How much money do health professionals really earn?

As I’ve recently been attending careers events at schools, I’ve noticed that there is a lot of hype around the health industry, and, in particular, how much money health professionals earn. A lot of this hype is driven by information such as the GradStats data. According to GradStats, the top 5 median university graduate incomes for 2012 were:
    1.    Dentistry $80,000
    2.    Optometry $79,000
    3.    Earth sciences $73,000
    4.    Engineering $63,000
    5.    Medicine (interns) $60,000
As you can see, three out of the top five highest starting salaries are in the health industry. But what happens after that?

The latest figures that I could find are from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ August 2012 data (ABS EEBTUM survey August 2012 cat. no. 6310.0), as published on the Job Outlook. According to this data, the average Australian in a full-time job earns $59,900 per year. The following table shows the average annual income for Australians employed in a full-time job across a range of industries:

After perusing the data on the Job Outlook (and putting together table above), it became apparent that unless you are going to become a medical specialist, there are a number of other career paths you could take to make the equivalent amount of money as a health professional. It is also worth noting that these figures are all based around full-time employees with jobs. While I was researching the earnings of practitioners with their own businesses, I came across the fact that UK-based owners of Specsavers Doug and Mary Perkins have reportedly become billionaires, with over 1,400 optometry practices in their franchise across the globe. Australia’s wealthiest doctor is reportedly Dr Edmund Bateman, founder and managing director of Primary Health Care, which has 87 medical practices and pathology labs as well as 782 pathology collection centres, 161 diagnostic imaging sites and the medical practice software “Medical Director” in its portfolio.

Amanda :-)
Founder – My Health Career

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