If you’re thinking of coming to Australia for work or study, you may be wondering what jobs rank as the highest paying in Australia, what degrees they require and what pathways are available to those degrees.
After all, studying at university is an investment, and although pursuing a fulfilling career should naturally be your leading motivator, it’s still a good idea to familiarise yourself with the job market and set your expectations.
Here are some of the highest paying jobs in Australia and degree pathways available:
1. Medical professionals
According to statistics from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the three highest paying jobs in Australia are all in the medical field. Medical professionals feature heavily in this top ten list, in the following order:
- Surgeons come in first, with salaries up to $394,866
- Anaesthetists are second, at $367,343
- Internal Medicine Specialists are third, at $299,378
- Psychiatrists come in at fifth place, on $216,075
- Other Medical Practitioners come in sixth, with salaries up to $204,387
Your pathway to surgery, anaesthetics or medical specialisations:
- The University of Adelaide offers a combined Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, which takes six years to complete. You will have the option to specialise as you further your studies.
If you’re an international student, you can start your journey to this degree at the University of Adelaide with a Foundation Studies Program at the University of Adelaide College.
Check out our 4-step guide on how to get into medicine in Australia for all the information you need on how to apply!
2. Finance and business
There are a handful of multimillionaire CEOs who undoubtedly win the title for some of the ‘highest paying jobs in Australia’, such as Qantas CEO Alan Joyce (who earned $23,876,351 last year!) For the rest of us, however, there is still a broad spectrum of jobs in business and finance that offer high renumeration.
Financial Dealers came in at number four on the ATOs list, with an annual salary of $261,008, while Chief Executives and Managing Directors came in at number nine, with salaries averaging around $157,643. According to other estimates, you can also expect to make a decent wage in these roles:
- Financial management: $131,993
- Financial strategy and planning: $129,238
- Accounting company secretaries: $128, 641
- Construction, management and project management: $130,000
- Consulting and strategy: $126,000
- Insurance and superannuation management: $124,480
Your undergraduate pathway into these roles:
- Financial management, financial strategy and planning, and straight-up accounting all require a background in accounting. You can begin your journey into these professions with a Bachelor of Accounting, Bachelor of Accounting and Corporate Finance, or a Bachelor of Business Management and Accounting at the University of Adelaide.
- The Bachelor of Commerce also has a strong focus on accounting and has a broader application.
- The Bachelor of Corporate Finance will equip you with the skills necessary for a career in financial management and trading.
- If you’re interested in going down a path more oriented towards business management or project management, you might want to choose a Bachelor of Business (Global), or a Bachelor of Business Management.
If you’re a local student without the right ATAR to enrol directly, or if you are an international student, you can transfer to most business and accounting degrees at the University of Adelaide via a Foundation Studies Program or a Degree Transfer Program at the University of Adelaide College.
3. Legal professionals and magistrates
Number 7 on the ATO list is ‘Judicial and Other Legal Professionals,’ with an average salary of $195,703. Judges are generally the highest paid legal professionals.
However, general counsel positions within the corporate sector also score incredibly highly on another metric, calculated by Michael Page Recruiting. They report that salaries of general counsel professionals range from $205,000 to $283,999.
Your undergraduate pathway to a legal career:
- You will need to study a Bachelor of Laws at the Adelaide Law School. The degree takes four years to complete and can be studied as a single degree or as part of a combined degree program.
If you’re a local student and you didn’t get the ATAR to enrol directly in the degree, or if you’re an international student, you can transfer to a Bachelor of Laws via a Foundation Studies Program at the College.
4. Information and communication technology (ICT)
With data and technology industries rapidly evolving, specialists in ICT are commanding increasingly higher wages. According to estimates based on salary calculating website GlassDoor and job-seeking site Seek.com, ICT professionals can expect some pretty impressive salaries these days:
- ICT systems architecture: $139,883
- ICT management: $134,639
- IT security architecture: $124,000
- Cloud engineering: $112,000
- Data science: $100,000
Your pathway options to a career in ICT:
- Bachelor of Computer Science
- Bachelor of Computer Science (Advanced)
- Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Software)
Did you know that the University of Adelaide is ranked 43rd in the world for computer science and engineering?
If you’re a local student and you didn’t get the ATAR to enrol directly in the degree, or if you are an international student, you can transfer to a Bachelor of Computer Science via a Foundation Studies Program or a Degree Transfer Program at the University of Adelaide College.
Closely following legal professionals on ATO’s top ten list, is ‘Mining Engineers,’ coming in at number eight, with an annual salary of $167,345. With mining being such a massive industry in Australia, this isn’t all that surprising. However, engineers in Australia do command high salaries across the board, whether they’re working in mining or not. According to Seek.com, the average engineer in Australia earns $134,479.
Your pathway to undergraduate engineering:
- The University of Adelaide offers a broad range of bachelor’s degrees in civil, mining, petroleum, environmental, chemical and electrical engineering.
- In addition, you have the option of studying a range of different double degrees in engineering, crossing over with finance, science and computer sciences.
If you’re a local student and you don’t have the correct ATAR to enrol directly, or if you are an international student, you can transfer to a Bachelor of Engineering via a Foundation Studies Program or a Degree Transfer Program at the University of Adelaide College.
There are many pathways to studying the degree of your dreams. See here for more information on how you can transition to the University of Adelaide via the College.