Pay packets: how does your wage compare?



The nation’s biggest employers are a juicy target for job seekers, with many paying far above the average wage for both men and women, a new analysis has revealed.

Blue chip corporates like BHP, Telstra, Macquarie Group, Optus, NAB and IBM all paid their staff more handsomely than organisations like the ABC, McDonalds and Flight Centre. BHP’s average wage was $40,000 above the national average, which is about $70,000 per year.

The research, which comparison site estimated based on data from websites Glassdoor and Payscale, also showed that employers like Woolworths, various universities and firms in the mining and construction sectors all paid close to the national average. (See the full list here.)

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But the gender pay gap was still painfully evident in the salaries of 189 large Australian companies.

wage-comparisonOf the big employers for which full data was available, 80 per cent paid women less than men on average, The New Daily calculated.

This disparity “baffled” and “concerned” the company’s co-founder.

“I just don’t see any reason why there should be a differential,” said director Fred Schebesta.

“It makes a company stronger if they have a strong gender balance.”

Follow the data

Consumers should use these and other estimates to make a “data-driven” decision on their career direction, Mr Schebesta said.

For both men and women, some of the lowest salaries were at Flight Centre, national broadcaster the ABC, accountancy firm Crowe Horwath and the University of Ballarat, which all paid below the national average.

The last time the national average wage was officially estimated was back in 2010-11, when men earned an average of $62,699 per year and women $40,312, the bureau of statistics reported.

Based on official wage growth data since then, The New Daily estimated the average man to earn approximately $70,000 and women $45,000.

The future is smaller

While this analysis focused exclusively on larger, traditional companies, the future is small- and medium-sized businesses, especially in the tech sector, Mr Schebesta predicted.

“I think that’s where the real growth in Australia is going to be seen,” he said.

“If you get a job at one of these large companies, you may eventually end up working in a smaller company eventually.”

The analysis did not distinguish by job type, making it difficult for individual employees to predict their salaries. It was also based on job ads, so the results could have been skewed by either very lowly- or very highly-paid positions recently advertised.

But it did accord with industry averages.

As of last year, the top earning sectors were mining, resources and energy ($120,793 average yearly wage), consulting and strategy ($108,225), engineering ($105,608) and construction ($104,754), based on data compiled by jobs website SEEK.

To see the full list, click here

Serve, don’t mine

While heavy industries like mining dominate the top wages, jobs are scarce, an employment expert told The New Daily.

“Our primary sector is almost completely mechanised, and so the few people that do work in mining are well paid,” said University of Canberra economist Professor Phil Lewis.

The Senate has passed the Government's legislation to repeal the mining tax, however the amended bill will return to the Lower House.

The mining sector has the highest-paid jobs across the country.

The jobs are also “fairly unpleasant”, and so many people make their money quickly and then leave, he said, whereas workers can expect long-term growth in the services sectors.

“The bulk of our people are now employed in services, such as finance, banking, health and education,” Professor Lewis said.

“Health and education wages have gone up because the government has been quite generous in giving pay rises.

“In the finance sector, there was a dip after the global financial crisis, but that seems to be recovering.”

Last year, insurance and superannuation had a yearly average wage of $81,049, followed by education and training ($71,848), farming, animals and conservation ($70,992) and retail ($58,397), SEEK reported.

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