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13 Highest Paid Nurses in Australia

13 Highest Paid Nurses in Australia

Nurses are an integral part of the country’s health service. Whether providing palliative care to hospice patients or treating neonates in a NICU, nurses perform delicate work. The good news is that many of them are paid quite well for it.

Nursing salaries in Australia vary, but the national average for a registered nurse is about $82,000 annually. This is higher than the national average in Canada, but lower than the average for the United States. However, some nurse salaries in Australia range from around $70,000 for an entry-level position right up to $205,000 for a specialist full-time practitioner.

Thanks to the current cost of living crisis, nurses from South Australia to Queensland are feeling the pinch. To help nurses across the country make the most of their skills, we’re taking a look at the highest-paying nursing specialties in Australia.


Certified registered nurse anaesthetists earn an average of just under $125,000 per year. That works out to an hourly rate of $64 and a monthly salary of $10,416. 

What Does a Certified Registered Nurse Anaesthetist Do?

Certified registered nurse anaesthetists are highly skilled nurses who specialise in administering anaesthesia for surgical and medical procedures. CRNAs work alongside anaesthesiologists to assess a patient’s health and prepare them for anaesthesia.

What Are the Education Requirements for a Certified Registered Nurse Anaesthetist?

Nurses who want to become CRNAs will need to complete a number of nursing courses, including a Master’s in Nursing.

What Is the Employment Outlook for a Certified Registered Nurse Anaesthetist?

Current forecasts predict a 9% growth in CRNA jobs in the coming years, making this a great specialty to enter.


Clinical nurse specialists are highly trained and highly skilled. This is reflected in the job’s impressive average salary of just under $108,000. A clinical nurse specialist can expect to make $55 per hour and take home $9,000 per month.

What Does a Clinical Nurse Specialist Do?

Clinical nurse specialists are advanced practice registered nurses with specialist knowledge in a particular patient care area. CNSs are considered clinical experts in their field.

What Are the Education Requirements for a Clinical Nurse Specialist?

CNSs are required to complete a Master’s in Nursing and gain relevant experience in their field.

What Is the Employment Outlook for a Clinical Nurse Specialist?

The employment outlook for clinical nurse specialists is excellent, with experts predicting a 9% increase in Australian CNSs jobs in the coming years.

3. NURSE EDUCATOR - $101K TO $126K

The average annual salary of a clinical nurse educator is $108,035. That works out to $55 per hour and $9,002 per month.

What Does a Nurse Educator Do?

A nurse educator is a registered nurse who trains other healthcare professionals. They’re among the highest-paid nurses in Australia because they’re responsible for creating educational materials, organising courses, running training sessions, and providing continuing educational opportunities for their colleagues.

What Are the Education Requirements for a Nurse Educator?

Like many of the highest-paying nursing jobs, nurse educators are required to have a Master’s in Nursing. They also need to obtain a further qualification in education.

What Is the Employment Outlook for a Nurse Educator?

Nurse educators are in high demand, and it’s predicted the position will grow by 9% in the coming years.


The average mental health nurse's salary is almost $100,000 per annum. That breaks down to $8,333 per month and $51 per hour.

What Does a Mental Health Nurse Do?

A mental health nurse works with people who are experiencing mental health issues. Mental health nurses work in specialist healthcare facilities, general hospitals, and other medical settings. These highly trained nurses work closely with psychiatrists, psychologists, and other healthcare providers to give patients the personalised care they need.

What Are the Education Requirements for a Mental Health Nurse?

The most crucial step on the career path to becoming a mental health nurse is completing a Master’s of Mental Health Nursing.

What Is the Employment Outlook for a Mental Health Nurse?

Mental health is one of the fastest-growing specialties in medicine, with an expected growth forecast of 15.6%.

5. TRAVEL NURSE - $88.5K TO $155.5K

With an average hourly rate of $62, monthly earnings of just over $10,000, and an average annual income of $122,407, travel nurses are among the most highly paid nurses in Australia.

What Does a Travel Nurse Do?

Travel nurses are registered nurses who take short-term roles in various healthcare settings. Because they’re required to work in a variety of wards, hospitals, clinics, and medical centres, travel nurses need to be versatile.

What Are the Education Requirements for a Travel Nurse?

Travel nurses need years of experience under their belts to build relevant expertise. They also need a Bachelor of Nursing.

What Is the Employment Outlook for a Travel Nurse?

The number of travel nursing jobs in Australia is expected to increase by 7% in the next few years.


Public health nurses earn an average salary of $109,035 per year, $9,086 per month, and $56 per hour.

What Does a Public Health Nurse Do?

Public health nurses focus on improving the health and well-being of people in the local community. They provide a range of services, including educational resources, screenings, and training sessions.

What Are the Education Requirements for a Public Health Nurse?

Anyone who wants a nursing career in public health will need a bachelor’s degree in nursing

What Is the Employment Outlook for a Public Health Nurse?

The job growth forecast for public health nursing is 5.4%.


On average, paediatric nurses earn $96,249 per year, $8,020 per month, and $49 per hour.

What Does a Paediatric Nurse Do?

Paediatric nurses provide specialist care to infants and children. (Note: very young babies are treated by neonatal nurses.) Paediatric nurses work in specialist wards as well as in hospitals, emergency departments, and medical clinics.

What Are the Education Requirements for a Paediatric Nurse?

Paediatric nurses are required to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

What Is the Employment Outlook for a Paediatric Nurse?

Paediatric nursing is expected to grow by 13.9% in the coming years.

8.  CARDIAC NURSE - $81K TO $158K

The average annual salary of a cardiac nurse is just under $100,000. This equates to $8,333 per month and around $51 per hour.

