Working opportunities for neurosurgeon in Australia

Neurosurgery is one of the most complex and highly paid specialties in medicine. A neurosurgeon uses surgical techniques to treat diseases of and injuries to the brain, peripheral nervous system, and spinal cord. This field requires extensive training which includes eight years of education after high school, followed by seven years of residency. Neurosurgeons are held in high regard internationally and are always highly sought due to their specialist nature. There are many opportunities for neurosurgeons to work in Australia.



Neurosurgeons trained in Australia are Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (F.R.A.C.S). Specialties within neurosurgery include peripheral nerve surgery, brain surgery, spinal surgery, paediatric neurosurgery, cerebrovascular/endovascular surgery, functional neurosurgery, pain neurosurgery and oncology.

Neurosurgeons are required to undertake undergraduate and postgraduate theoretical and practical education, a requirement which is standard across most countries. Australian medical students generally follow this basic structure on their path to become neurosurgeons:

  • Undergraduate:
    1. Medical School (5-6 years)
    2. Intern (1 year)
    3. Resident (1+ years)
    4. Registrar (4-6 years)
    5. Consultant
  • Postgraduate:
    1. Undergraduate Degree (3-4 years)
    2. Postgraduate Medical School (4 years)
    3. Provisional Registration
    4. Intern (1 year)
    5. Medical Registration
    6. Resident Medical Officer (1 + years – prevocational training)
    7. Registrar (3-8 years – vocational training)
    8. College Fellowship

Neurosurgeons who gained their qualifications and experience overseas will have to pass a number of requirements to meet the standard expected of Australian doctors. This will generally involve:

  • Applying for and passing the Australian Medical Council exam
  • Taking the IELTS test, which assesses candidates proficiency with English and is vital to working in Australia
  • Using test results and work experience/qualifications to search for jobs in one of the seven states and territories of Australia. There are many healthcare job agencies that can assist you in finding suitable junior surgeon roles.
  • Applying for an Australian working visa which also allows you to bring in dependents to the country. Hospitals will generally start this process for you as they assess your job application.

Neurosurgeons can begin their medical career earning around $53,000 and can earn up to $307,000 when fully qualified at a senior level. Salaries are dependent upon location, level of seniority and whether you work in a public or private health sector.

There are many job opportunities for neurosurgeons wishing to work in Australia, whether they were trained in the country or overseas. For more information about employment opportunities and the processes involved working in Australia, contact local government health departments or health employment providers.

Wavelength International provides Medical Recruitment, Immigration and Locum Services for Professionals as well as Healthcare Employers throughout Australia, New Zealand & beyond.

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