Now Reading: Salaries in the Hospitality Industry: Know your worth in Australia

Salaries in the Hospitality Industry: Know you’re worth in Australia

Salaries in the Hospitality Industry: Know your worth in Australia

If you’re just starting out in the hospitality industry, it’s important to know what you should be getting paid to make sure you’re getting a fair deal. But, it’s just as important to know what you can expect to earn in your field when you hit the peak of your career.

After all, you’re going to be working hard to climb that ladder, so naturally, you want to know it’s going to pay off!

Luckily, Australia generally has a transparent legal system when it comes to minimum wage, so it’s easy to understand.

Plus, there’s a lot of data out there on salaries across the industry. So, you can be informed, choose a career path that will bring in top dollar, and make sure you’re getting the wage you deserve!

Entry-level positions: what starting wages can I expect?

Most entry-level positions in hospitality are listed as ‘casual’ positions, while some are ‘part-time’ or ‘full-time’. These are different types of employment, with different rates of pay, penalty rates, and benefits.

Typical entry-level, casual roles in the hospitality industry will pay either the national minimum wage, which is currently $19.49 per hour or they will pay an award wage that’s industry and job-specific.

Casual employees also get a minimum 25% casual loading if they’re covered by the national minimum rate, which means that you should receive an additional $4.7 per hour.

Some of the most common minimum and award wage jobs in hospitality in Australia:

  • Bar staff
  • Café all-rounder
  • Barista
  • Restaurant wait staff
  • Front desk or reception
  • Bellhop
  • Hotel cleaning staff
  • Sandwich-hand
  • Kitchen-hand

Have you been offered a job with an award wage? Take a look at this helpful guide to hospitality, cleaning services, and retail awards, to find out the modern award appropriate to your job.

If your employer presents you with a contract that doesn’t match the national minimum wage or your industry award, you should be a little skeptical. They may be trying to rip you off.

Some employers use a registered agreement or enterprise agreement, to try and pay less than the national minimum wage. This is a document agreed upon between an employer and employee that defines the worker’s employment conditions. This type of agreement only applies to one business, and it has to be approved by the Fair Work Commission.

Day in the life | Torrens University

Mid-career and middle management level jobs

Maybe you have already had a few years of experience in hospitality, or you’ve got some training or qualification. Perhaps you’ve just graduated from Culinary or finished a Diploma of Hospitality Management.

You’re no longer entry-level, but you’re still training on the job, and maybe it will be a few years before you’re a Sous Chef. What wages can you expect in this category?

Here are some aggregate figures compiled by SalaryExplorer, which can give us an overall picture of earnings in the hospitality, catering and tourism industry.

  • The maximum salary is AUD$11,261 per month
  • The median salary is AUD$6223 per month
  • 25% of people are earning less than AUD$4,152 per month
  • 75% of people are earning less than AUD$8,567 per month
  • 25% of people are earning more than AUD$8,567 per month

From this data, we can see the majority of people working in hospitality, in mid-level positions, are earning between $4,152 and $8,567 per month.

Here are a few of the other annual salaries listed by Frontline Hospitality, based off their surveys:

  • Restaurant Manager: $66,000
  • Chef: $59,614
  • Assistant Manager (Bar or Venue): $58,772
  • Event Coordinator: $62,292
  • Assistant Hotel Manager: $62,478
  • Chef de Partie: $57,257
event management at Torrens

The upper crust: highly skilled and in-demand positions

Ever wondered what the highest paying job in hospitality in Australia is? Well, wonder no longer. The winner is General Hotel Manager, on an average salary of $78,000 – $82,000 annually. Second on the list is Executive Chef, a position that can earn you an average wage of $70,000 – $75,000 annually.

According to, an experienced Hospitality Manager with 10-19 years of experience earns an average annual salary of AUD$60,240. In their late career (20 years on the job and more) managers can expect to earn an average of AUD$67,937.

Here are some of the other highly paid positions in hospitality:

  • Restaurant Managers $58,000 – $69,00
  • Head Chef – $55,000 – $60,00
  •  Hotel Manager – $55,000 – $62,00
  • Airline Customer Support Officers $55,000 – $69,000
  • Gaming Hosts $52,000- $63,000

It’s clear that in the hospitality industry, high wages are awarded for in-demand skill sets that are developed over time. One of the best ways to make sure you’re climbing the ladder to the high end of the salary scale is to get an education.

If you love the industry and you want to become an exceptional manager, you might want to consider studying Hospitality.

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