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Highest Earning Names in Australia

A new study has identified the names that could affect your future earning potential.

According to research by jobs website Adzuna, ‘Steve’s’ and ‘Catherine’s’ earn the most, while ‘Nathan’s’ and ‘Amy’s’ earn the least.

The study was conducted in September 2017 by analysing over 50,000 CVs of recent job seekers who used Adzuna’s ValueMyCV tool, to reveal the average earning potential of workers with different names.

Traditional names top the list, with boys name ‘Steve’ and girls name ‘Catherine’ proving the highest value.

Workers called Steve can typically earn $152,801 per year, while those going by Catherine can take home an average of $86,379

Following close behind the leaders, the next most valuable boys names are ‘Stuart’ ($145,484), ‘Gavin’ ($140,705) and ‘Ian’ ($135,829), while female names ‘Kate’ ($82,868), ‘Ashley’’ ($82,552) and ‘Sharon’ ($73,624) are also top earners.

By comparison, workers named ‘Nathan’ and ‘Amy’ are at the bottom of the wage pile, with average potential earnings of just $71,098 and $50,510 respectively.

Top 10 Earning Names in Australia

Male Average salary Female Average Salary
Steve  $152,801 Catherine  $86,379
Stuart  $145,484 Kate  $82,868
Gavin  $140,705 Ashley  $82,552
Ian  $135,829 Sharon  $73,624
Tony  $130,999 Jane  $73,269
Graham  $130,662 Sarah  $72,874
Tim  $123,826 Anna  $71,446
Nick  $120,979 Lisa  $70,931
Chris  $120,828 Joanne  $70,742
Eric  $119,502 Laura  $70,184


A trend in the data also showed that for males, shortening the name on your CV results in a higher valuation.

This trend in the ValueMyCV data is supported by research conducted by Dr. Simon Laham at the University of Melbourne and Dr. Adam Alter at New York University Stern School of Business


Their study analysed how the pronunciation of names can influence impression formation and decision-making. In particular, they demonstrated “the name pronunciation effect,” which occurs when people with easy-to-pronounce names are evaluated more positively than those with difficult-to-pronounce names.


Adzuna CEO Raife Watson says, “If you give someone permission to call you by a nickname or informal version of your name, it allows them to form a more emotional connection with you that insisting on the full-length version of the name prohibits.”

Male Average salary Shortened Name Average Salary
Christopher  $91,213 Chris  $120,828
Anthony  $120,454 Tony  $130,999
Thomas  $89,209 Tom  $111,986
Benjamin  $88,183 Ben  $118,826
Timothy  $94,640 Tim  $123.826
Matthew  $86,372 Matt  $103,063
Gregory  $95,735 Greg  $112,367
Stephen  $102,026 Steve  $152,801
Michael  $106,687 Mike  $150,260


“It’s also worth to note that changing the name on your CV from Steve to Stephen isn’t going to magically inflate your pay packet. Opting to use your shorter name – when you introduce yourself to new colleagues, when signing off an email, and yes, when writing your CV – might just increase your earning potential over the course of your career however.”


For women the picture is less clear. Very few women opted to shorten the first name in their CV, which could be a tactic for successful women to show they take the workplace seriously.


Regardless, the evidence is clear – your name has an impact on your salary. Choose it carefully.


To find out if you’re being underpaid, and how much your skills and experience could be worth to employers, upload your CV today to ValueMyCV.