Working as a Medical Professional in Australia

Working as a medical professional in Australia

Sarah Peddie

A guide to working as a Medical Professional in Australia

Australia has always been a popular destination for expatriate doctors looking for a move overseas whether that be permanent or temporary. An excellent healthcare system, good working conditions and an attractive lifetsyle has tempted many to take the plunge.

However, over the past year it has become a bit more difficult for foreign doctors to get a job down under. In 2019, the Australian Government planned to cut expat doctors entering Australia by 10 percent - which equals to around 200 people per year for the next four years. 

Australia aims to be self sufficient in doctors! However there are always likely to be some specialities which cannot be filled locally and present great opportunities for expats.

Overseas doctors will be directed to areas of “workforce need” which would mean rural and remote communities. Don’t let this put you off moving to Australia though as there are plenty of roles still available. The roles are mostly those of senior and specialised staff. 

Medical Job Opportunities

There are many job opportunities across Australia from remote areas to the big cities throughout the country. Biggest competition for roles are in Melbourne and Sydney - you may want to consider working in other areas like Adelaide or Perth which are attractive to expats as these cities are roughly 20 percent cheaper to live in compared to Sydney. 

Look for jobs in Perth Western Australia

The roles that are in high demand across Australia are psychiatrists, radiologists, general practitioners, anaesthetists, emergency physicians and specialists in obstetrics and gynaecology. 

Salary and benefits

Doctors in Australia usually work between 35 - 38 hours per week depending on specialism and seniority. Hours worked beyond will be considered as overtime and attract after hours pay which can count as double time. 

GPs can typically earn around AUD$240,000 and around AUD$380,000 in rural and remote areas with a combination of salary, allowance and bonuses. It can rise to about AUD$400,000 with after hours pay. 

Medical Registration

Once you’ve got yourself a job offer - you have to register with the Australian Medical Council which approved GMC accredited medical schools.

You also have to register with the Australian Health Practitioners Registration Authority and this manages the registration process for the Medical Board of Australia (equivalent to GMC).

If you don’t have an Australian passport or permanent residency, then you will need a visa to work in the country. Your Australian employer has paperwork to complete for the process - as do you. The process is complicated so it is advised to use a recruitment agency to guide you through the whole process. 

Are you thinking about working in Australia as a medical professional? Then search for jobs and register your interest with us so that our experienced recruitment consultants can guide you.

Our Australian Country Profile page has information about living and working in Australia and our News Section has lots of insights, news and tips about the healthcare sector in Australia and what it is like to work there.

For some insights into the Australian Healthcare System, here is a video you can watch in a few minutes for a fast overview.