Hospital workforce

Who works in our hospitals?

The hospital workforce in Australia is large and diverse, covering many occupations including medical officers, nurses, diagnostic and allied health professionals (such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists), administrative and clerical staff, and domestic and other personal care staff.

Public hospitals

The workforce described here includes people employed to manage and deliver public hospital services at the local hospital network-level and the state/territory health authority-level as well as in public hospitals.

These staff numbers do not include visiting medical officers in public hospitals who are generally employed by the hospital on a contractual, rather than salaried basis. Workforce numbers are expressed as the number of full time equivalent (FTE) staff.

In 2020–21, based on average staffing levels, 421,737 staff were employed to provide services in public hospitals. The number of FTE staff has increased 3.4% per year on average since 2016–17.

Table 1: Staff and average salaries, public hospitals, 2020–21

Type of staff

Average number of full-time equivalent staff

Average salary (per year)

Nurses

174,574 (41%)

$111,102

Administrative and clerical staff

78,015 (18%)

$84,800

Diagnostic and allied health professionals

68,081 (16%)

$99,827

Salaried medical officers

52,209 (12%)

$232,501

Domestic and other personal care staff

48,851 (12%)

$67,675

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Hospital workforce