salaries in victoria, australia for consultant/specialists.

My posts about salaries are and should only be about the money.  It’s a straightforward conceit: write about remuneration and benefits, ignore everything else. Give the punters what they want. You don’t read the blog for my childish, whimsical, inappropriate and ill-informed opinions on locations. After all, it would be wrong for me to colour your judgement on a place before you’d even set foot there. It’s not fair on you and it’s not fair on the sincere, well meaning citizens of said location or your prospective employer.

I’d rather chew my own arm off then live in Victoria.

Why? The cold. I hate it. And its not even real cold there. It’s pretend cold. Enough to make you kick off your thongs (flip flops), put covered shoes on or your Ug boots. Cold enthusiasts in Australia pretend it gets as cold as it does in Europe. They take morbid satisfaction in whinging about the weather like the Poms. Some Aussie folk go dewey eyed about the cool winter weather just because they can watch the leaves change colour and they can wear the expensive puffer jacket they bought in Italy.  I’ve met an idiot who enjoys the cooler weather simply because he can whip out his cashmere cable knit sweater and goretex ankle boots for 3 days of the year.  Sure, I get the skiing and the snow for a week long holiday but why choose to live there when the sub-tropics is also on hand?

Melbourne? Yeah fair enough, Melbourne is a great city. Great food, great bars, great coffee with a vibrant cafe culture. All the cliches are true, including the fact it is wetter and cooler then Sydney. However, bear in mind you do get extreme heat for a week or two in the Summer these days (extreme = 40degrees).


(Voice in head: Give the punters what they want).

OK back to the money. As we’re talking about the state of Victoria which is sports mad (everyone loves the game where they chase, pick up and kick a large red egg around an oval) and home to Sharon Strzeleckie ; lets use an arguably weak league table metaphor. If Victoria was competing in the salary league championship for Consultant/Specialists, she would be languishing near the foot of the table of competing salaries.

Again, like NSWs’, it isn’t like it is a bad salary. Far from it. It just isn’t as nice as some of the other states and territories.

Each year of the 9 band refers to the comparable years of experience since you completed your specialist training.

Please note the Year 1 – 9 salaries listed below include your on-call allowance and private practise allowance but don’t include all benefits. Scroll down for those. This list mirrors how it is exactly set out in the Victorian industrial award to avoid confusion. You can see how these figures compare to NSW  , QLD  and WA metro and WA non-metro with these links.

Year 1  – AU203,845.

Year 2  – AU217,490.

Year 3  – AU225,940.

Year 4 – AU234,790.

Year 5 – AU243,927.

Year 6 – AU253,437.

Year 7 – AU258,424.

Year 8 – AU273,707

Year 9 – AU280,290.

Private Practise Allowance (glossary of these terms is at end of article).

Like on-call private practise is included in your salary rates as above.

Oncall Allowance

Included in the rates above.

Professional Development Allowance and leave.

Known as CME (Continuing Medical Education) of up to AU25,077.


Superannuation is 9.5%. It is calculated on base salary and the attraction and retention allowance only. Super is also paid on on-call etc.

Annual leave loading allowance.

17.5% of your base salary earned during your 4 weeks annual leave (see glossary below).


For ordinary rostered hours between 6.00 pm and midnight Monday to Friday – 12.5% For ordinary rostered hours between 7.00 am and midnight Saturday – 50% For ordinary rostered hours between 7.00 am and midnight Sunday – 75%

Annual leave

5 weeks! Happy days (QLD is 4 weeks)!. There is also maternity and paternity leave. Sick leave and carers leave of course. In Victoria there are also 12 public holidays. There is even one simply for the Melbourne Cup race as most people get pissed as newts on the day.

Relocation and accommodation benefits.

Initial accommodation assistance is provided but how much and for how long depends on the local service. For example, one service gives you an AU8,000 rental allowance for your first year. You won’t get your college and registration costs paid but a relocation allowance , probably around AU10,000 for shipping and flights will be provided.

Example total package of specialist with 1 year experience.

Cash + Oncall +Private Practise Allowance + Leave Loading

= AU203,845.

