The West

WA workers top income chart

Full-time workers in WA are earning almost $150 a week more than those in the next best State or Territory in the latest evidence of how the mining boom helps people find their fortune.

New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics also reveal almost two-thirds of workers in the mining industry earn more than $2000 a week.

But doctors continue to be in WA's best-paid profession, with male medicos earning on average $4213 a week or almost $220,000 a year.

The ABS' employee earnings and hours report, updated every two years, shows the average weekly earnings for all full and part-time workers in Australia is $1123, while for non-managerial full-timers, their pay hits $1374.

But in WA, the average weekly pay for all workers is $1328, while for full-timers it soars to $1634 a week, just under $85,000 a year.

In comparison, full-time workers in the next highest-earning region, the ACT, are paid $1494 a week, fuelled by generous public service salaries. However, full and part-time workers in the ACT earn almost $30 a week more on average than those in WA.

While being a male medical practitioner is the highest paying occupation in WA, mining is the best-paid industry.

Heavy and civil engineers earn on average $2505 a week and workers at metal ore mines earn $2363 a week. These figures encompass the full gamut of jobs on mine sites, meaning some workers earn well above the average.

Childcare workers are the lowest-paid full-time employees, earning just $804 a week.

ABS director of labour employer surveys Mike Scott said it was no shock miners were well paid but the biggest surprise was just how wide the gap had become compared with wages for other occupations. He said 63 per cent of people in mining were earning more than $2000 a week, which was different from any other industry.

Small sample sizes for some jobs mean some income data is not available in the ABS report. For example, there are no figures on how much female medical practitioners earn in WA or what lawyers make.

It also lumps in a wide range of jobs within a broad category.

WA's second-highest paid occupation, automobile, bus and rail drivers, covers everything from taxi drivers to iron ore train drivers.

The West Australian

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