How Much IT Contractors Get Paid Across Australia

Contracting as an IT pro can still be lucrative, but it does depend on where you live. New data suggests that you're going to earn a lot less in Victoria than South Australia -- but you'll still typically get twice the hourly rate of a permanent employ. Plus: which roles are the most likely to be hired?

Worker picture from Shutterstock

This data, compiled by the Information Technology Contract & Recruitment Association (ITCRA), covers the last calendar quarter of 2014. In the table below, we've shown the typical rates for permanent and contractor roles across NSW, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and the ACT, as well as how long it typically takes recruiters to fill those roles. (As with other IT employment statistics, Tasmania and the Northern Territory get left out because the base of employees is too small.)

State Permanent
hourly rate
hourly rate
days to fill
days to fill
ACT $67.85 $103.71 45 83
New South Wales $64.32 $124.15 28 39
Queensland $57.17 $82.11 25 37
South Australia $51.58 $66.10 20 68
Victoria $73.29 $162.89 33 44
Western Australia $64.95 $121.24 20 34

What those averages conceal is the demand for particular roles. TheITCRA report also lists the roles that recruiters find most in demand at the moment:

Permanent Contract
Analyst programmer Project manager
Business analyst Business analyst
Project manager Consultant
Help desk Analyst programmer
Network designer Help desk
Consultant Desktop/PC support
Desktop support Tester
IT manager Network engineer
  Systems engineer
  Project coordinator

Of course, the higher rates for contractors are designed to cover for lack of holiday leave and other full-time benefits. Not everyone finds contracting suitable, but if you're working in one of the high-demand areas, it could be worth considering.

ITCRA [via Business Insider]


    Hang on, are the permanent hourly rate and contractor hourly rate columns backwards?

      No, the columns are in the right position. It's the dollar rates that are reversed. :p

      'New data suggests that you’re going to earn a lot less in Victoria than South Australia.'

      Not according to those numbers. Lifehacker needs a sub editor...

      I was trying to make sense of that too.
      but you’ll still typically get twice the hourly rate of a permanent employ would imply that you are correct.

    And the data on South Australia vs Victoria doesn't seem to match what the introduction claims.

    They are backwards, the report has them listed correctly on page 10 & 14.

    Last edited 24/02/15 12:33 pm

    Not to mention that the table shows Victorians earn more than South Australians, yet the article says the opposite.
    Is there a proofreading position up for grabs?

    Wowzers I should ask for way more money :P

      Me too.

        Me three. Or at least start working as an IT Contractor instead of a desktop publisher who ends up implementing process improvement and automation as a freebie.

          So I should argue a pay rise and should forward this to my mates at the government centre. I'm paid the highest at 24.50 to manage 300+ devices. 100 of which is iPads (anyone dealing with VPP and apple configurator will know my pain) been tempted to leave but small backwards town so my skills and knowledge isn't widely sought.

    I find these figures totally bogas! I've worked for over 10 yeas as a contractor (hated it) and seen reports like this and felt I was being ripped off non stop.

    I worked as Desktop support for most of my time even though I was aiming for Server based roles because I'm plenty capable of it and I had to fight tooth and nail to get a job that was over $30/hr as a contractor and would only be offered Helpdesk type opportunities.

    I had to beg not to be put forward for them and for a minimum of Desktop Support, even though most people couldn't discern the difference.. Never was there anything near the $50 per hour let alone the $66 per hour fantasised here for South Aust.. If you mentioned this to recruiters they would simply laugh at you.

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