The Truth About How Much Professors Make In Australia

The average salary of a professor in Australia is $134,824 but this is a broad spectrum as it can be affected by many factors. These include their experience and level attained as well as the industry they are employed in.


As a new college graduate, how much money can you really expect to earn in your first job teaching English? Well, a lot actually. The average starting salary for university lecturers in Australia is about $56,000 (AUD). This is without a PhD and without full-time experience. Some teaching jobs pay even more! Let’s take a look at what the numbers are saying and where your money will come from to help you become financially stable and prepared for the future!

Universities in Australia publish their salary scales. I’ve included some example links below, but they are easy to Google if you want the specifics for a particular university.

Note that in Australia, the title “Professor” is only given to the most senior and accomplished academic staff — it’s unusual to be a full professor before the age of 50 and not unusual to reach retirement without ever becoming a professor. A typical salary for a professor would be a little over AU$180,000/year plus 17% superannuation (i.e. employer contributions to a retirement fund).

The rank in Australian academia that is considered equivalent to the rank of Assistant Professor in the US and countries that follow its system is Lecturer (Academic ranks (Australia and New Zealand) – Wikipedia). This is the most common rank at which universities hire academic staff to faculty positions that are intended to be ongoing. A beginning lecturer would usually have a PhD and a few years of postdoctoral research experience, and would earn around $97,000/year plus 17% superannuation.

Some teaching is done by Associate Lecturers, who might be recent PhD graduates who do not have much postdoctoral experience (who would earn about $86,000/year plus super) or PhD students who have not yet graduated (who might earn $68,000/year, pro-rated according to the hours worked) or other junior academic staff hired, for instance, to fill in for a lecturer on maternity leave or sabbatical.

Unlike many countries, salary scales for academics in Australia do not depend on your subject area, so Australian academics in subjects like Education and History might be considered very well paid in comparison to their counterparts in the US, while academics in subjects like Engineering and Business may not be considered as well paid. Some academic staff in fields that are difficult to recruit to may be on individual contracts that allow a higher salary.


In Australia, professors make an average of AUD$85,000 a year. This can vary depending on whether they are working in a public or private school, as well as on their educational level and degrees. The median pay for professors in Australia is AUD$77,822 a year.

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