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NHS Doctor's Pay Calculator (Real Salaries)

NHS Doctor’s Pay Calculator (Real Salaries)

Updated on: December 3, 2023
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Written By Dr Ollie

Every article is fact-checked by a medical professional. However, inaccuracies may still persist.

How much doctors earn in the UK depends on a lot of different things: from their specialty to their working hours to their experience.

One of the most important of these factors, however, is how long a doctor’s been working in the NHS.

This roughly equates to their seniority and therefore translates to a higher pay band in the NHS’s salary system.

With this in mind, I developed this simple calculator to allow you to estimate a doctor’s salary from how many years they’ve been working in medicine.

Doctor’s Pay Calculator






The data that’s gone into this calculator is really pretty simple- it’s an estimated salary for each year of a doctor’s career.

With this in mind, there are a few important limitations to the figures it calculates:

  • It assumes that a doctor progress first time at every stage of their career. In reality, due to the competitive nature of specialty training programs, it might take a doctor more than one attempt at landing their ideal program.
  • It assumes a doctor doesn’t take any time out for any other reasons. For example, sabbaticals, maternity leave or extended holidays. Realistically, a large portion of doctors do at some point find themselves stepping away from a direct training pathway.
  • It doesn’t take into account any extra income a doctor may make. For example, private work on the side, additional locum shifts or any other sources of income such as through academia.
  • It presumes the doctor enters a secondary care specialty that has an eight-year-long training program. In reality, approximately 50% of doctors become GPs, but this calculator won’t give an accurate estimate of a GP’s salary.

It’s by no means perfect, but it’s simply designed to give you an estimated salary as well as a breakdown as to what this equates to per month, week and even hour.

Years of Being a DoctorGradeEstimated Salary

Factors That Influence How Much A Doctor Is Paid

Here I just wanted to quickly look at some of the other factors that influence how much a doctor is paid- as basing it solely on ‘number of years worked’ in unquestionably a bit of an oversimplification.


The chosen medical specialty significantly affects a doctor’s earning potential. Specialties such as neurosurgery or cardiology tend to have higher salaries compared to general practice or pediatrics.


Doctors with more experience generally earn higher salaries. As they progress in their careers, gain expertise, and build a reputation, their earning potential increases.

Qualifications and Training

Additional qualifications, such as postgraduate degrees or certifications, can enhance a doctor’s earning potential. Specialised training or fellowships in specific areas of medicine may also lead to higher salaries.


The geographical location where a doctor practices can influence their earnings. Salaries tend to be higher in urban areas or regions with a higher cost of living (e.g. London), as compared to rural or less affluent areas.

NHS Vs. Private Practice

In the UK, doctors working within the NHS receive salaries based on a pay scale determined by their grade, specialty, and experience. However, doctors in private practice have greater control over their earning potential, as they can set their fees and may have a more extensive patient base.

Working Hours

The number of hours a doctor works can affect their earnings. Additional shifts, overtime, or on-call responsibilities may result in higher pay. However, excessive working hours might not always directly translate to higher income if they are salaried or work within fixed contracts.

Research and Publications

Active involvement in research, publishing scientific papers, or securing grants can enhance a doctor’s reputation and earning potential. Academic doctors often have opportunities for research and may receive additional income through these endeavours.

Supply and Demand

The demand for doctors in specific specialties and geographic areas can influence salaries. If there is a shortage of doctors in a particular field, the compensation may be higher to attract and retain professionals.

Negotiation Skills

Finally, a doctor’s ability to negotiate their contract or fees can impact their earnings. Effective negotiation skills can lead to better remuneration packages, benefits, and bonuses- whether a doctor’s working for the NHS or a private company.

Final Thoughts

Although it’s by no means perfect, this pay calculator tools will still give you ballpark figures for a doctor’s base salary.

Overtime, extra shifts or private work can supplement it, but the rough figure is there.

No matter their specialty, every secondary care (hospital) doctor is essentially on the same pay spine- so will work off the data used to create the calculator.

About the author
After studying medicine at the University of Leicester, Dr Ollie now works as a junior doctor in London. His interests include medical education and expedition medicine, as well as having a strong belief in the importance of widening access to medicine.