Facts, figures and visuals on public sector employee pay and conditions

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Key facts

  • $90,000 is the median salary of non-casual public sector employees
  • $96,752 is the median salary of non-casual Victorian Public Service employees
  • 9.3% is the gender pay gap of non-casual public sector employees
  • 2.0% is the gender pay gap of non-casual Victorian Public Service employees.

How public sector pay is set

There are over 145 enterprise agreements that cover all non-executive employees in the Victorian public sector.

The agreements set employee pay, terms and conditions.

They differ based on industry group, employer and occupation.

Agreements are made under the Commonwealth Fair Work Act.

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Median annual salary of non-casual employees by industry group


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Distribution of non-casual employees by salary range and industry group

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Pay by gender

We use the overall pay gap between women and men as a way to measure workplace gender equality.

How we measure the pay gap

Using the overall public sector workforce as an example, this is how we measure the pay gap:

  • find out what the median full-time equivalent pay is for men ($98,717) and women ($89,557)
  • work out the difference between those 2 numbers ($98,717 minus $89,557 equals $9,160)
  • express the difference as a percentage of the men’s median salary ($9,160 is 9.3% of men’s median salary of $98,717).

So the pay gap for the public sector is 9.3%.

Median salaries

Overall public sector workforce

  • Median salary: $90,000
  • Men’s median salary: $98,717
  • Women’s median salary: $89,557
  • Pay gap 9.3% or $9,160.

Victorian Public Service

  • All median salary: $96,752
  • Men’s median salary: $98,717
  • Women’s median salary: $96,752
  • Pay gap 2.0% or $1,965.

Distribution of men and women across pay groups for overall public sector workforce

The pay gap is a result of the uneven distribution of men and women across pay bands and roles.

Each pay group represents a third of the overall public sector workforce:

  • lowest pay group: less than $78,484
  • middle pay group: $78,484 to $104,008
  • highest pay group: $104,088 or more.

Roles in the lowest pay group are mostly filled by women and include:

  • carers and aides working in health, welfare and education
  • enrolled nurses
  • entry-level teachers and registered nurses.

Roles in the highest pay group include: 

  • managers 
  • medical practitioners 
  • school principals and senior teachers 
  • senior administrative and business professionals 
  • senior nurses, allied health and science professionals 
  • senior operational police, paramedics and firefighters.

More women than men are employed in each pay group, overall but the proportion of men in the highest pay group is higher than the proportion of women.

For example:

  • 61,533 of the 217,295 women employed (28%) are in the highest pay group
  • 46,107 of the 105,537 men employed (44%) are in the highest pay group.

You can use the graph to view the number or percentage of men and women in each pay group.

Victorian Public Service

Unlike the overall public sector workforce, men are women are more evenly distributed across the 3 pay groups.

Each pay group represents a third of the total Victorian Public Service workforce:

  • lowest pay group: less than $87,033
  • middle pay group: $87,033 to $111,615
  • highest pay group: $111,615 or more.

Changes in gender pay:

  • 32% of women are in the lowest pay group compared to 33% at June 2020
  • 34% of men are in the lowest pay group compared to 33% at June 2020
  • the gender pay gap fell to 2.0% from 4.3% at June 2020.

The changes are primarily due to an increase in men employed in new fixed-term roles at COVID Quarantine Victoria.

More women than men are employed overall but the proportion of men in the highest pay group is higher than the proportion of women. 

For example: 

  • 10,439 of the 33,689 women employed (31%) are in the highest pay group  
  • 8,829 of the 23,789 men employed (37%) are in the highest pay group. 

You can use the graph to view the number or percentage of men and women in each group.

Gender pay gap across Victorian Public Service pay classification, based on average salary

The gender pay gap in each VPS grade is small.

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Data set

This data set covers June 2015 to June 2021.

We source this data from our annual workforce and executive data collections that cover over 1,800 Victorian public sector employers.

Remuneration

This file has the following remuneration measures, based on full-time base salaries for non-casual Victorian public sector employees:

  • median base salary and distribution of employees within each salary band by industry, gender and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander identity
  • median base salary for each major occupation in public entities by gender
  • mean base salary for each Victorian Public Service classification by gender
  • median base salary for each Victorian Public Service classification by gender.

Download remuneration data set (XLSX, 89kb)

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