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Attorney Average Salary in Australia 2020

How much money does an Attorney make in Australia?


Average Yearly Salary
137,000 AUD
( 11,400 AUD monthly)

LOW
63,000
AUD
AVERAGE
137,000
AUD
HIGH
218,000
AUD

A person working as an Attorney in Australia typically earns around 137,000 AUD per year. Salaries range from 63,000 AUD (lowest) to 218,000 AUD (highest).

This is the average yearly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Attorney salaries vary drastically based on experience, skills, gender, or location. Below you will find a detailed breakdown based on many different criteria.

Attorney Salary Distribution in Australia

Median and salary distribution yearly Australia Attorney
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The median, the maximum, the minimum, and the range

  • Salary Range

    Attorney salaries in Australia range from 63,000 AUD per year (minimum salary) to 218,000 AUD per year (maximum salary).

  • Median Salary

    The median salary is 148,000 AUD per year, which means that half (50%) of people working as Attorney(s) are earning less than 148,000 AUD while the other half are earning more than 148,000 AUD. The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph with the group earning more than the median salary.

  • Percentiles

    Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of Attorney(s) are earning less than 95,000 AUD while 75% of them are earning more than 95,000 AUD. Also from the diagram, 75% of Attorney(s) are earning less than 198,000 AUD while 25% are earning more than 198,000 AUD.


What is the difference between the median and the average salary?

Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both of the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people are earning more than you and there is plenty of room for improvement. If your wage is between the average and the median, then things can be a bit complicated. We wrote a guide to explain all about the different scenarios. How to compare your salary

Attorney Salary Comparison by Years of Experience

How does experience and age affect your pay?

Salary comparison by years of experience yearly Australia Attorney
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The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary. Naturally the more years of experience the higher your wage. We broke down Attorney salaries by experience level and this is what we found.

An Attorney with less than two years of experience makes approximately 71,600 AUD per year.

While someone with an experience level between two and five years is expected to earn 95,600 AUD per year, 34% more than someone with less than two year's experience.

Moving forward, an experience level between five and ten years lands a salary of 141,000 AUD per year, 48% more than someone with two to five years of experience.

On average, a person's salary doubles their starting salary by the time they cross the 10 years* experience mark.
* Based on the average change in salary over time. Salary variations differ from person to person.

Additionally, Attorney(s) whose expertise span anywhere between ten and fifteen years get a salary equivalent to 172,000 AUD per year, 22% more than someone with five to ten years of experience.

If the experience level is between fifteen and twenty years, then the expected wage is 188,000 AUD per year, 9% more than someone with ten to fifteen years of experience.

Lastly, employees with more than twenty years of professional experience get a salary of 203,000 AUD per year, 8% more than people with fifteen to twenty years of experience.


Attorney average salary change by experience in Australia

0 - 2 Years
71,600 AUD
2 - 5 Years+34%
95,600 AUD
5 - 10 Years+48%
141,000 AUD
10 - 15 Years+22%
172,000 AUD
15 - 20 Years+9%
188,000 AUD
20+ Years+8%
203,000 AUD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Typical Salary Progress for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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Attorney Salary Comparison By Education

How do education levels affect salaries?

Displayed below is the average salary difference between different Attorney(s) who have the same experience but different education levels.

Salary comparison by education level yearly Australia Attorney
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We all know that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We broke down Attorney salaries by education level in order to make a comparison.

When the education level is Bachelor's Degree, the average salary of an Attorney is 81,600 AUD per year.

While someone with a Master's Degree gets a salary of 128,000 AUD per year, 57% more than someone having a Bachelor's Degree degree.

A PhD gets its holder an average salary of 215,000 AUD per year, 68% more than someone with a Master's Degree.


Attorney average salary difference by education level in Australia

Bachelor's Degree
81,600 AUD
Master's Degree+57%
128,000 AUD
PhD+68%
215,000 AUD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Is a Master's degree or an MBA worth it? Should you pursue higher education?

A Master's degree program or any post-graduate program in Australia costs anywhere from 38,100 Australian Dollar(s) to 114,000 Australian Dollar(s) and lasts approximately two years. That is quite an investment.

You can't really expect any salary increases during the study period, assuming you already have a job. In most cases, a salary review is conducted once education is completed and the degree has been attained.

Many people pursue higher education as a tactic to switch into a higher paying job. The numbers seem to support the thoery. The average increase in compensation while changing jobs is approximately 10% more than the customary salary increment.

