What does a doctor earn in 2024?

Doctor earnings

Wondering how much doctors are earning in Australia and New Zealand?

The medical profession in Australia is known for offering competitive remuneration, attracting both local and international professionals. However, it is important to understand that a doctor's salary in Australia varies depending on factors such as experience, location, and specialisation.

A doctor's ability to earn varies - It depends on what level of training they are at and what specialty of medicine they are in. This article will cover how much doctors are earning in Australia and New Zealand, and how you can increase your earnings.

Please note that the salary figures mentioned in this article are intended as a general guide and can vary significantly. Salaries for doctors depend on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, geographic location, medical specialty, years of experience, type of employer (public or private sector), and individual qualifications and certifications. Additionally, changes in the healthcare industry, market demands, and economic factors can also influence salary rates. It is advisable for individuals to conduct further research or consult with professional bodies for the most current and specific salary information in their respective medical fields.

In light of this, we focus on broad averages in this article.

How much does a doctor earn in Australia?

As a developed nation, Australia's healthcare system is robust, and it provides excellent career opportunities and competitive remuneration packages for doctors. But how much exactly can a doctor expect to earn down under? Let's delve into the nuances.

Firstly, it's crucial to clarify that a "doctor" can belong to various stages of the medical profession – from a medical student doing their intern year to a seasoned specialist with decades of experience. The salary widely varies based on qualifications, years of experience, specialisation, and even geographic location.

Interns and residents:

Doctors who are just starting their medical career, often termed as interns or first-year residents, can expect to earn between AUD $60,000 to $80,000 annually. As they gain more experience and climb to higher resident years, the remuneration can touch the bracket of AUD$80,000 to $100,000.

Registrars and general practitioners (GPs):

Once a doctor moves into the phase of being a registrar, which is often the training phase for a specialisation, the salary sees a noticeable jump. Depending on the specialisation, a registrar's pay scale can be anywhere between AUD $100,000 to $150,000. General practitioners, on the other hand, have an average salary that falls within the range of AUD $150,000 to $300,000. Experienced GPs or those owning a private clinic might earn even more.


The arena of medical specialisations is vast, and so is the pay range. On average, specialists can expect to earn from AUD $200,000 to $500,000 annually. However, certain specialties like neurosurgery, orthopaedic surgery, or cardiothoracic surgery can see earnings well above the average range, sometimes surpassing the AUD $1 million mark annually, especially if they have a significant private practice.

In Australia the overall average doctor's salary is around AUD$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 AUD$68,289, so even junior doctors are earning over the national average, and consultants are earning over 4 times as much.

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).

Rural vs. urban remuneration:

Another essential factor influencing a doctor's earnings in Australia is the geographic location. Typically, doctors practicing in rural or remote areas might earn more compared to their urban counterparts. The reason behind this is the government incentives and additional allowances aimed at attracting and retaining medical professionals in regions where healthcare services might be limited.

It is essential to consider that the salaries mentioned above are only indicative, as a doctor's earnings in Australia can be influenced by various factors. Additionally, doctors may have access to other benefits, such as professional development opportunities, allowances for on-call duties, and employer-sponsored health insurance. These benefits can contribute to the overall compensation package, making the medical profession in Australia an attractive option for many professionals.

Additional factors:

Beyond the base salary, several doctors in Australia benefit from other financial incentives, including overtime pay, on-call allowances, and teaching or training allowances. Such benefits can significantly boost the overall earnings, especially for those in high-demand specialities or locations.

It's also worth noting that while the salaries in Australia are competitive, the cost of living, especially in major cities like Sydney or Melbourne, can be high. However, the country offers a high quality of life, excellent work-life balance, and comprehensive health benefits, making it a favoured destination for many medical professionals worldwide.

In conclusion, a doctor's salary in Australia varies significantly depending on factors such as experience, specialisation, and location. Junior doctors in Australia typically earn the lowest salaries within the profession, with their earnings increasing as they gain experience and specialise in specific fields. Despite the variation in salaries, the medical profession in Australia remains a rewarding and lucrative career choice, offering numerous opportunities for growth and development.

Psychiatrists, Gynaecologists, Emergency Medicine, GPs, Pediatricians, Gastroenterologists, and Physicians are all in demand and have the ability to earn good money in Australia.

How much does a doctor earn in New Zealand?

New Zealand, known for its breathtaking landscapes, also boasts of a robust healthcare system that caters to its diverse population. For medical professionals considering New Zealand as a career destination, understanding the remuneration structures is crucial. Let's delve deep into the earning potential of doctors in this Pacific nation.

Stages of the medical profession:

A doctor's career in New Zealand, much like elsewhere, can be broadly categorised into various stages - from interns to seasoned specialists. Naturally, earnings vary significantly across these stages, influenced by factors such as qualifications, experience, and areas of specialisation.

Interns and house officers:

At the onset of their medical careers, medical graduates enter their first two postgraduate years (PGY1 and PGY2) as house officers or interns. During this phase, their earnings typically range from NZD$70,000 to $85,000 annually. As they move to higher postgraduate years, the compensation steadily increases.


Doctors who've moved into the registrar phase are usually in a specialized training program. Depending on their area of specialisation and years of experience, registrars in New Zealand can expect to earn anywhere between NZD $110,000 to $180,000 annually.

General Practitioners (GPs):

The average GP salary oscillates between NZD$180,000 to $250,000. However, this can vary widely based on factors like location, years of experience, and whether the GP is part of a larger practice or runs an independent clinic.


Specialists or consultants, as they're sometimes called, command the highest earnings in the medical profession. Depending on their area of expertise, specialists can earn between NZD$200,000 to over $600,000 annually. For instance, surgeons, anaesthetists, and obstetricians often find themselves at the higher end of this earning bracket. As of 2023, the average New Zealand wage is NZD$63,779 per year, with doctors of all grades and specialties earning above the median wage.

Are doctors in Australia paid well?

Yes, in Australia with an average income of over AUD$190,000 a Specialist Consultant is the second highest paying job (followed only by banking), according to Seek.co.nz's 2022-2023 data. As detailed above specialists in private practice or certain specialties have the ability to earn well over the average income. On top of this, Australia offers its doctors great locum rates and a great work/life balance.

Are doctors in New Zealand paid well?

Yes, with an average salary of NZD$187,022 a doctor is the highest paying job in New Zealand. In recent data released by Seek.co.nz, it is ranked higher than even law or engineering.

If that wasn't enough, New Zealand is known for its outdoor lifestyle and as a great community-centric country to raise a family - so you can earn while you enjoy life in New Zealand.

How can I earn more as a doctor?

Locum work is a great way to earn more by working extra shifts alongside a usual role or instead of. Locum Consultants are earning up to AUD$3,500 a day, and in some cases, junior locums are earning AUD$2,500 a day.

Locuming also provides the opportunity to travel, learn, and work in different settings - travel and accommodation and often covered which means you can save money on the job!

There are also ways outside of medicine that doctors can supplement their income, this includes things like property investment or investment funds.

Looking to further your career as a doctor? Work with us to find the perfect role. We’re a preferred supplier to hospitals and clinics across Australia and have jobs for all specialites 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.

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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Jordy Black
05 October 2023Article by Jordy BlackMedrecruit Editor