Australians are typically earning six-figure salaries in jobs that don’t require a university degree.
From train drivers to diesel mechanics, crane operators, cattle auctioneers and wharf labourers, new Australian Taxation Office data has revealed the occupations where average incomes are above $100,000.
Anyone earning a six-figure salary was among the top 17.8 per cent of income earners in 2020-21, with 2,691,226 people in this category out of Australia’s 15,134,189 taxpayers.
Someone on a six-figure salary is now among the 44.5 per cent or 6,736,313 of taxpayers in the $45,000 to $120,000 bracket where they pay the federal government 32.5 cents in the dollar on their earnings.
Australians are typically earning six-figure salaries in jobs that don’t require a university degree, new tax office data shows. Crane operators (stock image) with an average taxable income of $108,073
They are in the same category as someone on an average taxable income of $68,289, which is slightly above the national middle income of $65,000 but below the average, full-time salary of $94,000 as measured by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Australian tax brackets
$18,200 or less: 2,236,047 individuals or 14.8 per cent of taxpayers
$18,201 to $45,000: 4,385,353 individuals or 29 per cent of taxpayers
$45,001 to $120,000: 6,736,313 individuals or 44.5 per cent of taxpayers
$120,001 to $180,000: 1,150,084 individuals or 7.6 per cent of taxpayers
$180,001 or more: 626,392 individuals or 4.1 per cent of individuals
TOTAL: 15,134,189 individuals paid $236.669billion in net tax in 2020-21
The average taxable incomes were based on salaries minus work expenses.
Railway station managers were well remunerated with an average taxable income of $113,579.
This occupation doesn’t require a university degree but the federal government’s Your Career website noted it was necessary to have ‘relevant experience to work as a railway station manager’.
‘While formal qualifications aren’t essential, a Vocational Education and Training course in rail operations management may be useful,’ it said, adding the job was ‘stressful’.
Train examiners had an average taxable salary of $114,929 in an occupation requiring a Vocational Education and Training course in rail safety.
Railway signal operators typically get $119,915, while train drivers are on $127,932 in a job requiring a Certificate IV in Train Driving.
Diesel motor mechanics are also typically paid six-figure salaries with average incomes of $100,105, which is significantly higher than $67,147 for a garage mechanic.
Unlike mechanics working in suburban garages, diesel mechanics often work on mine sites repairing and maintain large dump trucks in a sector that is well remunerated.
Railway signal operators typically get $119,915, while train drivers (Queensland Rail employee, pictured) are on $127,932 in a job requiring a Certificate IV in Train Driving
Stock and station auctioneers, who take bids on livestock like cattle, typically earned $113,459 (pictured is a livestock auctioneer in Ballarat in central Victoria)
This occupation servicing trucks and buses requires a Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology or a Certificate III in Automotive Diesel Engine Technology.
Australian jobs with average taxable incomes in the six figures
DIESEL MOTOR MECHANIC: $100,105
REAL ESTATE AGENT COMPANY REP: $100,223
PAPER MILL OPERATOR: $102,053
WHARF LABOURER: $102,840
SECURITY CONSULTANT: $107,119
CRANE OPERATOR: $108,073
STOCK AND STATION AUCTIONEER: $113,459
RAILWAY STATION MANAGER: $113,579
TRAIN EXAMINER: $114,929
RAILWAY SIGNAL OPERATOR: $119,915
REAL ESTATE AGENCY MANAGER: $124,276
COAL MINER: $125,856
TRAIN DRIVER: $127,932
TRAIN CONTROLLER: $134,903
POLICE DETECTIVE: $122,732
Those using the heavy machinery are well paid with crane operators getting $108,073, in a dangerous job requiring a heavy rigid truck licence and a Certificate III in Construction Crane Operations.
Coal miners also are well paid, having an average taxable income of $125,856, compared with paper mill operators on $102,053.
Wharf labourers who unload imported freight at Australia’s ports make $102,840, with this year marking the 25th anniversary of the heated dispute between Patrick Stevedores and the Maritime Union of Australia.
Security consultants were earning on average $107,119, with those in this role offer advice on design features to ward off intruders.
This role requires a Certificate IV in Security and Risk Management.
Stock and station auctioneers, who take bids on livestock like cattle, typically earned $113,459.
This role requires an auctioneer accreditation in the state where they practise, along with a station agent licence.
Real estate managers earned on average $124,276, in an occupation requiring a state licence and a Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice.
The job advising investors on buying houses doesn’t typically pay six figures unless a man is doing it.
Male real estate consultants had average salaries of $112,720, compared with $69,953 for women doing the same role, which put the total average for the two genders at $90,213.
It was a similar story for clothing designers with men on average making $214,170, compared with $74,894 for women.
Wharf labourers who unload imported freight at Australia’s ports make $102,840, with this year marking the 25th anniversary of the heated dispute between Patrick Stevedores and the Maritime Union of Australia (pictured is a Chinese container vessel being unloaded in Melbourne)
But in one surprising occupation thought to be male dominated, women made more.
Female bulldozer operators had an average taxable income of $100,253, compared with $92,407 for men.
Only 21 women in Australia listed this as their occupation, compared with 541 men, which meant the average income for this job was $92,700.
Police detectives are typically paid $122,732, with men making $126,791 and women earning $109,772.
Those in law enforcement can do a degree in policing, but those in blue can complete a vocational course.