Australian and UK Salaries Compared 2015

In Mondays post I asked Britain’s Brain Drain: Where Are They Going? Well, quite a few of them are coming here to Australia and one of the main reasons in general for moving abroad was quoted as “to earn more money“.

MoneyThe very same day I wrote that post there was a headline in the online version of UK newspaper The Mirror saying “Salaries soar by 8% in the last 12 months and there are almost a million job vacancies“. So it would seem that the job market is on the up and up back in the UK right now.

Time for another salary comparison then and again, I apologise to my non-UK readers. I know this isn’t overly relevant to you, but hopefully you can use the information here to compare what you might earn in Australia to what you are earning where you currently live.

Australian and UK salaries compared

I’ve been through this exercise twice so far on this website:

My findings in both of those posts were very conclusive; Australian salaries were much higher than those in the UK.

What about job opportunities?

It gets even better for the Brits, the article suggested, as did the title, that there are currently almost 1 million job vacancies in the country. That’s up a massive 26% on last year and it is apparently a post recession high. I decided to check those figures with the Office for National Statistics and do the same here for Australian vacancies through the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

According to our governments:

  • The UK – There were 700,000 job vacancies for October to December 2014: Source
  • Australia – Total job vacancies in November 2014 were 149,900: Source

Even adjusting for the fact that the population of the UK is around three times higher than here in Australia, it’s clear to see that there are far more job vacancies per capita in Britain than there are here at the moment down under.

So with wages booming in Britain right now and soaring job vacancies, have they closed the gap on Australia?

Salaries compared 2015

I will be following the same format as before, selecting 10 popular occupations and checking the respective salaries in both Australia and the UK. This time though I will be getting my average salaries from Adzuna using their and websites. It’s easy to do, here’s an example with qualified accountant.

If I search their website for ‘qualified accountant’ making sure I specify the whole country, the average salaries magically appear in the top right hand side. Like this:


Australia salariesUK:

UK salariesPlease be aware though, these figures are live and therefore can actually change by the minute as real jobs are added and removed.

Let’s crunch some numbers…

Job Salaries Compared Australia UKThe exchange rate as I write this is one GBP = 1.94 AUD. So let’s convert the English salary total into Australian dollars to make our comparison.

1.94 x £350,713 = $680,383

But Australians doing the same 10 jobs here would have earned $859,330 or $178,947 more. If we take that as a percentage of the UK earnings, so $178,947 divided by $680,383 then multiply by 100, we get:

  • 26.3%

Yes, Australians earn 26.3% more than those in the UK for equivalent jobs.

In my 2009 comparison that figure was 31.7% more for Australians, and in 2012 the pound was so weak against the Australian dollar, the exchange rate was close to $1.50 AUD per GBP at that time, that it appeared Australians earned something like 70% more, but that was really just a reflection of the weaker pound.

Regular readers will know that I’m not a believer in doing price comparisons that take into account the exchange rate; I’m a fan of the hard yakka. In my view those of you who can earn twice as many Australian dollars here as you are earning pounds in the UK will be able to easily maintain your current standard of living.

For more on that, see my page…

As you can see from the above salary comparisons, every Australian job pays at least double in dollars as the UK one pays in pounds, for one or two it is very close, but some easily exceed that.


I think the above figures clearly show that is spite of the surge in salaries in the UK at the moment, wages over there still have a way to go before they catch up with the pay packets here in Australia.

But what about the numbers of job opportunities? Is it easier to find work here than it is in the UK? We know what each of our governments are saying about current job opportunities, but what’s it really like?

I’ll be taking a look at that next week.

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{ 18 comments… add one }
  • nobbi July 7, 2015, 8:38 pm | Link

    Thanks alot for the reply bob. I thought that would be the case. We will use your mara agent for sure. Hopefully he can shed some light and we can start our journey.

    And yes Wiltshire can be lovely. The countryside here is really beautiful. Even the rainy days can be pretty scenic, unfortunately there are far too many of them!!
    Thanks again mate ?

    • BobinOz July 7, 2015, 9:33 pm | Link

      Oh yes, how could I have forgotten the rain. Good luck, I hope you find a way to move down under.

