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If you’re embarking on a career in healthcare or simply curious about the financial landscape of the Australian medical sector, you’ve landed in the right place – especially if you’ve always wondered about the average doctor salary in Australia in general, or a junior doctor’s salary in particular.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of remuneration for those in the early stages of their medical careers- from interns navigating their first steps in hospitals to residents honing their skills in various specialties.

But hold on, you might wonder, why the focus on junior doctors and doctors-in-training?

Well, these individuals represent the heartbeat of our healthcare system, tirelessly learning, growing, and serving on the frontlines of patient care. Their dedication fuels the engine of medical progress, making their compensation not just a matter of numbers, but a reflection of our society’s investment in the future of healthcare.

For medical students eyeing their future paths, understanding the financial landscape is crucial for making informed decisions about their careers. Likewise, seasoned professionals and policymakers benefit from insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by those in the early stages of their medical journey.

So, whether you’re a medical student contemplating your next move, a resident navigating the complexities of training, an international medical graduate looking to live and work in Australia, or a healthcare stakeholder interested in supporting the next generation of doctors, this guide is your compass in deciphering the salaries of junior doctors and doctors-in-training in Australia.

How Much Do Junior Doctors Earn?

How much do doctors get paid? How much does a doctor earn in Australia?

Curious about the earning potential of junior doctors Down Under?

In Australia, doctors-in-training and junior doctors typically earn between AUD $65,000 to $95,000 annually, while top-level consultants may command an average salary of AUD $310,000. These salary ranges are influenced by various factors such as the doctor’s location in the country and whether they work in public or private hospitals or clinics, or a combination of these. The compensation they receive reflects the skills, commitment, and crucial role doctors play in the healthcare system.

Specialisation also impacts a junior doctor’s salary, with surgery being the highest-paid specialty in the country. Other in-demand specialties include emergency medicine, general medicine, psychiatry, and anaesthetics.

Note that these salary figures offer a general perspective, as actual earnings can vary depending on a doctor’s individual medical services contract, what training level they are at, any additional shifts worked, and their specific agreements with the establishment they work with.

Medical Training Phases and Pay Levels

In the Australian medical industry, the journey from internship to becoming a consultant encompasses several distinct phases, each marked by specific training requirements and corresponding pay levels.

Of course, it must be noted that while there are national guidelines, each state and territory in Australia may have variations in pay levels for junior doctors due to differences in cost of living and healthcare system structures.

  • Internship: Fresh medical graduates commence their journey as interns, typically in public hospitals or healthcare facilities. During this year-long period, interns gain hands-on experience across various medical specialties under supervision. The average salary for interns ranges from approximately $70,000 to $80,000 per year. However, specific pay rates may vary between states and territories.
  • Residency: Following completion of internship, doctors progress to residency positions. Residents continue to build on their clinical skills and knowledge while rotating through different departments. Salaries for residents typically range from $80,000 to $90,000 annually, though this can vary depending on their location and specific employment conditions.
  • Registrar Level: Advancing in their careers, doctors may pursue registrar positions to further specialise in a particular medical field. Registrars take on more responsibility in patient care and often undergo formal training programs. The average salary for registrars in Australia falls between $85,000 to $100,000 per year. Climbing the ranks, senior registrars see a bump in their earnings, with salaries ranging from $100,000 to $150,000 annually. Again, pay levels may differ across states and territories.

These figures only provide a general overview of the earning trajectory for junior doctors in Australia, with variations depending on factors such as location, specialty, and additional responsibilities.

If you’re an aspiring or current medical professional, you can use this information to gauge your earning potential and plan your career trajectory accordingly.

It’s also important to research specific pay rates in the specific state or territory you’re looking to work in, as well as consider additional factors such as working hours, benefits, and career advancement opportunities when making a career decision in the Australian medical industry.

What Are State Awards and Enterprise Agreements?

