Choosing a career based on money v passion and the top paying jobs in Australia

Cara Brett 28 August 2017

Remember when you were in year 11 and 12 in high school and you had to have a meeting with the guidance counselor about what you wanted to do at Uni? It was all about what you were good at and what you liked doing. Because you are young, you typically don’t know what jobs are available to you other than the typical Doctor, Nurse, Teacher, Lawyer situation.

So you figure out what you are good at and decide from there what you are going to be for the rest of your life.

It’s not based on whether you like the pay, or whether you like the lifestyle. For example, if you chose to be a nurse, did you consider that shift work is almost compulsory? If you chose to become a scientist, did you realise that getting a full time permanent job has about the same odds as finding a golden unicorn?
If you chose to become a journalist did you think about the constant deadlines?

In reality there is more to choosing a career or a job than just ‘am I good at it’ or ‘do I like doing it’. Yes this will factor into the decision making process but there is so much more to it.

Some questions you should be asking include:

  • Am I prepared to working irregular hours, or would a 9 to 5 job suit me better?
  • How much do I want to be paid? How much money to do I want to earn to live the life that I want?
  • Will I need to continually study to keep up with my profession?
  • Is it easy or difficult to get a job in this field?

All of these factors are just as important as choosing ‘what you are good at’.

So, if you are thinking of changing careers (or starting careers for any random highschoolers reading this blog), I have the top 10 jobs in Australia based on income. Like I said, money is not the be all and end all but I don’t think it is being shallow when taking into account factors about how you want to live your life:

1 – Surgeons – Avg of $377,044

2 – Anesthetists – Avg of $341,041

3 – Internal Medicine Specialists – Avg of $281,547

4 – Finance Dealers – Avg of $235,444

5 – Psychiatrists – Avg of $204,236

6 – Other Medical Practitioners – Ave of $192,469

7 – Judicial and other Legal Professions – Avg of $191,201

8 – Mining Engineers – Avg of $174,115

9 – Chief Executives and Managing Directors – Avg of $157,105

10 – Engineering Managers – Avg of $148,216

Source: ATO

Now I’m definitely no career coach and don’t pretend to be but when I was young, I had no guidance around any of this kind of thing. I luckily ended up in finance only by chance and fell in love with it, but it also ticked other boxes in relation to how I wanted to live my life.

For me, it’s about the whole package, and the financial side should definitely be a consideration when it comes to choosing a career too. If you can combine something you enjoy that ticks other boxes like the financial side, then you are on a pretty good road to success.

This post is from our resident Financial Planner Cara Brett, check out her details in the About Us section.

Posted in: Cara BrettFinancial Planning

About the author: Cara Brett

Cara Brett proudly heads up Bounce Financial - founded in 2014 after a successful, decade-long career in the financial services industry. Cara’s experience encompasses both the financial product and financial advice sides. This gives her a comprehensive and holistic knowledge of all facets of financial planning.