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Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most frequently asked questions about doctor jobs in Australia and New Zealand are listed below. If you can’t find the answer to your question, please contact us.


There are a number of ways to search for an appropriate role. We recommend building a strong relationship with an experienced medical recruitment agency, such as IMR LocumBank, where you have access to the best opportunities to suit your specific requirements, as well as one-on-one support for any required regulatory processes.

The duration of the process can vary greatly dependent on a number of things including your specialty, seniority and current location. If you are in International Medical Graduate, you should be prepared to allow a number of months, taking into account job sourcing, interviews and relocation process.

​If an application is successful, employers will usually proceed first with a telephone interview, after which they may be in a position to offer you employment.

Once you have accepted a job offer, you will need to complete regulatory processes that can include applications for primary source verification, specialty medical college assessment, registration/licensing, and an appropriate work visa. These processes can be quite time consuming, and are far easier to navigate when using an experienced recruitment agency.

Some agencies will charge you for various services, and this is something you should certainly be wary of prior to signing up. IMR LocumBank’s services are free of charge and we pride ourselves on knowing that every International Medical Graduate we place is paid the exact same rates as their Australasian colleagues. We never take a percentage of your salary and we try to negotiate the best package for you every time.

​You are able to register with more than one agency, but it does not necessarily improve your job prospects. Experienced agencies like IMR LocumBank will be able to represent you for all roles that are available, and therefore registering with multiple agencies can often serve to cause confusion.

​Relocation packages are generally offered by employers based on the seniority and/or location of the role. IMR LocumBank will negotiate the best package possible for your role.

​At IMR LocumBank we respect your privacy and confidentiality, and we are able to tailor our approach to suit your individual requirements. After consultation, if you would like us to go ahead and make applications based on your preferences simply because you are short of time, then we are happy to do so.

Otherwise, we are more than happy to provide you with detailed information so that you can make the decision yourself prior to us sending your application. You will work closely with your own Medical Recruitment Specialist in your preferred manner to maximise the chances of you finding the best possible opportunity that meets your needs.

​Initially you will simply just need to provide us with a copy of your CV. Based on your individual circumstances, we will be able to advise you as to what other documentation you may be expected to collate throughout the process. Some of the documents to think about include references, medical qualifications, passport, and current medical registration/license.

In many cases doctors are able to work in Australia or New Zealand without taking any exams, however this will depend on your experience and qualifications. For a more detailed description of the eligibility requirements, please feel free to contact us.

​Generally, English proficiency requirements are based on whether you completed your education in a country that is deemed to speak English as the first or native language. Australia and New Zealand have slightly different policies – for full details, please review the requirements at the following links:

Australia -

New Zealand -

​One of the most common myths associated with working in Australia and New Zealand is that you will need to work in a rural area. Whilst there are geographical restrictions imposed on some doctors in certain circumstances, there are still many positions available in urban or city locations. Naturally the larger cities tend to be more competitive, however as a general rule there are positions available in most areas in both countries.

The salaries differ slightly in Australia and New Zealand, and also vary based on the specialty, seniority, and location of your role. As a general rule your package will include a base salary on top of which you can earn extra for on-call/overtime and other initiatives like salary packaging and superannuation (Australia only). For detailed salary information and a breakdown of specialties and seniorities please feel free to contact us.

Tax rates in Australia and New Zealand differ based on what salary bracket you fall into. Please visit the following links for further information: Australian Taxation Office: 
NZ Inland Revenue Department:

​Most work visa options will allow you to include family members, with the eligibility requirements based on factors including age and financial dependency to you.

​Eligibility for permanent residency is based on a number of factors, and is most commonly only an option after a period of work on a temporary work visa. IMR LocumBank can put you in contact with a registered migration agent to assist with more detailed eligibility queries.


​The term “locum” in Australia and New Zealand generally refers to temporary or short term medical placements to fill a specific requirement. This could be a single shift, a weekend, a few weeks or even a few months.