  • nobbi July 7, 2015, 6:22 am | Link

    Hi bob,

    Great site mate. Iv really enjoyed watching your vids and the many pieces you have wrote.
    My fiance and I considered moving to Oz from the Berkshire area of the UK a few years ago. Then we had our little boy….instead we moved 25 miles to Wiltshire instead ?
    Now we have a 3 week old little girl too and decided we want to come within the next 3 years.
    It all seems a bit confusing with regards to the Mrs childcare qualifications and the fact I am actually employed as a Multi trader. I have no formal qualifications. However I am aware I can be assessed for a specific trade.
    This feels like I will be selling myself short though!
    Do you know if once you have a positive assessment in one trade whether you can actually perform others too legally or would I have to be assessed in everyone? Do they recognise multi skilled tradesmen in oz? Also there is an NVQ in the uk which recognises multi trade maintenance. Do you know if that particular NVQ is transferable?

    Sorry for the essay. I understand you are not an immigration specialist. We are researching more and obvs have alot of time on our side but if I need to gain my relevant trade recognitions then I would rather do it sooner.
    Once again, regardless of reply, thanks again for the great site and inspiration to take the leap ?

    • BobinOz July 7, 2015, 7:53 pm | Link

      Hi nobbi, glad to hear you have been enjoying my website.

      Unfortunately though, I really can’t answer your questions, I’m simply not qualified to do so. Only MARA registered migration agents know all of the rules and if there is a way in for you, they will find it.

      So you are going to need to speak to a MARA agent, especially given your circumstances, because your case is not straightforward. If you prefer though, you could go through my Visa Assessment Service, I have a MARA agent working with me here on this website and he would be able to look at this for you.

      If you click on the link you can read about the service in full.

      Good luck, Bob

      PS. Wiltshire, very nice, I spent quite a while there when I lived in the UK, Bradford-on-Avon and surrounds. Australia, very very nice, very very very nice, worth the effort even though it’s much harder 🙂

  • manwithvanfulham April 15, 2015, 12:23 am | Link

    I’ve made my mind up – I’m moving abroad! Wait for me Australia!

    • BobinOz April 15, 2015, 2:09 am | Link

      You’ll have to change your name then, manwithute. 🙂

  • Simon April 2, 2015, 11:27 pm | Link

    Indeed an interesting article. Looking forward to next week for the article about job opportunities. I didn’t catch in your e-book, if you got a job in Australia before you actually moved there? I’m wondering for how I will be able to live in Australia if I moved there without a job beforehand.

    • BobinOz April 3, 2015, 9:45 pm | Link

      Hi Simon

      No, I didn’t have a job to come to, neither did my wife. We did have some ‘survival money’ to keep us going for a while whilst we got on our feet. We had both worked for major companies back in the UK and we decided that when we got here we wanted to set up businesses for ourselves and we had ideas about that.

      So that’s what we did, it took some time, but we are now definitely back on our feet and we’ve replenished our savings.

      If you are coming here without work though, I would suggest making sure you do have enough money for you to survive for at least six months just to be safe.

      • Simon April 3, 2015, 10:14 pm | Link

        Ok. Looks like I will have to start saving some money if I’m gonna do this. I’m 23 years old and will graduate as an accountant in the summer of 2016. Maybe it would be best to start out with a job in my own country (Denmark) and save some money before moving to Australia (plus I get the work experience). The problem is that I already know, that I want to live I Australia and start a life there, so why wait. Big dilemma.

        • Kamma April 4, 2015, 5:58 pm | Link

          Oh hello, a fellow soon to be ex-Dane! I can follow your dilemma, it’s problematic being a student and wanting to move down under.

          • BobinOz April 4, 2015, 8:43 pm | Link

            Simon, yes, it’s definitely a good idea to get some solid work experience behind you before coming here anyway. I think most employers like to see some postgrad work experience before they offer someone a job. And as you say, you can save some money at the same time, I think it is essential to have some money to back you up during the transition.

            Time is most certainly on your side, Australia is going nowhere, this country will still be here when you are ready to come over.

      • nel April 6, 2015, 2:43 am | Link


        You talked about having enough money to survive for 6months. I’ll be moving with my husband and 3yrs old son by the end of the year. What’s your estimate of the amount of money that would last us for 6months? Thanks.

        Ps: your site is very helpful. Keep up the good work.

        • BobinOz April 7, 2015, 5:18 pm | Link

          It’s too difficult for me to guess what your outgoings might be, you’d be better off working out your own budget yourself using the helpful links on my page The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything.

          Much depends on what you will be paying for accommodation, so it would be impossible for me to try and put a figure on it.

  • djmcbell April 2, 2015, 6:10 pm | Link

    An interesting article. When we move, the only thing that fills me with any real dread will be trying to find a job in Australia.

