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What is the Average Salary in Australia vs the UK?

Starting a new life in the Land Down Under is a dream that many of us have before we’re brought back down to earth by the seemingly high costs of living. After all, property is more expensive, tax rates are higher, and even basic groceries are more costly in Australia.

And yet, life in Australia means a higher salary, better healthcare, and superior employment opportunities. In this blog, we’ll cut through the confusion by breaking down the different salaries and costs to help you make an informed decision about making a life on the other side of the world.

Average Salary in the UK

The United Kingdom is the sixth-largest national economy in the world and therefore offers many career opportunities with a range of accessible jobs for people of all ages with all skill sets. According to recent data, the average annual salary in the UK is between £30,000 and £35,000 depending on industry and position.

Highest-paying industries

The highest-paying job roles lie within the IT, Marketing, Legal, Construction, and Engineering industries.

  • IT: average £49,653 gross per annum.
  • Marketing: average £40,787 gross per annum.
  • Legal: average £37,433 gross per annum.
  • Construction: average £37,110 gross per annum.
  • Engineering: average £36,575 gross per annum.*

*Data sourced from Check-a-Salary.

UK employees are entitled to benefits such as 28 days’ paid annual leave, health care, and employer retirement contributions. Those working in the UK also benefit from flexible working, maternity leave, and statutory sick pay.

Minimum Wage

In London, the average salary is higher due to the increased cost of living and the concentration of high-paying industries like finance and technology. The London Living Wage is currently £11.95 per hour in contrast to the rest of the country where the cost of living is lower and the minimum wage is £10.42.

Average Salary in Australia

Australia, known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and vibrant cities, has become an attractive destination for job seekers worldwide. The average gross salary in Australia is around AU$90,000. Converting to approximately £48,000, the average salary in Australia currently sits 37% higher than the UK average.

The mining, resources, and energy sector offers one of the highest average salaries in Australia at $134,954. The salaries for engineering, construction, IT, legal, and HR are close behind: 

  • Engineering: $113,667 gross per annum (approx. £60,545).
  • Construction: average $111,292 gross per annum (approx. £59,280).
  • IT: $97,733 gross per annum (approx. £52,055).
  • Legal: $94,841 gross per annum (approx. £50,515). 
  • HR: $85,729 gross per annum (approx. £45,660).*

*Data sourced from Seek Employer.

Like UK employees, those working in Australia are entitled to superannuation, service leave, and sick pay. In addition, Australian employees have fantastic supplementary benefits such as education advancement, voluntary benefits, health insurance, and more, ensuring a well-rounded compensation package.

Minimum Wage

Australia’s minimum wage for non-salaried workers is $21.38 per hour for adults over the age of 21. Not only is this a fantastic rate, but it’s also the highest minimum wage in the world. This is great news for travellers, who can make a decent wage whilst working part-time hours in “unskilled” industries such as farming, hospitality and retail.

Average Australia vs UK salary with Average Joe Down Under

Valued job roles in Australia

The demand for both nurses and teachers is growing steadily in Australia. According to New World Immigration, Victoria alone needs 1,300 more teachers every year to meet its targeted growth quota. The same is to be said for nurses, with Health Workforce Australia estimating a shortfall of 85,000 nurses by 2025.

The average registered nurse salary in Australia is $81,090 per year (approximately £43,321) and is 29% higher than the UK average nurse salary of £33,384. And, if that wasn’t promising enough, entry-level positions start at $77,154 per year, converting to approximately £41,218.

The average teacher salary in Australia is $84,764 per year (approximately £45,283) and therefore 40% more than the UK average teacher salary of £32,157. With entry-level teaching positions in Australia starting at $74,293 per year, teachers relocating to Australia are set for a significant pay increase.

Tax rates

In the UK, the tax rates for the 2021/2022 tax year are as follows:

  • 0% tax rate on the first £12,570 of income (personal allowance)
  • 20% tax rate on income between £12,571 and £50,270
  • 40% tax rate on income between £50,271 and £150,000
  • 45% tax rate on income over £150,000

In Australia, the tax rates for the 2021/2022 tax year are as follows:

  • 0% tax rate on the first $18,200 of income (personal allowance)
  • 19% tax rate on income between $18,201 and $45,000
  • 32.5% tax rate on income between $45,001 and $120,000
  • 37% tax rate on income between $120,001 and $180,000
  • 45% tax rate on income over $180,000

What your Australian salary can buy

When relocating overseas, it’s normal to want to explore and make the most of your adventure and experience a different culture. It’s also normal for this to take a serious toll on your finances. Many are surprised to learn, however, that goods in Australia are often cheaper or similar to those in other countries. 

Here’s what you can expect to pay in Australia for goods:

A pint of beer

Nothing beats a good beer with like-minded friends and fellow travellers after a hard day’s graft. Here’s how much a pint will cost you:

  • Sydney: AU$9 – the equivalent of £4.88.
  • London: £5.99 – the equivalent of AU$11.
  • New York: $7USD – the equivalent of AU$10.49 or £5.59.

A cup of coffee

With many proclaiming Australian coffee to be among the best in the world, coffee lovers will be delighted to hear that coffee is reasonably priced compared to the UK:

  • Melbourne: AU$5 – the equivalent of £2.67.
  • London: £3.25 – the equivalent of AU$6.10.
  • New York: $3.25USD – the equivalent of AU$4.87 or £2.60.

Conclusion

Although the cost of living varies significantly between the two countries, the average salary in Australia is much higher than that of the UK and is combined with fantastic employee benefits. With superb job satisfaction, good work-life balance, world-class healthcare and a high standard of living, moving to Australia is a surefire way to boost your earnings and enjoy a better quality of life.  

If you need a little more convincing, check out our 12 top reasons for moving to Australia.

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