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By Michael Yardney

Top 20 professions for Aussie property investors

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.

The maximum value of the property that can be purchased under the scheme is $950,000 in Sydney and regional centres including the Central Coast, Illawarra, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle and the North Coast of NSW, and $600,000 in other parts of NSW.

While the scheme isn’t expected to create an influx of property investors from these professions, it will see many of these workers buy their first homes.

So, how many property investors are in Australia?

The data shows that over 20% of Australia’s 11.4 million taxpayers owned an investment property in 2019-20.

That figure is 14.9% if 3.6 million non-taxable individuals are included.

That means that around 2.22 million taxpayers in Australia are property investors, and collectively they own 3.25 million investment properties.

While the number of property investors actually fell in 2019-20 for the first time since the 2007-08 financial crisis, it was only 333 individuals.

And the majority of these investors own just 1 investment property.

You see, while there are just over two million investors in Australia, about 75 per cent of them own just one investment property.

Only about 18 per cent own two, which rapidly drops down to about five per cent of investors who own three properties.


Because they’re doing a few things wrong.

Failing to understand their own financial situation, lack of education, no clear plan and simply making bad investment decisions will see a property investment to either flop entirely, or those investors will never create enough wealth to keep going.


A final note

When it comes to property investment, no matter what profession you work in, if you get it right then you have the potential to achieve spectacular capital growth over the years.

But if you get it wrong, you could end up with a property that drains your finances as well as your chances of ever becoming part of that small group of Australians who own multiple properties.

Interestingly, an audit of clients of Metropole showed that they are 7.3 times more likely to own 6 or more properties than the average Australian property investor.

That’s because attaining wealth doesn’t just happen, it’s the result of a well-executed plan.

That’s why I suggest you allow the team at Metropole to build you a personalised, customised Strategic Property Plan.

When you have a Strategic Property Plan you’re more likely to achieve the financial freedom you desire because we’ll help you:

  • Define your financial goals;
  • See whether your goals are realistic, especially for your timeline;
  • Measure your progress towards your goals – whether your property portfolio is working for you, or if you’re working for it;
  • Find ways to maximise your wealth creation through property;
  • Identify risks you hadn’t thought of.

And the real benefit is you’ll be able to grow your wealth through your property portfolio faster and more safely than the average investor.

Click here now and learn more about this service and discuss your options with us.

Your Strategic Property Plan should contain the following components:

  1. An asset accumulation strategy
  2. A manufacturing capital growth strategy
  3. A rental growth strategy
  4. An asset protection and tax minimisation strategy
  5. A finance strategy including long-term debt reduction and…
  6. A living off your property portfolio strategy

Click here now and learn more about this service and discuss your options with us.

About Michael Yardney Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media.
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