Australia offers a fabulous setting in which to enjoy a medical sabbatical, an overseas elective or even a permanent medical career. From red deserts and green jungles to golden beaches and vibrant cities, there is really ‘nothing like Australia’.
Australia consistently ranks as one of the world’s best places to live in terms of income, human development, healthcare
and civil rights. It is the world’s 13th-largest economy and has the world’s sixth-highest per capita income. It is the sixth-largest country in the world by land mass, but it has a comparatively small population (circa 23 million), which is concentrated in and around metropolitan cities and coastal areas.
The vastness of the country means that there is a huge range of climates and lifestyle options. Whether you want to work regionally and buy a vineyard, surf every day, live by the ski fields or experience life in the unforgettable outback, we can help find the right job for you.
Explore what Australia has to offer by visiting Tourism Australia’s website
Around the world Australia is known for its rich culture and diversity, not just amongst its people but also in its landscape. There are very few places in the world where you can find such a variety of climates and beautifully variable landscapes.
From the rich red sands surrounding majestic Uluru in Australia’s Red Centre, steeped in its mystical Aboriginal heritage, to the crystal clear waters off Western Australia where you may chance an encounter with the beautiful (and totally harmless) Whale Shark…
From the lush forested ridges of the Great Dividing Range that stretch across the land from the south east all the way up the East Coast, and carry within them an abundance of unique wildlife, to the complex colourful corals that fill the Great Barrier Reef like magical underwater gardens.
Wherever you go, you are sure to find your own unique piece of Australia, full of a beauty that has to be seen to be believed.
And even when you look beyond the unmistakable beauty of Australia, you will find that Australia offers an uncrowded, unpolluted, modern and prosperous setting to enjoy a medical sabbatical, a fixed term clinical appointment or a permanent medical career.
Well known as a country that combines beauty and comfort with a sophisticated yet relaxed lifestyle, Australia remains the most popular destination in the world for doctors looking for a change.
Australia is divided into eight states/territories which, whilst maintaining themselves separately, function as one country under a federal government. Each state/territory boasts its own unique features and charms, and you can even find a range of climates depending on where you are based.
Almost 70% of health expenditure in Australia is funded by government: The Australian Federal Government sets national health policies and subsidises health services which are provided by State and Territory Governments.
There are two major national subsidy schemes, Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (,but many Australians (55% in 2012) also take out private health insurance, partly as it is tax-efficient to do so. The Australian Government provides a subsidy of approximately 30% to individuals who purchase private insurance, and further incentives include The Private Health Insurance Rebate and The Medicare Levy Surcharge. For further information, a useful Information Kit about Medicare’s programmes and services is available on the Medicare Australia website.
Improving the health status of Australia’s indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is both a longstanding challenge and a priority for governments in Australia. The Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH), part of the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, is committed to supporting sustained coordinated action to achieve health improvements over time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Their vision for the future is health outcomes and health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples equal to that of the general Australian community, whereas there is currently a gap.
Time taken to gain registration and a visa to work in Australia will vary depending on type of registration applied for and seniority. SHOs and Registrars should allow 3-4 months after securing a position, but for Consultants and GPs this will take at least 6-8 months. The steps involved in gaining registration are outlined below, with further information on Immigration see below:
Stage 1: The AMC is responsible for ensuring that standards of education, training and assessment of the medical profession promote and protect the health of the Australian community. The AMC is also responsible for conducting Primary Source Verification of a Doctor’s qualifications, click here for more information.
Stage 2: The relevant specialist college will assess the Doctor’s comparability to an Australian trained Doctor, looking at their training and examinations in addition to their clinical experience. Doctors may be required to attend an interview in person or via Skype or video link.
Stage 3: AHPRA/ Medical Board of Australia are the final stage in the professional registration process and give final approval for a Doctor to practice in Australia, based on their own checks around good standing and that a Doctor meets all requirements, and has indeed been deemed competent to practice at the desired level in Australia.
After registration the next step in the process is for us to apply for a temporary visa for the Doctor and any accompanying and eligible dependants. For all Doctors we use the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (Subclass 457). This gives the Doctor up to a 4 year visa (dependent on the length of their job offer), which can be renewed multiple times, each time for up to four years, and allows their partner and dependants to travel with them and live and work in Australia for the same duration. The application is submitted online and approved electronically. Further information is available from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
All Doctors must satisfy the requirements of the Medical Board of Australia’s English Language Policy, which can be found here . If English is not your first language, and you didn’t complete tertiary education in an English-speaking country, you will need to pass the Academic Module of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Tests can be taken regularly in test centres worldwide – please see the IELTS website for further details. There are a range of preparatory courses, practice papers and video tutorials available online. The Occupational English Test (OET) is another option, providing a valid assessment of all four language skills of healthcare professionals seeking to register and practise in an English-speaking environment require, with an emphasis on medical and health professional environments.
Australia is the product of a unique blend of established traditions and new influences. Today Australia has a population of nearly 23 million people, with approximately 25% of the resident population comprised of people born overseas. The defining feature of Australia is not only the cultural diversity of its people, but the extent to which they are united by a unifying commitment to the country.