In Australia, junior doctors’ employment conditions, including wages and other entitlements, are governed by state awards and enterprise agreements. These outline the terms and conditions of employment within specific healthcare settings and play a crucial role in shaping the working environment for junior doctors. Here’s how they affect junior doctors:

  • Conditions Governing Employment: State awards and enterprise agreements establish a framework for various aspects of employment, including wages, working hours, leave entitlements, professional development opportunities, and workplace safety standards. They ensure that junior doctors are fairly compensated for their work and provide guidelines for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
  • Different Conditions Between States: Each state and territory in Australia may have its own set of awards and enterprise agreements tailored to the needs of healthcare providers and junior doctors within their jurisdiction. As a result, there can be variations in employment conditions between different states, including differences in wage rates, overtime provisions, and other benefits.
  • National Employment Standards (NES): Alongside state-specific agreements, junior doctors are also protected by the National Employment Standards (NES), which form a set of common employment conditions enforced by the Fair Work Commission. The NES covers fundamental entitlements such as maximum weekly hours of work, annual leave, personal/carer’s leave, parental leave, and notice of termination. These standards ensure that junior doctors across Australia are entitled to a baseline level of workplace rights and protections, regardless of their state or territory of employment.

State awards and enterprise agreements play a crucial role in governing the employment conditions of junior doctors in Australia. These are meant to ensure they are fairly compensated and provided with the appropriate working conditions.

While there may be differences between states, the National Employment Standards serves as a common framework to safeguard the rights and entitlements of junior doctors nationwide.

Pay Levels and Salary Ranges by State

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at how junior doctor salaries vary across Australian states and territories, noting the differences in pay levels and salary ranges experienced by junior doctors in each region.

New South Wales

Pay Levels in New South Wales for junior doctors are structured based on years of service since graduation. Here’s a breakdown of the pay progression to give you an idea of your possible doctor salary in Sydney:

  • Intern: Typically hired on two-year contracts, interns start their medical career journey at this stage.
  • Resident: Upon meeting the requirements for general registration, medical officers become residents and progress through years 1 to 4, incrementally.
  • Registrar: To qualify, doctors need at least three years of experience in public hospital service, approved by the Ministry of Health. They must also be appointed by a hospital and occupy a registrar position. Registrars undergo four steps, spanning years 1 to 4.
  • Senior Registrar: These registrars hold higher medical qualifications and occupy senior registrar positions, approved by the employer. Their pay level reflects their advanced expertise and responsibilities.

 Annual Salary Range (Ordinary Time Earnings): $73,086 – $133,834




Junior doctor salary levels in Victoria are determined by years of relevant experience across different levels of training. Here’s a breakdown of the pay structure:

  • Hospital Medical Officer (HMO): There are three levels of HMOs, including interns and those in their second and third years of training. HMOs typically start their medical careers with supervised roles in hospitals.
  • Medical Officers (MO): The MO category encompasses nine levels, spanning from year 1 to year 6, as well as Senior MO positions in their first three years. MOs gain experience and progress through these levels as they advance in their training and responsibilities.
  • Registrars: Registrars have six levels, progressing from year 1 to year 6. They undertake specialised training in various medical fields and work under supervision to develop advanced clinical skills and knowledge.

Junior doctors in Victoria navigate through these levels, gaining experience and expertise as they progress in their medical careers. Each level corresponds to specific responsibilities and pay scales, reflecting each doctor’s evolving skills and training status.

 Annual Salary Range (Ordinary Time Earnings): $83,123 – $173,290



In Queensland, junior doctor salaries are determined by both years of experience and appointment to the relevant level of training. Here’s a closer look at how pay levels are structured:

  • Experience-Based Pay: Junior doctor salaries in Queensland are influenced by the number of years a doctor has been in practice. As doctors gain experience and progress through their training, they may be eligible for higher pay levels.
  • Appointment to Appropriate Level: The level of appointment also plays a crucial role in determining junior doctor salaries. Doctors are appointed to specific training levels based on their qualifications, experience, and the requirements of their training program.

The state offers structured career pathways for junior doctors, ensuring they receive appropriate support and guidance as they progress through their careers. These pathways help doctors navigate through different training levels and gain the necessary skills and experience to become fully qualified medical professionals.

