…I love your blog!

    I know your blog is oriented towards readers from the UK(raised there myself), but any thoughts on costs comparison for salaries on moving from the States?

    According to PPP conversion costs, Australia is 1.66 times as expensive to live as the same in States. I have seen your hard yakka estimates, but these two, PPP vs Yakka, seem to be way off. Have you looked at PPP to help refine your cost comparison’s, etc.?

    Cactus Jack in the Phoenix desert

    • BobinOz March 20, 2013, 3:40 pm |


      I haven’t looked at PPP in depth, but I believe it’s another one of these systems that uses the USA as the benchmark, that is to say USA equals 100, and always equals 100. So effectively everything is compared to the cost of living in the USA.

      The problem with this, I think, is when the US dollar is struggling, other countries appear more expensive than they are. That’s just my view.

      Anyway, I have written about the cost of living in Australia compared with the USA, caused a bit of a stir as you will see by the comments. Check it out here… The Cost of Living: Australia and the US Compared

  • lyn February 7, 2013, 6:55 am |

    Hi Bob,
    First of all id like to say how helpful your information is, your links are great for those with lots of questions about the big move to oz.
    My huby & i are seriously looking into Oz, the only snag we have is we’re both 43yrs with 2 kids, one over 18 & the other under 10 yrs. We have a very ‘good comfortable’ life here in the UK but we have to work very hard for it as well. Sometimes my huby works 10 hrs a day for 6 days & i juggle working everyday with the running of house plus 2 kids. We know it will be hard making the big move (if possible), but we’re frightened about the unknown. We have lots of questions such as: area, jobs, schools, prices, weather, lowest crime rate, houses, need i go on? I know a lot of people move to Oz every year but are kids accepted in the schools? I think ive asked more questions than needed but as these are my first steps im sure you’ll understand my anxiety.
    With your experience do you think we’d have a better life in Oz at our age if we went for it??
    Thanks again for this website.

    • BobinOz February 8, 2013, 7:49 pm |

      Everything you want to know about I have a page or several pages about it here on this website, I reckon you should have a good look around. Visit this page for starters…
      Migration Advice
      … and click on the links to the individual pages.

      As for kids being accepted at school, yes, they certainly are! It is a big move, I can understand your concerns, but I was 49 when I came here and I’m having a whale of a time!



  • Natalie January 16, 2013, 1:38 am |

    Hi Bob,

    My husband and I have just recently started to seriously think about moving to Australia, and I just wanted to say that I’m finding your website a really fantastic starting point! This site is just a hobby for you (i think?!) but you’ve put so much effort into all your experiments, guides and info and I just wanted to say thanks! It’s really helping us to get a clearer picture of well, a bit of everything really! So, thanks again!!

    • BobinOz January 16, 2013, 10:41 pm |

      Hi Natalie

      Thanks for the compliments, glad you are finding my website useful. Yes, it is a bit of a hobby/passion, but I do get a few bucks from advertisers and that pays for my tinnies!

      If you do decide to make the move, I hope it all goes smoothly for you and your husband.



  • pierre November 21, 2012, 7:47 pm |

    I would also add that the cost of living is MUCH higher in Australia across nearly every measure, except for fuel and perhaps transport and rent.

    I lived in Perth up until 2008, where I moved to London. Having just returned from a two week stay in Perth, I was amazed at how expensive everything has become. Salaries have indeed shot up, but so have the prices. $10-$12 for a pint of beer, cigarettes for $17, up to $40 for a main course at a nothing-too-fancy restaurant. At today’s exchange rate those are eye-watering prices.

    A visit to the supermarket can easily set you back $100 for a modest amount of food. Spend £65 in any UK supermarket and you can eat like a king!

    • BobinOz November 26, 2012, 12:35 pm |

      Hi Pierre

      I have written many posts in my Cost of Living in Australia category, for each and every one I have conducted thorough research and wherever possible shown my sources. Then you pop along with your statement…

      “A visit to the supermarket can easily set you back $100 for a modest amount of food. Spend £65 in any UK supermarket and you can eat like a king!”

      … Which is absolutely meaningless.

      I’ve just got back from Sydney, there are bars there selling $6 pints, and I bought a jug of beer (1125 millilitres or 2 pints) in a Thai restaurant for $9, my main course, and very lovely it was too, was $16.90.

      Who cares what the price of cigarettes?

