Highest GP doctor salary in Australia in 2024 - find out how yours compares

female doctor - GP salary

In Australia, general practitioners (GPs) are highly valued healthcare professionals who provide primary care services to their communities. The salary of a GP varies depending on factors such as experience, location, and practice type. The highest GP doctor salary in Australia typically belongs to those with extensive experience and well-established practices in metropolitan areas.

GP salary in Australia per hour can range from AUD$90 to over AUD$200 for highly experienced practitioners. However, this hourly rate may not accurately reflect their overall income, as GPs often receive additional income from factors like bulk (bulk billing) and private billing for patient consultations.

During their training, GPs in training can expect to earn a lower salary compared to experienced GPs, with their income increasing as they progress through their career. Once fully qualified and practising independently, GPs have the potential to earn a higher income, especially if they own or manage a private practice.

The number of patients a GP sees per hour also influences their income. A higher patient volume typically translates to increased earnings. However, it is essential to balance patient numbers with the quality of care, as the primary goal of a GP is to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Here we take a look at GP salaries across Australia and what you can do to increase your earnings:

Factors influencing GP Salaries in 2024:

Before diving into the peak of GP salaries, it’s crucial to understand the factors that determine earnings:

Location: Rural and remote areas often offer higher remuneration packages to attract and retain medical professionals due to the limited availability of services and incentives provided by the government to encourage distribution.

Experience: As with most professions, experience matters. Senior GPs or those with specialised skills can command higher fees and earn significantly more.

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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Nature of employment: Whether a GP is an employee or runs a private practice can greatly influence income. Practice owners, although having overheads and business costs, often have a higher earning potential.

Working hours: Full-time GPs will, unsurprisingly, earn more than their part-time counterparts, with after-hours and weekend shifts sometimes attracting higher fees.

Specialisations: GPs with specialised training in areas like women's health, dermatology, or sports medicine can often charge higher consultation fees.

General practitioner salary in Australia:

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the average GP salary took a hit. The pandemic meant that GP visits and billings were down and many GPs took on reduced hours.

But in 2024, GP visits are back on the rise. There are also growing opportunities in telehealth, increasing the number of patients GPs can help. Shortages in rural areas and even some metropolitans mean the average GP income in Australia has risen.

Big changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) have resulted in a slight increase in GP base salaries.

The highest GP doctor salary in Australia is generally earned by experienced GPs with established practices in metropolitan areas. The GP salary in Australia per hour ranges widely, and the overall income can be influenced by factors such as the number of patients seen per hour and the type of billing. While GPs in training initially earn less, they have the potential to achieve a rewarding income as they progress in their careers.

The GP base salary has increased:

According to General Practice Registrars Australia, annual base pay rates for full-time GPs are:

GPT/PRRT/CGT:1 (The base rate of pay for a full-time GP registrar) – AUD$84,888.96

GPT/PRRT/CGT: 2 (The base rate of pay for a full-time GP registrar) – AUD$102,060.40

GPT/PRRT/CGT: 3&4 (The base rate of pay for a full-time GP registrar) – AUD$108,996.16

Superannuation is now plus 11% (up from plus 9.5% in 2020/21 and 10% in 2022).

The apex of GP earnings:

When considering the highest GP salaries in Australia, we're typically referring to the top 10% of earners in the field. According to various surveys and industry insights, the upper decile of GP earnings can reach AUD$300,000 or more annually. This figure, while certainly not an average, represents the potential earning capacity of GPs in the nation.

This impressive earning potential often stems from a combination of factors. For instance, a GP working in a rural or remote area, offering after-hours services, and possessing specialised skills or a long-standing reputation can command a premium for their services. Additionally, those who have transitioned into roles that combine clinical practice with administrative or teaching responsibilities can also see enhanced earnings.

GP hourly rate Australia:

General Practitioners (GPs) in Australia can be paid in various ways, including on an hourly basis. The hourly rate of a GP in Australia can vary depending on several factors, such as their level of experience, location, and the type of work they do.

