Artist Incomes

The income gap between arts occupations and the average Australian worker continues to widen in 2011

Analysis of the 2011 Census by Cunningham and Higgs highlights the income gap between main job art workers (average annual income $44,000) and the workforce in general (average annual income $54,000).[1]

While the income of main-job arts workers rose by 0.8 percent per year between 2006 and 2011, the general workforce income increased by 1.4 percent. This means the income of those employed in the arts as their main job has continued to fall further behind the rest of the workforce.

Part of the reason for this income gap may be that those working in the arts are more likely to work part time in their main job. However, the gap exists for full time workers also. For example, median full-time income of arts workers was $51,740 in 2011, compared to the workforce median full-time income of $57,820.

Within the population of arts workers there are also differences. Those in artist occupations earned a lower median full-time income ($40,660) than those working in arts related occupations ($53,560) or those in other occupations in the arts industries ($53,720).

[1] This data is a combination of full-time and part-time income. Full-time figures are shown in the chart below.