9 surprising Aussie jobs which pay more than $100k per year

·Contributing editor
Jobs with surprisingly high pay. Source: Getty Images
Jobs with surprisingly high pay. Source: Getty Images

You don't have to be a high-flying CEO to earn a six-figure pay, there are more achievable and exciting jobs where you can still earn a decent sum.

Here are 9 jobs which have an annual median salary of $100,000 or more, according to data from PayScale. And you might be surprised what makes the list.

1. Air traffic controller

Median annual salary: $101,000

Being responsible for the safe arrival and departure of aircrafts has its benefits – air traffic controllers have a media salary of $101,000 but can earn up to $129,000 per year.

2. Reservoir engineer

Median annual salary: $121,000

Reservoir engineers attempt to extract the maximum amount of energy without over-tapping the reservoir. In order to fill this role, professionals need a degree in chemical engineering plus experience in a field that is highly technical and nuanced.

3. Software architect

Median annual salary: $111,000

If you like to code, you're in luck. These tech-savvy workers make big bucks, and there is high demand for them, up to $160,000 per year for some candidates. Most need a bachelor's degree in math or software engineering and should know how to work well with others.

4. Airline Pilot

Median annual salary: $102,000

Pilots need to be seasoned managers and savvy communicators who are comfortable with a non-standard schedule. Commercial pilots usually have a bachelor's degree, certification and a pilot's license. Land yourself the right pilot role and your $102,000 salary could suddenly become as much as a whopping $225,000.

5. Special agent

Median annual salary: $125,000

It's not just a job for movie actors. Being a special agent is a high-adrenaline job you could land for a government organisation like the FBI or for a private company. Candidates usually have a law enforcement background or military experience along with an undergraduate degree in criminal justice. Nontraditional and on-call hours are part of the game.

6. Geophysicist

Median annual salary: $148,000

Do you know what a geophysicist is? You’re not alone. But if you've always been interested in nature, this job could be for you. Geophysicists use seismic, electrical and magnetic tools to study the Earth. The job comes with a decent entry-level wage just shy of $100,000 which can quickly rocket up $290,000 with some experience under your belt.

7. Drilling engineers

Median annual salary: $146,000

Drilling engineers can have a lucrative career in oil, gas or water drilling. The job requires a bachelor of science degree in petroleum or mechanical engineering. Candidates should be great communicators and have experience in the field. An entry level drilling engineer can earn a respectable $99,000 at the beginning of a lucrative career in oil, gas or water drilling. But with a couple of years of experience under their belt, that can rocket up as far as $250,000.

8. Offshore underwater welder

Median annual salary: $180,000

An Australian underwater welder – someone who repairs, installs and inspects pipelines – can earn up to $65,000 per year, but for those who are willing to take the added the risk and take the jobs offshore to deeper, scarier, oceans can see their annual salary rocket to $180,000.

9. Miner

Median annual salary: $108,000

It might not be the most glamorous job in the world, but it does pay surprisingly well. The majority of Aussies currently in the industry have little-to-no experience but the ability to quickly earn north of $155,000 after a short while.

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