General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers diagnose and treat physical and mental illnesses, disorders and injuries, recommend preventative action and refer patients to specialist Medical Practitioners, other health care workers, and social, welfare and support workers.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually needed to work in this job. Registration or licensing is required.

Tasks

  • conducting examinations and questioning patients to determine the nature of disorders and illnesses, and recording patients' medical information
  • ordering laboratory tests, X-rays and other diagnostic procedures, and interpreting findings to assist in diagnosis
  • providing overall care for patients, and prescribing and administering treatments, medications and other remedial measures
  • monitoring patients' progress and response to treatment
  • advising on diet, exercise and other habits which aid prevention and treatment of disease and disorders
  • referring patients to, and exchanging medical information with, specialist Medical Practitioners
  • reporting births, deaths and notifiable diseases to government authorities
  • arranging the admission of patients to hospitals

Job Titles

  • General Practitioner
  • Resident Medical Officer
  • General Practitioner (also called General Medical Practitioner)

    Diagnoses, treats and prevents human physical and mental disorders and injuries. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Resident Medical Officer

    Diagnoses, treats and prevents human physical and mental disorders and injuries under the supervision of medical specialists or senior general practitioners. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Medical Officer (Navy)

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,850 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    very strong
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    59,500
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    50.0%
  • Female Share

    50.0%
  • Full-Time Share

    78.3%

Find Vacancies

This is a very large occupation employing 59,500 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
Very strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 25,001 and 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They nearly all work in Health Care and Social Assistance.
  • Full-time work is common. Full-time workers, on average, work 41.6 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,850 per week (very high compared to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 42 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 5 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200538000
200638000
200737400
200840000
200938700
201044800
201149500
201249400
201356300
201454100
201559500
202074100

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsGeneral Practitioners and Resident Medical OfficersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings18501230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryGeneral Practitioners and Resident Medical OfficersAll Jobs Average
Full-time78.368.4
Part-time21.731.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)41.640.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Health Care and Social Assistance96.2
Public Administration and Safety3.1
Education and Training0.3
Other Services0.2
Other Industries0.2

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateGeneral Practitioners and Resident Medical OfficersAll Jobs Average
NSW30.631.8
VIC24.925.5
QLD21.619.8
SA8.66.8
WA8.911.2
TAS2.02.0
NT1.21.1
ACT2.21.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketGeneral Practitioners and Resident Medical OfficersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.45.4
20-242.9-9.99.9
25-3429.5-23.423.4
35-4423.3-21.721.7
45-5421.4-21.121.1
55-598.7-8.78.7
60-646.5-5.95.9
65 and Over7.6-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryGeneral Practitioners and Resident Medical OfficersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males50.0Males53.6
Females50.0Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationGeneral Practitioners and Resident Medical OfficersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate36.7-8.68.6
Bachelor degree61.6-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV1.7-18.918.9
Year 120.0-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100.0-17.717.7
Below Year 100.0-8.18.1

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually needed to work in this job. Registration or licensing is required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers who work well in a team, can communicate clearly and who are flexible and adaptable.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Medicine and Dentistry

    100% Important

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

  2. Psychology

    93% Important

    Human behaviour and performance; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioural and affective disorders.

  3. Customer and Personal Service

    89% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  4. Biology

    88% Important

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  5. Therapy and Counseling

    86% Important

    Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Documenting/Recording Information

    96% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  2. Getting Information

    92% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  3. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    91% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  4. Assisting and Caring for Others

    89% Important

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support to people such as co-workers, customers, or patients.

  5. Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge

    86% Important

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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