Medical officers conditions and pay

The Northern Territory (NT) offers a great lifestyle, spectacular geography and unique medical opportunities not available elsewhere in Australia.

The NT has career opportunities for a range of medical professions including:

  • junior doctors just embarking on a medical career
  • registrars seeking positions for accredited specialist training
  • general practice trainees wishing to become rural medical officers in a remote setting
  • specialists looking for a change.

On this site you can find specific information for medical officers wishing to work in the NT including:


Appointment is by contract with the Northern Territory Public Sector with the following conditions:

  • successful applicants will receive an initial letter advising of their term allocation
  • written acceptance of this initial offer is deemed as a formal agreement of acceptance
  • formal contracts will be issued at a later time and must be signed prior to commencing employment.
  • other than local recruits, relocation assistance is provided and details will be advised on receipt of the initial acceptance of employment.
  • the Department of Health reserves the right to transfer staff within the NT as may be necessary.
  • on completion of the contract, or any extension of the contract, repatriation assistance will be provided in accordance with the provisions of the signed contract.

Medical officers agreement

Medical staff are employed under the Medical Officers (Northern Territory Public Sector) 2018 - 2021 Enterprise Agreement (EA).

Read the Enterprise Agreement.

Working hours

Ordinary hours of duty are 38 hours per week or an average of 38 hours per week spread over two, three or four weeks.

After hours, standby, on call, and overtime allowances apply. Overtime commitments vary between terms.


Salary will be determined in line with the Medical Officers (Northern Territory Public Sector)  2018 - 2021 Enterprise Agreement.

On appointment to Katherine, Gove or Tennant Creek Hospital, salary will be paid as a trainee rural medical practitioner as per the EA for the period that duty is performed at that hospital.


On commencement you will be granted up to four weeks recreation leave in advance, prior to accrual. If you are working for less than 12 months, leave will be proportional.

For Interns, up to four weeks leave will be granted during the first year of service.

RMOs are granted up to five weeks leave in their first year of service of which two to three weeks will be expected to be taken during their relieving term.

RMOs and Registrars are granted up to seven weeks in their second and subsequent years. It is normal practice to grant one to two weeks leave for each three month term, or two to three weeks during a six month term.

No leave will be approved in excess of the leave that has been accrued. This policy has been established to ensure that all RMOs are eligible to access the same amount of leave and that adequate relief is available.

For Registrars the granting of leave is at the discretion of the specialist in charge. Generally, leave may be taken at any time during the year (although divisions often operate roster systems) and the total credits may be used in one period of leave or split into several shorter periods.

Plan your leave

If you are planning to take leave, you are required to submit your leave request early. Both the taking of recreation leave and the manner in which leave credits are used, are subject to the convenience of the division. Leave at particular times may not be approved if it will cause staffing difficulties.

Study Leave

A Medical Officer on a contract of six months or more is entitled to a professional training allowance paid fortnightly. The annual amount of the entitlement is specified in the Enterprise Agreement .

Study and exam leave up to an annual maximum of five days may be approved for PGY2+ Medical Officers and up to annual maximum 10 days may be approved for Registrars and above, who have an employment contract of 6 months or more.

The amount of leave credited is pro rata based on the length of the contract and depends on the appropriateness of the course/seminar/conference/exam.

Personal and carer's leave

During the first year, personal and carer's leave is available for 10 days from commencement of contract and, after completion of 6 months service, another 5 days will become available.

Salary sacrifice

Salary sacrifice for purposes other than superannuation is available for a specified number of items.

The salary sacrifice amount is capped at $9,010 net per annum ($17,000 grossed up) and is subject to any future changes to the relevant Commonwealth legislation.

Employees in total are able to sacrifice up to 50% of their salary.

Other benefits:

  • zone A taxation concessions may be allowable
  • a Territory Allowance may be payable depending on family circumstances.

Criminal history and working with children

All Department of Health employees must have pre-employment screening, which includes a criminal history check and NT Working with Children Clearance.

A criminal record will not automatically preclude you from employment. Only criminal history relevant to the specific requirements of the job will be considered in determining your suitability for appointment.

Last updated: 07 December 2019

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