• 11 January 2021
  • 7 min read

The GP Salary & Pay Guide

  • Mat Martin
    Content Manager
    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
    • Matt Farrah
  • 0
  • 897
"The average salary for a GP is currently £98,000 a year according to the latest research."

Here we clear up some of the misconceptions surrounding GPs salaries and take a look at the average pay, different career routes and what the future holds for GP pay.

Topics covered in this article

Introduction

What Is The Average Salary For A GP?

What Is The Starting Salary For A GP?

What Other Career Routes Can A GP Follow?

Are GP Salaries Misunderstood?

What Does The Future Hold For GPs and GP Salaries?

Find Your Next GP Role Today

Introduction

GPs treat all common medical conditions and illnesses, and refer patients to hospitals and specialists for urgent treatment.

They’re essentially all-rounders, able to detect and diagnose a wide range of illnesses.

As the first point of contact for many patients experiencing health issues, GPs are a vital part of the healthcare community.

They often get to know their patients well, and are an important part of the social fabric of the places in which they practice.

There are more than 1.3 million GP consultations every day in the UK, which gives you a sense of the scale of what they do.

GPs can work in surgeries or occasionally at patient’s homes, primarily in the NHS but also privately.

And when it comes to GP pay, there are a great many considerations – all of which we will cover in this guide.

What Is The Average Salary For A GP?

The average salary for a GP is currently £98,000 a year according to the latest research.

However, this figure is merely a guide, as GP salaries can vary enormously.

Many less experienced GPs earn just over £60,000 a year, while a handful of the most experienced can earn more than £200,000 by managing several practices and thousands of patients.

This wide variance is primarily to do with how GPs operate – and whether they are salaried GPs, or effectively small business owners.

What Is The Starting Salary For A GP?

The minimum annual salary for a full-time salaried GP is £60,455 a year.

However, for GP partners, who effectively manage their own businesses, pay is very difficult to pinpoint.

They receive a share of profits in the business – so earnings are dependent on business performance.

To clarify, these general practices are run almost like franchises and have a contract with NHS England.

Each practice has a number of practitioners, and in the case of ‘GP partners’, these practitioners jointly own the practice.

GP partners therefore can earn very high salaries when their practices perform especially well.

However, GP partners don’t receive any benefits, unlike salaried GPs – who also don’t have to worry about organising their tax bill.

It’s also worth noting that all GPs begin their working life – after gaining a degree in medicine – on a two-year foundation programme as a Junior Doctor.

Pay in this qualifying phase starts at just over £27,000 a year.

What Other Career Routes Can A GP Follow?

Being a GP gives you enormous flexibility in terms of what you can do next.

Firstly, if you’re a salaried GP you can certainly aim to become a partner within a practice and potentially boost your earnings.

It’s also very common for GPs to work flexibly – perhaps reducing their hours to allow for private consultations within a private medical setting.

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

GPs also often decide to become more specialised within a certain area, perhaps training to become a physician or consultant while continuing to operate as a GP on a part-time basis.

Many GPs also move into teaching or research.

And beyond all of this, there are some really adventurous routes that GPs can choose to take, including working in prisons, the armed services, for charities, or in support of a global crisis.

Are GP Salaries Misunderstood?

GP pay is often a subject of interest to journalists and the wider public – and much of the scrutiny and speculation is unfair.

Articles often appear in national newspapers criticising unfairly high rates of pay or exposing the ‘millionaire’ GPs.

But these articles are normally highly misleading.

There are just under 45,000 qualified GPs in the UK today – and the number earning £200,000, let alone £1 million a year, is minimal.

In reality, the vast majority of GPs earn somewhere between £70,000 and £100,000 – salaries much more in line with other specialists and consultants.

As a result, these kinds of stories have skewed the argument around GP salaries unfairly, and often portrayed surgeons and consultants as the underpaid underdog in comparison.

The problem with perceptions around GP pay also comes back to how they are paid.

The earnings of non-salaried GP partners in practices is less transparent, and this makes it prime for speculation.

What Does The Future Hold For GPs and GP Salaries?

How GPs operate and how they’re used is changing rapidly – and this is likely to have an impact on potential earnings too.

Healthcare technology – from advanced analytics software to wearable technology – has the potential to completely transform how patients, and doctors, monitor personal health.

That change is happening now, and it will remove the need for a great deal of what GPs actually do.

The other key shift, exacerbated by COVID-19, has been the move to virtual consultations – which has been largely positive.

Anecdotally, these changes have been considered as a threat to GPs, their careers and their earnings.

However, it isn’t necessarily bad news.

It’s regularly been proven over recent years that the average GP is dealing with an increasingly large patient base, on an increasingly tight budget.

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

And remarkably, GPs actually carry out 90% of all UK healthcare activity for less than 10% of the health budget.

In reality, GPs, like most healthcare workers, have been dealing with an ageing population and its inevitable consequences – chronic illnesses requiring regular visits, treatments and monitoring.

And they’ve been dealing with that reality while managing a shrinking budget and the onset of COVID-19.

So far from the crude perception of GPs earning too much, many inside the industry are campaigning for better minimum rates of pay.

Beyond this, the potential for GP partners to increase their earnings remains a complex issue – and it still comes down to performance.

It also remains to be seen how administering the COVID-19 vaccine could affect GP earnings, as it isn’t yet clear what GPs will be paid for this vital work.

Find Your Next GP Role Today

To move your career forward, view our latest GP roles here.

Let me know in the comments your thoughts on GP pay and what I've said above - let's chat there!

Oh, and please Like this article to let me know you enjoyed it - thank you!

About the author

  • Mat Martin
    Content Manager

I have a background in visual media and film content. I'm now developing other content delivery skills, and am enjoying talking to people in health and social care who want to contribute and feel passionate about what they do. I’m constantly struck by the quality and feeling in the articles we receive from them, and I aim to ensure the readers are too.

See all of our Medical jobs

354 jobs currently available

Search Jobs

Support Our Writers & Develop Your Career

We'll store your details securely. We'll send you emails that support your career and job info.

  • Mat Martin
    Content Manager

About the author

  • Mat Martin
    Content Manager

I have a background in visual media and film content. I'm now developing other content delivery skills, and am enjoying talking to people in health and social care who want to contribute and feel passionate about what they do. I’m constantly struck by the quality and feeling in the articles we receive from them, and I aim to ensure the readers are too.

  • 0 Comments
Want to get involved in the discussion
Sign In Join