Australians are typically earning six-figure salaries in jobs that don’t require a university degree.
From police detectives to train drivers, 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. Police detectives are typically paid $122,732, with men making $126,791 and women earning $109,772 (pictured are NSW Police Force academy recruits in Goulburn)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
It was a similar story for clothing designers with men on average making $214,170, compared with $74,894 for women.
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.