10 Highest Paying Jobs in Australia: With Duties and Salary

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 21 August 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A high salary is a significant motivator for many candidates and can propel them to advance their careers. Candidates interested in senior positions can choose from several lucrative roles in a vast range of industries. Understanding the highest paying jobs in Australia can motivate you to progress into these roles and set long-term career objectives, allowing you to plan your career accordingly. In this article, we discuss ten of the highest earning roles in Australia and provide detailed explanations of their primary duties and national average salaries.

10 highest paying jobs in Australia

The ten highest paying jobs in Australia are typically senior positions. This means candidates usually require extensive experience to pursue them. For some roles, especially those that are medical- or technology-related, candidates also require specialist qualifications such as PhDs or certifications to demonstrate their expert knowledge. The following is a list of the ten highest earning roles in Australia:

1. Chief technology officer

National average salary: $109,937 per year

Primary duties: A chief technology offer (CTO) is the most senior figure within a company's technical department. They supervise technical development, create and implement technical strategies and integrate IT operations. They work collaboratively with directors of technology and IT departments to ensure the proper execution of IT planning and adherence to policies. CTOs are responsible for the wider technology infrastructure in a company, identifying technology opportunities to improve business operations.

A CTO's salary typically depends on the size and location of the business. To qualify for large salary packages, candidates typically require many years of experience in a senior technology role, such as director or head of department.

Related: What Is a CTO? Your Guide to This Technology Career

2. Portfolio manager

National average salary: $121,203 per year

Primary duties: A portfolio manager is a professional who manages a company's investment assets. These employees find lucrative investment opportunities for a company, manage its investment strategy and ensure that current investments align with business goals. To ensure that they make smart investment choices, they conduct comprehensive research to analyse the risks and opportunities associated with different investments.

Holding a CFA (chartered financial analyst) certification may increase salary expectations for this role, as it demonstrates specialist knowledge of investment management. This may also give you a competitive advantage during the recruitment phase.

Related: What Does a Portfolio Manager Do? (And How to Become One)

3. Director of technology

National average salary: $123,469 per year

Primary duties: A director of technology is in charge of a company's technical operations. They manage networks and technical systems to ensure that a company can operate efficiently. They may work collaboratively with an IT department, ensuring that all systems facilitate stability across a company. Directors of technology also manage a company's data security processes and develop comprehensive cybersecurity protocols to minimise online threats from malware.

Candidates with many years of experience in network administration and specialist certifications – such as a Certificate IV in Information Technology or a bachelor's or master's degree in computer science – may receive higher salaries.

Related: Director vs. Manager: Differences and Similarities

4. Head of sales

National average salary: $135,368 per year

Primary duties: A head of sales is a professional responsible for the strategic direction of a sales department. They work collaboratively with their sales team to forecast sales performance, find business opportunities and research target markets. The head of sales typically prepares monthly, quarterly and annual sales reports to explain a company's performance. From these reports, they design tactics to improve or maintain sales figures.

Candidates who have extensive experience working in a sales department or have specialist qualifications in business and finance studies typically have higher salary expectations. Head of sales professionals may also earn commission from lucrative business opportunities or receive bonuses for identifying positive leads.

Related: 15 Effective Techniques for Closing Sales to Meet Targets

5. Chief executive officer

National average salary: $144,642 per year

Primary duties: The chief executive officer (CEO) is the most senior executive within a company. They represent the face of the company and have the most power in major decision-making processes. CEOs manage all operations within a business and act as the intermediary between the board of directors and the rest of the company. CEOs also allocate money, identify business opportunities and develop company strategy.

The salary of this role typically increases as a company develops. Alternatively, if a company is still in its start-up phase, CEOs may earn lower amounts.

Related: What Is the CEO Role in a Business?

6. Chief financial officer

National average salary: $144,790 per year

Primary duties: A chief financial officer (CFO) is a senior managerial figure responsible for a company's financial activity. Primarily, a CFO forecasts the financial outlook for a company and prepares reports on financial activity for their accounting and finance department. These reports help senior management teams create strategies that facilitate company growth. Candidates for this role typically require many years of experience in a finance and accounting role, working collaboratively with senior finance managers. They may also require a bachelor's or master's degree in a subject such as finance or accounting.

The salary for this role typically depends on the company's size and financial performance, along with the candidate's experience level. Additional certifications, such as in accounting, can increase a candidate's salary expectations.

Related: How to Become a CFO: With Skills and Salary

7. Vice president of compliance

National average salary: $161,963 per year

Primary duties: A vice president of compliance is the executive director of a compliance department. Vice presidents of compliance determine goals within the compliance department and design strategies for progression that abide by company policies, guidelines and regulatory requirements. They follow strict industry standards and conduct regular reviews of these under the guidance of governing directors.

The national average salary for a vice president of compliance may vary depending on the size of the company. For example, a small start-up may offer a lower average salary, while larger companies may offer higher salaries.

Related: What Is a Regulatory Requirement and Its Impact on the Workplace?

8. Anaesthetist

National average salary: $175,456 per year

Primary duties: An anaesthetist is a medical professional who puts patients to sleep in preparation for medical procedures such as operations. These professionals work collaboratively with surgeons and nurses to monitor a patient's vital signs and ensure their medication is appropriate for their height and weight. Anaesthetists also observe patients after surgery, ensuring that they recover from their treatment.

The national average salary for an anaesthetist may vary, depending on the type of clinical facility and medical field that an anaesthetist works in.

Related: How to Become an Anaesthetist: The Ultimate Guide

9. Internal medicine physician

National average salary: $230,946 per year

Primary duties: Internal medicine physicians are general specialists who can diagnose and treat many different health conditions. They require comprehensive anatomical knowledge to understand hundreds of medical issues. These physicians can work in different departments, such as surgery or paediatrics. They treat patients with illnesses that range from mild to severe.

An internal medicine physician's salary typically depends on the clinical facility they work in. For example, physicians working in a private or specialist clinic may earn a different salary than physicians working in a public hospital or general practitioner's clinic.

Related: 12 In-Demand Medical Careers (With Duties and Salaries)

10. Ophthalmologist

National average salary: $457,687 per year

Primary duties: An ophthalmologist is a medical professional who assesses, diagnoses and treats medical conditions that affect eyesight and eye health. They conduct surgery on affected patients, prescribe treatments and refer patients to specialists if they notice neurological issues. Ophthalmologists typically work with many colleagues, such as optometrists who prescribe glasses for visually impaired patients.

The salary for this role may differ depending on the environment these professionals work in. For example, an ophthalmologist working in a private clinic may earn a different amount than an ophthalmologist working in a public facility. They can also work in hospitals and emergency departments.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries and on the quoted websites at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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