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Nursing and Medical Jobs in Australia

Nurse on duty with the text Medical Jobs in Australia Complete Guide for Backpackers

Qualified nursing and medical professionals are in high demand in Australia because of ongoing shortages

In fact, healthcare ranks as the number one occupation in skill shortage, based on the 2023 Government Job and Skills report. With the right qualifications, skills, and relevant visa, you can seize the opportunity to work, live, and experience the great lifestyle that Australia offers.

In this article, I will cover all the essentials you need to know to make it a lot easier for you to get a job in Australia as a Nursing and medical professional. 

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1. Overview of Nursing and Medical Jobs for Foreigners in Australia

There are many excellent career opportunities for Medical Professionals wanting to work in Australia, especially if you are prepared to work in rural areas where there is a very high demand for quality staff.

Whether you are a Medical Professional from the UK, Canada, United States, Europe, or another part of the world there is currently a high demand for Medical Professionals in Australia.

I will cover the different types of Medical Jobs that are in High Demand in Australia in the next Section

1.1 Benefits of Working as a Medical Professional in Australia as a Foreigner

As with many jobs in Australia, many foreigners enjoy the great work-life balance that they have while working here in Australia. This country is huge and very diverse and offers some of the best coastline and beaches in the world as well as mountains, forests, and desert. Here are some of the top benefits many Foreigners enjoy while working in Australia

If all of this sounds attractive to you, let’s go through the different Medical roles that are currently in Demand in Australia and might cater to your skill set.

2. Types of Medical Jobs for Foreigners

There are many temporary contracts, casual jobs, and permanent positions available in all areas of the Medical Sector in Australia and these are the top in-demand jobs:

If you have the skill set in any of the above specializations then your skills are in demand in Australia.

3. Qualifications and Experience Required for Foreigners

For medical jobs in Australia, your qualifications from overseas may not always be recognised by the Australian regulatory body in your field. You should contact the relevant Australian body for more information, or ask a relevant recruitment agency.

If you are a medical graduate and you have completed the primary medical qualification from New Zealand, then your qualifications will be recognized. Other than that, you will need to take the assessment for eligibility to practice medicine in Australia. To learn more about the assessment pathways visit the official link of Medical Board Ahpra.

You will also be required to have an acceptable level of English language skills.

3.1 How to Register as a Foreign Medical Professional in Australia?

The registration process varies depending on the medical profession you’re interested in. I advised you to contact the appropriate Australian medical authority to understand the specific registration requirements or ask a relevant recruitment agency.

Below we set out an example of the steps that most professions require in order to become registered.

Note: The exact steps might be different for your medical profession but they generally follow a similar pattern.

Step 1: To apply for registration, select your relevant profession on the Ahpra & National Boards registration page.

Step 2: Assess your ability and the requirements then hit the ‘Start Application’ button. All the needed forms and additional guidelines are available on the website. You may pay relevant fees.

Step 3: The National Boards will assess your application to see if it has all the documentation required. This includes information about any health impairments, criminal history, or English language skills.

Step 4: Wait for the response of the National Board. Complete applications can take 6 to 8 weeks.

Step 5: Receive Registration. Your name will be published on the National Register of Health Practitioners.

Step 6: Apply for Immigration to Australia

Step 7: Obtain Employment

Step 8: Emigrate to Australia

Step 9: Start working

The above steps are the general guidelines you need to follow in order to work as a Medical Professional in Australia. Some professions require supervision periods and other criteria, so be sure to check it with your relevant Professional Body.

3.2 Visas

The most important thing you will need to work as a Medical Professional in Australia is a qualified Visa. There are various visas available, and we have made it simple for you by detailing the most common visa types and how to get them.

3.2.1 Most Common Visa Types For Medical Professionals Looking to Migrate to Australia

There are a large number of other visa types you can apply for the most common types of visas you could obtain are as follows:

  1. Skilled Independent Visa Subclass Visa 189
  2. Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
  3. (RSMS) Subclass 187
  4. Training Visa Subclass 407
  5. Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482
  6. Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa, Subclass 489


Medical professionals cover a diverse set of specializations. Please visit the Department of Immigration where you can find the right visa for your profession.

If you want to get a sponsored Medical Professional Job in Australia. We have created a very useful guide for getting Sponsored in Australia that provides an in-depth guide to make the process much easier to get a sponsored visa in Australia.

Also, be sure to check out our other visa pages and learn more about temporary visa options like the working holiday visa.

4. Where are the Medical Jobs in Australia?

Australia is a huge country with 8 different states and Territories, the largest states by population are New South Wales and Victoria.

According to the latest ABS census, there are around 642,000 Medical Professionals working across Australia broken down by state as follows:

Area Percentage of Total Medical Professional Jobs Nationwide
Major Cities 65.3%
Inner Regional 17.3%
Outer Regional 11.9%
Remote 4.1%
Very Remote 1.4%

Major Cities

The major cities in Australia employ more than half of the country’s Medical professionals Melbourne (Victoria), Sydney (NSW), and Brisbane (Queensland) are the most populated cities and are the main hubs for Medical Professional Jobs. These areas have the most jobs, so you should start your search in these locations.

Inner Regional

Regional in Australia refers to a town or city that is not a capital city of Australia. Generally, Inner Regional Areas are located closer to Major cities. For Medical Professional jobs these areas employ 17.3% of total medical jobs in Australia.

