Minimum wage and salary guide for Australia

Learn about how the minimum wage and salary in Australia and how much you should expect to get paid for your job. 

Let’s face it, salary is important and for the clear majority of us, is the main reason why we go to work, right? Therefore, it’s not surprising that we get a lot of questions about what the minimum wage is and what salary people should be getting paid for what they do. This post aims to answer this question in two simple parts, starting with information about the minimum that you should be getting paid and then what you should expect to be paid, based on job market information.

The minimum wage and salary you should be getting paid

The minimum wage was designed to provide for a basic standard of living and to protect the health and well-being of employees in Australia. As of 01 July 2018, the national minimum wage in Australia is currently $18.93 per hour or $23.66 for casual employees1. Many employees in Australia are also covered by modern awards or Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBA), which are legal documents that outline the minimum pay rates and other terms and conditions for employees across various industries and occupations2.

The modern award and EBA system in Australia can be quite complex, so if you’re in doubt about the minimum amount you should be getting paid for your job, contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94 between 8am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday (except for public holidays)3. The average wait time is said to be around 30 minutes but you can also jump online and use their self service pay and conditions tool.

Source: The Guardian

What you should expect to be paid

Now that you understand the minimum you should be getting paid, here’s the fun part. Salary benchmarking reports are widely available in Australia, allowing people like you and I, to compare whether or not their remuneration packages are in line with the rest of the job market. Yearly salary reports can be downloaded from several consulting firms (e.g. Michael Page and Hays Recruitment) but can be quite large and unwieldy documents to run through. So to make things easier for you, they’ve developed free, easy and useful tools to check how much you should expect to be paid compared to others in similar occupations and industries:

These tools are great and will give you an indication of what typical salaries and potential earnings are for your occupation and industry. However, if it looks like your salary falls short of the market data, don’t go storming into your boss’s office tomorrow morning demanding a pay rise. Negotiating a pay rise is somewhat of an art and takes diplomacy and a planned approach as it can backfire if done without a clear strategy. We’ll cover this further in a future post.

Do you have a general question about your work or career? Or are you facing a hard or tricky workplace issue that you’d like advice about? Email your question through to and we’ll answer it in a future blog post.

  1. “Minimum wages” Fair Work Ombudsman. Retrieved 16 July 2018
  2. “Awards & agreements” Fair Work Ombudsman. Retrieved 16 July 2018
  3. “Call us” Fair Work Ombudsman. Retrieved 16 July 2018

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