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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{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Jinu July 17, 2018, 5:40 am |

    I’m 10 year experience carpenter

  • Jon January 31, 2018, 1:18 am |

    Was still meat pie and potatoes with a picture of the young Queen on the wall.
    On immigration, agree with most of what you say.
    However note that today virtually every urban shop, cafe, small business/franchise I go into l am served by Asians in their 20s/30s. I sometimes ask waiters and they invariably say student.
    I don’t use nail bars! but although we now have them….largely viewed as a conduit for irregular immigration….I have never seen the concentration you seem to have.
    I know long established and recent immigrants from Europe and also from Asia. Many of the Asians have local family, few of the Europeans do.
    I know there are lots of very rich Asians but don’t meet so not considering them.
    The published aggregate figures show the changing immigration balance, but I wonder if even they reflect the true numbers…count all the warm bodies.
    I’m really not convinced that Brexit is discouraging Brits from wanting to come!
    What is certain is that there has been and continues a substantial change in the Australian community. Many of the effects of this are wholly positive in my view. However different impacts need to be recognised and managed to avoid some of the problems we have now in Europe.

    • BobinOz January 31, 2018, 7:39 pm |

      I have written a post tracking changes over the years in the country of origin of those migrating to Australia. Back in 2009 it was the UK followed by New Zealand in the top two, now it’s China and India.

      As for Brexit, I don’t think it stops people wanting to come here, but I think the value of the pound against the Aussie dollar makes it difficult to justify the decision and for some would seem like a financial regression.

      And yes, immigration should be managed carefully, you know as well do that I that it hasn’t gone as well as it could in many European countries.

  • Jon January 28, 2018, 2:08 am |

    I’m not sure what the stats were in 2015, but overall wages and salaries have not kept up with inflation since the 2009 crash. We are generally poorer, not richer.
    There were and still are job vacancies, but these do not seem to be driving up wages. The problem is that the vacancies are largely in the regions with high housing costs.When families are settled in an area and have housing, they are reluctant to risk this and move. And if from outside the SE will not be able to afford housing. Thus many of the vacancies are taken by young mobile EU immigrants who are less fussy about housing.
    I suspect many would be attracted to Australia. Visas are now a very big problem for Brits, while unless they again come from the SE any housing equity they have is of little value against Australia prices. For non house owners and non parents (school fees,) salaries still make a move attractive.
    I spend a fair amount of time in Australia and I am constantly surprised by the changes since my earlier visits 30 odd years ago. Then I met many UK immigrants, now all I see in shops, cafes, car rentals, public transport etc are young Asians. But I guess many of these come in as students.
    The reduced flow of Brits is I suspect for visa and for existing home owning families, financial reasons, rather than a reduction in its appeal.

    • BobinOz January 29, 2018, 8:10 pm |

      I agree, wage growth is almost non-existent and it’s been that way for a while now. As you can see from above, in my first comparison Australians earned over 31% more, then when I did this post, it was 27%.

      If I was to do the same comparison now, I would expect it to be an even smaller percentage. These are not good times for people to move from the UK either, thanks to Brexit and the plunging pound. On the other hand, if somebody had no savings in pounds, then they may as well come here if they can get a job straightaway, because ultimately I think they could earn more and be better off.

      I also ‘think’ I read somewhere that 80% of all new jobs in Australia are in Sydney and Melbourne and crikey, housing has got ridiculously expensive in those two cities in the last 10 years. I wouldn’t fancy trying to buy a house in either of those places these days.

      As for Asians, I arrived here in 2007 and for me, they have always been part of Australia 🙂

      • Jon January 30, 2018, 4:10 am |

        I actually rather like a multi cultural environment and the lack of it back in my 1980s visits was one of the reasons I didn’t pursue options then. The food in Australia in those days was truly awful!
        My comment was wondering how with either more commitment or imagination Asians are so much more successful in negotiating the various visa options.
        I agree for a youngster with no assets and a pre arranged job, it remains a viable and attractive option.

        • BobinOz January 30, 2018, 4:54 pm |

          No, sorry, my bad, I wasn’t in any way suggesting that you were not happy about Asians being here, I was just pointing out that for me they’ve always been here.

          Like yourself, I think the multicultural society we now have here in Australia has enriched this country, and whilst I wasn’t here in the 80s, I can imagine the food would have been quite restricted. I thinking maybe a lot of beef and sausages were being eaten.

          We get a pretty good choice now, that’s for sure.

          My stab at answering why more Asians are coming these days would be that it’s probably down to 2 or 3 things. Firstly, they have the money these days whereas 30 years ago I suspect that wasn’t the case. China has led the way in Asia economically and many other Asian countries have followed.

          Then there’s education, and as you pointed out, I think many Asians can and want to come to Australia to further their education and they have the money to pay for it. This stands in good stead for gaining the necessary qualifications to then go on and apply for a more permanent kind of visa. Also, if they do get good qualifications, they get more points when applying for the general skilled migration visas and those with the most points get priority over those with less.

          And then this proximity, it’s not too far to pop home to see mum and dad and the rest of the family every now and then.

          Meanwhile, in the UK, they are still dealing with Brexit…

  • nobbi July 7, 2015, 8:38 pm |

    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 |

      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 |

    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 |

      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 |

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

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

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

  • Simon April 2, 2015, 11:27 pm |

    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 |

      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 |

        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 |

          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 |

            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 |


        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 |

          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 |

    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 |

      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 |

        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 |

          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 |

            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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