July 13, 2024


The Intersection of Information and Insight

Top 20 professions for Aussie property investors

5 min read

Key takeaways

Property investors come in all shapes, sizes… and professions. But surgeons, anaesthetists and internal medicine specialists are the most prolific property investors, with 43% of 4,159 workers having declared rental income from property investment.

Over 20% of Australia’s 11.4 million taxpayers own an investment property, and collectively they own 3.25 million investment properties. But most investors own just one investment property, and only 18.86% own two investment properties, 5.81% own three investment properties, 2.11% own four investment properties, and 0.87 % own five investment properties.

If you get it right, property investment can provide spectacular capital growth over the years. But if you get it wrong, you could end up with a property that drains your finances and reduces your chances of ever becoming wealthy.

Property investors come in all shapes, sizes… and professions.

But the strategic property investment game is more popular in some lines of work than others.

Unsurprisingly the data shows that property investment is most popular among Australia’s highest-paid workers.

But there are other surprising professions which make the list.


Medical professionals such as surgeons, anaesthetists and internal medicine specialists were among the top property investors.

And the latest ATO data shows that more than a third of school principals earn an income from a rental property.

Out on top, with 43% of 4,159 workers, surgeons are the most prolific property investors.

Second and third on the property investment list are anaesthetists and internal medicine specialists, with around 40% having declared rental income from property investment in 2019-20.

And this lineup makes sense because these professions are also the top 3 highest earners.

Surgeons are also the top-earning profession in the country, making an average of $406,068 per year, or $4,703 per week after tax, according to ATO data.

Anaesthetists also come in second place in the top earning professions, making around $388,814 per year, or $4,527 per week after tax.

Back to the list of property investment professions, 36% of Australia’s psychiatrists own an investment property and 35% of dentists.

There are also engineering managers (31% own an investment property) and mining engineers (30%) on the list.

Rounding out the remainder of the top 20 professions with the most property investors are other medical practitioners, senior non-commissioned defence force members, optometrists, air transport professionals, chief executives or managing directors, IT managers, accountants, electrical engineers, land valuers, finance managers and even caravan park managers.

Here’s the full list:

Rank Profession Number of workers % of property investors
1 Surgeon 4,159 43%
2 Anaesthetist 3,509 40%
3 Internal medicine specialist 9,906 40%
4 Psychiatrist 3,030 36%
5 Dental practitioner 9,467 35%
6 School principal 12,898 34%
7 Other medical practitioners 28,696 32%
8 Engineering manager 23,728 31%
9 Senior non-commissioned defence force member 5,834 31%
10 Mining engineer 9,120 30%
11 Optometrist or orthopedist 5,645 28%
12 Air transport professional 15,191 28%
13 Chief executive of managing director 217,959 28%
14 IT manager 72,866 28%
15 Caravan park manager 2,332 27%
16 Accountant 174,681 27%
17 Electrical engineer 25,421 27%
18 Commissioned officer – management 13,685 27%
19 Land economist or valuer 4,859 27%
20 Finance manager 60,811 27%

Key workers are being helped into the property market

While the appearance of school principals on the list might be surprising at first, there is expected to be an influx of Australians defined as ‘key workers’ in the property market.

In January, the NSW government launched its Shared Equity Home Buyer Helper, which will help nurses, midwives, paramedics, teachers, police officers and early childhood educators buy their first home with a 2% deposit, and no lender’s mortgage insurance.

Buyers can also avoid paying interest on up to 40% of the loan, which is held by the government as equity.

The catch, however, is that an applicant’s gross income must sit under $90,000 for singles, and $120,000 for couples.

Older single people over 50 years and single parents are also eligible.

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