What Does a Cardiac Nurse Do?

Cardiac nurses specialise in treating patients with heart disease and other heart-related issues. Because they’re experts in their area, they earn more than the average registered nurse salary.

What Are the Education Requirements for a Cardiac Nurse?

Cardiac nurses require a Graduate Diploma in Nursing Science (Cardiac Nursing).

What Is the Employment Outlook for a Cardiac Nurse?

The job growth forecast for cardiac nurses is 9%.

9. NURSE MIDWIFE - $81K TO $129K

On average, nurse midwives earn around $90,775 per year, $7,564 per month, and $46.55 per hour.

What Does a Nurse Midwife Do?

Nurse midwives are an integral part of the midwifery team. They provide specialist obstetric, gynaecological, and newborn care.

What Are the Education Requirements for a Nurse Midwife?

Nurse midwives need to complete a bachelor’s in nursing.

What Is the Employment Outlook for a Nurse Midwife?

The specialty has a good employment outlook with expected growth of 9%.

10. ONCOLOGY NURSE - $80K TO $126K

Oncology nurses in Australia earn an average of $7,423.33 per month and $45.68 per hour. This adds up to an average annual income of $89,080.

What Does an Oncology Nurse Do?

Oncology nurses work with patients who have cancer. They help with pain management, emotional support, and treatment plans.

What Are the Education Requirements for an Oncology Nurse?

A Bachelor’s in Nursing is required for oncology nurses.

What Is the Employment Outlook for an Oncology Nurse?

 The number of oncology nurses is forecast to grow by 9%.

11. NURSE MANAGER - $107K TO $134K

The latest data shows that nurse managers earn an average of about $121,000 annually, breaking down to just over $10,000 each month and $62 per hour.

What Does a Nurse Manager Do?

As the job title suggests, nurse managers take on a leadership role in their departments, watching over the ward and supervising the nurses within them. They are qualified for patient care, but take on managerial duties to ensure the entire department is running as it should.

What Are the Education Requirements for a Nurse Manager?

Nurse managers need a bachelor’s degree as well as extensive experience as a nurse so that they can fully understand the requirements of the role.

What is the Employment Outlook for a Nurse Manager?

According to data from the Australian government, nurse managers will soon be more highly sought after than ever because of massive growth overall in the nursing profession.


Critical care nurses can expect to be paid an average of $83,246 each year. This equates to $6,937 monthly and roughly $42 per hour.

What Does a Critical Care Nurse Do?

You may have heard critical care nurses referred to as intensive care nurses. These nursing professionals work in Intensive Care units providing care to patients in critical condition. This can involve dealing with life support measures, constant monitoring of vital signs, and being ready to handle emergencies at all times.

What Are the Education Requirements for a Critical Care Nurse?

Australia requires that critical care nurses obtain a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Nursing with a Critical Care concentration for this role, as well as a bachelor’s degree and experience.

What Is the Employment Outlook for a Critical Care Nurse?

Data suggests that this specialty will see growth of roughly 1.24% as demand increases.

13. COSMETIC NURSE - $50K TO $100K

Cosmetic nurses in Australia earn, on average, $70,000 annually, but there is a very wide range of salaries in this field. The average cosmetic nurse takes home $5,833 per month, or about $36 per hour.

What Does a Cosmetic Nurse Do?

Cosmetic nurses specialize in skin therapies like laser treatments for hair removal, microdermabrasion, and skin rejuvenation

What Are the Education Requirements for a Cosmetic Nurse?

To become a cosmetic nurse, you need to start by earning a bachelor’s degree and gaining experience as a clinical nurse, and then you can complete a postgraduate degree specific to cosmetic nursing.

What Is the Employment Outlook for a Cosmetic Nurse?

The outlook for cosmetic nurses is excellent. There is growing demand for the kinds of treatments these nurses perform.


The amount a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse manager, or even director of nursing can earn varies considerably across the country. These are the cities where nursing staff can find the best salaries.



Canberra, ACT






Gold Coast











The specialty you choose will also impact your earning potential. This breakdown shows the average salary ranges for the eight specialties with the highest pay potential.


$78k to $205k

Family Practice

$75k to $90k


$111k to $136k


$80k to $126k

Critical Care

$80k to $123k


Up to $103k

Pain Management

Up to $180k

Mental Health

Up to $146k

Begin Your Nursing Career

Now that you’re ready to find out how to become a nurse, you’ll need to prepare for your next steps. No matter which specialty you prefer, you’re going to start with nursing school.

If you prefer to work while you’re in school, you may consider applying to become an enrolled nurse. As an enrolled nurse, you would work as an assistant to registered nurses, performing tasks under their supervision. This job is a great way to get hands-on nursing experience.

While there are quite a lot of excellent universities throughout the country, you’ll find the top ranked nursing programs at the following schools:

Many programs offer full or part-time courses to help fit into your schedule, so look at all the options to find your course. If you’re not from Australia, be sure to check the admissions requirements carefully, as there are different rules for international students.

Once you’ve obtained your bachelor’s degree in nursing, you’ll apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, which is a part of AHPRA, the agency that regulates healthcare workers.

After you’re officially registered, you can get to work! You may want to consider furthering your education to obtain a master’s degree. Nurses with higher levels of education tend to earn more, and some specialties require more education than others.

There are also certificate programs that can get you qualified for certain specialties. For more occupation insights, you can check out the government’s labour database.

Whether you work in aged care in Victoria or an ICU in NSW, you can find a fantastic range of affordable, high-quality nursing scrubs in the ScrubsIQ collection. Get more registered nursing insights, and find the perfect scrubs for your role by taking a look around today.

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