If you can afford the costs of higher education, the return on investment is definitely worth it. You should be able to recover the costs in roughly a year or so.


Typical Salary Difference by Education for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Education Level
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Attorney Salary Comparison By Gender

Salary comparison by gender yearly Australia Attorney
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Though gender should not have an effect on pay, in reality, it does. So who gets paid more: men or women? Male Attorney employees in Australia earn 8% more than their female counterparts.

Female
132,000 AUD
Male+8%
142,000 AUD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Comparison By Gender in Australia for all Careers

Salary comparison by gender yearly Australia
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Attorney Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage in Australia

How much are annual salary increments in Australia for Attorney(s)? How often do employees get salary raises?

Attorney

Attorney(s) in Australia are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 12% every 17 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 8% granted to employees every 16 months.

Annual Salary Increment Rate Australia Attorney
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The figures provided here are averages of numbers. Those figures should be taken as general guidelines. Salary increments will vary from person to person and depend on many factors, but your performance and contribution to the success of the organization remain the most important factors in determining how much and how often you will be granted a raise.

Australia / All Professions

Annual Salary Increment Rate Australia
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The term 'Annual Salary Increase' usually refers to the increase in 12 calendar month period, but because it is rarely that people get their salaries reviewed exactly on the one year mark, it is more meaningful to know the frequency and the rate at the time of the increase.

How to calculate the salary increment percentage?

The annual salary Increase in a calendar year (12 months) can be easily calculated as follows: Annual Salary Increase = Increase Rate x 12 ÷ Increase Frequency

The average salary increase in one year (12 months) in Australia is 6%.

Annual Increment Rate By Industry 2019

Banking
4%
Energy
8%
Information Technology
3%
Healthcare
7%
Travel
2%
Construction
6%
Education
1%

Listed above are the average annual increase rates for each industry in Australia for the year 2019. Companies within thriving industries tend to provide higher and more frequent raises. Exceptions do exist, but generally speaking, the situation of any company is closely related to the economic situation in the country or region. These figures tend to change frequently.


Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs

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Attorney Bonus and Incentive Rates in Australia

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate Australia Attorney
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An Attorney is considered to be a high bonus-based job due to the generally limited involvement in direct revenue generation, with exceptions of course. The people who get the highest bonuses are usually somehow involved in the revenue generation cycle.

14% of surveyed staff reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 86% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 5% to 9% of their annual salary.

Received Bonus
86%
No Bonus
14%

Types of Bonuses Considered

Individual Performance-Based Bonuses

The most standard form of bonus where the employee is awarded based on their exceptional performance.

Company Performance Bonuses

Occasionally, some companies like to celebrate excess earnings and profits with their staff collectively in the form of bonuses that are granted to everyone. The amount of the bonus will probably be different from person to person depending on their role within the organization.

Goal-Based Bonuses

Granted upon achieving an important goal or milestone.

Holiday / End of Year Bonuses

These types of bonuses are given without a reason and usually resemble an appreciation token.

Bonuses Are Not Commissions!

People tend to confuse bonuses with commissions. A commission is a prefixed rate at which someone gets paid for items sold or deals completed while a bonus is in most cases arbitrary and unplanned.


What makes a position worthy of good bonuses and a high salary?

The main two types of jobs

Revenue GeneratorsSupporting Cast

Employees that are directly involved in generating revenue or profit for the organization. Their field of expertise usually matches the type of business.

Employees that support and facilitate the work of revenue generators. Their expertise is usually different from that of the core business operations.

Example:
A graphics designer working for a graphics designing company.

Example:
A graphic designer in the marketing department of a hospital.


Revenue generators usually get more and higher bonuses, higher salaries, and more frequent salary increments. The reason is quite simple: it is easier to quantify your value to the company in monetary terms when you participate in revenue generation.

Try to work for companies where your skills can generate revenue. We can't all generate revenue and that's perfectly fine.

Bonus Comparison by Seniority Level

Top management personnel and senior employees naturally exhibit higher bonus rates and frequencies than juniors. This is very predictable due to the inherent responsibilities of being higher in the hierarchy. People in top positions can easily get double or triple bonus rates than employees down the pyramid.

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

Public vs private sector salaries yearly Australia
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Where can you get paid more, working for a private company or for the government? Public sector Attorney employees in Australia earn 5% more than their private sector counterparts.

