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Doctor salary UK – 2023 statistics

Here we take a closer look at medical doctor salaries in the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK, covering a wide spectrum of roles and career stages. From junior doctors embarking on their medical careers to senior consultants with years of experience.

Average doctor salary

An NHS doctor salary requires an understanding of the different roles within the medical field and the varying levels of experience, training and specialisation. We have provided information on a medical doctor salary for the different roles of consultant, GP, specialty doctor and doctors in training.

  • Consultants can expect basic NHS pay to range between £93,666 and £126,281 per annum dependent upon the length of service. Some consultants will take the opportunity to supplement their pay and work in private practice or locum.
  • A junior doctor salary will depend on which stage of your training you are at. A basic UK junior doctor salary for foundation training ranges from £32,397 to £37,303, with additional pay for working nights, weekends and on-call. Once you have entered specialty training your pay will range from £43,932 to £63,152.
  • The NHS doctor salary for specialty grade falls in between £52,530 to £82,400, while specialist grade doctors earn from £83,945 to £92,275.
  • General Practitioners (GPs) have a salary range from £68,975 to £104,085, depending on their experience and the specific contractual arrangements.

These figures represent the basic average doctor salary ranges and do not include potential additional earnings from various sources such as overtime, on-call duties, or specific awards and allowances which may apply to certain roles. It is important to note that the medical profession offers a wide range of financial rewards, reflecting the diversity of roles, specialisations, and levels of experience within the field.

UK consultant doctor salary

The UK consultant doctor salary structure reflects the expertise and the critical role consultants play in the healthcare system. Consultants, who are among the most experienced medical professionals in the NHS, have a basic salary range of £93,666 to £126,281. This range is determined by various factors, including length of service and specific responsibilities.

With additional earnings, which include payments for on-call responsibilities, medical awards, geographical allowances, and compensation for additional activities, the average full-time NHS earnings for consultants is likely to be around £143,100. These additional earnings are a recognition of the consultants’ commitment to providing high-quality healthcare and their engagement in activities beyond their basic job requirements, such as research, teaching, or taking on managerial roles.

Specialty doctors and specialist grade doctors

Specialty doctors, who have completed their core training and are gaining further experience in a specialist field have a basic salary range of £52,530 to £82,400. This range acknowledges their advanced skills and the critical role they play in patient care.

On the other hand, specialist grade doctors, who possess further experience and responsibility, have a basic salary range of £83,945 to £92,275. This higher salary bracket reflects their additional expertise and the significant responsibility they carry in the healthcare system.


Salaried GPs, whether they are employees of independent contractor practices or directly employed by primary care organisations, can expect a salary range between £68,975 and £104,085.

This salary range accounts for various factors, including experience, location, and the nature of the practice they are affiliated with. GPs with additional responsibilities, such as those involved in practice management or training new GPs, might find their renumeration on the higher end of this spectrum.

UK Junior doctor salary

The UK junior doctor salary varies depending on their experience and the stage of training they are in. Their basic pay ranges from £32,397 to £63,162.

The lower end of this range typically applies to doctors who are in their first year of practice post-graduation, known as Foundation Year 1 doctors. As they progress to Foundation Year 2 and into specialised training programs, their salaries increase accordingly. The upper end of this range is often seen in doctors who are nearing the end of their training, particularly those in specialty registrar positions.

Trainee doctor salary UK

The salary for trainee doctors reflects the early stage of their professional journey. The basic trainee doctor salary in the UK starting is between £32,398 and £37,303.

While this pay reflects the basic salary, trainee doctors may also receive additional payments for overtime and on-call duties, depending on their work schedule and the demands of their rotations.

How the NHS salary system works

The NHS salary system is structured in bands, reflecting the level of responsibility, experience, and specialisation of the medical professional. This banding system ensures that salaries are standardised across the NHS, providing a clear progression pathway as doctors advance in their careers.

The NHS salary for doctors is composed of a basic salary, which varies depending on the role and level of experience, as well as additional earning potentials. These additional earnings can include supplements for working in high-cost areas, payments for on-call duties, overtime, and special allowances for specific roles or responsibilities. There are also opportunities for doctors to increase their income through Clinical Excellence Awards, which reward outstanding contributions to patient care, research, and education.


Locum doctor salaries are typically negotiated on a per-shift or contract basis and can vary widely depending on the area of specialisation, location, and the healthcare provider’s needs.

Generally, locum doctors may command higher hourly rates compared to their counterparts in permanent positions. This is due to the flexibility and willingness to fill roles at short notice, often in varying locations and conditions. The pay for locum work can be attractive, especially for those willing to work irregular hours or in less popular locations.

For many, working as a locum doctor offers a balance of flexibility, financial gain, and the opportunity to gain diverse experiences across different healthcare settings.

Sources: NHS, and Nuffield Trust.