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 in medicine is needed to work as a General Practitioner or Resident Medical Officer. Graduates must also complete a one year internship and at least one more year employed as a resident before they can apply for the Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners or the Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural Remote Medicine. Many General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers complete postgraduate studies.

    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

    More about General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers

    All General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers

    All General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers

    • $2,459 Weekly Pay
    • Strong Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 60,400 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 76% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 46 hours Average full-time
    • 42 years Average age
    • 46% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
    from 60,400 in 2018 to 67,800 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 21,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 4,200 a year).

    • Size: This is a very large occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $2,459 per week (very high compared to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (76%, higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 46 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 42 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 46% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200839700
    200941200
    201041600
    201146200
    201248400
    201351900
    201460300
    201554600
    201661300
    201767500
    201860400
    202367800

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings24591460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Health Care and Social Assistance96.8
    Public Administration and Safety1.7
    Education and Training0.5
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services0.3
    Other Industries0.7

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, 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
    NSW31.131.6
    VIC25.025.6
    QLD20.920.0
    SA7.77.0
    WA10.110.8
    TAS2.12.0
    NT1.11.0
    ACT1.91.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, 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
    15-190.0-5.05.0
    20-242.5-9.39.3
    25-3429.3-22.922.9
    35-4424.0-22.022.0
    45-5419.8-21.621.6
    55-598.9-9.09.0
    60-647.1-6.06.0
    65 and Over8.4-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate30.0-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree67.7-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.8-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV0.3-21.121.1
    Year 121.0-18.118.1
    Year 110.1-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below0.1-12.512.5

    A bachelor degree in medicine is needed to work as a General Practitioner or Resident Medical Officer. Graduates must also complete a one year internship and at least one more year employed as a resident before they can apply for the Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners or the Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural Remote Medicine. Many General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers complete postgraduate studies.

    You must also be registered with the Medical Board of Australia.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • national police check
    • working with children check
    • be up to date with immunisations

    Thinking about study or training?

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

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


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

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

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Medicine and Dentistry

      90% Skill level

      Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

    2. Psychology

      88% Skill level

      Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

    3. Customer and Personal Service

      86% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    4. Therapy and Counseling

      80% Skill level

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

    5. Biology

      69% Skill level

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

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1062.00 - Family and General Practitioners.

    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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Exposed to Disease or Infections

      100% Important

      How often are you exposed to disease/infections?

    2. Freedom to Make Decisions

      99% Important

      How much freedom do you have to make decision on your own?

    3. Telephone

      98% Important

      How often do you talk on the telephone?

    4. Contact With Others

      97% Important

      How much do you have contact with people (face-to-face, by telephone, or any other way)?

    5. Impact of Decisions

      96% Important

      What results do your decisions have on other people?

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1062.00 - Family and General Practitioners.

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