      I suggest you check out my recent post How Expensive is Australia?



      • Jp August 27, 2015, 11:08 pm |

        Come on Bob it’s not all wine and roses. Pierre has a point even tho it us from 3 yrs ago. Tell me is there any negatives you see in australia? There must be one!!

        • BobinOz August 28, 2015, 7:39 am |

          Of course there are negatives, and more then one. But it is not as Pierre describes it, that’s all I was pointing out in that conversation.

  • sarah November 16, 2012, 8:25 pm |

    UK taxes are higher too. You take home less pay.

    • BobinOz November 16, 2012, 10:28 pm |

      I did a post about taxes a couple of years ago, I think Australians were very slightly better off back then. Things have changed a bit since then, but I suspect you are right Sarah, you will probably end up taking home more here than you would in the UK.

      • JP August 27, 2015, 11:04 pm |

        Are you sure? I’ve never paid as much tax in my life. Aus is listed by the IMF as having a large tax burden. It’s better than it used to be. I’ve lived here years and we pay far more tax than uk. Look at it any way you like Aus is expensive. Certainly it’s got real expensive since I got here and wages have gone nowhere so not sure where you get your figures. I work in IT btw and I earn now what I was earning 15 yrs ago.

  • L. Winders October 23, 2012, 6:05 pm |

    Hi, I just came across your website and wondering if you or your readers can help give me some insight/breakdown on comparing living in Queensland, to living in Adeliade and Newcastle (ie what’s the temp like in the summer, fall, winter, spring, traffic, job opportunities, high or low crime rate, cost of living and quality of life), on a lower to middle class income (approx. $50,000 USD per yr net income). We will be retiring from military life and are researching potential areas to semi-retire. Are there other areas you could recommend too. Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

    • BobinOz October 24, 2012, 5:43 pm |

      Hi, your best bet would be to look at my individual pages on Australian cities and states. If you look at the menu across the top of this page, underneath the header, you’ll see links to them there.

      On each city page is a complete breakdown of average temperatures and rainfall throughout the year for each city and the comments are full of people talking about what it’s like to live there. Add a comment on one of those pages yourself if you have a specific question. Also check out my page about the best cities in Australia. Loads of comments on that one, especially about Adelaide.

    • Kay October 26, 2012, 1:36 am |

      HI L.

      I am assuming you are from the US as you mentioned USD. If so which part ? If your intention is to semi-retire what type of employment would you be looking at?
      I actually live near and work in Newcastle NSW. Newcastle is about 2 hours drive north of Sydney. We do not have the traffic congestion that can be seen in Sydney as Newcastle is smaller and much more accessible. Beautiful beaches, Vinyards in the Hunter Valley, Barrington Tops National Park, Port Stephens and Lake Macquarie all suround. will give you an idea of what the region looks like.

      You can also check out a website and research the climate etc. Temperatures can hit 40C (104f) in summer in the extreme, however the Mean maximum is more around the high 20’s (80f). Winter the daily Max is around 15-18C.

      Housing is more affordable than the larger cities both in rent or purchase so cost of living is cheaper.

      Job opportunities would vary depending on type of employment, however this goes to say for anywhere really.

      I wouldn’t go past this region


      • L. November 11, 2012, 9:01 am |

        Hi Kay and Bob, yes we are Americans, but don’t live in the US right now and actually stationed overseas with the military with retirement waiting right around the corner! Some of the additional things we have to consider (as we’re looking for areas to settling down) are: colleges that accept using our GI BILL (and/or give credits for years served in the military), and whether or not an area’s military friendly; or have military bases nearby, this may also help us with employment opportunities and increased chance of successful hiring. Someone also suggested to us Townsville, Brisbane, and Adelaide too, but I didn’t want to overlook any other areas to live in. Thanks for your input and suggestions and welcome more!

        • Kay November 11, 2012, 9:33 am |

          Hi L

          You didn’t say what type of employment opportunities after retirement you would be looking at.

          “colleges that accept using our GI BILL (and/or give credits for years served in the military)”, Can’t help with info there. We do have the University of Newcastle situated here. Also we have the RAAF (airforce base) at Williamtown just 15 minutes outside of Newcastle. My hubby actually works there doing security.


