psst – Want to earn over $100,000 per year?

We can influence our income level through a variety of means. Let’s look at the ones tracked by the Census of 2006 – thanks to no right turn for pointing it out. (No Right Turn is coincidentally the first website that comes up when I press the ‘NZ’ button on Safari, so I read him every day)

First – be male*. 5.4% of males earn over $100,000 per year, compared with just 1.4% of females.

Second – be 45-50 years old, or at least in the age-range 40-60. 6.4% of 45-49 year olds earn over $100,000, and at least 5.7% do so in the wider 40-60 range. Pity those 25-29’s (0.9%) and 30-34’s (3.1%).

The double-whammy is that 10.2% of 45-49 year old males and over 8% of all males 35-60 earn over $100,000.

Third – consider yourself a ‘New Zealander’, or at least ‘European’. 3.98% of ‘Europeans’ and 5% of ‘New Zealanders earn over $100,000.

Next – have a Doctorate, or at least a Masters degree. Now we are starting to really improve the odds – 26.2% of those having a doctorate, and 14.3% of those with masters earn over $100,000. If you are male, then that’s 31.1% of Doctorates and 21.24% of Masters degree holders.

You’ll also want to live in the Wellington region, and in particular – in Wellington city. 5.23% of those in Wellington region, and 7.9% of those in Wellington city earn over $100,000 per year.

That 5.23% for Wellington region rises to 28.2% if you also have a Doctorate – but if you do, you’ll probably want to consider living in Southland, where 42.4% of everybody with a Doctorate earn over $100,000.

Oh – but watch out. You see having a Doctorate and living in Southland is no guarantee that you’ll end up with the loot. Consider these Doctorate holders who are living in the top regions, yet earning under $20,000 per annum. Note that you are equally likely to be earning over $100,000 or under $20,000 if you live on the West Coast.

But I’m impressed with the idea of a Doctorate in Gisborne – second highest chance of earning over $100,000, and 0% chance of earning under $20,000. Sign me up! Let me join the other, err, 21 (a number disguised by Statistics NZ) people in that category.

So I live in Wellington – region and city, am male 40-44 (begads!), and have a foreign masters degree – a combination which would make it unlikely for me not to be earning 0ver $100,000. Statistically.

*Caution – use of statistics may offend.

Published by Lance Wiggs


9 replies on “psst – Want to earn over $100,000 per year?”

  1. We definitely need bigger incomes. I can hardly see the figures above…

    On a more serious note, how on earth does anyone survive on NZ average and media incomes, no matter what age? Do you get a top-up from the state after you’ve paid income tax and GST?


  2. It’s an interesting analysis. But higher education is no guarantee of high income – imagine earning $20,000 a year after a Phd. Must have been in a non-payoff field.


  3. I didn’t do the doctorate for the money, and have little understanding of those that do. I did it because I _wanted to know_ stuff. In point of fact, I’ve just resigned from a 100k job because the lifestyle sucks and the job bothers me ethically.


  4. Weekend_Viking:
    Is your old job still open? I can evict pregnant women, babies and kittens if you like? And the secret to the lifestyle problem is to only work the few days before Christmas…


  5. Rich: You’d need a Masters or PhD in geology and at least five years exploration experience, preferably in hard shiny carbon allotropes, and no life. You’d have to live in Australia, too.


  6. I/S – yes an MBA is primarily a signal that you are serious about your career (and earning power). You take a big hit for the two years (if full time) while you are doing it, but should make it back pretty soon thereafter. It was fun as anything though.

    Apologies to Juha – I’ll work on bigger fonts next time. Suffice to say all those median incomes were under $35k or so. I have not a clue how people with families can survive on that, and usually push for (justified) salary increases wherever I go.


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