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Doors of Opportunity: Adelaide’s Job Landscape

Adelaide is a hub for significant occupational opportunities—most especially Greater Adelaide—and the national government calls it the “engine room of SA.” 

With an 80% contribution to the region’s gross state product, this city’s a hot spot for job-seekers.

We methodically examined the current state of Adelaide’s job landscape and came up with this list. If you’re a student who wants to know what job pays best or a professional looking to start your career, here are Adelaide’s main and top-paying occupations.

What are the main occupations of people in Adelaide? 

What are the main occupations of people in Adelaide
Photo courtesy of AdelaideCityCouncil

Profile.ID compiled the 2021 employment data gathered by Adelaide’s Census of Population and Housing and the data showed that the most main occupations of Adelaideans are the following:

  1. 23.6% – Licensed professionals (mostly educators, health workers, engineers, etc.)
  2. 13.2% – Community and personal service workers
  3. 13.2% – Clerical and administrative workers
  4. 12.9% – Trade workers and technicians 
  5. 12.1% – Managers
  6. 9.3% – Laborers
  7. 8.5% – Sales workers
  8. 5.5% – Machinery operators and drivers

The remaining 1.7% chose not to state or inadequately described their occupation. 

Adelaide’s Highest-Paying Jobs

Salary is an important factor when it comes to job hunting. This is understandable, as a higher salary typically leads to a better life.

The following sections will discuss the jobs in Adelaide that offer the most lucrative wages. Please note that these sections are not listed in any particular order. 

There are jobs with a lower entry-level salary but a higher salary peak and vice versa. 


Yearly Salary Range$194,000 to $395,000
Requirements• Medical degrees such as Doctor of Medicine and Bachelor of Medical Studies (4–6 years)
• Internship completion prior to applying for the Medical Board of Australia (1 year)
• Residency training program completion (2 years)
• Completing and passing the Royal Australian College of Surgeons’ Surgical Education and Training (5–6 years)

If a patient has injuries that require modification or treatment through surgeries, these professionals are the ones in charge. And since a surgeon’s main duties are critical to preserving life, they’re well-compensated in Adelaide.

Typically, a surgeon’s responsibilities include diagnosing a patient, conducting clinical checkups, leading the surgical team, planning and performing operations, and handling the patient’s postoperative treatment and care.

Due to the nature of their work, surgeons must have the quality of being precise, courageous, creative, intelligent, confident, calm, and persevering. 

Their average shifts can go over 12 hours. The time highly depends on the severity of the patient’s condition and the type of surgery being performed. 


Photo courtesy of SumnerCollege
Yearly Salary Range$191,000 to $367,000
Requirements• Medical degrees such as Doctor of Medicine and Bachelor of Medical Studies (4–6 years)
• Internship completion prior to applying for the Medical Board of Australia (1 year)
• Residency training program completion (2 years)
• ANZCA training completion (5 years)

Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of medical jobs on this list. Here’s another one: anesthetists are typically in charge of administering anesthesia and directing the anesthetic care team. 

They’re also responsible for overseeing patient treatment before, during, and after surgery. Since they typically handle anxious patients, anesthetists must be precise, detail-oriented, tactful, and caring.

Normally, anesthetists work for about 60 to 80 hours a week. Their typical schedule consists of patient checkups and providing assistance during surgeries. 

Anesthetists also spend a lot of time studying a patient’s medical records and analyzing risk factors. 

Internal Medicine Specialist

Internal Medicine Specialist
Yearly Salary Range$141,000 to $299,000
Requirements• Accredited medical degrees such as Doctor of Medicine and Bachelor of Medical Studies (4-6 years)
• Internship Completion prior to applying for the Medical Board of Australia (1 year)
• Prevocational Training (1 year)
• Acquire a fellowship through a medical specialty training program (3-7 years)

Another medical job! Internal medicine specialists are mainly responsible for diagnosing and treating acute and chronic diseases. 

They’re the medical professionals who normally handle ailments and conditions like viral infections, diabetes, hypertension, and heart problems.

The top qualities an internal medicine specialist should have include being great at solving problems, having great communication skills, tactfulness, and being calm under pressure.

Internal medicine specialists typically work 8 to 10 hours a day for about 4 to 5 days a week. They usually meet with about 20–25 patients per day.

This number, though, tends to increase since these on-call and clinic-based professionals can also be tasked to do checkups on patients in a hospital.


Yearly Salary Range$80,000 to $290,000
Requirements• Bachelor of Law degree (3–4 years)
• Practicing law for at least 8 years
• Must be appointed by a state/ federal governor or an attorney-general

Professionals handling the country’s judiciary concerns are paid well in Adelaide too. Judges stand at the top of the legal professionals’ salary pyramid. 

