Cost of Living in Australia: Salaries Compared

In a previous post about the cost of living in Australia, one of my readers, Shawn, suggested that the true cost of living could only be calculated after comparing average wages between the two countries.

This was a very valid point and one I am going to address today. Once again, apologies to any of my readers who are not from the UK, but I hope you can at least use the information about Australian average salaries to compare them to those currently available where you live.

If you want to check out other occupations for yourself, the full list is available here for the Australian salaries (see update 2 at the bottom of the page) and here for the UK incomes list.

Please note that I have added 6% to all UK incomes as the figures available to me were from November 2007. I think that is more than generous.

The Australian incomes were taken from an employment website and based on data from advertised jobs and claims, therefore, to be current.

Here is what I found:

salariesI tried to be random in selecting occupations to compare, my “system” revolved purely around trying to find occupations that sounded exactly the same by their description. But there was one occupation I removed from the list which I will declare here:

Estate Agents were listed as having an average salary of $125,427 in Australia & just £29,544 in the UK. The Australian one was described as “Property and Real Estate, Residential Sales”, whereas the UK one was listed as “Estate agents and auctioneers”. To me they looked like the same occupation but the salary difference was huge. So I removed it. My guess was the Australian one was based on achieving some kind of massive sales target to get the extra commission.

Despite that, with the pound tumbling faster than a drunkard falling down a downward moving escalator, the differences between the two countries for average salaries is currently huge.

First I took the £315,649 and multiplied it by the current exchange rate of 1.866 AUD/GBP. So, if you did all 10 of these jobs in the UK you would have earned £589,190.42. That’s a staggering $142,760.58 LESS than you would have earned here in Australia.

On those figures, Australian salaries are 24% higher than those of the UK.

It is probably a more accurate figure to look at the average salaries across all occupations which are listed as a $62,270 in Australia according to The Australian Bureau of Statistics and £25,331 according to Government Statistic UK.

So £25,331 times 1.866 for the exchange rate becomes $47,267. So that’s $15,003 less than the Australian average and that suggests that the average Australian wage is in fact 31.7% higher than in England.

I never claim that my “cost of living in Australia” comparisons are the yardstick by which you should base all of your migratory decisions, they are more of a “no smoke without fire” guide.

But I think we can safely conclude from the above exercise that salaries and wages here in Australia are greater than those in the UK.

I have not been surprised by these findings, I think I have mentioned elsewhere that I believed wages were high here, I know, I tried to get a gardener. I ended up going to Bunnings, buying the gear and doing it myself!

But with these findings I think we can now all agree that if something appears to cost the same or cheaper here in Australia, it really is.

Update:

This post has needed updating for a while, I’m pleased to say I have now done it. Check out the new version at:

Update 2:

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…

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{ 105 comments… add one }
  • Jake February 25, 2019, 7:13 pm |

    An updated version of this would be good, it’s 10 years out of date and the relative salaries of these jobs have changed in both the UK and Australia.

    • BobinOz February 25, 2019, 7:27 pm |

      There are links to 2 updates at the foot of the article, the most recent having been done in 2015.

  • Sheen February 14, 2016, 6:33 pm |

    This was done in 2009… Please Bob, as some1 who lives in Australia and works in IT User Support we do not earn that sort of money even today. It is more like 50k – 55k BEFORE tax if you are lucky. There are some places that pay even less. Where did you get your figures back in 2009? It is some 7 years later and we are only nudging the figures you have reported we earn. There are differences between 1st level and 2nd level support, but if you are talking 2nd level you need to note that and not potentially mislead people.

    • BobinOz February 15, 2016, 5:28 pm |

      I’m not sure why you are asking me where I got my figures from, my sources have been quoted throughout the article. They are trusted sources as well, very well known websites, I’m sure there figures would have been correct at the time.

      I have also updated this information twice, in 2012 and 2015, the links to those posts are also included above.

      Instead of complaining to me that I’m misleading people, I suggest you click through on those sources links to find out exactly what kind of IT job gets this sort of salary.

  • Cheshire Plasterers February 10, 2016, 8:38 am |

    It would be interesting to know what plasterers earn over there 😀

    • BobinOz February 10, 2016, 6:22 pm |

      If you go to my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and look underneath the heading “How much money can I earn in Australia?” There is a link to a website where you can look up the current average weekly earnings (before tax) of hundreds of different kinds of jobs.

      I had a quick look at plasterers using that link, they reckon $1000 a week as at August 2013.

      Is that good or bad?

  • Alpesh Patel November 25, 2015, 4:44 pm |

    Hi bob
    I want to come to Australia as soon as possible in students visa.
    give me some advise about study and working condition of Perth, Sydney, Brisbane,
    Adelaide, malbourne etc. Give me suggestion which place is good for mechanical engineer for study as well as working purpose.

    • BobinOz December 1, 2015, 7:20 pm |

      Please check out my page about Student Visas and follow the instructions, my expert should be able to help you.

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