Queensland is committed to ensuring fair compensation for junior doctors, recognising the importance of their role in the healthcare system. By providing competitive salaries based on experience and appointment level, Queensland aims to attract and retain talented medical professionals to meet the healthcare needs of the community.

Annual Salary Range (Ordinary Time Earnings): $87,517 – $176,802



Western Australia

In Western Australia, junior doctor salaries are determined by years of relevant experience at various training levels. Here’s a breakdown of the pay structure:

  • Intern (Level 1): Interns start at Level 1 and progress through their training, typically over a period of two years.
  • Resident Medical Officer (RMO) Year 1 to 3: RMOs progress through their training years with automatic annual progression based on satisfactory performance. RMOs are registered medical practitioners who have relevant post-graduation experience but have not yet entered a recognised training program.
  • Registrar Year 1 to 7: Registrars progress through seven levels. They are registered medical practitioners employed in registrar positions, with or without the Part 1 Examination of an appropriate specialist qualification recognised by the Australian Medical Council (AMC).
  • Senior Registrar Year 1 and 2: Senior registrars are registered medical practitioners appointed as senior registrars, or are registrars who have obtained an appropriate specialist qualification accepted by the AMC or Director General of Health. They may progress to Level 12 upon recognition by the relevant medical college of satisfying all requirements for admission to fellowship.

This structured progression allows junior doctors in Western Australia to advance through their training levels based on their experience and qualifications, with clear guidelines for salary increments and career advancement.

 Annual Salary Range (Ordinary Time Earnings): $82,893 – $168,679



South Australia

Junior doctor salaries in South Australia are structured based on years of service, with automatic progression once the intern level is completed.

  • Pay Progression: Junior doctor salaries in South Australia advance with each year of service, ensuring that doctors are fairly compensated as they gain experience and expertise in their roles.
  • Automatic Progression: After completing the intern level, junior doctors automatically progress to the next pay level, reflecting their commitment and dedication to their profession.
  • Accelerated Progression for New Registrars: Newly appointed Registrars benefit from accelerated progression at levels 2 and 3, recognising their transition to more advanced roles and responsibilities within the healthcare system.

South Australia is committed to providing fair compensation for junior doctors, acknowledging the importance of their contributions to patient care and the healthcare workforce.

This structured approach to salary progression ensures that junior doctors in South Australia are rewarded for their hard work and dedication as they continue to develop their skills and expertise in the medical field.

Annual Salary Range (Ordinary Time Earnings): $77,084-207,588 (MDP1 – MDP4)



Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory, junior doctor salaries are determined by years of postgraduate clinical experience, with specific classifications for each level of training.

  • Intern (Level 1): Interns start at Level 1, equivalent to pay level MO1, as they begin their clinical training.
  • Resident Medical Officer (RMO) Year 1 to 4: Progressing through years 1 to 4, RMOs advance through pay levels MO2 to MO5, reflecting their increasing experience and responsibilities.
  • Registrar (REG) Year 1 to 6: Registrars, with at least two years of full-time experience as an RMO, progress through pay levels REG1 to REG6.
  • Senior Registrar (SREG) Year 1 and 2: Senior Registrars, who have completed Part One (or equivalent) of fellowship requirements, progress through pay levels SREG1 to SREG2.
  • Fellow (FEL): Fellows, having completed examination requirements for a specialist college fellowship, are appointed for a maximum of two years. They have not yet attained the position of staff specialist.

These classifications recognise the varying levels of experience and training progression for junior doctors in the Northern Territory, ensuring fair compensation and support for their professional development.

Annual Salary Range (Ordinary Time Earnings): $84,975 – $171,687




In Tasmania, junior doctor salaries are structured based on registration status and years of experience.

