Guide to Working in Australia as a UK Doctor

Guide to Working in Australia as a UK Doctor

If you are thinking of working in Australia as a UK Doctor, you might be feeling intimidated by all of the choices and obstacles you’ll have to overcome.

It is for this reason that the prospect of moving to Australia can be both an exciting and overwhelming one.

White & Company are here to help!

We have years of experience relocating people down under and even have an article highlighting 50 great reasons to move to the country.

In this comprehensive guide, we will specifically walk you through the journey of transitioning your medical career from the United Kingdom to Australia.

Covering everything from visa requirements to cultural adjustments, this article breaks down the advantages and disadvantages, examining both the professional and personal aspects you should take into account.

Following our guide should ensure you have all the information you need for a smooth and successful move!

Can UK Doctors Work in Australia?

Doctor UK Flag

There are several criteria you must meet to work as a Doctor in Australia. Image credit: Depositphotos

Before you start planning your big move you will first need to establish if you are eligible to start working in Australia as a UK Doctor.

Eligibility for registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is one of the prerequisites to working as a Doctor in Australia.

The AHPRA is the Australian medical registration body equivalent to the GMC in the UK or the Medical Council of Ireland.

The AHPRA is the equivalent of the GMC in the UK or the Medical Council in Ireland.

Luckily, many doctors who are registered with the GMC go down this route, and for the majority of doctors, the procedure is painless (excuse the pun.)

In fact, the majority of international doctors in Australia originate from the UK, making the move down under an especially popular choice.

This is thanks in part to the undergraduate and postgraduate training processes being very similar in both countries.

With this in mind, you can search for jobs in Australia.

Upon receiving a job offer, you will need to apply for both a provisional registration with AHPRA as well as a visa to work (this is likely to be a temporary skill shortage or TSS visa).

Both the registration and visa can be made permanent depending on whether you choose to stay in Australia on a long-term basis or not.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the moving process, it is important to explore what types of registration are available.

Different types of registration?

AHPRA offers two types of registration, provisional and general registration.

Here we will break down what each means and how they may impact you if you are thinking of working in Australia as a UK doctor.

Provisional Registration

A provisional registration allows for supervised practise in Australia for up to 12 months.

This level of registration is equivalent to having a provisional registration with GMC for your FY1 year.

You cannot work as a locum while registered under provisional status as you must always work under supervision in a named job with a named supervisor.

Provisional registration is essential for doctors who have never practised in Australia before.

All foreign medical professionals moving to the country will begin via this route, except for some Consultants.

A doctor cannot be considered qualified to apply for general registration until they have completed 47 weeks of full-time supervised practice.

General Registration

General registration is the equivalent of completing your FY1 year successfully and becoming fully registered with the GMC.

This will then enable you to have a complete doctor registration in Australia.

Additionally, you can work outside of the supervision regime from provisional registration, meaning so that you can perform locum work.

The procedure for ‘upgrading’ to general registration is pretty straightforward.

You submit reports from your supervisor and a letter of recommendation to the Australian Medical Council (AMC), who will approve them and let AHPRA know that you are qualified.

For a more in depth look at registration pathways check out these useful links:

How Many Doctors from the UK Work in Australia?

Upwards Trend

There is a steady trend of more UK Doctors moving to Australia. Image credit: Depositphotos

If you are thinking about working in Australia as a UK doctor you may be pleased to know that you are not alone!

Between 2014 and 2016, the number of UK doctors working in Australia and New Zealand increased by 17%, while the number of doctors working in the US decreased.

This shift may be due to regions like Australasia having more medical education systems that are more akin to the UK.

The figures specifically for Australia indicate that a total of 6,621 UK-trained doctors were working in the country in 2021 (these are the most recent statistics released to the public).

This means that over the past five years, there has been a steady upward trend, and the numbers are now more than 25% higher than they were in 2016!

Why are UK Doctors Working in Australia?

Australia is a popular destination for lots of expats regardless of profession.

This is in part due to factors like a higher standard of living, a better work-life balance, wages and weather, among others.

Many of these factors, including work-life balance and wages frequently apply to medicine and draw doctors from all over the world.

In a recent BBC article, Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, who jointly chair the BMA junior doctors committee, said: “You cannot ignore the evidence that if the government won’t pay doctors what they are worth, they are going to continue to leave for countries that will.”

