Australia Boom Pays Men Without Degree More Than Bernanke Travis Marks, a 24-year-old with no college degree, is hitting pay dirt as Australia's mining bonanza fuels demand for workers. Already making triple the nation's average salary, he expects to get even richer. "With what's going on in the industry, there's lots of big jobs coming up," said Marks, who earns A$220,000 ($227,150) a year -- more than Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke's $199,700. His job as a rigger for a company providing construction and maintenance services to the resources industry is "a really good way to get ahead as a young bloke," he said. <snip> Guys that were asking for A$150,000 in November are asking for A$180,000 and getting it," said Damien Lee, general manager of Professional Recruitment Australia, which supplies workers to companies including Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL), Leighton Contractors and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (RDSA) <snip> Two coal-seam gas projects, expected to cost more than A$30 billion, are proceeding near Gladstone, a port in Queensland. Santos Ltd. (STO), Australia's third-largest oil producer, and BG Group Plc (BG/), the U.K.'s third-biggest gas producer, will start hiring the first of more than 10,000 construction workers needed for the projects later this year. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in February the resource industry could be short 36,000 workers in the next four years and the government will have to introduce measures to encourage older Australians and parents to rejoin the workforce. She also plans to relax restrictions on skilled migration.