Want to know what Australian GPs, dentists and vets are taking home in their pay, and whether your doctor is likely to be male or female? We look at the latest numbers.
While professionals in the health sector are still out-earning the average Australian, many disciplines are starting to face downward pressure on their incomes, according to a recently released benchmark report from Bank of Queensland Specialist.
The good news is that the gender balance has improved. All sectors reported that the percentage of women in practice had grown dramatically. Here are some of the key findings:
One in three GPs now aged over 50
Of the 43,400 practising GPs, 35% are now said to be over 50, representing an increase of 34% compared to a decade earlier. With a large sector of the workforce approaching retirement age, many industry bodies are calling for more investment into the sector, to keep pace with an ageing population, who require greater access to primary health care.
The average income for doctors (including specialists) is estimated at AU$149,000. A separate study by the Australian Medical Association, Joining the Dots in General Practice, estimates the average hourly rate of pay for GPs to be AU$118.
More dentists than dental work
According to the BOQ report, over the 13 years to 2013, the percentage of dentists working part-time has trebled. This has been attributed to a significant rise in local graduates and immigrant dentists.
According to the peak body the Australian Dental Association, the glut looks set to continue for another 10 years, at least until 2025.
And while the average dentist still earns A$114,000 per year, the costs to open a dental practice is estimated to have doubled in the past decade, squeezing profits and increasing debts.
Female vets outnumber male vets
Woman account for 60% of all vets in Australia. This trend has also been replicated in the GP sector, with the number of female GPs up from 25% in 1986 to 43% today. Annual take-home pay for vet professionals is estimated at A$80,000 per year, although the report does indicate that this figure may be distorted by the large proportion of the workforce who work part-time.
And while immigration may be seen to be instrumental in reshaping the dentist and GP space in Australia, this is not so for vets, with 90% of all Australian vets gaining their first degree from an Australian tertiary institution.