Dec 11, 2019 Last Updated 10:09 AM, Jul 19, 2019
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Are you getting paid enough? How much do people in your job earn?

Published in Australia News
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Have you ever felt underpaid? Do you wonder if the person sitting next to you is being paid more to do the same job?

What about people in other jobs? Would you earn more if you changed careers?

How does your income compare with others?

How much do people in your occupation typically earn? The ATO has divided up the paid work we do into 1199 job types and ranked them from highest to lowest income.

The data is from the Tax Office and is based on income information for the latest financial year.

The ATO has divided up the paid work we do into 1199 job types, taking in everything from abattoir workers (who earn $39,748 on average) to zookeepers (who earn $45,866 on average).

Brain surgery is easily the highest-paid profession with neurosurgeons taking home $520,755 on average a year. They earn more in a fortnight than the average fast-food cook takes home in a year.

At the other end of the spectrum, the lowest paid occupation is fruit or nut picking, for which you can expect to earn about $16,000 per year.

Baristas earn $23,413 on average, private investigators earn $63,336, lawyers $119,891 and race car drivers $79,307. There are also five men whose occupation is listed as "bungee jumping master", who earn $44,583 on average.

Some jobs that do not require tertiary qualifications (but are nonetheless highly-skilled) earn in the region of six figures - oil rig workers, crane operators and train drivers all earned more than $100,000 a year on average

The average oil rig worker, for example, earned more than a typical financial adviser or meteorologist, but less than a school principal or a general manager.

But some jobs that take five or more years of tertiary study do not pay as much on average as you might expect. Osteopaths earn about $60,000 on average, physiotherapists $63,000 and architects $83,000. 

Men tend to earn more than women for most jobs, and in some cases the gender gap is vast. Australia's 275 professional male cricketers earn almost $250,000 a year on average. As for our 33 female cricketers, they take home an average of $30,000 a year.

However, the data does not differentiate between full-time, part-time and casual workers, so some jobs may appear lower-paying than they actually are because they are not typically undertaken by people who work full-time.

On the flipside, the high flyers in some professions can push up the average well above what you could realistically expect to earn. To go back to the example of male cricketers - half of them are earning less than $88,372 a year. The average is pushed up to $250,000 because the most elite cricketers can command much higher salaries.

Finally, there are about three million people missing from the Australian Taxation Office figures - more than 2.5 million people left their job blank when filling in their tax forms and a further 500,000 were in a line of work that does not fit neatly into one of the tax office's categories.

For example, there is no job code for rocket scientists, so we have no way of knowing if they earn more than brain surgeons.