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What is the Median Salary in Australia?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the median salary in Australia in August 2022 was $65,000. So out of over 14 million people employed in Australia, this is what we’d call a “typical” salary.

But what does this information actually mean? And is it helpful to us in any way?

Median vs average

Average and median are both ways of calculating the “middle” of a set of data. But they have slight differences.

Average is calculated by adding together all the values in a dataset and dividing by the total number of values. It can be sensitive to outliers, meaning that very large or very small values can greatly influence the average.

Median, on the other hand, is the middle value in a dataset when it is sorted in ascending order. It is not affected by outliers and gives a better representation of the “real” centre of the data.

For example, here are five salaries: $10,000, $15,000, $20,000, $25,000, and $100,000.

The average of these salaries is $34,000. The median of these salaries is $20,000. As we can see, $20,000 is a much closer representation of the salaries as a whole than the average, which is offset by the single large salary.

What can I expect to earn?

While the median salary in Australia is around $65,000, exactly how much you will be earning depends on lots of different factors. This includes things like the industry you work in, your qualifications and experience, whether you work full- or part-time, and even things like gender (the median salary for men was $74,100, while for women it was only $56,888, partly because a higher proportion of women work part-time). As a general rule of thumb, your earning capacity will also go up the longer you’ve been in the same job. When you first start your job you can expect your salary to be lower than someone else who has over ten years of experience.

What this data does give you is a rough guide – an idea of how much you can expect to earn over your working life. It’s a good base to start from before diving deeper into individual jobs and industries, and a good way to temper your expectations (sorry, but you probably won’t be making $90,000 a year straight out of school, or even right out of uni).

Remember, there is no such thing as a “right” or “wrong” amount of money to earn. If you’re happy in your job and can live comfortably, then that’s fine. And if you want to earn as much as you possibly can, that’s OK too.

If you’re curious to learn more about jobs and careers, take a look at the other resources on our website.

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