Additionally, the UK medical degree is highly regarded by the Medical Board of Australia, which facilitates British Doctors moving to the country more easily than in other nations.

Salaries for Doctors in Australia


Doctors in Australia earn more on average than in the UK. Image credit: Unsplash

In general, doctors are paid more in Australia than in the UK, but finances are more complicated than just salaries because you will also need to take into account the varying costs of living in Australia. 

These include taxes, housing, insurance, and other expenses.

In general, a house officer or intern, which is where you will start post-F1, earns an average of $80,000 AUD per year in Australia (just over £40,000).

Following an internship, two to three years of residency will pay you between $80,000 to $100,000 AUD per year, and after residency, registrar salaries range from $100,000 to $160,000 AUD.

Depending on your location, experience, and speciality, post-training consultancy or general practitioner salaries will range from $170,000 to $450,000 AUD.  

As with any job, salaries vary depending on various other factors, these figures are just a guideline.

Comparing UK Doctors’ Salaries to Australia

So, how do these figures compare to the UK?

GPs in the UK make an average salary of £90,000 and work 41.8 hours per week.

According to the 2018 Alecto GP Salary Survey, the average GP salary for those working 39–43 hours per week in Australia is £210,166 ($379,357).

Whilst these figures are averages, it is clear that Doctors in Australia are receiving far better salaries!

Finding a Job as a Doctor in Australia

There are four main routes that you may wish to take when seeking work in Australia as a doctor.

Applying Directly

This is perhaps the easiest way to find a job, although it will require some time and research on your end.

To start, you will need to decide which hospitals you want to apply for, locate the recruitment team’s contact information, and introduce yourself with a cover letter and CV.

You should make it clear that you are on a job search and make clear your desire for an interview if there are any openings.

State Recruitment

State recruitment campaigns are arranged by each state to handle applications for available positions.

The applications follow a predetermined process, with a set of predetermined deadlines.

The application period varies from year to year and differs for each state, although it typically runs from June to October.

To apply for these campaigns, you must register an account, answer a few questions about yourself and upload documents like your CV and cover letter.

You must then rank the hospitals and jobs that are available from most to least desirable.

Your application will then be reviewed and if you are matched to a hospital an offer is made.

Recruitment Agent

Apply for your new job through a recruitment agent will provide you with the most support throughout the process.

You will be assigned an experienced recruitment agent who will be able to assist you along the way.

To find a job through this route you will probably need to contact a number of different recruitment agencies.

Once you have registered you will need to send your CV and outline your availability as well as telling them your preferences for work.

This will include things like the states or cities you would like to move to, your specialities and any other important information.

They should then be able to inform you of any available role that suits you.

One of the other advantages of taking the recruitment agent route is that they can assist you with your visa, registration and relocation!

Search Online

The final option is to search for and apply to jobs online.

This is a similar route to applying directly for the role.

However, by searching online you will know that there are job vacancies rather than blindly applying for roles that may not exist.

Two of the best websites to check are Seek (Australia’s largest job board) and Indeed.

Cost of Living in the UK vs Australia

Piggy Bank

The cost of living in Australia is very different than the UK. Image credit: Pexels

One of the most important things to consider about relocating to any new country is the cost of living.

Establishing how much you’ll need on average to live the lifestyle you want will give you a solid foundation for making a career-defining decision that will send you thousands of miles from home!

We have recently written a full article outlining the cost of living differences between the UK and Australia.

We will give you a quick overview of some everyday cost of living differences including rent, groceries and transportation.

This should give you a general idea of what to expect. For a more in-depth look at the cost of living make sure you check out our full article here.


The UK and Australia have both seen a rising trend towards renting rather than buying.

This has led to huge competition for quality rental homes in both countries.

However, Australian rental costs are generally more affordable than the UK, especially after the recent surge in rent prices.

For instance, renting a one-bedroom flat in the heart of Sydney will cost an average of £1,735.41, but just about £2,273.27 in the UK.

A 1-bedroom apartment outside of the city will cost you roughly £1,250.53 to rent in Australia, while a similar property in the UK would cost about £1,639.36.

Statistics from Numbeo and are viable to change.


The cost of Food in Australia is typically higher than in the UK.

There are a host of factors that contribute to this, however, we are sure you would much rather see the differences in real terms.