Many GPs in Australia are independent contractors and are paid a percentage of the fees they charge for their services. This is typically referred to as the "billing model". Under this model, GPs bill for their consultations, and they receive a percentage of the fee, which varies depending on the agreement with the medical center or clinic where they work.

Alternatively, some GPs in Australia are salaried employees and are paid a fixed amount per hour worked. This is typically referred to as the "hourly rate model". Under this model, the GP is paid a set hourly rate for their services, regardless of how much they bill for their consultations.

The hourly rate for GPs in Australia can vary widely, depending on their qualifications, experience, and location. According to the Australian Taxation Office, the average hourly rate for GPs in 2024 is around AUD$90.85 per hour per hour. However, it's worth noting that this is an average figure, and individual rates can vary significantly depending on the factors mentioned above.

GPs with Fellowship recognised by RACGP (Royal Australian College of General Practitioners) with no restrictions can expect to earn around AUD$150 per hour or 65% - 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. 

A typical day rate is AUD$1,200 up to AUD$2200 if you’ve seen more patients or done procedural work such as fitting an Implanon.  Locum GPs are earning close to AUD$3,000 a day.

GPs working with restrictions (for example, an International Medical Graduate required to work in areas of need), can still earn as much as AUD$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. 

Another great thing about working as a GP in Australia is that you are entitled to paid annual leave each year.

The average GP salary in Melbourne:

The average salary for a General Practitioner (GP) varies from state-to-sate. In Melbourne, a GP's salary varies based on factors such as years of experience, qualifications, and location. However, on average, a GP in Melbourne can expect to earn anywhere between AUD$150,000 to AUD$350,000 per year. Payscale puts the average at AUD$134,559.

It's important to note that this is just an estimate and the actual salary may vary based on individual circumstances.

The average GP salary in Sydney:

Likewise, the average salary for a General Practitioner (GP) in Sydney, Australia varies based on factors such as years of experience, qualifications, and location. However, on average, a GP in Sydney can expect to earn anywhere between AUD$150,000 to AUD$350,000 per year. Payscale puts the average at AUD$124,449.

It's important to note that this is just an estimate and the actual salary may vary based on individual circumstances.

Comparison with other nations:

In a global context, Australian GPs fare quite well. The robust healthcare system, combined with the country's emphasis on equitable access to medical services, ensures that doctors, including GPs, are well-compensated. When compared to countries like the UK or the USA, Australian GP salaries, especially at the higher end, are competitive, if not more substantial. This potential for high earnings, coupled with the quality of life Australia offers, makes it an attractive destination for many international medical graduates.

Tips to improve GP income in Australia:

There are lots of ways you can earn more as a general practitioner. While working more hours and doing more procedures is the obvious way – it’s not the only one. Here’s how you can boost your GP earnings.

Do an Advanced Life Support Course. This takes two to three days and portions of it are online. With this extra qualification, some doctors earn AUD$1800 – AUD$3,500 per day. 

Go rural. GPs in urban areas like Sydney or Melbourne are typically paid less than expected than the average market rate. This is because there’s lots of competition for these roles, so clinics don’t need to make them financially attractive.

Try locuming. GPs who are flexible with dates and locations and eager to try new challenges have great earning potential with locum work. Again, rural locum work is the best-paid, but there are locum opportunities throughout Australia.

Any service which is bulk billed or covered by Medicare will need to be billed with an item number, which will have a scheduled fee attached. However, doctors who are not working at a bulk billing practice are free to set their own fees via private billing. The patient will pay the difference between the scheduled fee and the fee you have charged. If a service does not have an item number, the patient will need to pay the full amount out of their own pocket.

Rates to expect in private practices:

  • Bulk Billing: 70 – 75%
  • Mixed Billing: 60 – 70%
  • (NonVR 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%.

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

Do you want to learn about the highest rates and hottest locations for doctors in Australia in 2024? Download our free brand new Job Market Report.

Medrecruit Editorial Team
09 October 2023Article by Medrecruit Editorial TeamMedrecruit Editor