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Legal Average Salaries in Australia 2024

How much money does a person working in Legal make in Australia?

Average Yearly Salary
118,000 AUD
( 9,830 AUD monthly)

All salary figures displayed here are per year except when noted otherwise.
All salary and compensation figures displayed here are gross salary figures, that is the salary before tax deductions. Because taxes may differ across sectors and locations, it is difficult to accurately calculate the net salary after tax for every career.

A person working in Legal in Australia typically earns around 118,000 AUD. Salaries range from 33,800 AUD (lowest average) to 270,000 AUD (highest average, actual maximum salary is higher).

Salary Variance

The provided figure represents the median compensation that encompasses housing, transportation, and other perks. The salaries within the Legal domain in Australia exhibit significant discrepancies across various professions. In case you seek information about the remuneration of a specific position, please refer to the salaries listed below for respective job titles.

Salaries for specific jobs

Job TitleAverage Salary
Administrative Law Judge264,000 AUD
Arbitrator120,000 AUD
Associate Attorney121,000 AUD
Attorney186,000 AUD
Bailiff59,600 AUD
Barrister49,500 AUD
Blockchain Lawyer129,000 AUD
Candidate Attorney101,000 AUD
Conciliator89,300 AUD
Contracts Associate56,400 AUD
Contracts Manager109,000 AUD
Contracts Negotiator83,500 AUD
Contracts Specialist57,200 AUD
Conveyancing Secretary50,800 AUD
Corporate Counsel136,000 AUD
Counsel137,000 AUD
Court Clerk40,500 AUD
Court Judicial Assistant68,300 AUD
Court Liaison Specialist80,300 AUD
Court Reporter69,400 AUD
Court Representative56,100 AUD
Crown Prosecution Service Lawyer256,000 AUD
Data Privacy and Protection Lawyer160,000 AUD
Digital Forensics Lawyer147,000 AUD
E-discovery Lawyer161,000 AUD
General Counsel245,000 AUD
Genetics Lawyer188,000 AUD
Immigration Executive128,000 AUD
In House Counsel127,000 AUD
Intellectual Property Lawyer176,000 AUD
Intellectual Property Specialist86,900 AUD
Judge Advocate206,000 AUD
Law Clerk43,300 AUD
Lawyer190,000 AUD
Legal Administrative Assistant47,100 AUD
Legal Advisor112,000 AUD
Legal Assistant50,700 AUD
Legal Associate88,900 AUD
Legal Compliance Officer117,000 AUD
Legal Consultant109,000 AUD
Legal Consultant113,000 AUD
Legal Content Writer97,900 AUD
Legal Counsel131,000 AUD
Legal Data Analyst102,000 AUD
Legal Data Privacy Officer99,000 AUD
Legal Editor84,000 AUD
Legal Executive165,000 AUD
Legal Executive Secretary50,400 AUD
Legal IP Officer46,900 AUD
Legal Officer57,400 AUD
Legal Operations Manager206,000 AUD
Legal Process Outsourcing Professional118,000 AUD
Legal Project Manager216,000 AUD
Legal Risk Analyst170,000 AUD
Legal Secretary49,100 AUD
Legal Services Director220,000 AUD
Legal Services Manager207,000 AUD
Legal Support Worker34,400 AUD
Legal Technology Consultant86,000 AUD
Legislative Liaison88,600 AUD
Litigation Attorney218,000 AUD
Litigation Paralegal115,000 AUD
Litigation Support Specialist117,000 AUD
Magistrate Judge281,000 AUD
Paralegal73,300 AUD
Patent Attorney138,000 AUD
Privacy Compliance Officer86,500 AUD
Privacy Lawyer152,000 AUD
Social Media Lawyer146,000 AUD
Staff Attorney138,000 AUD
Venture Capital Lawyer198,000 AUD
Web Content Lawyer149,000 AUD

Legal Jobs Pay Scale and Salaries in Australia

Median and salary distribution Australia Legal yearly
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Salary Structure and Pay Scale Comparison

5% of people earn
128,000 AUD or more
10% of people earn
105,000 to 128,000 AUD
20% of people earn
52,700 AUD or less
65% of people earn
52,700 to 105,000 AUD
Minimum Salary
33,800 AUD
105,000 AUD
270,000 AUD

Median Salary, maximum and minimum salary, minimum wage, starting salary, and the salary range

All salary figures displayed here are per year except when noted otherwise.
  • Salary Range, Minimum Wage, and Starting Salary

    Salaries in Legal in Australia range from 33,800 AUD (starting average salary) to 270,000 AUD (maximum average salary, actual maximum is higher). To clarify, the number presented is not the legally mandated minimum wage. Rather, it represents the lowest figure reported in a salary survey that involved thousands of participants and professionals from across the entire country.

  • Median Salary

    The median income in the field of Legal is 105,000 AUD, implying that half of the workforce in Australia earns less than this figure, and the other half earns more. It represents the central value of salaries. As a rule of thumb, you would prefer to be part of the group earning above the median wage, situated on the right-hand side of the salary distribution chart.

  • Percentiles and Salary Scale

    Two values that are highly correlated with the median are the 25th and 75th percentiles. By examining the salary distribution diagram, it is possible to determine that 25% of individuals employed in Legal in Australia earn less than 77,600 AUD, while 75% of them earn more. Additionally, the diagram reveals that 75% of individuals earn less than 133,000 AUD, while 25% earn more than that.

