Last Updated on April 6, 2022
The UK’s best-paid doctors are radiologists, according to a list of the country’s best-paid profession published by the Guardian.
Who makes the most money? Today we’re going to examine a report from the UK that breaks down physician salaries in great detail. Even if you’re not interested in working in the UK, you may be surprised by how these salaries compare to what you typically see here in the US.
The UK medical industry is on pace to spend £15bn per year on clinical staff alone. The highest paid doctors and consultants in the UK and the jobs they do on this interactive “top billers” map will give you a clear view of those medical professionals that earn the lions share of those £billions for their employers, as well as those that earn peanuts!
The fact is; preparing for medical school can be fun and at the same time, quite tasking. However, there is really nothing like finally seeing your dreams come true; your dreams of becoming a doctor in this case. Moving on, how much do you know though, about the highest paid doctors UK? Read on to find out more.
The article below brings you the latest information on highest paid doctors UK, highest paid doctors in the world, doctors salary in UK per month, foreign doctors salary in UK, doctor salary UK Vs US & highest paid medical jobs UK. You will also find related posts on the highest paid doctors UK 2021 on Collegelearners.
As someone who is interested in a medical career in the UK, you may be wondering how to earn the highest salary. If that sounds like you, here is some useful information.
Want the prestige and salary of a medical career but can’t spare a decade to get yourself there? Top-notch Surgeons and renowned Doctors aside, there are numerous high-paying roles within the medical sector that don’t involve years and years of schooling, or hours of overtime. The salary amount for each healthcare roles varies dramatically depending on the area and whether or not it’s specialised. Earnings range from starter salaries of £30,000 up to £100,000 for those jobs that require specific educational requirements, training or technical backgrounds.
We’ve taken a look at some of the most lucrative roles within the lower health sector that don’t involve lengthy, specialised training.
This website suggests the list of top Paid Doctors in the UK. The conditions like the number of years of experience, the qualification and contribution to society are considered while preparing this list. Hence check out this list to know the best doctors in UK who can provide you quality treatment at a reasonable price.
highest paid doctor specialties UK
We’re all aware of the salaries that high-ranking specialists and high-flying surgeons command. But what about the lesser heard-about roles within the medical field? Jobs in the healthcare sector are on the rise, which means there are even more roles just waiting to be filled. We’ve taken a look at some of the highest-paying medical jobs focusing on the lower ranks of healthcare to discover what the most lucrative medical careers are.
- Occupational Therapists
Occupational Therapists help patients with a variety of different ailments, from those suffering from long-term stress, emotional and developmental issues to people who have been in accidents and have to relearn how to carry out everyday tasks all over again. The area is growing and the average salary tends to be around £50,000.
Search for the latest Occupational Therapist jobs.
Nurses are the backbone of hospitals and spend more time with patients than any other medical professional. The average Nurse’s salary is around the £30,000 mark and overtime is available, so the potential for earning more is great.
- Nurse Anaesthetists
This is one of the most lucrative nursing jobs. Nurse Anaesthetists help Doctors administer anaesthesia drugs to patients. Registered Nurses have to complete a year of critical care experience before progressing to this role, and the salary progresses too – with accredited Nurses expecting to receive £40,000 and upwards depending on the location and hospital.
These foot specialists work to prevent and diagnose a range of different conditions, from bunions to fractures. Starting salaries begin at £21,000, but can progress to a specialist role with a salary in the region of £31,383 to £41,373.
Physical Therapists work to restore mobility and reduce pain for patients who have had accidents, or have long-standing injuries or illnesses. Salaries start at £21,000 for newly qualified Physiotherapists, but highly specialised practitioners can earn between £31,000 and £41,500.
- Speech and Language Therapists
Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) work with adults and children who have communication problems or difficulties eating and drinking. To practise as an SLT, you’ll need to do a three year degree. You’ll then start as a Band 5 (£21,900), and as an advanced or highly specialised SLT, you can earn around £40,500.
- Biomedical Scientists
Biomedical Scientists work with many different hospital departments, carrying out laboratory tests on tissue and fluid samples to help diagnose and treat diseases. Starting salaries are around £21,700, and as a senior Biomedical Scientist, you can expect to earn between £30,000 and £48,000.
