Australian Dealership Salaries 2024: Navigating a (slightly) calmer market

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After years of unprecedented wage growth and a frantic scramble for talent, the Australian dealership job market is showing signs of stabilisation. While the intense competition and skyrocketing salaries of the recent past may be easing, the landscape remains far from the pre-pandemic ‘normal’.

That’s the good news for dealerships facing the ongoing pressures of inflation and rising operational costs. It’s a little easier to breathe now that the talent pool isn’t quite as shallow as it was.

While the market may be calmer, it’s far from placid. Understanding the nuanced salary trends of 2024 is key to attracting and retaining the skilled staff your dealership needs to thrive.

salarytrends2024a

A changing landscape

The past financial year has revealed some interesting trends:

  • The floor has risen, not just the ceiling: Experienced professionals still command high salaries, but the minimum pay required to attract less experienced candidates has also risen significantly, reflecting the ongoing cost-of-living pressures.
  • Top talent still holds the cards: While the panic-hiring may have subsided, top performers remain in high demand and come with a premium price tag.
  • Show me the money: Due to the cost of living, money is still the single biggest factor in an employee’s decision to change jobs. Don’t expect to win over candidates with selling points alone if the financial incentive isn’t there.

The skills gap: a persistent challenge

One thing that hasn’t changed is the skills shortage. Technicians remain the most sought-after talent, especially those with expertise on specific brands or equipment types. Mining continues to lure them away, leaving dealerships to grapple with the need to develop their own talent through apprenticeships.

We’ve also seen an increase in dealerships looking beyond Australia’s borders for skilled mechanics, particularly from the Philippines and South Africa. It’s a viable option if you’re willing to navigate the visa process and invest in relocation support. If you’re interested in this route, reach out to us for a referral to a reputable agent.

The regional housing crunch

While the overall candidate pool has grown, one significant challenge remains: housing shortages in some regional areas. In many towns, affordable rentals or homes are scarce, making it difficult to entice workers to relocate. We’ve seen firsthand how this can derail recruitment, even when the perfect candidate is eager for the job. Dealerships need to be creative and proactive, offering housing assistance or partnering with local real estate agencies to make the move feasible for potential hires.

salarytrends2024b

Parts interpreters: the next shortage?

Parts interpreters, once a stable and readily available role, are starting to follow the same trajectory as technicians. As the average age of interpreters climbs and experienced staff retire, the industry is facing a potential gap in expertise. Don’t wait for a crisis – invest in training and mentoring younger team members now to ensure a smooth transition and avoid future salary hikes.

The service manager dilemma: high demand, high burnout

Service management remains one of the toughest roles to fill. Long hours, demanding customers, and constant pressure can lead to burnout. As a result, experienced service managers are becoming increasingly hard to find.

Salaries have risen to a more stable position now, but your chances of snagging an experienced candidate for the lower end of the scale are near impossible. Less experienced candidates and those from other industries are commanding higher starting salaries than ever before. Incentivising service managers is becoming the rule, rather than the exception. While a high base is required, be sure to offer a percentage of the department’s profit or implementing a KPI structure to keep them engaged and motivated. 

salarytrends2024c | Teamrecruit

Attracting sales talent: the financial security factor

The availability of experienced salespeople seems to have decreased in the last 12 months, mostly due to a reluctance to move roles mid-pipeline. This hesitation is often due to concerns about financial stability amid rising living costs. Without proof of earning capacity in a sales role, getting approved for loans can be challenging. Some dealers are overcoming this by guaranteeing a minimum income for 12 months in their employment contracts.

Many dealers are also looking to salespeople from other industries to help fill the gap. This can be a great way to bring in new blood and perspectives but remember: you can’t pay these people trainee or entry-level wages simply because they haven’t worked with your product. Many other industries already pay better than the dealership sector, so going down this path isn’t always about getting a cheaper candidate.

The bottom line

2024 is a year of adjustment. We’re not back to ‘normal’, but the wild swings are settling. Money still talks, but so does a positive workplace culture and genuine career development.

If you’re a dealership, invest in your workforce, offer competitive compensation and benefits, and foster a positive workplace culture. For candidates, it means knowing your worth, being realistic about expectations, and showcasing your value beyond just your resume.

And as always, Teamrecruit is here to help you navigate the ever-changing world of dealership recruitment. Let’s connect and find the perfect fit for your needs!

salarytrends2024d | Teamrecruit

Salary Trends for Financial Year 2023-2024

Employers, if you’d like a free appraisal of what you’re paying your staff, click below to fill out our form and we’ll be in touch with further tailored information.
Salary Trends for Truck Dealerships in Australia for FY23/24

NOTE: All figures are excluding superannuation.

