What is the average doctor salary in Australia?

Article by Emily Watkinson05 Aug 2022
GP working - average doctor salary

Doctor Salary: how much do doctors earn in Australia?

So how much do doctors actually make? A doctor’s salary in Australia depends on several factors: grade, entry-level vs experienced, the number of hours worked, location, and the type of work.

A junior will earn an average salary of $70,000 – $95,000, whereas a top-level consultant can be looking at an average of $394,866. Compared to the national average income of $59,014, a doctor’s salary is in the top ten percent of earnings in Australia.

What is a junior doctor's salary in Australia?

On average, junior doctors in Australia earn a salary of around $70,000 – $95,000.

A junior doctor's salary can vary depending on their specialty. The highest-paid specialty in Australia is surgery closely followed by other in-demand specialties including emergency medicine, general medicine, psychiatry, and anaesthetics.

A junior doctor's salary also varies from state to state. For an annual base salary, Western Australia pays juniors around $85,000 a year. whereas working as a junior doctor in Tasmania you will earn around $72,000. Although Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria pay resident doctors similar wages, there are other benefits to consider. For example, when looking at a doctors salary in Victoria has financial provisions for junior doctors’ professional development. Rates also vary between states for locum work with Tasmania having the highest hourly rates.

There are ways a junior doctor can increase earnings through penalty overtime or weekend shifts. Locum work is a great way to earn more by working extra shifts alongside a usual role. Locuming also provides the opportunity to travel, learn and work in different settings. It could be the ideal opportunity for junior doctors to discover their preferred ways of working and their ideal location.

How much do Australian consultant doctors earn?

In Australia, a senior doctor’s salary is in the top 10% of earners with average earnings of $121,000 for SMO, $350,000 for GP, and $394,866 for a top-level consultant. Some physicians in private practice can earn as much as $600,000 per year.

A specialist doctor's salary in Australia can vary based on the location. Western Australia is the highest-paying state for consultants and senior doctors with the average senior doctor salary close to $300,000. Queensland and South Australia salaries are relatively similar around $270,000 with Victoria and New South Wales on average lower than other states with an average doctor salary in the region of $240,000. However, there are non-salary benefits that also should be considered such as penalty rates and holidays.

Daily locum rates for consultants are similar across states and can be lucrative for senior doctors earning up to $3500 a day. Consultants are in high demand, especially for anaesthetics, general medicine, O&G and intensive care. Locum roles could be the opportunity for consultants to ease into retirement, take the time to travel places they have never had chance to or to pass on their expert knowledge to other doctors and communities.

What is the highest-paid doctor in Australia?

In terms of specialties, surgeons have the highest earnings with an average annual salary of $350,000 - $450,000 – roughly 6 times more than the national average taxable income. Anaesthetists are the next highest paid with a salary averaging $325,000 -$400,000. Psychiatry is also one of the highest-paid specialties with some psychiatrists earning up to $445,000.

Why locum?

Taking on locum work is an excellent means to boost your salary. If you are flexible with where and when you can work, you are more likely to find a role to suit you. It’s also a great opportunity to take a working holiday. Locuming gives you the ability to choose your days and hours giving you chance to spend your free time travelling or spending time doing what you love outside of work. We have a team dedicated to finding you your ideal locum opportunity that suits your lifestyle and career.

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Emily Watkinson
Article by Emily WatkinsonMedrecruit Editor