- Diagnostic Radiographers
These specialists use imaging technology, such as X-ray and ultrasound machines, to examine and diagnose patients. You must have a BSc to qualify, and your starting salary will be around £21,900. As a Diagnostic Radiographer at consultant level, you can earn up to £68,484.
Doctor Salary UK vs US
Doctors in the US earn more than 3 times as UK doctors.
Below is a table that compares how much UK and US doctors earn. Note that the US salaries are given in dollars while the UK salaries are given in pounds.
US ($) UK (£)
Starting Salary 68K 28K
Average Salary 294K 66K
Quick Comparison of US vs UK Doctors Salary
US Doctors Salary
Overall, across all states and medical specialities, the mean salary of a doctor in the United States is $294,000/year (Medscape Report).
Unfortunately, specific US doctors’ salaries are not publicly available like UK doctor salaries are.
However, using the resources available online I have compiled an estimate of what the average doctor in the US expects to earn.
Brief Explanation of US Training Pathway
In the US, after graduating from medical school you apply for a residency post.
The first year of residency is called your “intern” year. After this, for the rest of your training, you are simply called a resident.
Residents are often referred to in terms of how many years it has been since they graduated. This is measured in “PGY” (Post-graduate year).
A PGY-2 doctor means they have been a doctor for two years.
After 3-7 years of residency, you can become an attending, the highest post of a doctor in the US (equivalent to a consultant in the UK).
Before becoming an attending, some doctors decide to undergo one or two years to further sub-specialise which is called a “fellowship”.
US doctors training pathway
Intern and Residency Salaries
The first year of residency is called the internship year.
Typically, the average intern earns $55,200 while a resident earns $61,200.
The main variable is the geographic location. For example, a Cleveland, Ohio based resident might earn $59K while a New York resident might earn $71K.
Salary tends to rise by a few thousand dollars each year through residency.
Most programs tend to be either 3-4 years long, but if you were to do a fellowship after residency training, your last year of training would be a ‘PGY-6’ year (postgraduate year 6) during which your pay would continue to increase, up to $80K+.
The below table is taken from the Medscape Residents Salary & Debt Report 2019. It shows the average salary that a resident can expect to earn at each year of their training.
Level Pay ($)
- Year 1 55,200
- Year 2 57,100
- Year 3 60,100
- Year 4 62,400
- Year 5 65,200
- Years 6-8 67,800
About Doctors Salary in UK per Month
Talking about money seems to be a taboo subject amongst doctors. Of course, we all become doctors for altruistic reasons, but we also need money to live, and for anyone to move to another country there has to be some incentive.
So today I’ll be talking about pay. It’s a complicated matter so to keep things simple for this article, I will stick to the salary for doctors in specialty training ie. residency or postgraduate training.
For doctors in non-training jobs, the salary scales are slightly different but the overall pay is quite similar so you can keep reading for a general idea.
If you’ve searched for UK doctor salaries before, you may have come across the term “basic salary”. Basic salary is the gross annual salary before tax for a full time job and covers 40 hours per week of work during normal shift hours or “plain time rates”. Plain time rates include any work done between 7am – 9pm any day of the week.
The basic salary (gross) is what you will find on NHS jobs if you’re looking for non-training jobs as shown below.
Range of Basic Salary
As you can see from the screenshot above, there is a range for the basic salary. This depends on how many years of experience you have. If you have more years of experience, then your salary can be higher. This usually applies to non-training jobs. For those starting training jobs, you will almost always start from the bottom of the range.
On top of the basic salary, trainees can get additional pay for the following:
Being on-call from home
- Working in London or near London (up to £2,162 per year)
- Training in hard-to-fill specialties (GP, Emergency Medicine & Psychiatry)
Total Gross Salary
Now the basic salary is just the starting point of the annual salary because most jobs involve working more than 40 hours per week. Salary will increase depending on the intensity of the workload.
Therefore the total salary for a job will include the basic salary + additional salary for workload intensity.