Private Sector
89,400 AUD
Public Sector+5%
93,800 AUD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Attorney Salary Trend and Forecast in Australia

How are Attorney salaries changing over time? Listed below is a chart that shows the average salary in recent years.

Salary trends and forecast yearly Australia Attorney
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Average Salary 2016
118,000 AUD
Average Salary 2017+4%
123,000 AUD
Average Salary 2018+4%
127,000 AUD
Average Salary 2019+4%
132,000 AUD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Attorney salaries in Australia are on the rise in the year 2020 based on recent submitted salaries and reports. As displayed in the chart, salaries in 2019 are 4% higher than those of 2018. The trend suggests a slow yet continuous increase in pay in 2021 and future years. These numbers may vary from industry to another.

Attorney Average Hourly Wage in Australia


66 AUD per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in Australia is 66 AUD. This means that the average Attorney in Australia earns approximately 66 AUD for every worked hour.


Hourly Wage = Annual Salary ÷ ( 52 x 5 x 8 )

The hourly wage is the salary paid in one worked hour. Usually jobs are classified into two categories: salaried jobs and hourly jobs. Salaried jobs pay a fix amount regardless of the hours worked. Hourly jobs pay per worked hour. To convert salary into hourly wage the above formula is used (assuming 5 working days in a week and 8 working hours per day which is the standard for most jobs). The hourly wage calculation may differ slightly depending on the worked hours per week and the annual vacation allowance. The figures mentioned above are good approximations and are considered to be the standard. One major difference between salaried employees and hourly paid employees is overtime eligibility. Salaried employees are usually exempt from overtime as opposed to hourly paid staff.

Attorney VS Other Jobs

Salary Comparison Between Attorney and Legal yearly Australia
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The average salary for Attorney is 36% more than that of Legal. Also, Legal salaries are 10% more than those of All Jobs.

Salary comparison with similar jobs

Job TitleAverage Salary
Administrative Law Judge147,000 AUD+7%
Arbitrator116,000 AUD-15%
Associate Attorney109,000 AUD-20%
Attorney137,000 AUD-0%
Bailiff84,800 AUD-38%
Barrister70,700 AUD-48%
Candidate Attorney94,500 AUD-31%
Conciliator85,900 AUD-37%
Contracts Manager115,000 AUD-16%
Contracts Negotiator101,000 AUD-26%
Conveyancing Secretary60,500 AUD-56%
Corporate Counsel101,000 AUD-26%
Counsel102,000 AUD-26%
Court Clerk59,600 AUD-57%
Court Judicial Assistant79,700 AUD-42%
Court Liaison Specialist86,600 AUD-37%
Court Reporter97,100 AUD-29%
Court Representative92,400 AUD-33%
Crown Prosecution Service Lawyer154,000 AUD+12%
Immigration Executive145,000 AUD+6%
In House Counsel90,300 AUD-34%
Intellectual Property Specialist94,700 AUD-31%
Judge Advocate142,000 AUD+4%
Law Clerk64,900 AUD-53%
Lawyer146,000 AUD+7%
Legal Administrative Assistant66,100 AUD-52%
Legal Advisor114,000 AUD-17%
Legal Assistant68,800 AUD-50%
Legal Associate88,900 AUD-35%
Legal Consultant116,000 AUD-15%
Legal Counsel108,000 AUD-21%
Legal Editor84,000 AUD-39%
Legal Executive107,000 AUD-22%
Legal Executive Secretary72,300 AUD-47%
Legal IP Officer62,300 AUD-55%
Legal Officer70,500 AUD-49%
Legal Services Director169,000 AUD+23%
Legal Services Manager146,000 AUD+7%
Legal Support Worker56,200 AUD-59%
Legislative Liaison88,600 AUD-35%
Litigation Attorney140,000 AUD+2%
Litigation Paralegal140,000 AUD+2%
Magistrate Judge146,000 AUD+7%
Paralegal139,000 AUD+1%
Patent Attorney141,000 AUD+3%
Staff Attorney120,000 AUD-12%

Salary Comparison By City

CityAverage Salary
Adelaide142,000 AUD
Brisbane144,000 AUD
Canberra-Queanbeyan128,000 AUD
Gold Coast-Tweed141,000 AUD
Gosford122,000 AUD
Melbourne144,000 AUD
Newcastle124,000 AUD
Perth143,000 AUD
Sunshine Coast126,000 AUD
Sydney145,000 AUD
Wollongong122,000 AUD
88080 - 5

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