  • Pay Scale Structure

    Data was regrouped into brackets to provide a better understanding of what salaries can be expected. This approach was deemed more accurate than relying solely on the average salary, as it offers greater insights into the distribution of salaries in the field of Legal in Australia. The analysis revealed that roughly 65% of all reported salaries fell within the range of 52,700 AUD to 105,000 AUD. Approximately 20% of salaries were below the 52,700 AUD mark, while 10% ranged from 105,000 AUD to 128,000 AUD. Only 5% of individuals earned a gross salary of 128,000 AUD or higher.

Salary Comparison by Years of Experience

How does a person's salary progress over time?

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary. Naturally, the more years of experience the higher the wage.

Generally speaking, employees in Legal in Australia having experience from two to five years earn on average 32% more than freshers and juniors across all industries and disciplines.

Professionals with experience of more than five years tend to earn on average 36% more than those with five years or less of work experience.

As you hit the ten years mark, the salary increases by 21% and an additional 14% for those who have crossed the 15 years mark.

Those figures are presented as guidelines only. The numbers become more significant if you consider one job title at a time.

Change in salary based on experience varies drastically from one location to another and depends hugely on the career field as well. The data displayed here is the combined average of many different jobs. To view accurate figures, choose a specific job title.
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.

Salary Comparison By Education

How does the education level affect your salary?

Salary Comparison By Education
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Change in salary based on education varies drastically from one location to another and depends hugely on the career field as well. The data displayed here is the combined average of multiple jobs. To view accurate figures, choose a specific job title.

It is well known that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income?

We compared the salaries of professionals at the same level but with different college degree levels across many jobs in Legal in Australia, below are our findings.

Workers with a certificate or diploma earn on average 17% more than their peers who only reached the high school level.

Employees who earned a Bachelor's Degree earn 24% more than those who only managed to attain a certificate or diploma.

Professionals who attained a Master's Degree are awarded salaries that are 29% more than those with a Bachelor's Degree.

Finally, PhD holders earn 23% more than Master's Degree holders on average while doing the same job.

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 38,000 AUD to 114,000 AUD and lasts approximately two years. That is quite an investment.

Employees can't expect any salary increases during the study period, assuming they 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 to a higher-paying job. The numbers seem to support this tactic. The average increase in compensation while changing jobs is approximately 10% more than the customary salary increment.

The decision really depends on the situation and experience among many other factors. Putting all variables aside, if a person can afford the costs of higher education then the return on investment is definitely worth it. Degree costs can be recovered roughly in a year or so.

Salary and Compensation Comparison By Gender / Legal / Australia

Salary comparison by gender Australia Legal yearly
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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? In the field of Legal in Australia, the average difference between the salary of male and female employees is 5%.

121,000 AUD
115,000 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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Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage / Legal / Australia

How much are annual salary increments in Australia for individuals working in Legal? How often do employees get salary raises?

Professionals working in Legal in Australia are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 10% every 14 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 8% granted to employees every 16 months.

Annual Salary Increment Rate Australia Legal
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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 rare 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%.

Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs

World Average Annual Salary Increment
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Salary Packages and Schemes

Not all compensation increases are reflected directly in the salary. Some companies offer upgraded packages to their staff instead of cash money. The figures displayed here account only for direct increments to the base salary.

Bonus and Incentive Rates / Legal / Australia

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate Australia Legal
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46% of surveyed staff in Legal reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 54% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 3% to 6% of their annual salary.

Received Bonus
No Bonus

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.

A graphics designer working for a graphics designing company.

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.

Hourly Average Wage / Legal / Australia

57 AUD per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in Legal in Australia is 57 AUD.This is the rate they get paid for every worked hour.

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

About The Hourly Pay Rate

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 fixed 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.

What is the minimum hourly rate of pay?

The minimum pay rate per hour for people working in Legal in Australia is 16 AUD. This is the minimum as per the gathered data in the salary survey not the minimum hourly rate mandated by law.

Salary Comparison By City

CityAverage Salary
Adelaide130,000 AUD
Brisbane135,000 AUD
Canberra-Queanbeyan125,000 AUD
Gold Coast-Tweed128,000 AUD
Gosford115,000 AUD
Melbourne137,000 AUD
Newcastle123,000 AUD
Perth133,000 AUD
Sunshine Coast120,000 AUD
Sydney140,000 AUD
Wollongong118,000 AUD

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

Where can you get paid more, working in a private company or the government? The difference between the public or government sector salaries and the private sector salaries in Australia is 5% on average across all career fields.

Private Sector
89,000 AUD
Public Sector+5%
93,400 AUD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Statistics and Calculation Guide

What is considered to be a good and competitive salary in Legal in Australia?

A good and competitive compensation would range anywhere between 105,000 AUD and 133,000 AUD. This is a very rough estimate. Experience and education play a very huge part in the final earnings.

Gross Salary (before tax) and Net Salary (after tax)

All salary and compensation figures displayed here are gross salary figures, that is the salary before tax deductions. Because taxes may differ across sectors and locations, it is difficult to accurately calculate the net salary after tax for every career.

Base / Basic Salary

The base salary for jobs in Legal in Australia ranges from 33,800 AUD to 77,600 AUD. The base salary depends on many factors including experience and education. It is not easy to provide a figure with very little information, so take this range with a grain of salt.

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

Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people earn 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

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