The 10 Highest-Paying Jobs in Australia

Are you considering a career move to the land Down Under? Then read on to discover the best-paid jobs you can pursue in Australia.

Reviewed by Melina Theodorou

Highest-Paying Jobs in Australia

The move to Australia for many is a pursuit of a slower-paced, laid-back lifestyle. The beaches are great, the weather is warm and work-life balance is encouraged. We love our morning coffee and an ice-cold beer after a hard day’s work. With plenty of work benefits, like five weeks annual leave, long service leave and paid sick leave, there’s no wonder you might be considering making a move Down Under.

Australia offers a lot more than just scenic beaches and a better work-life balance, however. There is a range of well-paid careers to choose from as well.

Do you want to see how the move to Australia could benefit your financially? We’ve got you covered. We’ve scoured through various sources, including Michael Page’s ranking of the best-paid professions in Australia, to come up with this comprehensive list.

Read on to discover which are the best-paid careers in Australia.

10. Head of compliance

Average annual salary: AU$277,500 (£151,800 / $207,230)

Working in compliance usually means ensuring the integrity of your company, both legally and ethically. As the head of compliance, you must ensure that all policies made by your organisation are adhered to by its employees and the organisation itself. You need to ensure everyone within your company complies with the law, industry regulations and internal policies.

Gaining a relevant industry qualification, like a Diploma of Quality Auditing or a law degree, is the first step in gaining a job in compliance. From there on, you need to seek out relevant work experience in compliance roles, such as a compliance officer, for example.

Once you have acquired experience and industry expertise, you can progress into higher-ranking roles, including head of compliance, which will get you a healthy annual salary of AU$277,500.

9. Portfolio manager (tie)

Average annual salary: AU$280,000 (£153,170 / $209,090)

Portfolio management is one of the most lucrative careers in the Australian finance industry. Primarily tasked with developing investment strategies and managing investment portfolios for investors, a portfolio manager is focused on the analytical side of finance.

If you have a natural penchant for data interpretation, analysis and research, this career is a good choice for you.

Becoming a portfolio manager in Australia requires an undergraduate degree in business, finance or economics. Relevant work experience in financial services that focuses on market analysis and providing investment recommendations to clients is an added bonus.

Additional licences may be required depending on the area of portfolio management you go into.

8. Chief financial officer (tie)

Average annual salary: AU$280,000 (£153,170 / $209,060)

chief financial officer (CFO) is tasked with managing an organisation’s financial and operational areas. The CFO works alongside the Chief Executive Officer and other members of senior management to lead the business into financial success. Knowledge of metrics, key performance indicators, data analysis and business operations are key in succeeding within this role.

You can start your journey to becoming a CFO by undertaking a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, finance or related subject area. Relevant industry experience as an accountant or within a leadership capacity will help you move laterally through the organisation to enter this role.

7. Head of technology (tie)

Average annual salary: AU$300,000 (£164,120 / $224,010)

The head of technology oversees the implementation of new technology within a company. They oversee SMART goals for software, storage and other technological initiatives. The demand for this role has skyrocketed with the growth of the information technology age.

Relevant work experience, additional licences and a bachelor’s and master’s degree may be required to qualify for this role. That said, the entry requirements can vary depending on the organisation you are applying for. However, pursuing education in information technology, having a love for data analysis, and seeking industry experience are solid steps that could help you succeed in this role.

6. Chief technology officer (tie)

Average annual salary: AU$300,000 (£164,120 / $224,010)

The chief technology officer (CTO) is responsible for initiating and supervising technology dissemination to clients, vendors and other businesses. They also utilise technology to enhance the customer experience for clients and vendors and often have a background in information technology. A bachelor’s degree in IT and having more than 10 years of industry experience is often a prerequisite to land this role.

5. Investment director (tie)

Average annual salary: AU$300,000 (£164,120 / $224,010)

Investment directors oversee all the decisions made regarding growing an organisation’s capital. They often run deal teams, are responsible for the execution process and have a key role in raising funds.

A minimum of five years of experience is needed to enter this role, and additional finance certifications, such as a finance degree, are required to excel in this role.

4. Head of operations

Average annual salary: AU$325,000 (£177,800 / $242,700)

The key responsibilities for a head of operations include working with senior management to formulate strategies and achieve SMART goals, ensuring compliance with the law and other regulatory policies and overseeing the operations of the business is running smoothly.

A bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field is necessary for this role. You will also need over 10 years of senior leadership experience and a proven ability to manage operational processes and have a strong knowledge of industry regulations. If you have customer service expertise, this role would be a great fit for you.

3. Company secretary

Average annual salary: AU$342,500 (£187,370 / $255,770)

Company secretaries support the board of the organisation. They work to ensure that policies and procedures are followed and that any board agenda and briefings are completed in a timely manner.

All directors work with the company secretary to ensure seamless communication throughout the business.

If you have a penchant for organisation and also possess relevant industry experience, this role may be for you.

2. General manager

Average annual salary: AU$350,000 (£191,480 / $261,370)

General managers are leaders and are fundamental to boosting the productivity of any business. 

The role of the general manager is to shape the work environment implement strategies and goals, decide on the best ways to utilise resources and develop talent within the organisation.

1. In-house general counsel

Average annual salary: AU$400,000 (£218,840 / $298,710)

The role of in-house general counsel is to implement strategy, communicate risks and legal issues involved in decision-making to relevant senior management, and understand pressure points within the business. As a counsel, you must provide timely advice to your employer to reduce legal issues for the organisation. 

If you want to pursue a career as an in-house general counsel, relevant education in law is needed, including a master’s degree.

Generally, you must have extensive industry experience required before undertaking this role. Luckily, there are many jobs available in the legal sector, so you can find the perfect fit for you to work up to this role.

Final thoughts

These lucrative careers are in high demand at the moment within Australia. With plenty of growth predicted for the future, these careers are future-proof and are attracting workers from around the world to the beautiful land Down Under!

If you have qualifications or industry experience within these roles or fields, then maybe it’s time to pursue the impeccable work-life balance and laidback beach lifestyle that Australia delivers.

Do you work in these fields? What do you think about these salary figures? Let us know in the comments section below!

This article is an update of an earlier version published on 20 February 2015.