    On the Mirror’s headline – I must admit I haven’t read the article, but we are being told that there are jobs going and wages are high, and then seemingly experiencing the opposite. Many of us in the UK haven’t had a wage rise for years – in fact many have had a pay cut – and there are far more applicants for jobs than there are actual jobs. The company I work for advertised a few labourer jobs and got over three hundred applicants – including people who had just been made redundant as estate agents and teachers.

    One thing that is making the news at the moment in the run-up to the election is zero-hours contracts, where an employer takes a person on and promises them no hours a week. They can give them as many hours as they want, but they’re not actually obliged to give them any if they don’t want to. This has led to some employers creating lots of jobs, but keeping wages down (as if they don’t pay an employee enough then they don’t have to pay their NI, tax etc). It suits some people to take these, but a lot of people on them basically spend their day sitting by the phone waiting for a call that may or may not come (after all, if you’re out and the employer rings and wants someone, then they may not want to use you in the future). In the past (unsure if this was changed recently) employers wrote into their contracts that employees couldn’t do any other work whilst on a zero-hours contract, and it was (and may still be) the case that, if you were unemployed and were offered a zero-hours contract then you had to take it or be sanctioned (and not applying for them is also a sanctionable offence).

    We are leaving partially for the money. As I said in a previous topic, I’m currently in IT and on just under £20k a year. I do have a lot of different duties and things to maintain, develop etc. Doing just one aspect of my job in Australia would get me $70k (based on an ad I saw).

    • BobinOz April 2, 2015, 9:35 pm | Link

      Zero-hours contracts?

      Gosh, they sound like a barrel of laughs. So if someone is on a zero-hours contract, does that mean they come off of the unemployment figures? Even though the telephone might not ring and they don’t work any hours?

      If I remember the rules properly, you have to be available for work in order to receive benefits and if someone has been told not to look for other work whilst on one of these contracts then they are clearly not available.

      So they could be committed to one of these contracts, not getting any work, not allowed to work anywhere else, not earning money and unable to get any financial assistance?

      Scary stuff!

      I’m glad you’ve mentioned how it really is in the UK, because from what you’re saying it doesn’t sound like it’s an employees market. As I read the article and heard what was being said, I could feel the flush of scepticism running through me. Was I right to feel that way?

      Stay tuned for my follow-up article which will go live on Wednesday, it may just be even scarier.

      • djmcbell April 2, 2015, 10:59 pm | Link

        Due to how much (or little) some work pays nowadays, there are actually more people in work receiving benefits than out of work it seems, basically to top up their wages.

        People come off the unemployment figures if they are on zero-hours contracts (also if their benefits are sanctioned for failing to apply for enough jobs, or if they are on workfare – work that unemployed people are sent to do for no money, for “work experience” though it’s been shown to displace paid workers, or if you’re on training courses).

        My wife’s nephew is looking for work at the moment, so I keep an eye out. You have to remember that Job Seeker’s Allowance is about £72 a week (plus you get help in other ways). I came across a part-time, 16 hours job in the supermarket that paid £6.73 an hour – so £107 a week. After travel (bus tickets for the city are £4.50 a day, more if you live outside the city which he does) it’d barely be worth it.

        There may well be highly-paid jobs going – I honestly don’t know, I don’t really look that much so my view is distorted. I’m still pretty young and tend to look at how those trying to get onto the employment ladder are going to cope. There’s a lot of apprenticeships floating around too (which I think are about £2.60 an hour, but meant more as on-the-job training – though I think they can last a while and you’ve got pretty good prospects at the end).

        But then, my main news source is the Guardian. Take from that what you will!

        (at least it isn’t the Daily Mail, with it’s articles saying “ban this sick porn”, with another article next to it showing a topless celebrity)

        • djmcbell April 2, 2015, 11:01 pm | Link

          Should also mention that my wife’s nephew, as there are no one-bedroom flats available, has to pay the bedroom tax.

          • BobinOz April 3, 2015, 9:33 pm | Link

            From what you’re saying about what’s really happening with jobs in the UK, it’s sounding more and more that the article in the mirror was more of a press release for Adzuna.

            As for the bedroom tax, I read an article about Matt the other day as well. It told of a mother whose 28-year-old son was beaten to death by thugs and as a result, she now has to pay the bedroom tax because she has an empty bedroom in the house.

            She can’t afford it, so she may well lose her home. What sort of tax is that?

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