​To be eligible to work as a locum doctor in Australia or New Zealand, there are a few important requirements that need to be met:

Medical Registration:

To work as a locum doctor, you will need to have unrestricted registration with either AHPRA (Medical Board of Australia) or the Medical Council of New Zealand. If you are on a Limited or Provisional category of registration, then you may not be able to work as a locum doctor unless the locum job is for an extended period of time.

If you have queries in relation to your eligibility for locum work based on your registration, please contact us for advice.

Visa and Residency Status:

In Australia, Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents are able to locum without any immigration restrictions, whilst some Temporary Residents may also be able to locum dependent on the specific visa subclass. New Zealand Citizens can also locum in Australia without needing to meet any further immigration requirements.

You must be an Australian or New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident, or hold an unrestricted work visa to be able to locum in New Zealand.

If you are unsure whether or not your residency status allows you to work as a locum doctor, please contact us.

​Locum work instead of, or in addition to, a permanent job is becoming more common throughout Australia and New Zealand. Some of the more common reasons doctors choose locum work are:

Freedom – you can work when and where you like with minimal commitment

Money – in some cases it is possible to earn up to 5 times your normal FTE (full time equivalent) salaried rate

Flexibility – many doctors choose to do locum work whilst travelling, on maternity leave, during research years, during annual leave, or whilst taking a break from a FTE (full time equivalent) role

Travel – locum work is one of the best ways to see new places in Australia and New Zealand - especially rural or remote parts that you may have never even considered visiting. In many cases both travel and accommodation are paid for by your employer

‘Testing' a job before settling down – over 30% of newly qualified specialists or GPs do some locum work prior to settling down in a permanent position. This allows them to try a location or hospital before committing to permanent work there

Experience – locum work can offer you the opportunity to experience exciting new places and even areas of medicine that you may not have had exposure to in your normal everyday role.

​Most doctors find it much easier to have a locum agency represent them for locum placements. This way the agency can manage all of the required paperwork for each health service and coordinate flights, accommodation, vehicle, payment and other additional benefits for you.

Agencies tend to have access to locum shifts in many different locations and have far more available shifts than what can be sourced independently.

Additionally, most public health services and private hospitals have entered into Preferred Supplier Arrangements with reputable, proven and trusted Locum Agencies. As one of Australia and New Zealand’s most experienced and trusted suppliers, IMR LocumBank has the privilege of providing our locum doctors with unrivalled access to the these roles, therefore enhancing your chances of securing your preferred role at the best rates available. 

​Pay rates for locum doctors are significantly higher than the standard salary levels for FTE (full time equivalent) doctors, but can vary based on a number of factors (including specialty, seniority, location and urgency).

For more detailed information on locum doctor rates and payment methods, visit our Locums in Australia and New Zealand page.

​Some of the variables relating to locum doctor jobs in Australia and New Zealand include:

Specialties & Seniorities:

Locum work is generally available across all specialties and seniorities, however the volume of roles varies greatly between specialties.


Supervision can vary based on the location of the locum and the set-up of the specific department. As a general rule, the larger facilities and departments will have more on-site supervision available.

Regional and rural locums often have limited on-site supervision available (dependent on the seniority of the locum shift) due to lack of resources. You may find in some cases that supervision will be available off-site or on an on-call basis.


Contrary to popular belief, there are locum jobs available in most parts of both Australia and New Zealand, including both city and regional health services. Areas further away from urban centres do however tend to have a greater ongoing need, and generally more work available for locum doctors.


As different facilities have different requirements and needs, the duration of locum work can vary greatly. Outside of specific shifts that need to be filled, the duration of your locum job can sometimes depend on how much time you have available.

You may be interested in a once off locum over a long weekend or during a period of time where you have taken annual leave in your full time position. Alternatively, you may be interested in taking an extended break and working for a few months or years as a full time locum doctor. IMR LocumBank’s Medical Recruitment Specialists are highly experienced and able to manage your roster to suit your availability and personal preferences.

Advanced Placement Booking:

Some health services will be happy to book locum doctors months in advance if they know that the requirement will still exist at that time. This means that as a part time or ad hoc locum doctor, you have a lot of flexibility with regards to how long you want to work at an individual locum job. As a full time locum, you are in most cases able to book up your locums well in advance, giving you the flexibility to manage your workload as you please.