Map of Australia with state names

Many people enjoy working in these areas as the cities are smaller and more relaxed than living in a major state capital. The cost of living is generally cheaper and there is less of a commute to work and the beach. Examples of regional towns and Cities would be the Gold Coast, Cairns, Newcastle, Darwin, and Byron Bay

Outer Regional

Outer Regional Areas are located further away from major cities and towns and generally have a population of probably 100,000 or less. These areas employ 11.9% of the medical professional jobs in Australia. Because of the small population of these areas and being further away from major cities these areas are generally considered less desirable to live by most Australians.

Generally, it is difficult to fill positions in these areas. This presents an opportunity for you if a position becomes available there will be less competition. The employers in these regions often pay a higher salary or offer incentives such as accommodation to attract workers there. You may find it easier to get sponsored in these areas as well.

Remote & Very Remote Australia

These areas are located very far from a town or city center, they can often have limited vehicle access and workers arrive by small plane. These areas present the greatest opportunities for employment if a position becomes available as the vast majority of Australians choose not to live and work there. If you are looking for a sponsor these areas are the most likely to offer a sponsorship job.

5. Employment Types for Medical Professionals in Australia

There is a wide range of different employment types in Australia the 3 main ones are:

Let’s discuss each in full detail below.

Full-Time Employment

Full-time in Australia is 38 hours. If you are given a full-time contract you have a set salary or hourly rate which is paid weekly, fortnightly, or monthly (less common). The main benefits of full-time are as follows:

Part-Time Employment

Part-time in Australia is any job that is less than 38 hours. If you are given a part-time contract you often have a set salary which is paid weekly, fortnightly, or monthly (less common).

The same benefits as listed above apply for part-time; however, you will be given a pro-rata share of paid holidays and paid sick days depending on the number of hours you work. For example, if you work 19 hours a week you will get 19 hours divided by 38 hours (full time). So you will receive 50% of the paid annual leave and paid sick days listed above.

Part-time employment can be a great way to have an excellent work-life balance.

Casual Employment

This can be a confusing employment type that you have not come across before. Essentially, you will not have fixed hours; instead, you’ll work as needed. Your shifts and number of hours will vary every week.

This employment type can suit an employee who is working for a short term or is just starting out in a new city or company.

Casual employees do not receive paid time off or sick pay but instead receive a pay rate that is 25% higher than the base rate.

A Casual employee does not have to give a notice period to leave and can also be terminated with no notice.

5.1 Health Practioner Salaries in Australia

The salary and wages for Medical jobs in Australia are competitive compared to other OECD countries. Here’s a breakdown of what you would expect to earn as a qualified Medical Professional in Australia.

  • Entry Level Graduate (less than 3 years) experience – Entry level graduates generally earn between $60,000 – $75,000 AUD per year.
  • Experienced Medical Professional (More than 3 years experience) – Earn between $75,000 – $90,000 AUD per year
  • Senior Medical Professional (more than 5 years experience) – Earn between $90,000 – $105,000 AUD per year

We’ve put together the salary ranges for common medical jobs.

  • Registered Nurses can earn between AUD 80,000 and AUD 95,000.
  • Enrolled Nurses have a salary range of AUD 60,000 to AUD 75,000.
  • Midwives, with their vital role, can make AUD 75,000 to AUD 105,000.
  • In dentistry, Dentists are high earners, with potential salaries from AUD 160,000 to AUD 220,000.
  • Doctors, with various specialties, have earnings ranging from AUD 115,000 to AUD 175,000.
  • Finally, Allied Health professionals can expect to earn between AUD 83,000 and AUD 112,000, all depending on their expertise and area of practice.

If working in Remote communities you may receive higher pay rates than working in main cities.

As you can see the pay levels for a Medical Professional in Australia are great, the salary you will earn will allow you to have very comfortable living standards in Australia.

Let’s now go through the best ways to apply for a Medical Professional Job in Australia.

6. How to Apply

To apply for Medical Professional jobs in Australia there are many different job search websites that you can use.

The most popular job advertising websites in Australia are:

There are also some very popular healthcare-specific job search websites, here are some of the most popular:

6.1 Recruitment Agencies

It is worth getting in touch with a recruiter especially if you are looking at gaining a sponsorship visa. The recruiters have a large number of industry contacts and can make the process of finding a job much simpler for you.

If you are still overseas, apply to Recruitment Agencies up to two years before you arrive and jobs within a month of arrival. This helps to determine which City and State has the best opportunities and assistance may be offered with professional Registration and your Visa.

7. Final Thoughts

Working as a medical professional in Australia can be a great experience. You’ll earn well, enjoy the breathtaking landscapes, and love an excellent work-life balance. Securing a job and a visa involves a few steps, but it’s much easier with the guidance here. We suggest kicking off your job hunt and visa application as soon as you can to give yourself plenty of time to find the perfect opportunity.

Be sure to check out our other useful guides about our top tips on what you need Before You Arrive in Australia.

  1. Apply for registration on the Ahpra & National Boards.
  2. Submit requirements and pay the relevant fees.
  3. Wait for the National Board’s decision.
  4. Recieve registration.
  5.  Apply for visa
  6. Obtain employment
  7. Immigrate to Australia
  8. Start working

The above steps are the general guidelines you need to follow to get a medical job in Australia. Some professions require supervision periods and other criteria, so be sure to check it with your relevant Professional Body.

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