What is the average doctor salary in Australia?

GP working - average doctor salary

Doctor Salary: how much do doctors earn in Australia?

In Australia, doctors' salaries vary significantly based on their specialisation, level of experience, and the setting in which they work. As a broad estimate, general practitioners (GPs) typically earn between AUD$200,000 to AUD$300,000 annually, but this can fluctuate based on location, with rural GPs sometimes earning more due to higher demand and incentive programs.

In Australia the overall average doctor's salary is around AU$180,000, however, what a doctor can earn depends on many factors, including their grade, and their specialty. If you are a doctor-in-training or junior doctor in Australia you will earn around AUD$70,000 – $95,000, whereas a top-level consultant can be earning an average of AUD$310,000.

New data from the Australian Tax Office has revealed that the average salary in Australia is now $68,289, so even junior doctors are earning over the national average, and consultants are earning over 4 times as much.

Specialist doctors, on the other hand, tend to have a higher earning potential. For example, neurosurgeons and cardiothoracic surgeons can command salaries upwards of AUD$500,000, with some experienced surgeons reaching AUD$800,000 or more. Radiologists and anaesthetists are also among the higher earners in the medical profession, with salaries that can surpass AUD$400,000 annually.

Several factors influence these figures, including the Australian state in which a doctor practices and whether they work in a public hospital, private practice, or a combination of both. While doctors in Australia are generally well-compensated, their earnings are a reflection of their expertise, dedication, and the critical role they play in healthcare.

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What is a junior doctor's salary in Australia?

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

A junior doctor's salary can vary depending on their specialty. The highest-paid specialty in Australia is surgery. Many doctor specialites are in-demand including emergency medicine, general medicine, psychiatry, and anaesthetics.

In Australia, the average earnings for junior doctors vary widely based on their location:

Western Australia: Junior doctors can expect an annual base salary of approximately AUD$85,000. The vast landscapes and booming mining sector contribute to competitive compensation here.

Tasmania: With a quieter medical scene than some of its mainland counterparts, Tasmania offers junior doctors an average of AUD$72,000 annually.

Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria: In these populous states, the salaries for resident doctors are relatively comparable. On average, junior doctors can expect to earn around AUD$78,000 to $82,000. However, additional benefits and allowances might vary.

South Australia: Junior doctors in this state typically earn around AUD$75,000 a year, with Adelaide hosting most of the medical facilities.

Northern Territory: Given its remote location, junior doctors might find slightly higher average earnings, around AUD$87,000 annually, compensating for its remoteness.

Australian Capital Territory: Canberra, being the nation's capital, offers competitive salaries, with junior doctors earning an average of AUD$80,000 annually.

While these figures provide a general overview, it's important to note that actual earnings can vary based on individual contracts, additional shifts, and specific hospital agreements.

How much do Australian consultant doctors earn?

In Australia, consultants, also referred to as specialist doctors, command substantial salaries due to their high level of expertise and extended training. On average, a consultant can expect to earn between AUD$250,000 to $310,000 annually, though this figure can vary widely based on the specific medical specialty, years of experience, and the state or territory in which they practice. Some physicians in private practice can earn as much as AUD$600,000 per year.

A specialist doctor's salary in Australia can vary based on the location. Consultant doctors, also often termed 'specialists' in Australia, have completed their training and are experts in their respective fields. Their salaries reflect their expertise and years of training.

Western Australia: A hotspot for many industries, WA offers consultant doctors an average annual salary of approximately AUD$250,000 to $300,000, with some specialties earning more.

Tasmania: Here, consultants might see a slightly lower average at around AUD$230,000 to $280,000, depending on the specialty and hospital contracts.

Locum doctors are earning up to $4000/day. How does your salary compare? Find out in our free 2024 Australian Doctor Job Market.
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Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria: These populous states, with multiple major cities, provide consultants an average earning bracket of AUD$240,000 to $310,000.

South Australia: Consultants in SA can expect an average salary ranging between AUD$235,000 and $290,000.

Northern Territory: Given its remote nature and the demand for specialized services, NT compensates consultants with an average of AUD$260,000 to $320,000.

Australian Capital Territory: Canberra, with its mix of public and private healthcare services, offers consultant doctors an average of AUD$245,000 to $305,000 annually.

While base salaries provide an insight, many consultants also earn more through private practice, and salaries can vary widely based on the specialty, experience, and individual contracts.

Daily locum rates for consultants are similar across states and can be lucrative for senior doctors earning up to AUD$3,500 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?

If you are wondering what kind of doctor earns the most, the highest-paid specialty in Australia is surgery, with an average taxable income of around AUD$394,000. Specialty surgeons (like neurosurgeons and ophthalmologists can earn over AUD$500,000). Surgery is followed by anaesthetics and internal medicine (which are all in the over AUD$300,000 bracket).

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.

Discover the hottest locations and the highest rates for doctors in Australia in 2024 - download our brand new and free Job Market Report.

Emily Watkinson
06 October 2023Article by Emily WatkinsonMedrecruit Editor