11 Highest Paying Blue Collar Jobs in Australia

Today we present you highest paying blue collar jobs in Australia together with employment prospects for these top earning occupations. Currently, many Australian tradies earn more than their white-collar colleagues, but industries dominated by office employees will see the greatest employment gains in the next few years, at least that is what official projections say.

11 Highest Paying Blue Collar Jobs in Australia


Latest biannual Survey of Average Weekly Earnings shows that five out of 10 highest paying industries belong to the blue-collar sector. With $2,523 weekly salary, mining is the top-paying field, followed by financial and insurance services, whose employees earn $1,809 per month. Electricity, gas, water and waste services, construction, transport, wholes trade, all of which recruit great share of blue collar workers, also found their place among currently most profitable industries. In terms of salary growth, blue collar workers have also experienced positive changes. Transport, postal and warehousing tops with 24.4 percent increase in last five years, while mining workers receive 20 percent higher paycheck. Workers in wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing and construction also saw a significant rise in earnings of around 17 percent. And while blue collar sectors do not skimp on salaries, projected job growth for some blue collar occupations is rather poor.

Between 2010 and 2015 employment in Australia increased by 7.1 percent mainly thanks to gains in white collar sectors such as health care and social assistance, and professional, scientific and technical services. At the same time, the number of workers in agriculture, forestry and fishing decreased by 15.1 percent, while labor force in manufacturing dropped down by 6.0 per cent. Mining, which recorded significant surge of workers in previous years, has been on downward track since 2014. Furthermore, projections show that negative employment growth in manufacturing and mining will continue in next couple of years as many plants and mines will be shut down across the country. However, the future is not bleak for all blue collar occupations. For instance, construction is expected to add 137,900 new employees, mainly in building installation and completion services, while accommodation and food services will gain 112,400 workers. Major job gains will occur across other blue collar industries as well.

In compiling the list of 11 highest paying blue collar jobs in Australia we relied on Australian Government’s data on average weekly earnings for all occupations. Besides weekly wage, we present projected employment growth obtained from Department of Employment, and skill levels requirements for the job (detail description of skill level classification in Australia can be found here). In case you do not find the occupation that suits you on this list, you can check our previous ranking 11 highest paying blue collar jobs in Canada.