A NSW Government website
Public Service Commission


Chapter 9

Around 200 industrial instruments determine remuneration for the NSW Public Service, with about a further 100 applying to the rest of the NSW public sector. Remuneration data are reported as the total annual base full-time salary and exclude other payments such as allowances, penalty rates and superannuation. Many employees in the NSW public sector are paid within a salary band or range that includes an annual increment subject to meeting certain performance standards.

Median remuneration


+2.5% vs 2019
All employees


+2.5% vs 2019


+2.5% vs 2019

Median remuneration for non-casual employees in the NSW public sector was $90,123 in 2020, an increase of 2.5% from 2019. While this increase was in line with NSW Government wages policy (annual increase at 2.5%)1, it outpaced the increase in Sydney’s Consumer Price Index (1.8%).2 However, growth in NSW public sector median remuneration did not exceed the growth in average full-time weekly earnings in Australia (4.8%).3,4 Figure 9.1 shows how the median salary in the public sector increased steadily over the past decade in accordance with wages policy, remaining at 2.5% since 2011.

Within the government sector, the service with the highest median remuneration in 2020 was the Teaching Service (see Table 9.1). In contrast, other Crown services had the lowest median remuneration, consistent with previous years. This largely related to School Support Staff, which constituted 50.2% of other Crown services in 2020, and had a median salary of $55,283. Most of these employees were Teachers’ Aides (55.7%) and General Clerks (42.1%).

Table 9.1: Median remuneration by service, (non-casual) employees at census date, 2019–2020

Service 2019 2020 Change (%)
Public Service $92,026 $94,327 2.5
NSW Health Service $87,603 $89,793 2.5
NSW Police Force $92,026 $94,665 2.9
Teaching Service $102,806 $105,376 2.5
Transport Service $88,450 $93,861 6.1
Other Crown services $59,636 $62,079 4.1
Total government sector $87,926 $90,123 2.5
State owned corporations $98,218 $101,856 3.7
External to government sector $126,923 $133,558 5.2
Total public sector $87,926 $90,123 2.5


In 2020, the Transport Service had the largest increase in median remuneration, at 6.1%. One factor contributing to this change was an increase in headcount in higher pay bands in 2020 compared to 2019. Administration and Other Staff within the Transport Service, whose median remuneration is 34% higher than the median of the Transport Service, increased in headcount by 8.9% in 2020.

Transport for NSW confirmed these increases largely related to resourcing for major infrastructure projects, such as motorways and the Sydney Metro, and to supporting strategic planning and project delivery for initiatives in regional and outer metropolitan areas. 


1 NSW Public Sector Wages Policy 2011.

2 ABS, 2020, Consumer Price Index, Australia, cat. no. 6401.0, September 2020, viewed 28 October 2020, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/economy/price-indexes-and-inflation/c…

3 Based on full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings in Australia.

4 ABS, 2020, Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, cat. no. 6302.0, May 2020, viewed 13 August 2020, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/earnings-and-work-hours/averag…