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Allied Health Jobs in Australia

Healthcare workers smiling with the text Allied Health Jobs for Backpackers - Qualifications and How to Apply

Australia prides itself in having one of the best healthcare systems in the world. It is consistently ranked among the top 10 in international surveys and has one of the highest ratios of medical professionals per person worldwide.

But with an ageing and growing population, Australia faces a critical shortage of health professionals now and in the future.

To address this many allied health professions are on the Australian government’s priority skilled professions list, opening up a number of visa options for professionals wishing to migrate and work in this field.

But what are considered allied health jobs in Australia? Which are in high demand? What salary can you expect? and What qualifications do you need? If you have international qualifications, how can you get them recognized in Australia, and where can you find vacancy listings for allied health jobs down under?

Below I am going to attempt to answer most of these questions, but bear in mind that allied health has a very broad group of skilled professions, each with different responsibilities and required skills. While I will generalize about the job category, look for details about your individual area of interest or expertise.

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What Are Allied Health Jobs?

Allied health professionals are healthcare providers that aren’t doctors or nurses, so haven’t attended medical or nursing school, but provide essential services within the healthcare industry. In Australia, the most recruited allied health job professionals are

While the allied health profession is broad, it can be divided into five main categories.

Primary Care Providers

Primary care providers are often the first point of contact for patients, helping to determine the kind of care that a person might need, or assisting with treatment alongside doctors. A lot of different careers are included in this category including dental hygienists, who provide cleaning and preventative care under the supervision of a board-certified dentist, nutritionists, pharmacists, and social workers, and community health workers, who help people access health and social services.

Health Promoters

These are professionals that provide education about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. These include professions such as environmental health specialists, who advise on things such as sanitation and food safety; exercise psychologists who deal with the psychological aspects of physical activity and exercise; and health service managers who oversee operational aspects of patient care and vendor relationships.

Administrative Professionals

Administrative professionals manage the copious amounts of paperwork that accompanies healthcare. They include receptionists that book and manage schedules and appointments, billers, who create invoices based on services provided, and transcriptionists, who turn audio recordings by physicians into text. These professions have looser qualifications than more specialist health roles.

Rehabilitative Professionals

Rehabilitative professionals help patients restore function to their bodies, minds, and emotional well-being, typically after an injury or illness. This group includes physiotherapists, occupational therapists, art therapists, psychologists, prosthetists, and so on.

Diagnostic Professionals

Diagnostic professionals use diagnostic machinery, such as X-ray machines and MRI scanners, to help diagnose patients with internal problems. They include radiology technicians, ultrasound technicians, sonographers, and nuclear medicine technologists among others. Read our full guide to radiography and sonography jobs in Australia.

According to government statistics, around half of all healthcare workers in Australia were trained overseas. In 2022, there were 642,000 people working in the Australian healthcare sector, 166,000 of them were allied health professionals.

Most Common Allied Health Jobs in Australia with Salaries

Below is a list of some of the most in-demand allied health jobs in Australia with salary expectations, their skilled occupation identification number, and the minimum level of education required.

But remember that within each of these categories, there are a wide range of roles, which will require different qualifications and receive different pay. These are also just some of the many jobs that fall under the allied health umbrella.

Profession Salary Expectations Education Needed
Audiologist $80,000 - $110,000 AUD Master's degree in audiology
Dental Hygienist $75,000 - $135,000 AUD Associate Degree/Advanced Diploma
Dietitian $60,000 - $120,000 AUD Bachelor of Science (Nutrition) or higher
Occupational Therapist $70,000 - $115,000 AUD Bachelor of Occupational Therapy or higher
Pharmacist $60,000 - $120,000 AUD Bachelor's Degree or higher education AND 1-year traineeship
Physiotherapist $75,000 - $105,000 AUD Bachelor's Degree (Physiotherapy) or higher qualification
Podiatrist $75,000 - $120,000 AUD Bachelor of Podiatry or higher education
Psychologist $80,000 - $125,000 AUD Bachelor's degree or higher qualification. Relevant experience and/or on-the-job training may be required in addition to the formal qualification (ANZSCO Skill Level 1).
Radiographer $70,000 - $115,000 AUD Bachelor in radiography or medical imaging.
Sonographer $90,000 - $150,000 AUD Bachelor's degree or higher education in Medical Radiation Science or Medical Imaging
Speech Pathologist $70,000 - $115,000 AUD Bachelor's or master's degree in speech-language pathology

A standard working week for most full-time allied health professionals is 38 hours, but there is a very high prevalence of part-time and flexible working among allied health professionals.

