Nursing in Australia

World International


Recently the idea of moving to Australia has come across my mins. I did read a lot of the information in the sticky but I have a few questions. I would like to live in sydney, I have read other people's opinions on this board about sydney..but studied abroad during my first degree in australia (way up at james cook university in townsville) and am familiar with many of the bigger cities (except for perth and adelaide). I am a big city kind of person, but where as nurses in some of the major cities in the US, eg NY and san fran are paid in the mid sixites to low seventies a year (starting), sydney seems to pay really low wages and considering how much of your salary is taken out in can you afford to live? Is there a difference in salary between private and public hospitals? Is there a lot of overtime and do you get paid time and a half or more like in the US? How can one afford a house? Is there some sort of tax break for home ownership?

I looked up the salaries for other professions and even lawyers and a lot of IT people start out with salaries in the high thirties to the mid fourties...where as a lawyer in the US who goes corporate can start out making 120,000 (not all, but some)...I guess what I am getting at is that the majority of salaries seem low to me for a city as big and expensive as sydney. And if at 62,000 47% of your salary is going to taxes, how can you survive?! Correct me if I am wrong on any of these statistics.


84 Posts


I dont know sydney to well other than house prices are high. Our tax is not that high 47% is for casuals which inturn you are paid more but not as much work. for other type of info on the cost of living here are some basic web pages. this will give you rental properties as well as for sales. will give you an Idea of the cost of food.

I hope this will help you.

gwenith, BSN, RN

3,755 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Although our cities are dearer to live in there does not seem to be the large difference that is seen in the USA - indeed in many ways it can be dearer to live in the country. Don't forget what you often see is only the STARTING wage not the wage of the experienced nurse. Also that wage range does not include weekend and shift loading - time and a half on week ends - some public holidays double time and a half.

Most places - lots of agency work if you want it and there is overtime and don't forget that we also get 6 weeks PAID holidays a year (with 17% holiday loading) as well as long service leave, paid maternity leave, paid sick leave........

Don't have to buy health insurance...........


33 Posts

How expensive is Cairns or Townsville and are there nursing jobs in that area? Living near the Barrier Reef would be awesome! Imagine being able to scuba every weekend in that kind of splendor. Of course sea wasps and sea snakes, not to mention Great Whites would be a bummer.

gwenith, BSN, RN

3,755 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Depends on the sort of lifestyle you want - modest place to live i.e. two bedroom flat within 20 minutes of work and you will find that you will live very comfortably but you won't be able to eat out every single night of the week (unless of course it is Micky D's) at a fancy restruant.

Townsville is HOT!!!!! But there are plenty of other places up and down the coast that you can find work - remember the Great Barrier Reeef extends from the tip of Cape York down to Town of 1770 and beyond. Even here in Brisbane there is plenty of places to scuba - Morton Island for one.

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