Necessary salary to be “rich” in Australia: what you need to earn

A full-time Australian worker must now earn $91,000 a year to be considered an above-average earner.

High inflation dilutes workers’ purchasing power as wages struggle to keep pace with rising prices.

Before bonuses and overtime, the average full-time salary was $90,917 in November 2021, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released on Thursday.

A full-time Australian worker must now earn $91,000 a year to be considered above average. High inflation is diluting workers’ purchasing power as wages struggle to keep pace with price increases (pictured are women at the Sydney Opera Bar)

Australians working longer saw their wages increase at an annual rate of just 2.1%.

That rate was well below the inflation rate of 3.5%, meaning full-time workers saw price increases eat up their wage increases.

Full-time workers who were lucky enough to get bonuses and overtime saw their earnings level increase by 3.8% to $94,260.

Their wages at least exceeded inflation, which last year hit its highest level since 2008, at the height of the global financial crisis.

The mining industry offered the highest average full-time salary of $138,128, followed by media and information technology with $113,276, an industry where salaries increased by 7.1%.

Professional and technical services — a broad field covering lawyers, accountants, architects and engineers — typically had salaries of $106,673.

Finance and insurance specialists did even better, with salaries of $110,042.

Civil servants and police officers – known as public administration and security – had an average salary of $98,326.

Australians working longer saw their wages increase at an annual rate of just 2.1%.  That was well below the 3.5 per cent inflation rate, meaning full-time workers saw price rises gobble up their pay rises (pictured is a construction worker at Barangaroo in Sydney )

Australians working longer saw their wages increase at an annual rate of just 2.1%. That was well below the 3.5 per cent inflation rate, meaning full-time workers saw price rises gobble up their pay rises (pictured is a construction worker at Barangaroo in Sydney )

Average salaries in Australia by industry

MINING: $138,128

MEDIA, TELECOMMUNICATIONS: $113,276

FINANCE, INSURANCE: $110,042

PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL SERVICES: $106,673

HEALTH, SOCIAL ASSISTANCE: $87,953

RETAIL: $68,349

ACCOMMODATION AND CATERING: $63,377

At the other end of the pay scale, retail trade workers earned $68,349 a year, well below the $87,953 average for the health and social assistance sector, but above accommodation and food services with $63,377.

The Australian Capital Territory, home to civil servants in Canberra, saw the biggest increase of 4.8%, taking average salaries to $102,882.

Tasmanian workers saw their wages rise by 3.6% to $80,168, while Queenslanders enjoyed a 3.5% increase to $86,637.

South Australian wages rose 3.2% to $82,685, with Western Australians receiving a 3% increase, taking the average wage to $98,582 in the mining-rich state.

In New South Wales, pay levels rose just 0.5% to $91,577, above average, while Victoria state pay levels rose 2 .4% to reach $91,494.

The Northern Territory saw pay levels fall 0.3% to $88,327.

Men working full time earned an average of $96,018, compared to $82,742 for women.

CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman said if the gender pay gap narrowed, women were more likely to have lost work hours as a result of the Delta outbreak shutdowns. last year in Sydney and Melbourne.

“Government pandemic restrictions have generally had the biggest impact on female workers due to increased family chores and loss of part-time jobs,” he said.

“Encouragingly, however, in the six months to November, average regular-time weekly earnings for women working full-time increased.”

The mining industry offered the highest average full-time salary of $138,128

The mining industry offered the highest average full-time salary of $138,128