Medical Practitioner

  • Level 1 (Intern): Interns start at Level 1, representing their initial year of clinical training.
  • Levels 2 – 4 (Resident): Progressing through levels 2 to 4, residents gain experience and assume increasing responsibilities in patient care.
  • Levels 5 – 8 (Senior Resident): Senior residents, at levels 5 to 8, continue to develop their clinical skills and may take on leadership roles within medical teams.
  • Levels 5 – 9 (Registrar): Registrars, spanning levels 5 to 9, undergo specialised training in various medical fields under supervision.
  • Levels 10 – 11 (Senior Registrar): Senior registrars, at levels 10 and 11, possess advanced expertise and may be pursuing dual fellowships or have attained fellowship status in one specialty.
  • Levels 11 – 13 (Senior Registrar – Dual Fellowship or Fellow): Senior registrars with dual fellowship qualifications or fellowship status are placed at levels 11 to 13.
  • Levels 10 – 13 (Career Medical Officer): Career medical officers, at levels 10 to 13, have established themselves in their medical careers and may take on teaching or administrative roles.

Specialist Medical Practitioner

  • Levels 1 – 9 (Specialist): Specialists progress through levels 1 to 9, reflecting their experience and expertise in their respective specialties.
  • Senior Specialist Medical Practitioner Level 1 – 3 (Senior Specialist): Senior specialists, at levels 1 to 3, hold senior positions within their specialties and may provide leadership and guidance to junior medical staff.

This structured pay system ensures that junior doctors in Tasmania are compensated fairly based on their qualifications and experience levels, while also providing opportunities for career advancement and specialisation.

Annual Salary Range (Ordinary Time Earnings): $87,000 – $183,500



Australian Capital Territory

In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), junior doctor salaries are determined by their registration status and years of experience.

  • Intern: Junior doctors start their clinical training as interns, gaining practical experience under supervision.
  • Resident Medical Officer (RMO) Level 1-4: Progressing from intern status, RMOs advance through levels 1 to 4, accumulating experience and assuming increased responsibilities.
  • Registrar Levels 1-4: Registrars undertake specialised training in various medical fields, progressing through levels 1 to 4 as they advance in their training and expertise.
  • Senior Registrar: Senior registrars are experienced medical practitioners who may be pursuing advanced training or have attained fellowship status. They may hold positions as Career Medical Officer 1 and 2.
  • Career Medical Officer 1 and 2: Career medical officers have established themselves in their medical careers and may take on additional responsibilities such as teaching or supervising junior doctors.
  • Transition Career Medical Officer: This designation may apply to medical officers transitioning between different stages of their careers or roles within the healthcare system.
  • Senior Career Medical Officer: Senior career medical officers hold senior positions within the healthcare system and may provide leadership and guidance to junior medical staff.

This pay structure ensures that junior doctors in the ACT are compensated fairly based on their level of experience and qualifications, while also providing opportunities for career progression and development.

Annual Salary Range (Ordinary Time Earnings): $77,000 – $158,634



Other Compensation Components

In addition to base salaries, junior doctors in Australia may receive various other compensation components that impact their overall earnings. These play a significant role in recognising the additional responsibilities and demands often placed on medical professionals.

Here’s a breakdown of some key compensation components:

  • Penalty Rates: Junior doctors may receive penalty rates for working shifts outside of standard hours, such as evenings, weekends, and public holidays. These rates provide additional compensation to acknowledge the inconvenience involved and its impact on work-life balance.
  • Overtime: Junior doctors may be eligible for overtime pay when they exceed their standard working hours. This typically applies when doctors are required to work beyond their scheduled shifts due to patient care demands or unexpected circumstances.
  • On-Call and Call-Backs: Junior doctors who are on-call, meaning they must be available to respond to urgent medical situations outside of regular working hours, may receive compensation for this duty. Additionally, if they are called back to the hospital or medical facility to provide additional care, they may receive call-back payments.
  • Allowances: Various allowances may be provided to junior doctors to cover specific expenses or recognise additional duties. These allowances can include: higher duty allowance(for junior doctors who temporarily assume higher-level roles or responsibilities); in-charge allowance (when they are designated as in charge of a ward or medical team); travel and accommodation allowances (reimbursement for travel and accommodation expenses incurred while on duty, particularly for doctors working in rural or remote areas); and professional development allowance (funding to attend conferences, workshops, or further training to enhance their skills and knowledge).

These compensation components are designed to ensure that junior doctors are fairly rewarded for their dedication, hard work, and the additional demands placed on them within the healthcare system. They play a crucial role in supporting the well-being and professional development of junior doctors across Australia.


Factors Influencing Salaries

Several factors affect the salaries of junior doctors in Australia, including:

  • Geographic Location: Salaries can vary significantly depending on the geographic location where junior doctors practise. Major cities and metropolitan areas often offer higher salaries to compensate for the higher cost of living, while rural and remote areas may provide additional incentives such as retention bonuses or higher allowances to attract and retain medical professionals.
  • Urban vs Rural Considerations: Junior doctors working in urban areas may benefit from higher salaries and more extensive career opportunities, while those in rural and remote areas may receive additional financial incentives, such as relocation allowances or accommodation support, to address workforce shortages and encourage workforce distribution.
  • Institutional Differences: Salaries may vary between different healthcare institutions, such as public hospitals, private hospitals, and community health centres. Public hospitals typically follow government-regulated salary scales, while private hospitals may offer higher salaries and additional benefits to attract medical professionals.
  • Public vs Private Hospitals: Junior doctors working in public hospitals may receive salaries determined by government-regulated awards or enterprise agreements, while those in private hospitals may negotiate individual employment contracts with potentially higher salaries and additional benefits, such as performance bonuses or professional development opportunities.
  • Salary Negotiation: Junior doctors may have the opportunity to negotiate their salaries, particularly when entering specialty training programs or pursuing positions with specific responsibilities or skill sets. Effective negotiation skills and a good understanding of market conditions can help junior doctors secure competitive salaries and favourable employment terms.

These factors highlight the complex landscape of junior doctor salaries in Australia, reflecting the intersection of geographic, institutional, and individual considerations within the healthcare system.


Superannuation Guarantee Rate

At this time, the superannuation guarantee (SG) rate for junior doctors in Australia is set at 11%.

This means that employers are required to contribute a minimum of 11% of a junior doctor’s ordinary time earnings into their chosen superannuation fund.


Have You Considered Becoming a GP in Australia?

Becoming a general practitioner (GP) in Australia offers a range of benefits, making it an attractive career choice for medical professionals.

Benefits of Being a GP

GPs play a pivotal role in providing primary healthcare to individuals and families, fostering long-term relationships with patients and promoting preventive care. They enjoy a diverse and rewarding scope of practice, addressing a wide range of medical conditions and collaborating with specialists and other healthcare professionals. GPs also have flexibility in their work hours and may have the opportunity to run their own practices or work in multidisciplinary healthcare settings.

How to Become a GP

To become a GP in Australia, you need to complete medical school and obtain general registration with the Medical Board of Australia. Following this, you’ll have to undertake vocational training in general practice, typically through accredited training programs offered by organisations such as the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).

Training includes supervised clinical placements in general practice settings, educational workshops, and assessments to ensure competency in core areas of general practice.

GP Earnings

Australian GPs enjoy competitive earnings, with potential for high income depending on factors such as location, experience, and practice type.

While earnings can vary, especially between urban and rural areas, GPs typically have opportunities to increase their income through private billing, participation in government incentive programs, and additional services such as procedural work or special interest clinics. Additionally, GPs may have the option to work as independent contractors or become practice owners, further enhancing their earning potential and career autonomy.

Overall, pursuing a career as a GP in Australia offers a fulfilling and financially rewarding path for medical professionals seeking to make a meaningful impact on community health and well-being.


How Alecto Can Help

Alecto Australia specialises in helping general practitioners (GPs) find suitable job opportunities across Australia.

We provide comprehensive support and assistance to GPs at various stages of their careers, including junior doctors who wish to pursue general practice.

Let us help you navigate the complexities of the job market and achieve your GP career objectives with confidence. Get in touch today!