What is a surgeons salary in Australia?

Article by Bethany Rogers17 Aug 2022

General Surgeons are among Australia’s top-earning professionals in 2022.

Recent figures from the Australian Tax Office show that surgeons earned an average of $394,866, with general surgeons earning around $358,000 per year.

It's also worth noting that salaries for different specialties within surgery can vary widely. For example, a neurosurgeon or cardiothoracic surgeon may earn a higher salary than a general surgeon or orthopedic surgeon.

Your level and years of experience, the kind of work you take on, and even where you work can have an impact on how much you earn.

How much you can earn as a locum general surgeon in Australia

Locuming is a great way to travel and earn extra. Though you can locum alongside a permanent role, locuming full-time is a great way to expand your network, and increase your income and experience.

Here are typical pay rates for locum specialist general surgeons, RMOs and registrars:

· Resident medical officers (RMO): $80 – $150 per hour

· Registrars: $100 – $180 per hour

· Consultant general surgeons: $2,000 – $2,700 per day

It’s not all about income. Locuming enables you to choose when and where you want to work, and how often. This means you’re free to do more of the things you love, whether that’s assisting in a community that needs you, or simply spending more time with family and friends.

What is the highest-paying surgeon in Australia?

Though it’s neurosurgeons who continue to earn the highest surgeon’s salary in Australia at over $600,000, there’s plenty of great job opportunities for general surgeons.

Neurosurgery is followed by cardiothoracic surgery, orthopedic surgery, and plastic surgery as Australia's highest-paying surgery roles all making over $550,000 a year.

How to increase your general surgeon income

Surgeons can increase their salaries by taking several steps. One way is to specialise in a high-demand area such as neurosurgery, cardiothoracic surgery, or plastic surgery. Surgeons can also increase their earnings by working in private practice and building a loyal patient base. Developing a reputation as an expert in their field can help to attract more patients and increase revenue.

Taking on leadership roles within a hospital or surgical team can also lead to higher salaries. Surgeons can also look for opportunities to work in underserved areas or rural communities, where there may be a higher demand for their services and fewer competitors. Finally, pursuing advanced education, training, or certification in a specific area of surgery can also lead to higher earning potential.

Despite a dip during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, demand for general surgeons across Australia is still high. This means job and earning opportunities are strong.

The best way to increase your income is to find out where you’re in demand and what skills you need to stay competitive.

Here’s a break down of how you could earn more:

· Location is a great way to start. Hospitals in Western Australia and New South Wales pay some of the highest general surgeon salaries. Rural and remote work also offers higher pay rates.

· General surgeons with skills and experience in subspecialties like thoracic, cardiac and paediatrics are in demand and can earn higher salaries.

· Take advanced short courses like Management of Surgical Emergencies (MOSES). This will to take your skills to the next level, and make your CV stand out from the crowd when applying for top roles.

· Stay informed. Applications for top medical roles get competitive. Register with a specialist medical recruitment agency like Medrecruit, so you can find out about (and apply for) the top roles in general surgery first.

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Bethany Rogers
Article by Bethany RogersMedrecruit Editor