General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers
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.
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
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 strongly
- is likely to reach 67,800 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 76% of people employed as General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 10 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 46 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
More than half of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $2,535 per week, this is much higher than weekly earnings for all jobs ($1,593).
Median hourly earnings are $65, this is much more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.
Most General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers 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||General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers||All Jobs Average|
Around 69% of General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
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 General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers is 42 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 46% of the workforce. This is similar to 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||General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||8.4||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
A bachelor degree in medicine followed by a one year internship is needed to work as a Resident Medical Officer. It is common to work as a Resident Medical Officer for 1-3 years before applying for a fellowship to become a General Practitioner through the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners or the Australian College of Rural Remote Medicine.
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||General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||30.0||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.1||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 General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers who work well in a team, can communicate clearly and who are flexible and adaptable.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Reading work related information.
66%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Talking to others.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
59%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
57%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Teaching people how to do something.
Looking for ways to help people.
52%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
90%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
86%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
80%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
63%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
46%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
45%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
45%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
44%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
44%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
38%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
30%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
29%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
26%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.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Read and understand written information.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
50%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
50%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
43%Speed of recognition
Quickly make sense of and organize things you can see like letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Do two or more things at the same time.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
83%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
80%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
80%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
77%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
76%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
71%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
67%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
66%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
65%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
63%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
62%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
62%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
60%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
60%Giving expert advice
Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.
57%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
54%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
53%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
49%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
48%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
40%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
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.
100%Disease or infection
Be exposed to disease or infections.
99%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Talk on the telephone.
97%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
96%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
Talk with people face-to-face.
96%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Work with people in a group or team.
93%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
92%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
92%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
92%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
90%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
84%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
Use electronic mail.
82%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Work to strict deadlines.
78%Angry or unpleasant people
Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.
73%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
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.