The judge’s role is to preside over legal hearings and assess the arguments presented by opposing parties. Judges are required to uphold the law through honest and conscientious decisions.

Judges must be fair and consult established legal precedents whenever they’re tasked to determine the result of a hearing. They should be rational, reasonable, compassionate, patient, confident, and, of course, wise.

Judges commonly work for about 44 to 52 hours a week. Their typical daily schedule consists of hearings, handling administrative issues, and imposing legal decisions. 


Yearly Salary Range$75,000 to $255,000
Requirements• Bachelor of Law degree (3–4 years)
• GDLP or PLT admission program (3–8 months)
• Must apply for the Supreme Court
• Acquisition of indemnity insurance and a practicing certificate (2 years)

Lawyers provide clients with counsel and representation in legal proceedings. These legal professionals can either be hired by the prosecution or defense. 

They typically specialize in legal problem analysis and investigation, handling legal documents such as evidence and reports, and creating structured arguments based on the law. 

The nature of their job requires lawyers to be great at researching, analyzing, communicating, creativity, patience, and perseverance. 

They work for more than 40 hours a week, but this number can increase or decrease depending on the amount and type of cases handled by a lawyer.

A lawyer’s daily schedule also depends on the area of law where he or she operates. 

For example, lawyers specializing in taxation laws usually spend their day providing tax-based counsel to companies and individuals. 

Criminal lawyers aka public defendants, on the one hand, mostly spend their hours building defenses or arguing appeals.


Yearly Salary Range$90,000 to $216,000
Requirements• Medical degrees such as Doctor of Medicine and Bachelor of Medical Studies (4–6 years)
• On the job, hospital training (1 year)
• Completing the psychiatry specialist training with RANZCP

Psychiatrists are medical professionals that specialize in the assessment and treatment of patients with mental health issues. They usually work in public or private clinics and hospitals. 

They also work together with other health practitioners to secure the emotional and mental health of patients suffering from different conditions, diseases, or injuries. 

Since they primarily deal with human emotions, psychiatrists must be investigative, tactful, compassionate, patient, respectful, and adaptable. They should also have top-notch communication skills.

The schedule of psychiatrists ranges approximately 45 to 48 hours a week. 

The daily routine of psychiatrists mostly consists of studying a patient’s medical records, evaluating the patient’s mental state, and writing prescriptions for the patient’s medication. 

Bank Manager

Bank Manager
Photo courtesy of Emeritus
Yearly Salary Range$60,000 to $200,000
RequirementsCertificate IV in Financial Services Bachelor’s degree in accounting, economics, or commerce

You can break the bank with this job’s salary! Bank managers supervise the daily affairs of a bank branch or several regional branches. 

These transactions include all matters concerning the branch’s profitability, marketing strategies, and the efficiency of sales. 

These professionals are also tasked to establish strong and healthy relationships with business associates, the local community, and, of course, the customers. 

Due to these, bank managers must have excellent communication, business management, and customer service skills. They must also have exceptional wisdom and a keen eye for details concerning accounting and the economy.

They work for 44 hours a week and spend most of their time monitoring sales targets and resolving or addressing customer complaints or concerns. 

Information and Communication Technology Specialists

Information and Communication Technology Specialists
Photo courtesy of Seek
Yearly Salary Range$110,000 to $130,000
RequirementsBachelor’s degree in ICT-based courses

With the rise of technology, the salary of ICT specialists like computer engineers and ICT system architects also continues to increase. 

The roles of ICT specialists in the workplace usually include the planning, configuration, operation, and maintenance of high-tech networks and computer systems.

ICT specialists deal with volatile data and ever-changing parts, so they must be quick at making decisions and exceptional at solving ICT-related problems. 

Having excellent attention to detail and a passion for technological advancements are also common qualities of ICT specialists.

They average 42 hours of computer-related work a week and are either on-call or on-site. 


Yearly Salary Range$120,000 to $500,000
Requirements (Company-Dependent)• Bachelor’s degree in commerce, business, or economics
• Master of Business Administration degree

CEOs handle the entire operations of their companies. Given the competitive market in Adelaide and the pressure CEOs have to deal with, they are some of the highest-paid professionals in the city. 

For a company to prosper, a CEO must be strategic, great at problem-solving and decision-making, knowledgeable in financial management, and display superb leadership and communication skills. 

CEOs normally work 40 to 45 hours a week. Those who manage bigger companies tend to work for over 50 hours per week. 

They spend most of their time monitoring their company’s financial status, analyzing contracts, and meeting with associates.


