GP Salary Australia: 2024 Update

GP working - GP salary Australia

The average GP salary in Australia varies for a number of reasons. Working in general practice, you’re much more likely to be an independent contractor than a salaried employee, so your GP earnings will depend on the number of hours you work and the type and number of consultations you do. Your rates of pay also depend on your location, for example if you are working in New South Wales your rate could differ from that of Queensland.  

Potential GP earnings and rates of pay

General Practice works differently from other specialities as most of your earnings will come from Medicare billings. Your income depends on whether you are in a bulk or mixed billing practice, how busy the practice is and the quality of patient care given.

Factors influencing GP salaries in 2024:

Several variables play a role in determining a GP's salary in Australia:

Experience and duration in the field: As with many professions, a GP who has just started their career might be on a lower salary bracket than a seasoned practitioner with many years of experience under their belt.

Location: GP salaries can differ based on whether they practice in urban or rural areas. Rural areas, often experiencing a shortage of medical professionals, might offer more lucrative packages to attract and retain doctors. This can sometimes offset the perceived challenges of working in remote locations.

Mode of employment: GPs working in private practices, especially those owning the practice, can expect a different pay structure than those in public or community clinics. However, owning a private practice comes with overhead costs, which can impact the net income.

Working hours: Part-time GPs and those taking on locum roles can expect a different pay rate compared to full-time practitioners. Moreover, some GPs also offer after-hours services, which might come with additional remuneration.

Bulk billing vs. private billing:

Another factor that plays a significant role in a GP's income in Australia is the method of billing. GPs can choose between 'bulk billing', where they charge the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) rate, and 'private billing', where they can set their fees. GPs who primarily use private billing might earn more; however, this could also be influenced by the socio-economic demographics of their patient base.

Insights on average salary:

On average, a GP in Australia can expect to earn between AUD$200,000 to AUD$350,000 annually, depending on the factors mentioned above. However, these figures can vary significantly. For instance:

Entry-level GPs: Those who are just starting out or have a few years of experience might earn somewhere in the range of AUD$100,000 to AUD$150,000. This figure often increases as they gain more experience, build a larger patient base, or specialise in specific areas.

Senior GPs: Experienced GPs, especially those with a specialisation or running successful private practices, can earn on the upper end of the scale, sometimes even surpassing the average upper limit.

Hourly rates:

GPs with Fellowship recognised by RACGP (Royal Australian College of General Practitioners) with no restrictions can expect to earn around $150 per hour or 70% of the billings, whichever is greater. Often in permanent roles, you’ll receive a guaranteed amount per hour (around AUD$150) for the first three to four months. After this, you’ll receive the hourly rate or a percentage of the billings, whichever is greater.

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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If you’re a GP with restrictions (for example, an International Medical Graduate required to work in areas of need), you can still earn as much as $150 per hour or 70% of billings, but this depends on where you are based.   Non-VR GPs earn less, around 60–65% of billings. Hourly rates are less common for non-VR GPs, but some permanent roles offer AUD$90 – AUD$120 per hour or a percentage of the billings (whichever is greater) for the first few months. You can significantly top up your GP earnings by taking on weekend and evening work or by upskilling to rural GP work.

Locum doctors are earning up to $4000/day. How does your salary compare? Find out in our free 2024 Australian Doctor Job Market.
Download now

Rates in Private Practice:

Bulk Billing: 70 – 75%. Mixed Billing: 60 – 70% (Non-VR GPs will typically get 5 – 10% less than this).Fellows get a higher percentage of billings. GPED or SMO roles are predominantly under the public sector for VR GPs with advanced skills. Average day rates are around $1200–$2200, dependant on skills and hours rostered. Most permanent and locum jobs will offer a guarantee for a set amount of time (typically around $130 – $150 per hour). If you are prepared to work after hours, be on call, do specialised services or care plans, or do out of clinic care, you could top up your earnings by as much as 40%.

Day rates:

A typical day rate is AUD$1,200 up to AUD$2,200 if you’ve seen more patients or done procedural work such as fitting an Implanon. We are seeing locum GPs earn up to AUD$3,000 a day.  

Tips for boosting your GP earnings 

Medrecruit’s Harleen Gill specialises in finding locum and permanent roles for GPs in Australia. She says flexibility and advanced skills are the keys to earning more as a GP.   “I often suggest my GPs do an Advanced Life Support Course. This takes two to three days and portions of it are online. But with that extra qualification, some doctors can earn AUD$1800 – AUD$2000 per day.   “It depends on location too, of course. In areas with lots of competition for roles, like central Sydney or Melbourne, expect to be paid a little less than the average market rate. Around 65% of billings or AUD$135 per hour. This is because there’s lots of competition for those roles, so clinics don’t need to make them financially attractive.   “It’s different in rural locations. Not everyone wants to or can work in rural locations. There’s a government subsidy for clinics and in many rural GP roles you’ll have more responsibility compared to suburban clinics.   “But if you’re money-motivated and are excited about new experiences, I’d consider learning extra skills and taking on rural roles.”  

Why locum as a GP?

Taking on locum GP work, or even locuming full time as a GP can give you flexibility and increased earning potential. Lots of doctors we work with choose to locum full time, choosing when and where they work.   The more flexible you are with the dates and areas you want to work, the more likely you are to find roles. On the flip side, if you want to take a break from medicine, you can enjoy more flexibility and only take on roles that interest you. The top-earning GP locums tend to be those who work in rural and remote locations.

Additional benefits

Besides their primary salary, GPs in Australia often enjoy additional benefits, such as:

Professional development: There might be provisions for continued professional development, facilitating GPs to upskill and stay abreast of the latest in medical advancements.

Superannuation: As is standard in Australia, employers contribute to the GP's superannuation, ensuring a secure financial future.

Relocation assistance: For those willing to practice in rural or regional areas, there might be relocation packages or financial incentives to sweeten the deal.

A career as a general practitioner in Australia is not only professionally rewarding but also offers a competitive remuneration package. The continuous demand for GPs across the vast expanse of the country ensures that job opportunities remain abundant. However, prospective GPs should consider the complete picture, including work-life balance, location, type of practice, and patient demographics, when evaluating potential earnings. As with many careers, the tangible and intangible benefits combined make the profession fulfilling and financially attractive.

Looking to gain experience and further your career as a GP? Work with us to find the right GP role for you. We’re a preferred supplier to hospitals and clinics across Australia and have jobs for GPs at all career stages.

If you'd like to learn more about the hottest locations and the highest rates for doctors in Australia in 2024, you can download our brand new and free Job Market Report.

Rachael Walsh
31 July 2023Article by Rachael WalshMedrecruit Editor