Recruitment company Seek has released a set of figures showing Australia’s highest paying jobs, with four legal entrants making the top 20 for 2018.
“Generalists – In-house” were the highest ranked for the legal industry at number five on the list, pulling an average salary of $128,988.
This ranked lawyers behind first-placed information and communication technology architects ($138,144), followed by managers in the engineering ($138,144), information and communication technology ($132,307), and mining, resources and energy ($131,462) sectors.
Coming in 11th place are construction lawyers, with a reported salary averaging $124,041, placing them behind accountants, construction managers, project managers, and superannuation and insurance managers.
Corporate and commercial lawyers and tax lawyers rounded out the top 20, at 19th and 20th place respectively. Corporate and commercial lawyers reportedly earn $118,558 on average while their tax counterparts earn just under this at $118,212.
It contrasts heavily with the top 20 highest paying jobs listed for 2013, where no legal sector jobs made the list due to heavy dominance from the mining, resources and energy sector. In the figures from five years ago, mining exploration and geoscience took out the top spot, with a reported salary of $146,596, while the 20th highest paying job went to mining’s health, safety and environment positions, with an average pay of $125,777.
Seek has also released figures to show the average salary across the legal industry is $95,870 in 2018, a 1.09 per cent increase on 2013’s statistics.
The average salary for 2018 across all industries included in the research is $83,778. Across the same five-year period, this saw a 1.2 per cent increase on the 2013 average across all sectors from $82,793, marking the legal salary wage increase as below average.
Earlier this month, Lawyers Weekly reported on a salary guide highlighting the “considerable difference” between lawyers starting off their careers in top-tier firms compared to boutique firms, and provided insight into what private practice firms pay their support staff.
This came after research revealed that bonus figures in larger firms can be up to 20 per cent of base remuneration packages.