The following are considered as factors for increased workload intensity:
- Working more than 40 hours a week
- Working nights and weekends
- Working during the hours of 9pm to 7am (any day of the week)
Typical Gross Salaries for Each Grade
A typical work pattern for most medical or surgical jobs includes:
- Working 47 hours per week on average
- Working 4 nights per month
- Working 1 weekend per month
For simplicity’s sake, I have listed the total gross annual salary in the table below taking these factors into account.
Grade* Gross basic salary (annual)** Gross total salary for a typical work pattern (annual)**
- FY1 £ 27,146.00 £ 33,340
- FY2 £ 31,422.00 £ 38,590
- CT/ST1-2 £ 37,191.00 £ 49,920
- CT3/ST3-8 £ 47,132.00 £ 63,260
WHAT ARE THE HIGHEST PAYING MEDICAL JOBS?
You’re here for the answer to that question.
And we’ve done the research and we’ve laid out the answer below.
But before we jump into the details, we need to set the scene.
The year is 2015…
— Nobody knew how things would turn out —
NHS Employers and the British Government are negotiating new contracts for junior doctors.
But there’s a problem.
The British Medical Association doesn’t like what the government is proposing.
Scrapping extra pay for overtime could mean up to a 40% pay cut for doctors.
THE BATTLE BEGINS
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, says he’s going to force the new contracts — like it or lump it.
The BMA do not like this at all. The negotiations turn into a stalemate.
The BMA decide to ballot their members. As it turns out, lots of junior doctors are considering leaving the NHS thanks to the Health Secretary’s threats.
— Many young doctors were frustrated but hopeful —
In the face of the evidence , Jeremy Hunt concedes — junior doctors working more than 56 hours a week would face a pay cut under his new proposals.
Hunt’s next step is to make a new offer — an 11% increase to junior doctors’ basic pay.
This is his final offer. No more negotiating.
But, for reasons known only to him, Jeremy does not go to the BMA or to NHS employers.
Instead, he takes his offer straight to the press.
This takes everyone by surprise. Why hasn’t the Health Secretary given details on the new offer?
— Doctors were ready to stand up and fight —
The BMA ballot their members again, this time to see if members want to take industrial action in the form of a strike.
98% say yes.
THE FIGHT IS ON
Hours before the strike is due to start, Jeremy Hunt withdraws his threat to force the contracts. He agrees to resume negotiations.
The strike is called off and negotiations resume.
The BMA put out a deadline to reach an agreement. The deadline is missed.
Negotiations grind back to a halt and the strike is back on.
Suddenly, (and very publically), the Chair of the BMA’s Junior Doctor Committee blames the strike action on…
…THE GOVERNMENT’S CONTINUED FAILURE TO ADDRESS JUNIOR DOCTORS’ CONCERNS ABOUT THE NEED FOR ROBUST CONTRACTUAL SAFEGUARDS ON SAFE WORKING, AND PROPER RECOGNITION FOR THOSE WORKING UNSOCIAL HOURS.
Things are now very serious.
We get our first general strike in 2016 — the first of its kind since the 70s.
The Health Secretary goes back to the press. He talks about how patients were put at risk and doesn’t budge one inch on the deal.
We enter February and nothing has changed. Time for another strike. Around 3000 elective operations are cancelled.
— Only emergency procedures continued —
Jeremy Hunt still doesn’t budge.
April arrives and the negotiations have gone nowhere. Another strike.
But this one is crucially different from the last two. This time, junior doctors are withdrawing labour from both routine and emergency care.
This puts enormous pressure on the Health Secretary and he cracks.
NHS Employers and the BMA reach a deal with the government.
The BMA once again ballots its members and 82% of them vote in favour of the deal.
No one got exactly what they wanted, but that’s the nature of negotiation.
What does the deal mean for you today?
If you’re a junior doctor today, you’re paid a basic salary of between £27,689 to £32,050 for FY1 and FY2. And if you’re starting specialist training, your basic starting salary is £37,935 to £48,075.
— At last Jr doctors can move forward —
WHY DIDN’T HUNT JUST PAY UP TO BEGIN WITH?
