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Australia - Salaries

Salaries in Australia do vary according to region as each state has differing amounts of industry and the salaries reflect this. The average overall salary in Australia at the end of 2010 was estimated to be $66,954, not including overtime and any bonus payments. Full time average earnings were the lowest in Tasmania, at $57,808, which was then followed by South Australia at $60,414. The next state was Victoria at $64,620 and then Queensland at $65,619. The Northern Territory followed at $65,962 and New South Wales at $66,565. At the top end of the scale there is Western Australia with average yearly earnings at $73,148 and the Capital Territory at $76,367. The averages are based on state surveys, but you should also take into consideration the part of the state that you live in. Those who are living and working in the cities will be able to earn more than those who are in more rural areas and who have limited employment options.

Salaries vary depending upon the type of work that is being done too. It is widely considered that those who are working in the mining industry are among the best paid workers in the country, with average salaries at $108,000. One of the lowest paid industries is the hospitality industry such as cafes, restaurants and hotels. The average salary in 2010 was $48, 084. Shop workers earn just over $49,000 and workers in other service industries earn under $55,000. Workers in manufacturing earned an average of $59,500 in 2010 while those in recreation industries earned a similar salary. Those working in wholesales suppliers earned an average of $62,000 while property services workers earned just below $63,000 and those in admin work earned a similar amount. Those in health care earned around $63,000. Construction workers are the next on the salary list with average earnings of $67,500 and those in education earned just over $70,000 in 2010. Health and safety workers earned slightly more than $71,000. Those working for utility companies earned an average of $76,000 and those in telecommunications earned $78,500 in 2010. Those in technical and scientific professions earned just under $80,000 and those in insurance and financial services earned just over that amount.

Australia has a minimum wage structure which offers different pay scales to different types of work. These are known as ‘awards’ and a person cannot be paid less than the minimum wage which has been set for that type of work. These awards are reviewed each year by the organisation known as ‘Fair Work Australia’ on an annual basis and new rates will come into effect after 1st July every year. As part of the review the modern awards are assessed and the national minimum wage which is for all workers not covered by one of the modern awards. Reviews will take into consideration such factors as inflation and price rises of essential goods.

Minimum wages are also set for those who have disabilities, those who are training and apprentices. From 1st July 2010 the national minimum wage was $569.90 each week before deductions for tax. This is calculated as $15 per hour. Details of specific awards can be obtained from the Fair Work Australia website and there is a department that can help you to determine the minimum wage that you should expect for the work you want to do.

A basic rate of pay above the minimum wage will also take into account the age and experience of the worker, the type of work they do and the minimum provisions set out by the government. There are other allowances which may be payable but this will depend upon the type of work that you are doing and the employer that you have. An employer that asks you to accept a rate of pay which is below the national minimum is breaking the law.

The minimum wage in Australia is very similar to the rate which is offered to UK workers although slightly higher than the rate offered in the US. The average wages earned in specific industries in 2010 tend to be higher than industry averages in the UK. If you are a skilled worker who has recognised qualifications then you can earn an excellent wage in Australia.

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