Surgeons perform surgery to correct deformities, repair injuries, prevent and treat diseases, and improve human functioning and appearance. Medical Registrars training as Surgeons are included in this unit group.

A Bachelor Degree or higher, 2 years hospital-based training, and at least 5 years specialist study and training is required. Registration or licensing is required.

Tasks

  • examining patients to determine the necessity of operations, estimating and explaining risks to patients, and selecting the best operational procedures
  • reviewing reports on patients' general physical condition, reactions to medications and medical histories
  • consulting with Anaesthetists regarding the correct anaesthesia for patients
  • performing surgical operations
  • examining instruments, equipment, and surgical set-up to ensure that antiseptic and aseptic methods have been followed
  • instructing other medical, nursing and associated staff regarding the preparation of patients and instrument and equipment requirements
  • prescribing post-operative care, and observing and investigating patients' progress
  • maintaining records of operations performed
  • may specialise in particular types of operations

Job Titles

  • Surgeon (General)
  • Cardiothoracic Surgeon
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Orthopaedic Surgeon
  • Otorhinolaryngologist, or Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist
  • Paediatric Surgeon
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon
  • Urologist
  • Vascular Surgeon
  • Surgeon (General)

    Performs surgery to correct diseases and disorders covering a broad range of medical conditions. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Adolescent Psychiatrist, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Child Psychiatrist, Forensic Psychiatrist, Geriatric Psychiatrist, Medical Psychotherapist

  • Cardiothoracic Surgeon

    Performs heart and lung surgery. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Neurosurgeon

    Performs surgery to correct disorders of the brain, spine and nervous system. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Orthopaedic Surgeon

    Performs surgery to treat muscular and skeletal diseases and injuries. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Otorhinolaryngologist, or Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist (also called Head and Neck Surgeon)

    Performs surgery to correct diseases and disorders of the ear, nose and throat. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Laryngologist, Otologist, Rhinologist

  • Paediatric Surgeon

    Provides surgical care and treatment to children from birth up to, and including, adolescence. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

    Performs surgery to repair and reconstruct muscle and tissue injuries and congenital deformities. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Urologist

    Provides medical and surgical treatment to patients with disorders of the kidney, urinary bladder and urethra, and treats disorders of the male sex organs. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Vascular Surgeon

    Performs surgery to treat patients with conditions affecting their arteries and veins. Registration or licensing is required.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    Unavailable
  • Future Growth

    very strong
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    7,200
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    81.5%
  • Female Share

    18.5%
  • Full-Time Share

    83.3%

Find Vacancies

This is a small occupation employing 7200 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has stayed about the same.
Very strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Surgeons work in most parts of Australia.
  • They nearly all work in Health Care and Social Assistance.
  • Full-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 44.4 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • The average age is 44 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 5 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 8 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
20054400
20063500
20074000
20085400
20095900
20107000
20115600
20126400
20136300
20147200
20157200
20209000

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

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.
CategorySurgeonsAll Jobs Average
Full-time83.368.4
Part-time16.731.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)44.440.0

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 Assistance96.6
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services1.5
Public Administration and Safety1.2
Other Services0.8

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.
StateSurgeonsAll Jobs Average
NSW22.831.8
VIC31.925.5
QLD15.419.8
SA6.66.8
WA20.111.2
TAS1.12.0
NT0.91.1
ACT1.21.8

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 BracketSurgeonsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.45.4
20-240.8-9.99.9
25-3418.4-23.423.4
35-4433.0-21.721.7
45-5417.5-21.121.1
55-597.6-8.78.7
60-644.5-5.95.9
65 and Over18.2-3.83.8

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.
CategorySurgeonsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males81.5Males53.6
Females18.5Females46.4

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 QualificationSurgeonsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate45.2-8.68.6
Bachelor degree54.8-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV0.0-18.918.9
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, 2 years hospital-based training, and at least 5 years specialist study and training is required. 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 Surgeons who are caring, compassionate, empathetic and work well in a team.

Knowledge

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

  1. Medicine and Dentistry

    96% Important

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

  2. Customer and Personal Service

    90% Important

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

  3. English Language

    89% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Biology

    86% Important

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

  5. Education and Training

    81% Important

    Teaching and course design.

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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

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. Assisting and Caring for Others

    95% Important

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

  2. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    94% Important

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

  3. Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge

    91% Important

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

  4. Documenting/Recording Information

    86% Important

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

  5. Analyzing Data or Information

    86% Important

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

Occupational Information Network Surgeons Opens in a new window
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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