The NHS doesn’t have a bottomless pit of money to draw from. If staff want a pay rise, it’s not as simple as it is in the private sector.
In privately-owned, for-profit companies, individual members of staff can negotiate their individual pay.
In the NHS, if one person wants a raise in basic pay, everyone in that pay band has to get a raise in basic pay. Which is why it doesn’t happen often.
SO WHAT ARE THE HIGHEST PAID MEDICAL JOBS?
NHS salaries are banded, so things are pretty clear cut.
Yes, there are variables — like where you’re located and your seniority.
But by and large, it’s easy to tell what your basic pay will be, whether you’re a junior doctor or a consultant.
— Surgeons rank at the top of the payscale —
If you’re working as a speciality doctor you earn a basic salary of between £40,037 and £74,661. And salaried GPs get between £58,808 and £88,744.
And as a consultant, your basic pay is between £79,860 and £107,668.
In 2018, the average full-time consultant earned about £127k, so there’s a bit of flexibility in the numbers above (you can choose to take on extra work in management or teaching and that will give you a pay bump).
Note: Some NHS doctors boost their earnings with private work, but here we’re focusing on basic pay.
THE TOP FIVE HIGHEST PAID SPECIALITIES IN THE UK ARE:
- Plastic surgery
- Trauma and orthopaedic surgery
But even up here at the top of the ladder we’re still talking about small differences in pay between each.
Let’s take a step back to look at a bigger, more global picture.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
— There’s a whole other story in the States —
How much more do doctors in America get paid?
A lot more.
Put it this way —
If you’re an orthopaedic doctor in the UK, you’re looking at an average of £87,757 a year. So over your career, you’ll earn about £3,520,000.
If you’re an orthopedic doctor in America, you’re earning the equivalent of around £370,000 per year. Over a career, that’s about £14,000,000.
So an American orthopedic doctor earns, on average, an eye-watering £10.5 million more over a career than their British equivalent.
That’s quadruple the lifetime earnings of an equally well-qualified British doctor.
WE’RE NOT BEING ENTIRELY FAIR
A medical degree costs a lot more in America than it does in the UK. There are lots of estimates online, but the average debt of the American medical student is around $200,000 upon graduation.
— US Medical degrees cost a fortune —
Let’s be incredibly generous and say that the average med school debt is $500,000 — more than double most estimates.
Even taking that into consideration, you’d still be earning £10 million more than your UK equivalent.
Ten Million Quid! Let that sink in.
WHY IS THERE SUCH A BIG DIFFERENCE IN PAY?
It’s not news that the American healthcare system is private from top to bottom.
Services aren’t free at the point of care and patients have to pay for treatment before they receive it.
Healthcare costs patients a fortune as a result — the average cost of a bypass in the UK is about £20,000. In the US it’s £60,000+.
— Healthcare isn’t cheap in the States —
To cover the costs, lots of people in the US opt for health insurance.
There are still hundreds of thousands of people in the States who remain uninsured for one reason or another, but let’s not wade into the political debate.
The point is that the more money there is in the system, the more money there is for doctors to make. And the more money can be invested back into the system, which improves the quality of care.
OR DOES IT?
Studies show that the NHS doesn’t just perform better than the US healthcare system, it’s actually among the best in the world.
And that’s with the NHS spending half of what the US system spends per person.
Here’s a graph from the study above —
HOW DOES THIS MAKE SENSE?
The National Health Service is all about people. It has been about people since it treated Sylvia Diggory — its first ever patient — in 1948.
It’s run by people for people and it’s publicly funded.
And because of that, people are invested in the NHS as a public institution. Any time someone mentions privatisation, the people strongly oppose it.
The NHS is the 5th largest employer on the planet. It employs 1.7 million people. To put that into context, the other four employers in the top five are:
- US Department of Defence
- People’s Liberation Army (China)
The NHS works as well as it does because the people who run it believe in it.
Being an NHS doctor is about committing yourself to serving patients. You won’t get paid as much as your American colleagues, but you will be part of one of the UK’s greatest collective achievements.