Superannuation is calculated on all those above: AU19,365.

Total: AU223,210..

Plus CME of AU25,077.

Example total package with 5 years experience.

Cash + Oncall +Private Practise Allowance + Leave Loading

= AU243,927.

Superannuation is calculated on all those above: AU23,173.

Total: AU258,100.

Plus CME of AU25,077.

Example total package specialist with 9+ years experience.

Cash + Oncall +Private Practise Allowance + Leave Loading

= AU280,290.

Superannuation is calculated on all those above: AU26,627.

Total: AU306,917.

Plus CME allowance of AU25,077

I haven’t included leadership allowances in any calculation.

Well thats Victoria $$ for you. Remember Radiologists working in private clinics will pay overseas trained physicians differently (most of radiology is delivered privately) so come back to check my future radiology post for more info,

If there are IMGs in Australia reading this I’d love to hear your stories about how you settled in and your opinions on Area of Need and DWS.

Remember Possums I’m also on Twitter @Drsdownunder

Below is the brief glossary for Australian remuneration package terminology which are all used throughout Australia states and territories.

Annual Leave Loading Allowance.

This is a brilliant allowance. It doesn’t come to much but I love the fact it still exists, thumbing its nose at the bosses. This allowance was designed back in the day when there was no paid annual leave for workers. It compensated them whilst they are away on holiday. 17.5% of your weekly wage x weeks annual leave = annual leave loading cash. The existence of this allowance is testimony to the importance of unions. Word.

Long service leave.

A retention strategy. Designed to keep you working for your employer for as long as possible. Hit a target of years of employment (normally between 8 -15 years) and you will qualify for paid annual leave of between 3-6months. Each health service has a different long service leave policy but they all have one. You also have the option of taking this as a cash payment which I think a lot of people do who are in less well paid jobs.

Private practise allowance.

These are your fees for treating people with private health insurance who present to at a public hospital. The Attraction and Retention Allowance doubles as your Private Practice Allowance. In WA, there is no Attraction and Retention Allowance – just a 50% Private Practise Allowance. FYI In Queensland, private practice arrangements have aimed to address the following key objectives relevant to your individual situation. Mainly, to compensate Consultant/Specialists in Queensland at a competitive level,  to address medical workforce shortages in the public sector, in Queensland – predominantly in diagnostic specialties by letting Consultant/Specialists retain some of their billings.


Aussie’s like to shorten every word so let’s refer to superannuation as ‘super’. Super is your employer pension fund. By law, every employer has to make contributions to an employee fund of choice or a default one set up by the employer. The minimum amount your employer has to make is 9.5% of base salary.  What additional allowances it is calculated on is subjective to the employer – some pay on base salary, others include an allowance or two. Queensland Health base theirs on base salary and the Attraction and Retention Incentive Allowance whilst Victorian health services apply it to base salary only. You get the picture. You can also make voluntary contributions from your salary to top this up. To what level you can top up to is dependent on your employer’s policy. You can do it via your employer’s salary sacrifice scheme (definition below) which provides tax benefits. You can choose your own super fund, choose which sector/s to invest in – just like a stock portfolio, or just use the default one chosen by your employer which will be designed for and marketed to health professionals. You can only access your super when you reach the age of 60 and it is not taxed when you withdraw it. Please seek professional financial advice regarding your super.

Salary sacrifice/salary packaging.

This is a deal between and employer and employee – an approved way for the employee to receive benefits like additional super, motor vehicle, professional development fees etc. rent, mortgage, by way of a pre-tax salary payment – by paying for these items with a pre-tax deduction means you will be taxed on your remaining income thereby actually lowering your taxable income = you pay less tax.

Lake Eildon Victoria photo credit:

Joshua Hibbert

Coffee machine photo credit:

Mike Wilson

Melbourne graffiti alley photo credit:

Annie Spratt

Melbourne rainbow flag photo credit:

Yannis Papanastasopoulos


Categories: Australia, Consultant/Specialists

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2 replies »

  1. Thanks for this – very useful. Would you be able to give me the source reference for the year 1-9 consultant salaries you describe? Cheers.


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