More than 300 industrial instruments determine remuneration in the NSW public sector. Remuneration data is reported as the total annual base full-time salary and excludes 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


+0.3% vs 2020
All employees


+2.3% vs 2020


+0.3% vs 2020

Median remuneration for non-casual employees in the NSW public sector was $90,394 in 2021, an increase of 0.3% from 2020. While NSW Government wages policy provided for annual increases up to 2.5%,1 a 0.3% increase was awarded to much of the sector for 2020/21, noting the impact of the pandemic on the NSW economy. This was below both the increase in Sydney’s Consumer Price Index (4.1%)2 and the growth in average full-time weekly earnings in Australia (1.4%).3 Figure 9.1 shows that the median salary in the public sector increased steadily over the past decade, in accordance with wages policy.

Within the government sector, the Teaching Service had the highest median remuneration in 2021 (see Table 9.1). In contrast, Other Crown services had the lowest median remuneration, consistent with previous years. This largely relates to School Support Staff, which constituted 52.8.% of Other Crown services in 2021 and had a median salary of $56,664. Most of these employees were Teachers’ Aides (55.8%) or General Clerks (41.8%).

Table 9.1: Median remuneration by service, (non-casual) employees at census date, 2020–21

Service 2020 ($) 2021 ($) Change (%)
Public Service 94,327 94,610 0.3
NSW Health Service 89,793 90,062 0.3
NSW Police Force 94,665 96,332 1.8
Teaching Service 105,376 107,779 2.3
Transport Service 93,861 102,098 8.8
Other Crown services 62,079 62,079 0.0
Total government sector 90,123 90,394 0.3
State owned corporations 101,856 104,443 2.5
External to government sector 133,558 125,537 -6.0
Total public sector 90,123 90,394 0.3

In 2021, the Transport Service had the largest increase in median remuneration, at 8.8%. One factor contributing to this change was the number of employees with higher remuneration commencing in 2021, reflecting the expansion of large-scale infrastructure projects. Within the Transport Service, the largest contributor was Sydney Metro, with 293 employees who commenced in 2021 and were paid above the Transport Service median.


1 NSW Public Sector Wages Policy 2011.

2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (June 2021) Consumer Price Index, Australia, cat. no. 6401.0, accessed 1 October 2021.

3 Based on full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings in Australia; ABS (May 2021) Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, Table 2. cat. no. 6302.0, accessed 1 October 2021.