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$130,000 job with 'no qualifications' that could break ATO best paid Aussies list

Surgeons may always earn the big bucks, but for the rest of us, remaining above the AI line could be key to earning big money.

Glen James and Sharni Campbell
Experts weigh in on the jobs Aussies should be looking at for higher incomes. (Source: Glen James/Sharni Campbell)

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) recently revealed its top jobs list based on the jobs with the highest taxable incomes. Many of the high-earning roles remain unchanged from previous years.

Surgeons retained the top spot earning an average of $460,356, and have been in the top spot consistently since 2010. Financial dealers, anaesthetists, internal medicine specialists and judicial or other legal professionals are among other jobs on the list that come up year after year.

But what does the future hold for high-paying jobs?

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Glen James, author of Sort Your Career Out and Make More Money, told Yahoo Finance that many of the top jobs “carry huge elements of risk”.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see more roles in these salary lists that reflect technological trends, but I think the top earners will remain those who hold our lives in their hands,” he adds.

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Recruitment expert Sharni Campbell, Director at Synergy Sales Consulting, said digital industries like the “info product” and “digital media” sectors are “on track to be some of the fastest growing industries in the world.”

“Growth in these online sectors has created huge opportunities for highly paid skill sets such as high ticket sales,” she said.

“This high salary role has quite a low barrier to entry, compared to the ATO top jobs list, with no formal qualifications required.”

“The average wage of a high ticket salesperson is upwards of $130,000 per year.”

But Glen James believes that starting with your own skills and strengths is the key to hitting higher incomes.

“Work in a role that utilises your strengths and double down on that,” he said. “That can look like training, studying, gaining work experience, putting your hand up for new projects – just generally being prepared to learn and grow.”

He said that the drastic shift in the work paradigm means changing the way we approach our work and staying abreast of in-demand jobs.

“The idea of the 30-year career is dead," he said.

“Workers need to be agile and ready to shift roles or even industries when changes come through."

He recommended that Aussies look to “super transferable skills” to ensure they’re able to adapt.

The evolution of AI could present new opportunities for those open to taking on new training and investing in their own development. New research from Amazon Web Services (AWS) suggested that acquiring relevant AI expertise could see salaries jump by 29 per cent or more.

In addition to AI-specific expertise, Sharni expressed the importance of staying “above the AI line” by pursuing skills that cannot be replaced by AI.

“Roles that require trust and personal relationships are unlikely to be replaced by AI,” she said.

These may include innately “human skills” like negotiation, emotional intelligence, empathy, persuasion and conflict resolution.

In the world of sales, Sharni said the need for these skills “makes human salespeople indispensable.”

“Prior to COVID, the first question I would be asked from jobseekers when interviewing them would be around salary [but] in 2024, many jobseekers I meet are prioritising the ability to work remotely over salary,” Sharni said.

In addition to flexibility, Glen reminds workers to consider job satisfaction.

“Chasing the money above all else is a big issue,” he said.

“You’ll always earn more when you work [to] your strengths because your performance will be the best it can be.

“If you seek a high salary but don’t have the skill set to match it, or it’s not fulfilling and interesting work, you won’t be satisfied.”

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