According to a government survey, 75% of allied health professionals are employed in major cities. Meanwhile, 16% work in inner regional areas of Australia, and 6% are based in the outer regional parts.

The majority work in medical environments, such as hospitals and clinics. Hospital jobs often come with unsociable hours as services are required 24 hours a day 7 days a week. However, you will also see allied health professionals in residential aged-care facilities, community centers, and schools.

Registering as an Allied Health Professional in Australia

Most allied health professionals need to register with the relevant national board for their profession to be eligible to work in Australia. This includes dental practitioners, medical imaging technicians, occupational therapists, optometrists, osteopaths, paramedics, physiotherapists, podiatrists, and psychologists.

infographic on how to register as an Allied Health Professional in Australia

While the process depends on which medical board you must register with, generally you must present an approved or substantially equivalent qualification for assessment, and you may also be asked to complete an exam. A brief period of supervised practice is also sometimes required.

You must also meet and maintain the general registration standards. This means that you must be able to demonstrate your English proficiency and that you have a clean criminal history. Your practice must be recent, you must have professional indemnity insurance, and you must demonstrate that you are participating in continuing professional development.

You can find useful guidelines based on your professional area on the Ahpra (Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency) website. Bear in mind that registering can take several months, so you should begin the process well before you decide to travel and start working.

As a working allied health professional, you will also want to register with Medicare, the Australian healthcare system, so that you can bill under the national insurance system. You must already have registered with your national board to apply for a Medicare provider number. Full details on how to apply are available here.

Finding Allied Health Jobs in Australia

If you are looking for allied health jobs in Australia, you can apply directly for open vacancies advertised on all the major recruitment websites. Some of the best job boards for healthcare jobs in Australia include Allied Health Jobs Australia, HCA Healthcare Australia, Healthstaff Recruitment, and CC Medical.

You can also apply to healthcare recruitment firms that can help you find open vacancies and also help you find locum positions, which are temporary cover for other medical professionals when they are otherwise unavailable (for example maternity leave). Among the biggest medical locum agencies are Aussie Locums, BPMed, Medipeople, and the Medical Recruitment Agency of Australia.

If you are still overseas, it is recommended that you register with agencies around two years in advance. This also gives you time to go through processes such as verifying your qualifications. When applying to vacancies, you should be looking one to two months in advance, as most have an immediate start date.

Visa Requirements

If you are on a Work and Holiday Visa you can work in an allied health role, but only for up to six months for the same employer in the same location. You still need to register with a national board to be authorized to work in many allied health roles in Australia. It is recommended to do this well before traveling as it can take several months.

Because so many allied health professions are in high demand, you may also qualify for a work visa. To qualify for this visa, you must be nominated by a specific employer, an eligible relative, or a specific state or territory government agency, preferably for an occupation on the skilled occupation list.

If you are invited to apply, you must show that you have suitable skills and qualifications, and satisfy the points test. If you are nominated on a regional rather than a national basis, you must remain a resident of your designated region of Australia until you apply for residence or your visa status changes.

In terms of the points test, you need at least 65 points to qualify and are assessed on your age, English language proficiency, educational qualifications, and work experience.


According to recent statistics, the highest-paying allied health professions in Australia are medical radiation therapists, sonographers, exercise physiologists, optometrists, and nutritionists, all consistently earning more than $100,000 a year.

Many allied health professions are on the skilled occupation list, but according to the government’s employment data, the most in-demand careers are social workers, physiotherapists, counselors, and occupational therapists.

Yes, Chinese medicine practitioners who practice acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, or Chinese herb dispensing are considered allied health professionals in Australia. To gain registration you must have completed at least a four year undergraduate degree or three year postgraduate masters in a program approved by the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia.

Paramedics are considered allied health professionals. They should be registered to provide emergency or unscheduled care to acutely ill or injured persons, predominantly in a non-hospital environment.

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