Here is a list of everyday grocery prices in the UK vs Australia according to Numbeo:

  • 1 litre of milk is $2.28 (£1.20) in the UK £1.09
  • 500g loaf of white bread $3.57 (£1.87) in the UK £1.11
  • • 12 medium eggs $5.82 (£3.05) in the UK £2.39
  • 1kg cheese $14.95 (£7.85) in the UK £6.35
  • 1kg beef $2.33 (£11.72) in the UK £9.43
  • • Fresh lettuce head $3.58 (£1.88) in the UK £0.75
  • 1kg potatoes $3.72 (£1.95) in the UK £1.11


When comparing the average cost of transport, there seems to be a significant difference between Australia and the UK.

Despite the regular price of a monthly pass in Australia being roughly £ 89.23 ($170.00), greater than the UK’s £ 67.00 ($127.64) price, other transportation-related costs are lower in Australia.

For instance, the standard taxi fare in Australia is £ 2.62 ($5.00) and in the UK it is £3.00 ($5.72).

There is also the cost of fueling your car.

A litre of petrol costs £1.05 ($2.01) in Australia, whilst in the UK it will cost an average of £1.55 ($.96).

Additionally, the cost of purchasing a car is often lower in Australia than the UK.

Clearly, Australia is generally the cheaper place to be when it comes to transport costs.

Getting Your Belongings to Australia

If you have successfully secured a new job as a Doctor in Australia, you will need some help transporting all of your belongings to the other side of the world!

Luckily, Shipping your belongings to Australia is a relatively easy process.

That being said, you will certainly need the help of a reputable international removal company (such as White & Company) who can help you with the process from start to finish.

Our extensive fleet of vehicles, specialist local knowledge and experienced staff make us the standout choice for all removals to Australia.

Our moving services include expert international packing, customs clearance, shipping, insurance and storage in the UK or at destination.

Once your container is on the ship, it can take between 4-6 weeks for your consignment to arrive at the closest port to your new home.

The container is then offloaded from the vessel and without exception, your consignment will be physically inspected at the bonded warehouse by Quarantine officers.

Upon passing the inspection your items will are able ready for delivery.

It is essential that you follow all the customs regulations!

Heavy fines can be imposed for seizure and disposal of unauthorised items.

Upon being cleared from customs we will deliver your belongings to your new home in Australia, and you will be totally ready for your new adventure!

Are you Considering Working in Australia as a UK Doctor?

White&Company Truck in Transit

White & Company Truck

So, you have decided to start working in Australia as a UK Doctor!

We hope that this article has helped you on your journey down under.

If you would like to discuss your move with one of our international relocation experts be sure to get in touch with White & Company today!

We offer weekly Removals to Australia.

This includes:

  • Full load consignments that take your belongings direct from point A to B, or
  • Part loads that are delivered shortly after your arrival.
  • Storage is available, if required, accredited to European standards.

Our dedicated partners in Australia will ensure all the relevant paperwork and customs clearance is processed correctly.

They will arrange the unloading and unpacking of your household goods.

For further information on shipping goods to Australia contact our international office on 01489 854175.

Alternatively, fill out a quick quote form and a member of our team will get in touch shortly.

We hope to be able to help you start your journey of working in Australia as a UK Doctor!


Can I work in Australia as a UK doctor?

The straightforward answer is yes! Actually, the majority of overseas doctors in Australia are from the United Kingdom, making it a particularly desirable destination for many looking to move overseas.

This is because the undergraduate and postgraduate training in both nations are very similar.

This helps make the move far simpler. The lack of a language barrier will also help to ensure a smooth transition.

Do doctors get paid more in Australia than UK?

In general, doctors in Australia are paid more than their counterparts in the United Kingdom.

Your income will be determined by your location, experience, and specialisation, as well as a variety of other considerations.

Why do British doctors move to Australia?

The better working environment is one of the key reasons that British doctors are drawn to Australia.

Australia has a healthcare system that values a good work-life balance, allowing doctors to offer exceptional care without jeopardising their health.

Is Mrcgp Recognised in Australia?

The MRCGP can be used to operate as a GP in Australia under the Specialist Pathway Programme.

This is part of a national agreement and registration procedure that provides pathways for International Medical Graduates based on their past training and experience.

Is it worth it to work as a doctor in Australia?

Australia is an attractive place for medical professionals to live and work since it provides a good work/life balance and a relaxed lifestyle.

Furthermore, Australia is home to some of the world’s best healthcare facilities, as well as plenty of development opportunities allowing for professional advancement.

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