What is the highest emergency physician salary in Australia?

Female doctor - Salary

Australia’s healthcare system is globally renowned for its efficiency and quality. A vital part of this system is the emergency department, where emergency physicians play a pivotal role in the immediate assessment and treatment of patients. Given the high-stakes nature of their work, their salaries reflect the skills and expertise required.

The demand for emergency medicine doctors in Australia is high. Emergency medicine is a specialty that focuses on the immediate care of patients with acute illnesses or injuries. Emergency medicine doctors are trained to quickly assess and stabilise patients, and to make decisions about the most appropriate course of treatment. They work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, urgent care clinics, and emergency departments.

In Australia, the salary of an emergency physician varies based on factors such as experience, location, and employment terms. However, senior emergency physicians, especially those with years of experience and in leadership roles, can earn impressive salaries that are among the highest in the medical field. Most hospitals acknowledge and pay based on your training in emergency.

In 2024, emergency medicine continues to be one of the best-paid medical specialties. On average, an emergency physician can expect to earn between AUD$200,000 to $280,000 annually, depending on their level of seniority. Entry-level positions might start at a lower range, while senior emergency physicians or those in leadership roles can earn considerably more. Consultants working in this area can earn as much as AUD$3,500 per day.

Factors influencing salaries in 2024:

Experience and seniority: An emergency physician starting their career can expect a respectable salary. However, as they gain experience, take on additional responsibilities, and possibly step into roles such as Director of Emergency Medicine, their earnings can significantly increase.

Location: The state or territory in which an emergency physician works can also play a role in determining salary. Often, rural and remote areas might offer higher salaries or additional incentives to attract skilled professionals to regions where medical services are less accessible.

Public vs. private: While many emergency physicians work in public hospitals, some also work in private facilities or combine both. Working exclusively in private settings or juggling both can potentially yield a higher income.

The pinnacle of earnings:

So, what's the highest salary an emergency physician can aspire to in Australia?

Senior emergency physicians, particularly those in leadership roles, can earn upwards of AUD$450,000 annually. Such positions often involve not just patient care but administrative and strategic planning duties for the entire emergency department. In some cases, especially in private settings or in very remote locations where incentives are added, it's not unheard of for salaries to approach or even exceed AUD$500,000 per year.

Locum roles can offer emergency physicians a chance to earn a higher hourly rate. Locum emergency physicians, particularly those willing to travel or work in remote areas, might find that their earnings exceed those of permanent roles. These roles can be particularly lucrative, given the sometimes urgent demand and the willingness of hospitals or agencies to pay premium rates for short-term coverage.

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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Here’s what locum emergency medicine specialists earn in Australia:

  • Resident medical officers (RMO): AUD$80 – $250 per hour
  • Registrars: AUD$100 – $300 per hour
  • Consultant emergency medicine physicians: AUD$2,000 – $3,500 per day

Emergency medicine specialists on a salary in Australia earn an average AUD$200,000 to $280,000. Top specialists can earn as much as AUD$500,000 or more. Junior doctors salaries typically start around AUD$70,000 and can reach upwards of AUD$90,000 as they gain experience and progress through their initial postgraduate years.

How emergency medicine doctors can increase their income:

  • Emergency medicine specialists have lots of opportunities to increase their salaries. Increasing your hours is the most obvious one, but it’s not always the best way to earn more money, especially if it affects your work/life balance.

  • Location, location, location. Doctors working in rural areas tend to earn more and the work is arguably more interesting.

  • Find out where you’re in demand. Particularly at registrar level, some states like Western Australia and New South Wales offer more competitive pay rates to entice EM doctors.

  • If you’re in a salaried role, take on locum work to boost your income. Emergency medicine consultants can increase their income considerably by taking on a few well-chosen locum roles.

  • To get the best roles, make yourself indispensable and develop your skill set. Emergency medicine doctors have been described as the ‘world’s best multi-taskers. Having excellent communication and other ‘soft’ skills will really make your CV shine.

To find a great range of emergency medical jobs, work with a specialist recruitment agency like Medrecruit. We have hundreds of jobs in emergency medicine in Australia and New Zealand. We can help you find top-paying emergency medicine roles and match you to jobs that offer so much more than a great salary.

Want to learn more about the hottest locations and the highest rates for doctors in Australia right now? Download our brand new and free 2024 Job Market Report.

Bethany Rogers
06 October 2023Article by Bethany RogersMedrecruit Editor