Junior doctors' pay: How does your job compare?

Junior doctors protest in Westminster
Image caption The government says the current contracts are "outdated" and "unfair"

Government proposals to change the way junior doctors get paid have triggered anger in the profession.

But how does the pay for junior doctors compare with other jobs?

The facts on doctors' pay

Basic salary for junior doctors starts at about £23,000 but increases in the second year to about £28,000 (Pay for doctors - NHS Careers). For a doctor in specialist training, the basic salary is between £30,000 and £47,000.

Junior doctors get more for working extra and anti-social hours (currently classified as outside 07:00 to 19:00 Monday to Friday) on top of the basic salary, which boosts their income.

According to figures from the NHS Employers Organisation, the average total salary for a doctor in training is around £37,000.

The new contract changes anti-social hours to outside 07:00 to 22:00 Monday to Saturday, making Saturday between 07:00 and 22:00 part of a junior doctor's normal working week.

The change to Saturday working has angered doctors, who say it will reduce overtime pay and cut salaries. The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has indicated he may be prepared to reconsider his plan to reclassify working on Saturdays.

The Department of Health thinks the new contract is a better deal. It says it will increase the basic salary for doctors and improve training so that junior doctors will not get paid less on average overall.

The move is part of the drive towards seven-day working in the NHS.

How does doctors' pay compare with other professions?

Working alongside doctors, a fully qualified nurse starts on about £22,000. Hours worked on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays and on weekdays between 20:00 and 06:00 receive a pay premium. The Royal College of Nursing says it will challenge any proposal by the government to scrap or undermine unsocial hours payments.

Nurse pay and roles
Band Pay range Typical role
5 £21,692 - £28,180 Nurse or midwife
6 £26,041 - £34,876 Nurse team leader/specialist
7 £31,072 - £40,694 Senior nurse/manager
8 £39,632 - £81,618 Nurse consultant or matron

Outside of the medical profession, a teacher starts on about £23,000, according to the teachers' union, the NUT.

Graduates start out on salaries ranging from about £21,000 to £37,000, according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).

At the top of the scale are law and banking, while public sector and retail pay rests at the bottom.

Median graduate starting salary by sector in 2014-15
Profession Salary
Law firm £37,000
Banking or financial services £31,250
Consulting or business services £28,500
IT & Telecommunication £28,500
Accountancy or professional service firm £28,000
Energy, water or utility company £26,750
Engineering or industrial company £25,750
Construction company or consultancy £25,500
Public sector £23,750
Teacher £23,000
Retail £21,500
Other £22,000
Source: AGR

The average starting salary for a corporate investment banker is about £35,000 to £40,000, according to the graduate job website After three or more years, salaries may rise above £50,000.

What about perks?

In countries such as Australia, doctors receive tax breaks for a proportion of their income assigned to everything from rent or mortgage to eating out at restaurants.

Some junior doctors in the UK complain about having to pay for hospital parking and what they see as over-priced hospital food, although hospitals may offer subsidised parking and meals.

Other professions boast a range of unusual perks, including free climbing walls for office workers, staying at home on your birthday at a tech start-up and even a dog to pat at an advertising firm.

For doctors, though, rewards come in making a difference to patients' lives and, in the long term, a healthy salary.

Consultants in England earn from £60,000 to more than £100,000, while salaried GPs earn from about £55,000 to £80,000 or more (Pay for doctors - NHS Careers).

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites