Healthcare Salaries in Australia

July 3, 2013

Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.

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Healthcare salaries in Australia depend on the line of healthcare you are pursuing and your experience in that particular line. The more years of experience you have under your belt, the higher the salary you can expect to get. Some specialties start off at a greater base salary and have a much more accelerated progression, depending on the specialty in question.

In addition to your specialty and years of experience, healthcare salaries differ significantly from one state to another. If you are looking for a way to figure out how much you will earn as a healthcare practitioner, here is a handy guide that will give you an approximate remuneration in any particular position or any specialty.

Gap Medics student Liam working in the paediatrics department in Tanzania, whilst on his hospital work experience placement.


As a Resident/SHO or senior house officer, you will start with an approximate basic annual salary of about $60,000 – $75000, which could go up to about $90,000 with overtime. With salary packaging, this could add up to $80,000 – $105,000 a year.


The average annual salary for a registrar is $75,000 – $110,000, which can go up to $90,000 – $130,000 when you add average overtime. With salary packaging, this could add up to $105,000 – $150,000

Specialist or Consultant

As a specialist or consultant, you can expect to start at a much higher salary of $175,000 – $350,000 without overtime and $200,000 –$400,000 with overtime. This could go up to $230,000 – $500,000 if you add in salary packaging.

Basic salaries for the above are based on a working week of 38 hours. Anything more than that is considered over time for which you are usually paid double the base pay. As you can see, salaries can be approximately 15-25% higher when overtime and on-call work are taken into account.


A Registered Nurse, working a 36-hour week can expect to earn an annual average salary of about $54,000. The starting salary for nurses is around $48,000 per year and it goes up to about $72,500 for senior nurses.


The average salary for a midwife is around $70,000 per year. This could vary depending upon your experience and skill level but the typical range is from $63,000 as a starting salary to $79,000 for a more experienced midwife.   


The starting salary for dentists is around $50,000 per year and it goes up to about $78,000 for more experienced dentists.

GP Salaries in Australia Gap Medics students in the operating theatre at Maharaj Hospital in Thailand.

For a 40 hour week, you can expect to earn an annual salary of about $200,000 – $300,000 as a GP in Australia. This is with without taking into account any over time. This number can increase and the rate at which it could increase depends on the number of extra hours or over time performed. 

Other factors that will also have an on impact on your wage include:

 -Your area of practice.

-The type of work you choose to undertake – whether it is private or bulk billing, or hospital work.

-Whether you are a practice owner, employee or contractor.

What you need to remember is that in most GP positions, you work as an independent contractor. As a result of this, you are self-employed and are responsible for paying your own tax and superannuation.

Salary Packaging Explained 

Salary packaging is a perk available to all public hospital employees in Australia. It is a system that is designed to minimize your tax so that up to 30% of your salary is tax-free.

In this system you first “sacrifice” a percentage of your salary and then claim it back tax free when you spend on items such as rent, mortgage, household utility bills, petrol expenses or computers. Upon showing the receipts for these items, you can receive your income to the value of these receipts free of tax