HomeSurgery ArticlesThe 11 Highest Paid Surgeons in Australia

The 11 Highest Paid Surgeons in Australia

Australia hosts one of the most advanced economies and healthcare industries in the world. According to the 2020 Worldwide Healthcare Rankings, the Land Down Under ranks ninth in the global indices.

The report shows that Australia has a powerful healthcare infrastructure, competent healthcare professionals, supportive government, and efficient medicine quality.

Because of this, it is not surprising that surgeons can earn over AU$500,000 annually. This figure released by the Australian Taxation Office shows that surgery is a lucrative medicinal field in the Australian subcontinent.

To further reveal how high this is, the full-time average salary of other workers in Australia is AU$65,000, while one must earn over AU$109,000 to be included in the country’s top ten earners.

In this article, you will find out the highest paid surgeons in Australia. You will also discover what they do in their line of work.

1. Neurosurgeons (AU$577,674)

At one glance, the annual income of neurosurgeons can be jaw-dropping. But this career is daunting.

Before neurosurgeons can be qualified in this field, they should complete more than 10 years of medical studies and hospital residency.

After all, their tasks are delicate. They diagnose and operate on disorders, damages, and diseases on the central and peripheral nervous system.

These include the brain, the spinal cord, and the nerves. Neurosurgeons treat infections, tumours, strokes, and injuries, among many others.

According to statistics, Australian neurosurgeons’ salaries depend on how many years they have spent in their careers.

Entry-level neurosurgeons who work for less than five years may have an income of 39% less, while those who spent 10 to 20 years in the field can earn more than 2% of the average salary.

But those who have worked for over 20 years may receive 90% more than the average.

2. Ophthalmic surgeons (AU$552,947)

Ophthalmic surgeons operate on the eyes to treat diseases. Other than examining the patients’ vision, ophthalmic surgeons remove cataracts, treat glaucoma, correct astigmatism, and remove critical eye injuries.

In total, this specialization requires over twelve years of training before ophthalmic surgeons can be fully certified.

Their average salary is likewise affected by their experience in the field. Moreover, like every specialized doctor in ophthalmology, the income of ophthalmic surgeons varies depending on which state capital city they are in.

Those in Melbourne may have 8% less, those in Brisbane may earn 3% less, and ophthalmic surgeons in Perth may acquire 5% more. Ophthalmic surgeons in Sydney have the same mean income.

2. Thoracic Surgery (AU$453,253)

Thoracic surgeons, like cardiologists, study for over a decade to become fully qualified. Thoracic surgeons specialize in operating on chest conditions, including heart diseases and abnormalities.

They also treat lung cancers, congenital heart diseases, and heart defects. Moreover, surgeons in this field can set up machines that can help people with heart and lung problems.

The main difference between thoracic surgeons and cardiologists is that cardiologists are medical doctors who focus on diagnosing and treating heart conditions, while thoracic surgeons are surgeons who focus on performing operations on the chest.

Both thoracic surgeons and cardiologists must complete medical school and a residency program. However, thoracic surgeons must also complete a fellowship program in thoracic surgery, which typically lasts three years.

3. Plastic and reconstructive surgeon (AU$448,530)

Plastic surgery is relevant now more than ever. As social media reinforces beauty standards worldwide, many men and women want to reconstruct or modify their faces and other body parts. Plastic and reconstructive surgeons enjoy this trend. They can cheat signs of aging and enlarge or shrink their patients’ certain body parts. These surgeons, who studied for eight years in college and spent six years in residency, are trained to transfer skin, perform complex stitches, and reconstruct tissues.

There are two main types of plastic surgeons. One performs cosmetic surgery and the other performs reconstructive surgery. Cosmetic surgeons usually work independently. Reconstructive surgeons work with hospitals and medical centers. This growth of plastic surgeon salary is due to the aging baby boomer population, which will require more treatments for age-related facial problems, such as skin laxity. More people are also choosing to have cosmetic surgery and elective medical procedures.

4. Obstetrics and gynecology surgeons (AU$446,507)

Obstetrics and gynecology surgeons specialize in pregnancy, delivery of babies, and neonatal care.

They also treat and take care of the female reproductive system. Surgeons in obstetrics and gynecology also operate on physical infertility, genital infections, and diseases in the reproductive system.

Since these two medical disciplines are intertwined, obstetrics and gynecology surgeons study both of these. It takes at least twelve to fourteen years to be certified.

5. Otorhinolaryngologist surgeons (AU$445,939)

Otorhinolaryngologists, also known as ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists, specialize in the said body parts. Surgeons in otolaryngology, furthermore, can conduct speech pathology training, treat allergies, and improve head and neck neurology. Otorhinolaryngologist surgeons also work with plastic surgeons to ensure that the patients’ nasal systems, necks, and mouth will be unaffected by the operation.

