Australians are turning down jobs offering six-figure salaries even though most workers are struggling with weak wages growth.
From building and mine sites to the hospital, at least half the advertised vacancies are remaining unfilled after six weeks.
Occupations commonly offering salaries of at least $100,000 are attracting few candidates, whether employers are looking for sonographers, surveyors or engineers.
This is occurring, even though annual wages growth in Australia has remained at below-average levels, under three per cent, for more than six years.
The most common salary for a sonographer in Australia is $120,000, data from job site Seek showed. Despite that, only 43 per cent ultrasound positions are being filled in NSW
These are the people who take medical images with an ultrasound device to monitor a pregnancy or check a woman’s breasts for lumps or cancer.
They also check a patient for heart or bone problems.
The most common salary for a sonographer in Australia is $120,000, data from job site Seek showed.
Despite the generous pay package, which is more than double Australia’s median annual salary of $55,400, there are few applicants.
In Queensland, just 27 per cent of vacancies are being filled while the figure stands at 43 per cent in New South Wales, the Department of Employment and Skills said.
The situation is so dire there are just 1.4 applicants, on average, for every advertised job in a hospital or a private clinic.
‘Employers had difficulty filling vacancies across the public and private sectors,’ the government said.
Surveyors are commonly offered $120,000 salaries but in NSW, only a third of positions are being filled six weeks after it has been advertised
The full list of six-figure salary jobs that can’t be filled
DENTIST: $180,000 salary but only 47 per cent of positions filled across Australia
MINING ENGINEER: $130,000 salary yet only 48 per cent of positions filled
SONOGRAPHER: $120,000 salary but only 27 per cent of positions filled in Queensland
AUTOMOTIVE ELECTRICIAN: $110,000 salary but just 15 per cent of vacancies filled in Queensland
OPTOMETRIST: $110,000 pay yet only 33 per cent of positions filled nationally
VETS: $103,000 salary but only 29 per cent of positions filled in Australia
ELECTRICAL ENGINEER: $103,000 salary but a bare majority or 52 per cent of positions filled in NSW
SURVEYOR: $103,000 but just 33 per cent of positions filled in NSW
Employers are also struggling to find enough people who want to work outside.
Surveyors can often be seen at building sites using a theodolite to determine the boundaries of a property.
A $103,000 salary is the most common pay package for this kind of work, Seek said.
Even this kind of remuneration isn’t enough with just 33 per cent of positions being filled in NSW, with employers struggling in Sydney and regional areas.
There were also just 5.8 applicants on average for each position.
‘Demand for this occupation has been underpinned by solid construction activity over the past few years,’ the government said.
Not even salaries of $130,000 are encouraging enough people to apply for advertised mining engineer positions.
Across Australia less than half, or 48 per cent, of jobs are being filled.
Just a dozen, or 12.5 candidates, on average are vying for the highly-paid jobs.
‘The labour market for mining engineers has tightened over the year and shortages have become evident,’ the government.
Not even salaries of $130,000 are encouraging enough people to apply for advertised mining engineer positions. The Department of Employment acknowledged remote location was an issue for prospective candidates
‘Employers find it increasingly difficult to attract applicants they consider suitable and the majority of vacancies have gone unfilled.’
Many of these jobs involve working in remote areas, like the Pilbara region of Western Australia, where strong Chinese demand for iron ore, used to make steel, is creating jobs.
‘Difficulty filling residential positions in remote areas has been raised consistently by employers and recruitment agents over multiple years,’ the government said.
‘Shortages were most prevalent in Western Australia and Queensland.’
During the past year, the spot price of iron ore has surged by 30 per cent.
‘As a result, demand for mining engineers has increased,’ the government said.
Employers are also struggling to find enough candidates who want to design electrical systems. Electrical engineers are more likely to receive a $103,000 salary yet in NSW only 52 per cent of positions are filled
Employers are also struggling to find enough candidates who want to design electrical systems.
Electrical engineers are more likely to receive a $103,000 salary yet in NSW only 52 per cent of positions are filled.
The Department of Employment noted there was a skills shortage in 2019 that didn’t exist last year.
The skills are needed in a wide variety of sectors, from mining to manufacturing and transport infrastructure.
Employers are particularly frustrated at the lacked of sufficiently skilled applicants, with 16 candidates on average applying for work but only two being qualified.
Sydney’s commuters are continuing to suffer from a shortage of electrical engineers, with an electrical circuit fault at Wynyard station on Friday morning significantly delaying peak-hour trains from crossing the Harbour Bridge.