Pay & Salary

Understanding the Average Australian Doctor Salary

June 10, 2021

Few professions have a direct impact on people's health, and wellbeing like doctors do. With this influence and the complexity of human biology, doctors are highly trained professionals. Doctors have usually undertaken extensive education paired with thorough experience to enter the workforce. In turn, they're compensated well for their skill and knowledge.

There is a broad range of salaries within the field of medicine. Knowing the pay range for specific doctor roles can help you make important career choices if you decide to pursue becoming a doctor. Some specialties need more training and studying than others. Before you invest in a path, it's good to know what remuneration you can expect. In this article, we discuss the average Australian doctor salary and list the salaries of eight doctor specialties.

What's the average doctor salary?

It can be necessary to determine some critical factors before determining the average Australian doctor salary. A doctor practices medicine to maintain and restore health and wellbeing to their patients. Human health and wellbeing are broad and extensive. Doctors can specialise in particular areas to focus on providing nuanced care.

Indeed have a resource bank of average salaries for all common professions. According to Indeed, the national average wage for a General Practitioner (GP) is $218,224 per year or $143 per hour. A GP is one specialty of medical doctors and doesn't reflect the average doctor salary of other specialties. The compensation you can expect to make as a doctor can vary depending on the below factors:

  • Specialty: As some specialties require extra study and advanced training, the pay for different specialties varies.
  • Location: Different states in Australia have slightly different average salaries for doctors. The location within the state can impact the pay as well. Cities have a higher cost of living and can reflect a higher income. On the other hand, doctors may be needed in rural areas and be compensated well for the demand.
  • Experience: The level of experience you have as a doctor is a significant factor in your salary. Doctors absorb a lot of learning on the job, so doctors with experience are more highly valued.
  • Workplace: Doctors can work in a range of settings, some of which can pay more than others. Doctors in private practice often make more than doctors who work for public hospitals, for example.

The average doctor salary of common specialties

If you're interested to learn about how much doctors earn, let's have a look at the average salary of eight types of doctors in Australia. Out of the main factors that affect doctors salaries, the most significant factor is the specialty. When doctors specialise, they can enter an area that is in high demand or encounters risk. In this case of more risk and demand, these doctors can be higher paid.

Doctors can also receive bonuses that have a significant impact on what they get paid, yet is not reflected in their salary. So while the average doctor salary can be a good indication of the profession, they're not always the entire amount received. Below we take a look at the average salary of eight types of doctors and what they do exactly:


Neurosurgeons are among the highest-paid medical professions in Australia. Becoming a neurosurgeon is a task for the determined. A neurosurgeon can have to complete up to 12 years of study and residency to become fully qualified.

Neurosurgeons diagnose and surgically treat brain disorders. These disorders can include infections of the brain and spine, strokes, tumours and spinal disorders. Our central and peripheral nervous system is highly delicate and sensitive. Our brain is also a crucial organ to sustain our life and wellbeing. So neurosurgeons that perform surgery on our brains should be well-trained. As a result of their work, they face a lot of risk and pressure in their daily role. Because of this pressure and the skills they've had to develop, they're compensated well financially.

The Australian average salary: $243,083 per year.


Anesthesiologists have an important role as they're responsible for putting people under anaesthetic. Before an operation, they're usually involved in the preparation and design of an anaesthetic plan. These plans must be correct and thorough to ensure a patient remains in the necessary state during the operation. The anesthesiologist then provides the anaesthetics to the patient and monitors their response.

Becoming an anesthesiologist can include eight years of study before becoming fully qualified. After qualifying, they can specialise in a field such as paediatrics, chronic pain or critical care anaesthesia.

The Australian average salary: $186,315 per year.


Psychiatrists are concerned with the brain but differently to neurosurgeons. They're concerned with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of emotional and mental disorders. Unlike other mental health professions, psychiatrists are medically qualified doctors. This means that they can prescribe medications as well as make a formal diagnosis.

Psychiatrists must first become medical doctors, which can take around seven years in Australia. Once they become qualified doctors, they may need to complete another five years of specialist psychiatrist training. Psychiatrists need communication skills and caring traits. They use psychotherapy, medications and other tools to meet the needs of their patients.

The Australian average salary: $204,305 per year.

General Practitioner

A General Practitioner (GP) focuses on diagnosing and treating health issues while promoting and restoring their patient's health. The word 'general' describes GP's because they have a broad and vast knowledge of illnesses patients may encounter. They may need to consider the biological, psychological and social factors when treating their patients. Their duties are not confined to specific organs of the body. GP's are trained to treat patients of any age and sex.

Despite their general capabilities, A GP is actually a specialised doctor. GP's must first become qualified medical doctors, which can take up to seven years. After this, they may need to take a two-year general foundation course. Finally, three years of specialist training in general practice can make them fully qualified.

The Australian average salary: $218,224 per year.

Gynaecologist or Obstetrician

Gynaecologists are doctors who specialise in women's health. Their focus is on the diagnosis and treatment of issues relating to the female reproductive tract. Gynaecologists can help with pregnancy, menstruation, fertility issues, and hormone disorders, among others.

Obstetrics is a type of gynaecologist. They focus specifically on pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. Australians can combine these two areas so practitioners can provide well-rounded care. Gynaecologists first need to qualify as a medical doctor. They may need to undertake an additional six years of a structured post-graduate program to become fully qualified.

The Australian average salary: $191,049 per year.


A cardiologist is a doctor who is concerned with the heart and blood vessels. They specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of medical disorders that affect the circulatory system. Cardiologists can further specialise in areas such as non-invasive cardiology and paediatric cardiology.

Day to day, cardiologists may carry out tests and perform procedures on their patients. They're also responsible for the ongoing treatment and disease-management plans. In some cases, this can include the prescription of medications.

Cardiologists also need to first qualify as a medical doctor. Next, a minimum of six years of full-time training can follow to qualify as a cardiologist. Cardiologists are rewarded well financially and earn one of the highest salaries of doctors in Australia.

The Australian average salary: $217,038 per year.


A paediatrician is a doctor who specialises in caring for children under the age of 18. Infants and children have different needs than the average adult, so caregivers can use paediatricians to treat their children's medical issues. Paediatricians education and experience allow them to diagnose and treat diseases and sickness that affect younger people.

Paediatricians can specialise further, either within a particular age group or paediatric medicine. For example, paediatric allergist and paediatric cardiologist are two common areas of paediatrics. These types of paediatricians are likely to earn more than the average salary as they're more specialised. Advanced paediatric training can take an additional three years full-time after becoming a qualified medical doctor.

The Australian average salary: $171,328 per year.


Dentists are doctors that are solely concerned with oral health. Oral health impacts people's overall health, so good oral health is essential to your health and wellbeing. Dentists are versatile in their tasks and procedure. They can perform standard cleanings and inspections, and diagnose various mouth diseases. These can include gum disease, tooth decay, oral cancer or diabetes. Dentists can also perform procedures to restore oral health, such as installing fillings, dental implants or braces.

Dentists don't have to qualify as a medical doctor like the other positions on this list. Students can complete a university degree in dentistry. Many dentists choose to specialise further by pursuing postgraduate study. Specialties can include sedation and pain control, surgery, orthodontics, paediatrics, periodontics, prosthodontics and special needs dentistry.

The Australian average salary: $138,140 per year.


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