  • RaoulDuke66 September 11, 2012, 12:37 am |

    Bob, you’re spot on with the ‘earn twice as much in dollars’ rule. When I look at prices here I tend to divide everything by 2, to work out the true cost to me on an Australian salary. But I have to say, we still seem to always have lots of money left over at the end of the month here. I think it’s because the best things in life are free, and you get to enjoy them here in Australia (especially Queensland) in way which you can’t in the UK. All you need is sunscreen.

    • BobinOz September 11, 2012, 8:37 pm |

      Thanks mate, I think it’s pretty accurate too. And as for the free stuff, I’m always writing about all the great things you can do that don’t cost anything extra. Can’t beat the great outdoors.


  • Andy September 10, 2012, 5:31 am |

    Hi Bob,
    Your blog is proving invaluable! I am in the fortunate position of flying out for a second interview at the end of Sep. hoping to bring my family out at the same time. Am looking to take a job in North Ryde, Sydney and looking for tips of places to live, either northern shores, or the hills district. Any tips? It turns out as a 457holder there is a lot to pay for Aus schooling (4,500 per child). Will I be at least no worse off if I can earn nearly 3x what I Earn in uk in Aus dollar?

    • BobinOz September 10, 2012, 9:40 pm |

      Hi Andy

      Hope your interview goes well.

      If you’re going to be earning three times what you currently get in pounds in Aussie dollars, you will be just fine. Better off I’d say.

      I can’t help you with those places in Sydney, hopefully somebody else can. You might want to post a comment on one of my pages about Sydney.

      Good luck!


  • Jimmy August 30, 2012, 10:51 pm |


    based on your reckonings (ta for that by the way!) if I was to earn £30k before tax and moved to a job paying $71k before tax (both including ‘super’) then provided I didn’t change from a 3 bed semi to a mansion with a pool, and just had a ‘normal’ standard of living, I’d be able to get by on that with a family of 3 of us? It works out at just shy of 2.4x salary here.

    • BobinOz August 31, 2012, 1:53 pm |

      Yes, that’s what I reckon, all things being equal. If you were okay on £30,000 in the UK, then $71k should see you all right here. That’s assuming you are not going to to be living in, say, a hugely expensive suburb of Sydney.

      If it goes ahead, let us know how it turns out.

      • Jimmy August 31, 2012, 8:00 pm |

        We’re looking at somewhere between Sydney and Brisbane (newcastle ish maybe?) so no, not state capitals or anything! We’ve got our 175 already and are doing a month long reccie/validation trip Brisbane to Sydney in february next year, I’m sure a trip with a 2 year old will be GREAT fun!! 🙂 Crikey it’s expensive, the flights were more than the whole visa process!

        • BobinOz September 3, 2012, 4:14 pm |

          Well, I’ve driven through that way, some nice coastline along there, I imagine it’s quite a nice area to live in. Just have a good look round when you’re on your recce, plenty of nice towns to choose from all along that coast.

          Good luck!

        • Kay September 4, 2012, 11:15 am |

          Good choice Jimmy, Newcastle area is great. I live just outside but work in Newcastle. No road congestion like Sydney and much more accessible. Housing is more affordable than the big cities too. Also the beaches are great and close by is beautiful Port Stephens, Lake Macquarie, vineyard region and the Barrington Tops. Don’t know what field of work you’re in but you can’t do much better.

      • Raj January 30, 2015, 1:50 am |

        Hi Bob,
        Thanks for the great website for people planning to migrate to Australia. I need your advice on how long does it take to find a job in Australia. I am from India and into IT consultancy with 10 year of experience and have got a valid PR visa. I am in a situation of dilemma and not able to decide about moving to Australia.
        Either I can leave my job here and move to Australia and search a job there for which I will be able to fund myself only for atmost 3 months without job.
        The other option is that I can move to UK from my current organization and stay there for 2 years ( annual salary approx 40000GBP). Will be thankful for your advice\suggestion.

        • BobinOz January 30, 2015, 9:49 pm |

          That’s an impossible question to answer though, I have no idea how long it would take you to get a job. Some people of good interview, some not.

          You may want to check out my page about Darwin, there is a guy there who says he has IT vacancies, you may find it useful. Or see my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and use the information you’ll find there to see which city would be best for you to had for.

          But nobody can tell you exactly how long it might take for you to get a job, I’m sure you couldn’t tell me how long it would take for me to get a job if I moved to India 🙂

          Good luck, Bob

Cancel reply

Leave a Comment

If your comment doesn’t get answered, find out why…..
FAQs and Comment Policy.