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 here.

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.

  • 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.

    Specialisations: Laryngologist, Otologist, Rhinologist

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Unavailable Weekly Pay
  • 7,300 workers Employment Size
  • Very strong Future Growth
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 94.9% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 44.7 hours Average full-time
  • 39 years Average age
  • 17.0% female Gender Share

The number of Surgeons grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years:
from 7,300 in 2017 to 8,700 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 3,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: Surgeons work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (94.9%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%) showing part-time work may be hard to find.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44.7 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 17% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
20073000
20085000
20095700
20106200
20117200
20126100
20135800
20146100
20158700
20166300
20177300
20228700

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Assistance99.4
Public Administration and Safety0.6

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 2017, 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
NSW36.431.6
VIC21.426.2
QLD25.419.7
SA7.16.7
WA4.110.8
TAS2.22.0
NT0.01.1
ACT3.31.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-240.0-9.99.9
25-3433.8-23.623.6
35-4421.9-21.721.7
45-5419.1-20.820.8
55-5913.2-8.88.8
60-645.3-6.06.0
65 and Over6.6-4.04.0

Education Level

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/Diploma0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV0-18.918.9
Year 120-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Health Industry VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Surgeons who are caring, compassionate, empathetic and work well in a team.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1067.00 - Surgeons.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1067.00 - Surgeons.

go to top