Melbourne / Sydney Other Metro Regional
Minimum Base
Maximum Base
Avg OTE
Minimum Base
Maximum Base
Avg OTE
Minimum Base
Maximum Base
Avg OTE
Service Advisor
$85k
$95k
c. $100k
$80k
$90k
c. $95k
$75k
$85k
c. $90k
Leading Hand
$110k
$125k
$110k
$120k
$100k
$115k
Service Manager
$130k
$160k
c. $150-200k + car
$120k
$150k
c. $140-170k +car
$120k
$140k
c. $140-170k + Car
Technician
$45/hr
$55/hr
$40/hr
$55/hr
$40/hr
$55/hr
Warranty Clerk
$85k
$95k
$80k
$90k
$75k
$85k
Parts Interpreter
$85k
$95k
c. $100k
$80k
$90k
c. $95k
$80k
$85k
c. $90k
Parts Manager
$120k
$140k
c. $150k + car
$110k
$135k
c. $140k + car
$100k
$130k
c. 135k + car
Sale Consultant
$80k
$95k
c. $120-160k + car
$75k
$85k
c. 120 - 150k + car
$70k
$80k
c. $150 - 200k + car
Sales Manager
$120k
$140k
c. $130 - 180k + car
$110k
$130k
c. $130-160k + car
$110k
$130k
c. $150-200k + car
Branch Manager
$150k
$200k
c. $160-220k + car
$140k
$160k
c. $150-200k + car
$130k
$160k
c. $150-200k + car
Accountant
$110k
$140k
$110k
$135k
$110k
$130k
Financial Controller
$140k
$180k
$140k
$170k
$130k
$170k
Salary Trends for Construction Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment dealerships in Australia for FY23/24

NOTE: All figures are excluding superannuation. 

Melbourne / Sydney Other Metro Regional
Minimum Base
Maximum Base
Avg OTE
Minimum Base
Maximum Base
Avg OTE
Minimum Base
Maximum Base
Avg OTE
Service Advisor
$85k
$95k
c. $100k
$80k
$90k
c. $95k
$75k
$85k
c. $90k
Leading Hand
$110k
$125k
$100k
$120k
$100k
$115k
Service Manager
$130k
$170k
c. $150-200k + car
$130k
$150k
c. $140-170k +car
$130k
$150k
c. $140-170k + Car
Technician
$47/hr
$60/hr
$45/hr
$60/hr
$45/hr
$60/hr
Warranty Clerk
$85k
$95k
$80k
$90k
$75k
$85k
Parts Interpreter
$85k
$95k
c. $100k
$80k
$90k
c. $95k
$80k
$85k
c. $90k
Parts Manager
$120k
$140k
c. $150k + car
$110k
$135k
c. $140k + car
$100k
$130k
c. 135k + car
Sale Consultant
$90k
$110k
c. $150-200k + car
$85k
$100k
c. 120 - 185k + car
$80k
$100k
c. $120 - 185k + car
Sales Manager
$130k
$150k
c. $150 - 190k + car
$120k
$140k
c. $130-170k + car
$110k
$130k
c. $130-170k + car
Branch Manager
$130k
$180k
c. $150-210k + car
$140k
$160k
c. $150-200k + car
$130k
$160k
c. $150-200k + car
Accountant
$110k
$140k
$110k
$135k
$110k
$130k
Financial Controller
$140k
$180k
$140k
$180k
$130k
$170k
Salary Trends for Agricultural Equipment dealerships in Australia for FY23/24

NOTE: All figures are excluding superannuation.

Minimum Base
Maximum Base
Avg OTE
Service Advisor
$75k
$90k
Leading Hand
$105k
$115k
Service Manager
$130k
$140k
c. $140-160k + car
Technician
$45/hr
$60/hr
Warranty Clerk
$75k
$85k
Parts Interpreter
$85k
$95k
c. $100k
Parts Manager
$120k
$140k
c. $150k + car
Sale Consultant
$90k
$110k
c. $150-200k + car
Sales Manager
$130k
$150k
c. $150 - 190k + car
Branch Manager
$130k
$180k
c. $150-210k + car
Accountant
$110k
$140k
Financial Controller
$140k
$180k
Salary Trends for Manufacturers & OEMs in Australia for FY23/24

NOTE: All figures are excluding superannuation.

Minimum Base
Maximum Base
Avg OTE
Field Technical Support
$110k
$120k
Product Support Manager
$120k
$140k
Territory Sales Manager
$115k
$135k
c. $130-150k + car
Dealer Development
$125k
$150k
c. $130 - 160k + car
Marketing Manager
$130k
$170k
Product Manager
$130k
$150k
Training Manager
$110k
$130k

For the previous financial year’s salary review, view our article from FY22/23 here.

Employers, if you’d like a free appraisal of what you’re paying your staff, click below to fill out our form and we’ll be in touch with further tailored information.

Teamrecruit is Australia’s most established recruitment agency specialising in truck, earthmoving and agricultural machinery dealerships in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Find out more about Teamrecruit and how we support employers and candidates in the dealership industry.

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