Yearly Salary Range$150,000 to $200,000
Requirements (Company-Dependent)• Must be a practicing clinical dentist for at least 2 years
• Any postgraduate degree in orthodontics
• Registered with the Australian Health Regulatory Authority

Orthodontists are medical professionals specializing in the treatment of mouth, jaw, and dental abnormalities. They handle concerns like deep overbites, missing lateral incisors, and teeth crowding. 

These medical professionals must always be precise, caring, great at communicating, and patient. Orthodontists must also excel in creativity and decision-making.

They commonly spend 40 hours of clinical work per week, but this can still increase depending on the number of patients they have. 

Aside from the treatment of facial and dental abnormalities, they also spend most of their time catering to patients in need of braces or dental archwires. 

Architectural Manager

Architectural Manager
Yearly Salary Range$85,000 to $105,000
Requirements • Bachelor’s degree in architecture
• Accredited Master of Architecture postgraduate degree
• Significant work experience (2 years)
• Pass the Architectural Practice Examination
• Register with the Architect Registration Board

Architectural managers do a variety of tasks, but they typically oversee and plan building projects. They also supervise a building site’s operation, quality control, testing, and maintenance.

Having effective interpersonal and leadership skills is essential to this job. Additionally, architectural managers must be great at math, organizing, analysis, and problem-solving.

These professionals usually work 40 to 50 hours per week. 

Their daily routine depends on the status and type of building they’re working on, but the tasks that almost all architectural managers do is pre-construction planning and structural designing. 

Commercial Pilot

Commercial Pilot
Yearly Salary Range$95,000 to $115,000
Requirements • Bachelor’s degree in architecture
• Accredited Master of Architecture postgraduate degree
• Significant work experience (2 years)
• Pass the Architectural Practice Examination
• Register with the Architect Registration Board

The sky is the limit when it comes to this job’s salary! 

Commercial pilots transport passengers by operating different aircraft. They also assess the safest aerial routes and monitor the aircraft’s engine, fuel level, and systems. 

They’re also required to effectively adapt to on-air emergencies, such as malfunctions or sudden weather changes. 

Due to the complexity and risks of aerial transportation, pilots must always be calm under pressure, quick at decision-making, and have spectacular attention to detail.

Commercial pilots must also be extremely knowledgeable about the aircraft they’re operating and their flight routes.

On a weekly basis, commercial pilots work for about 60 to 70 hours. 

Marketing Director

Marketing Director
Yearly Salary Range$94,000 to $200,000
Requirements (Company-Dependent)• Bachelor’s degree in architecture
• Master of Architecture postgraduate degree
• Significant work experience (2 years)
• Pass the Architectural Practice Examination
• Register with the Architect Registration Board

Marketing directors are the professionals who create elaborate promotion plans for companies or individuals. They specialize in advertising and can be the key figures who will influence a company’s trajectory. 

This job requires a lot of planning and studying, so a marketing director must be analytical and great at understanding the market’s trends and how to capitalize on them. And, of course, marketing directors must be super creative too.

They work approximately 40 to 45 hours per week. 

The daily routine of marketing directors normally consists of constant research and brainstorming. They usually do this with the company’s sales team.

Engineering Production Manager

Engineering Production Manager
Photo courtesy of Seek
Yearly Salary Range$80,000 to $120,000
Requirements (Company-Dependent)Bachelor’s degree specializing in engineering, business management, science, or communications Must be an experienced supervisor (1 year or more)

Engineering production managers are accountable for managing a group of production engineers. They create a project’s general outline and meticulously study the requirements needed for the project. 

They also supervise the installation, maintenance, and development of production machinery as well as the overall well-being of the project contractors. 

This job requires astounding leadership, communication, and decision-making skills. Creativity is also a must for engineering production managers as well as the ability to adapt and persevere.

On average, engineering production managers work for 48 hours a week. Their daily activities typically start with creating schedules, analyzing the costs of production, and ensuring that the workflow gets followed. 

University Professor

University Professor
Yearly Salary Range$70,000 to $180,000
Requirements • Bachelor’s degree (usually one that specializes in education) (3–4 years)
• Earn a doctorate in your chosen academic field (1–6 years)
• Some universities will require yearly research

University professors educate undergraduate and graduate students. Depending on their specialties and academic background, these tertiary-level educators can teach one or more subjects. 

Education is one of the most pivotal parts of society. This is why professors must be intelligent, resourceful, compassionate, confident, and, of course, outstanding at teaching. 

Depending on the number of courses or subjects they handle, university professors can work from 40 to over 50 hours a week.

What they usually do every day includes lesson planning, lecturing, group discussions, and laboratory experiments

FAQs about the Main Occupations in Adelaide

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