An Australian worker needs to earn more than $82,435 a year before tax to be considered an above-average earner.
If you’re earning $1,585 or more a week, before tax, consider yourself in the upper end of full-time salary earners but this doesn’t necessarily mean you can afford a house.
Those working in the mining industry are more likely to be well remunerated, with weekly salaries of $2,611 or $135,782 a year.
Those in between are more likely to be wearing a suit to work but if you are flipping burgers or operating a cash register, chances are you are at the bottom.
An Australian worker needs to earn more than $82,435 a year before tax to be considered an above-average earner (stock image of a lower-paid cafe worker)
The retail sector included some of Australia’s worst wages with salaries of just $741 a week or $38,532 a year.
When it came to being paid the least, unskilled accommodation and food services workers earned just $534 a week or $27,768 a year.
Men working full-time made an average of $1,677 a week or $87,209 a year compared with women, who earn an average of $1,434 a week or $74,562 a year, Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows.
Outside the mining industry, public servants had Australia’s highest weekly salary of $1,743 or $90,636 a year before tax.
Miners are likely to have salaries among the highest in Australia, which explains why Western Australia is the state with the second highest average wage
Earnings league table
1. Australian Capital Territory, $1, 812 a week or $94,224 a year
2. Western Australia, $1,740.30 a week or $90,495.60 a year
3. Northern Territory, $1,668.50 a week or $86,762 a year
4. New South Wales, $1,606.10 a week or $83,517.20 a year
5. Victoria, $1,550.20 a week or $80,610.40 a year
6. Queensland, $1,544.30 a week or $80,303.60 a year
7. South Australia, $1,449.40 a week or $75,368.80 a year
8. Tasmania, $1,379.20 a week or $71,718.40 a year
* Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics average weekly ordinary time earnings, seasonally adjusted data for May in the persons category
For that reason, the Australian Capital Territory, which takes in Canberra, had the highest salaries of $94,224 a year, ahead of mining rich Western Australia’s $90,496 a year.
Meanwhile people in Tasmania and South Australia made comparably less, with those in Australia’s island state averaging $1,379 a week.
An Australian in the technical or professional services sector, earning $1,585 a week, would be typical.
Someone on an average salary in Australia would barely be able to afford a $500,000 apartment in Sydney, or a median-price house in Brisbane and would be spending 40 per cent of their take-home pay on mortgage repayments.
Unless they are paying off a mortgage with their spouse or de facto, they would be unable to afford a median price Sydney house, selling for $935,713.
Despite house prices in Australia’s biggest city suffering the big annual slump in three decades, a borrower needs to be earning at close to $3,000 a week to comfortably pay off a mortgage in Australia’s most expensive real estate market.