Anaesthetists provide direct medical care to patients requiring general or local anaesthesia for surgical, diagnostic and other procedures such as prevention of pain and maintenance of body function. Anaesthetic Registrars training as Anaesthetists are included here.
Specialisations: Intensive Care Anaesthetist, Obstetric Anaesthetist, Pain Management Specialist.
Medical Practitioners need to undertake a fellowship with the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists to become an Anaesthetist.
performing pre-operative examinations of patients to determine appropriate anaesthetic and sedation in concurrence with Internal Medicine Specialists and Surgeons
discussing the anaesthetic process with patients and obtaining their informed consent prior to surgery
administering local, regional and general anaesthetics using a variety of methods such as inhalational and intravenous administration
supervising the transfer of patients to operating theatres, positioning on operating tables, keeping patients warm, and responding quickly and accurately if any problems arise
monitoring patients throughout surgical procedures and in immediate post-operative procedures
recording details of anaesthetic and sedation administered, and the condition of patients before, during and after anaesthesia
liaising with other health care workers to provide diagnosis and treatment for patients with chronic pain, and to diagnose and treat patients requiring intensive care or resuscitation
may instruct medical, nursing, student and ancillary staff on the signs, symptoms and diagnosis of allergic and anaphylactic reactions to anaesthetic agents, and supervision and treatment of life threatening emergencies
The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow moderately
- is likely to reach 6,000 by 2026.
Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 81% of people employed as Anaesthetists work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 15 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 47 hours per week in their main job. This is 3 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Most Anaesthetists work in the Health care and social assistance industry.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Anaesthetists||All Jobs Average|
Around 75% of Anaesthetists live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Melbourne - Inner
- Brisbane Inner City
- Perth - Inner
- Adelaide - Central and Hills
- Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Anaesthetists is 44 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.
Females make up 33% of the workforce. This is 15 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Anaesthetists||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||6.0||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Medical Practitioners need to undertake a fellowship with the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists to become an Anaesthetist.
Registration with the Medical Board of Australia is required.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Anaesthetists||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||48.1||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.0||12.5|
Source: 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.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Anaesthetists who are caring, compassionate, empathetic and work well in a team.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
61%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
57%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Talking to others.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Looking for ways to help people.
54%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Teaching people how to do something.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
50%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
92%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
66%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
61%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
50%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
48%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
43%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
38%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
38%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
36%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
26%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
25%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
25%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Communicate by speaking.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Read and understand written information.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
59%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
54%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
See details that are far away.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
91%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
90%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
85%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
84%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
84%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
82%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
82%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
80%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
79%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
79%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
74%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
73%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
72%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
70%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
70%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
69%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
65%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
65%Giving expert advice
Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.
65%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
60%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Talk with people face-to-face.
98%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
97%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
96%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
95%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
95%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
95%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
94%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
93%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
Work with people in a group or team.
Talk on the telephone.
92%Disease or infection
Be exposed to disease or infections.
91%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
Use electronic mail.
86%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
85%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
84%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
81%Wear specialized protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suits, or radiation protection.
Work to strict deadlines.
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, 29-1061.00 - Anesthesiologists.