ORDINARY Australians are struggling to make ends meet as wage growth stagnates and the cost of living soars but the one per cent are living large.
And while the true rich listers have their earnings tied up in complex company structures, the tax returns of the nation’s top salary earners reveal that they are living very comfortably indeed.
With high rates of underemployment, many ordinary workers would need to add an extra zero to their pay packet to match these earnings.
The latest Tax Office data reveals that male neurosurgeons have the best-paid job in the country, taking home a whopping $577,674 a year.
For women, it’s judges who lead the pack with $355,844, confirming the age-old cliche that studying law or medicine is the ticket to a life of comfort.
The gender pay gap is writ large in the results, with female neurosurgeons taking home just 56 per cent of their male counterparts’ salary, despite being the second-highest-paid professional women.
Medical specialists dominate the list of the 50 highest paid men’s jobs, with investment bankers, MPs, chief executives, dentists, company secretaries and mining engineers also making the list.
The worst-paid jobs involved manual labour and traineeships, many of them in industries that tend to employ part-time workers including fruit pickers, farm overseers, leaflet or newspaper deliverers, crossing supervisors, fast food cooks, dishwashers and kitchen hands.
Men and women in these positions reported earnings of a measly $13,307 to $20,575 a year.
AUSTRALIA’S 50 BEST-PAID JOBS
- Neurosurgeon $577,674
- Ophthalmologist $552,947
- Cardiologist $453,253
- Plastic and reconstructive surgeon $448,530
- Gynaecologist; Obstetrician $446,507
- Otorhinolaryngologist $445,939
- Orthopedic surgeon $439,629
- Urologist $433,792
- Vascular surgeon $417,524
- Gastroenterologist $415,192
- Diagnostic and interventional radiologist $386,003
- Dermatologist $383,880
- Judge — law $381,323
- Anaesthetist $370,492
- Cardiothoracic surgeon $358,043
- Surgeon — general $357,996
- Specialist physicians — other $344,860
- Radiation oncologist $336,994
- Medical oncologist $322,178
- Securities and finance dealer $320,452
- Thoracic medicine specialist $315,444
- Specialist physician — general medicine $315,114
- Intensive care specialist $308,033
- Renal medicine specialist $298,681
- Neurologist $298,543
- Financial investment manager $288,790
- Investment broker $286,530
- Paediatric surgeon $282,508
- Clinical haematologist $271,738
- Futures trader $264,830
- Endocrinologist $258,972
- Cricketer $257,527
- Rheumatologist $256,933
- Dental specialist $253,442
- Magistrate $246,737
- Equities analyst; Investment dealer $245,826
- Paediatrician $239,405
- Stock exchange dealer; Stockbroker $238,192
- Psychiatrist $234,557
- Emergency medicine specialist $232,595
- Member of Parliament $232,093
- Pathologist $224,378
- Company secretary — corporate governance $218,432
- State governor $212,652
- Actuary $196,144
- Sports physician $187,468
- Petroleum engineer $185,808
- Chief executive officer; Executive director; Managing director; Public servant — secretary or
- deputy secretary $181,849
- Mining production manager $179,439