Cancer and tumors are also under the area of specialty of ENTs.Most of the time, these growths are benign, but their presence can still be extremely troublesome to the patient. Some of the common growths that ENT surgeons remove are lipomas and adenomas. However, the most common reason patients visit ENT specialists is for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where the patient’s breathing is interrupted while they are sleeping.

In addition, otolaryngologists are also responsible for diagnosing hearing impairments and restoring the hearing of patients. This type of specialist is trained to perform both medical and surgical procedures to correct the patients’ hearing problems. Furthermore, ENTs can treat patients with sinusitis. In fact, many ENTs are also trained to treat other respiratory problems such as asthma.

6. Orthopedic surgeon (AU$439,629)

Orthopedic surgeons have one of the most diverse fields of surgery.

Depending on their specialization, such surgeons can perform surgery on the muscles and the skeletal system.

They can also operate on the skin, blood vessels, and nerves.

Moreover, orthopedic surgeons set up braces and casts and perform therapy on people with cerebral palsy, stroke, and muscular dystrophy.

The interest fields of orthopedic surgeons include hand surgery, sports medicine, pediatric surgery, spinal surgery, foot and ankle orthopedics, and joint replacement.

7. Urological surgeons (AU$433,792)

Urological surgeons can operate on the adrenal system and the reproductive system.

As hormonal balance and sexual performance decline as people age, urological surgeons are always on-demand.

They can perform surgery on infections, tumours, and cancer in the reproductive and adrenal systems.

Also, they treat kidney stones, physical infertility, and bladder problems. They can perform cystoscopy (where a cystoscope is inserted into the body to check the bladder), nephrectomy (removing kidneys with cancer), and vasectomy (cutting the tubes where sperm cells travel), among many others.

8. Vascular surgeons (AU$417,524)

Vascular surgeons are among the top earners both in the medical community and in Australia.

Considering that coronary diseases such as atherosclerosis are leading killers worldwide, surgeons in this field are valuable today.

Vascular surgeons operate on an aneurysm, blood clots, strokes, and other conditions involving arteries and veins.

9. General surgeons (AU$357,996)

General surgeons are also among the highest-paid surgeons in Australia. They are trained to operate on the head, neck, chest, and different systems of the body. They can also respond to traumatic injuries.

According to the Australian Medical Association, General Surgeons in Australia are among the highest paid surgeons in the country. This is due to the high demand for their services, as well as the specialist skills and training required to perform surgery.

General Surgeons in Australia typically earn between $400,000 and $1 million per year. This includes base salary, bonuses, and other forms of compensation such as stock options and profit sharing.

The high pay for General Surgeons in Australia is reflective of the significant responsibility they have in performing surgery. They are responsible for the lives of their patients and must ensure that they are providing the best possible care.

General Surgeons in Australia are required to complete a five-year medical degree, followed by a three-year residency program. They must then pass a series of exams in order to be certified by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

The high pay and responsibility associated with being a General Surgeon in Australia is indicative of the important role they play in the healthcare system. They provide a vital service to the community and are an essential part of the medical team.

10. Pediatric surgeons (AU$282,508)

Pediatric surgeons operate on children, whether they have minor conditions or serious diseases that need surgical intervention.

Pediatric surgeons treat children from birth to five years old, but these surgeons can remain relevant for patients in their early adulthood.

In Australia, the salary of pediatric surgeons is unaffected by how many years they spent in the career, according to statistics.


In conclusion, the 11 highest paid surgeons in Australia are all highly skilled and experienced professionals who are able to command high salaries. They are all based in major metropolitan areas and work in large hospitals or private practices. They specialize in different areas of surgery, such as orthopedics, cardiology, and oncology. While their salaries may seem high, they are likely justified by the years of training and experience required to become a surgeon.

Therefore if you are aspiring to become a surgeon, it is important to keep in mind that you will need to undergo many years of training and study. However, the rewards can be great, both financially and in terms of job satisfaction. These 11 highest surgeons is a great place to get your inspiration from.

Highest Paid Surgeons In Australia FAQ

What type of surgeon gets paid the most?

Neurosurgeons get paid the most as many of you might have guessed. They earn well over half a million dollars per year in Australia.

How much do heart surgeons make in Australia?

Many heart surgeons earn well above 400 thousand dollars a year in Australia. And they are one of the top-earning types of surgeons in the country.

Can surgeons make millions?

Yes. In fact, many neurosurgeons do make millions of dollars per year and many other types too. If a given surgeon has extraordinary expertise and skills, they will definitely be earning a sky-high amount of money.

Can a neurosurgeon make 2 million in a year?

Yes, a neurosurgeon can make 2 million in a year as it is the highest paid branch of surgery in Australia. Many of them do too as they gain experience over time.

At what age do surgeons start making money?

To perform surgeries, you have to acquire the necessary qualifications from a reputed university’s medical school. Needless to say, the age at which a person qualifies to practice as a surgeon varies.

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