5 Healthcare Careers in Australia for International Students

If you have a desire to help others, you might suit a career as a healthcare professional. The healthcare industry encompasses a diverse range of fields, from general preventative health to specialist care. Plus, there’s never been a better time to enter the industry: it’s Australia’s biggest sector (accounting for 14 per cent of the country’s total workforce) and the pandemic has generated an increase in demand for healthcare professionals.

If you’re interested in pursuing a healthcare career, here are five different options to consider.

Medicine

Studying medicine can be rewarding. It also comes with a broad range of opportunities, given there are lots of different medical specialties to choose from. You can opt to work in hospitals or other healthcare facilities, or be a medical researcher looking to improve health outcomes.

What is the best university to study medicine in Australia?

In Australia, the Group of Eight universities are good starting points to explore your options for studying medicine. However, you can also look at other fully accredited medical schools in Australia.

According to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021, four Australian universities ranked in the top 50 medical schools in the world. They are:

  • The University of Melbourne – 18th place
  • The University of Sydney – 19th place
  • Monash University – 36th place
  • The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) – 45th place

Jobs in medicine

Some of the most in-demand positions in medicine include general practitioner; pediatrician; anaesthetist; cardiologist; dermatologist; dentist; surgeon; ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist; obstetrician and gynecologist; clinical director; and roles in emergency medicine, high dependency units (HDU) and intensive care units (ICU).

How much do doctors earn in Australia?

Medical staff earn higher than average salaries given the importance of their job and the high demand for qualified professionals. The salary for a doctor/physician or general practitioner ranges from around $60,000 to $300,000 per year, and is dependent on factors such as location, experience, area of specialty and patient population served.

Nursing

If you have a real passion for helping people and want to contribute to their health and wellbeing, a career in nursing is an excellent option. Australia is home to some of the world’s most highly regarded nursing programs, and you can choose to work in a public or private hospital and pursue a specialisation that interests you.

What is the best university to study nursing in Australia?

According to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021, the following 10 Australian universities ranked in the top 50 nursing schools in the world: 

  • University of Technology Sydney – 11th place
  • The University of Sydney – 13th place
  • Monash University – 15th place
  • Griffith University – 25th place
  • Deakin University – 30th place
  • Queensland University of Technology – 31st place 
  • The University of Melbourne – 33rd place
  • The University of Newcastle – 36th place
  • The University of Queensland – 38th place
  • Australian Catholic University – 42nd place

Jobs in nursing

Nursing jobs in Australia include registered nurses (RN), enrolled nurses (EN), clinical nurses, assistants in nursing (AIN), nurse educators, nurse managers, midwives and mental health nurses. 

How much do nurses earn in Australia? 

Nurse salaries are dependent on the division, specialisation, role and location. However, nurses take home an average salary of $61,000 per year, and typically pay increases with experience. 

Allied health

Allied health is distinct from medicine and nursing, even though the field works towards preventing, diagnosing and treating a range of health conditions. It covers a huge variety of healthcare professions that target specific health concerns.

What is the best university to study allied health in Australia?

Several universities in Australia cover allied health, and many of them offer different programs and specialisations. To be an allied health professional, you can complete an undergraduate allied health degree in a specialisation of your choice before pursuing postgraduate study. 

Keen to explore your options? Check out our full list of universities and TAFEs in Australia to get started. Here, you’ll find links to each institution’s website, where you can discover their course offerings in allied health.

Jobs in allied health

The sector comprises healthcare roles such as dietician, radiographer, sonographer, occupational therapist, pharmacist, pharmacy technician, exercise physiologist, physiotherapist, podiatrist, psychologist and speech pathologist.

How much do allied health professionals earn in Australia?

Like most careers in health, allied health salaries vary based on specialisation, responsibilities and location. That said, allied health practitioners earn between $60,000 and $150,000 per year on average, depending on their specialty.

Public health

A career in public health involves protecting and improving the health of entire communities or groups of people, rather than individuals at a clinical level. Emphasis is placed on the direct prevention of diseases, injuries and premature deaths, and keeping people healthy through campaigns and organised efforts.

What is the best university to study public health in Australia?

Public health is offered at numerous universities and TAFEs in Australia. To study public health, you can start with a graduate certificate/diploma, or dive straight into a bachelor’s degree. A postgraduate qualification in public health may improve your chances of securing a high-level position in government or non-government organisations.

Jobs in public health

Public health jobs include epidemiologist, infectious disease specialist, occupational health and safety specialist, public health researcher, health promotion manager, public health project officer and public health policy coordinator.

How much do public health professionals earn in Australia?

Public health salaries can sit anywhere between $60,000 and $90,000 per year on average, and pay tends to increase with experience and specialisation. 

Health support work

There are lots of different roles in health support. Australia’s population is ageing, generating a greater need for aged care support workers. There are also opportunities to work in other important sectors such as disability and mental health.

What is the best university to study support work in Australia?

Several Australian universities and TAFEs offer relevant qualifications in healthcare support. Check out the list and explore which area of health support work interests you most.

Jobs in support work

There’s an array of opportunities in the health support sector. Roles include:

  • Aged care workers in the community, at an aged care facility, or in someone’s home
  • Disability support workers in the community or through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
  • Individual support workers
  • Mental health support workers
  • Therapy assistants

How much do health support workers earn in Australia?

Health support worker salaries can vary depending on the area of specialisation and level of experience. The average salary for a health support worker is $65,000 per year, while more experienced professionals can earn over $80,000 per year.