Australia has a vibrant arts scene that reflects both the nation’s Indigenous cultural traditions and its rich tapestry of migrant cultures. All forms of visual and performing arts have strong followings, including film, art, theatre, dance and music. Australia is so large that it experiences most climatic conditions, from tropical monsoons to hot, dry weather and snow. Generally, however, the climate is warm and temperate, particularly in the major coastal cities. This relatively benign climate means people spend a good deal of time outdoors at beaches, in the countryside or on sporting fields.
There are lots of things to discover about living in Australia. You can start by taking a look at the tourism section on the Australian Government’s website, and also by visiting the lifestyle page on the Immigration & Citizenship website.
For public sector work, salaries in Australia vary slightly from state to state and are based on fixed Government award rates. Salaries for a 1st year Consultant can start at $230,000 remuneration package and go up to $330,000 with allowances. A Clinical Director can earn over $400,000 (with allowances) in some locations. The table below outlines some approximate basic salaries (excluding overtime and on-call rates):
t is a fairly well publicised fact that in Australia you will generally find a work-life balance better than almost any other country in the world. Your working week is based around a standard 38 hours, and you will generally find that (based on department setup) you have a lot of control over just how much after hours and on call work you want to take on.
When you take a medical job in Australia – you will be contracted directly by the facility you work for. At no stage will you be an employee of Workplace Doctors (nor will we adjust your wages in any way, shape or form) and this means you will be paid the same rate as your Australasian colleagues – just another way that we make sure you get the best benefits you can from working with IMR.
Salaries in Australia can vary slightly from state to state, but each state’s government regulates all doctors’ salaries. These are all approximate figures for basic salaries in Australia – note that after overtime and on call work these salaries will be approximately 15-25% higher, and then you can factor in ‘salary packaging’ (scroll down for more info)
|Career Level||Basic Salary
|Gross Pay Total
|Resident / SHO||60,000 – 75,000||70,000 – 90,000||80,000 – 110,000|
|Registrar / Senior Registrar||75,000 – 110,000||85,000 – 140,000||100,000 – 180,000|
|General Practitioner||150,000 – 350,000||170,000 – 450,000||195,000 – 550,000|
|Consultant (Specialist)||150,000 – 350,000||170,000 – 450,000||195,000 – 550,000|
Salaries may include all or some of the following elements (with the exact package dependent on location, seniority and specialty):
As we mentioned earlier, your basic salary assumes a working week of 38 hours – anything after this will be paid at penalty rates (usually double-pay). So, in reality you have a fair amount of control over how much you earn based on exactly how many work hours you are willing to do. Most facilities will have some degree of flexibility when it comes to additional hours.
For current tax rates please visit the Australian Taxation Office’s website by clicking here
Salary packaging is a tax-minimisation system allowing all hospital employees in Australia to receive some of their salary tax free. This is often up to 30% of their gross wage. The basis of this is that hospital employees are exempt from ‘Fringe Benefits Tax’. This is normally a tax on all rewards given to employees which do not form the cash component of their salary. Due to this special exemption for public hospital employees, there is the opportunity to ‘sacrifice’ some of your salary and receive it as fringe benefits, which is free from all forms of tax (including income tax).
The way this works in practice is that you designate a proportion of your income (up to a maximum of 30% of total salary in many hospitals) that is to be set aside for expenses. These can include things like your household mortgage or rent, petrol expenses, household utility bills, computers, holiday travel, all the way up to eating out at restaurants. On showing the receipts for these items, you can receive your income to the value of these receipts free of tax.
Most doctors try to package the maximum amount and so receive a significant proportion of their income tax free resulting in reducing their taxable income substantially. Before commencing work, you should contact your hospital and ask for further details about salary packaging as it can save you a lot of money.
In addition to salary packaging, most hospitals will give all doctors working in Australia the following benefits:
Australian cities offer a wide range of housing options, ranging from a house on a block of land in the suburb of a big city, to sleek city-centre apartments. Country towns and regional cities are smaller and widely separated. Renting a home is usually done through real-estate agents. A comprehensive guide to renting in every state in Australia can be found on the Australian Government’s website here . It is also worth having a look at the following real estate websites to get an idea of what is available:
The Australian school year runs from January to December, with four school terms. The longest holiday is over the Christmas period. Most educational institutions close for at least six weeks over the Christmas holidays. There are three other two-week school holidays during the year, in April, July and October.
The educational structure in Australia follows a three tier model that includes primary education, followed by secondary education (secondary schools/high schools) and tertiary education (universities and/or vocational education and training).
Australian universities are among the best in the world, with several in the Top 200 Jiao Tong University Ranking. An undergraduate degree course usually takes three years, but there are also double-degrees and post-graduate studies that take longer to complete. The Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) website has lots of useful information about the university application process and how it applies to international students.
Feel free to visit our jobs section to find the latest vacancies as per your grade & specialism.