Everyone knows doctors are some of the highest paid professionals. 

But exactly how much they earn varies enormously not just around the world but within Australia.

If you’re living abroad and considering moving to Australia, or if you’re an Aussie thinking about working overseas, it pays to know what to expect before you make the big move.

We’ve crunched the numbers for you and they make for pretty interesting reading!

How much do Australian doctors earn?

It sounds like a simple enough question but the answer is very open ended.

The average wage of doctors in Australia sits somewhere between $100,000-$400,000 (we wrote more about this here).

That’s an incredibly wide range, so let’s try to break it down further.

Indeed reports the average wage for a general practitioner in Australia is $224,507 or $147 per hour.

The reality is that in Australia, there can be big differences in what doctors doing exactly the same job are paid, based on any number of factors.

These include:

Location, location – You’ll earn more in the bigger cities but pay more to live there. Sometimes though, a specialist in a remote rural area can earn more than their counterparts in the city.

Years of experience – Clearly years on the job go hand in hand with a bigger pay packet.

Specialists – A specialist is likely to earn more than a general practitioner.

Private practice – You can expect to earn more if you own your own practice rather than working for someone else or in a hospital.

Time sheets – The more you work, the more you’ll earn but that doesn’t suit everyone.

Busy bee – The more patients you see, the busier and wealthier you’ll be.

Australia compared to the rest of the world

Compared to the rest of the world, Australian doctors are paid quite handsomely.

To make the comparison, we’ll convert Australia’s average GP wage to US dollars and stack that up against what primary care physicians earn around the world – that’s the US term for a GP.

United States               $242,000

Germany                      $200,000

Australia                       $170,000

United Kingdom          $122,000

France                           $118,000

Italy                                 $70,000

Spain                               $55,000

Brazil                               $33,000

Mexico                               $7000

Of course, how much you get paid is only relative to the cost of living in that country.

That can vary enormously not just from country to country but between cities, as well as between urban and rural areas.

Curiously, the difference between the cost of living in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia is minimal, all sitting at around US$1950/month.

That makes American doctors some of the most rewarded on the planet while Australian doctors compare more than favourably with their British counterparts.

Not all doctors are equal

While the figures above compare wages of GPs around the world, there is also a big variance between the pay packets of different types of medical professionals.

Neurosurgeons generally lead the pack in Australia. The table below gives you a better idea of where you sit in the scheme of things, depending on the type of work you’re in.

Neurosurgeons            $243,083

Cardiologist                  $217,038

Psychiatrist                   $204,305

Gynaecologist              $191,049

Anaesthesiologist        $186,315

Paediatrician                $171,328

Dentist                           $138,140

Other factors to consider

It’s been a challenging couple of years for everyone all over the world, none more so than for medical professionals.

The impact of COVID has seen doctors working longer hours and not always for more pay.

In fact, many have suffered a reduction in their wages.

And more money doesn’t always equate to more happiness, job satisfaction or a better standard of living.

Planning, budgeting and investing wisely are absolutely critical and becomes even more so with every extra dollar earned.

Doctors usually fall into the highest tax bracket so the very best advice regarding tax strategies, wealth creation, risk management and financial planning is absolutely essential.

Get advice today

If you’re a doctor thinking about working in Australia or considering your options elsewhere, it is important to get the best possible advice from an experienced medical accountant. This is what we do.

Contact us today to discuss all of your professional needs.

The information contained on this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser.

Taxation, legal and other matters referred to on this website are of a general nature only and are based on Nitschke Nancarrow’s interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Those laws may change from time to time.

Nitschke Nancarrow specialises in accounting, tax and financial advice for superannuation.

Contact us now for a no obligations discussion about your needs.

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