How To Become An Anaesthetist In Australia?

(965 Votes, Average 4.5 out of 5)

Students ask how to become anaesthetists in Australia, including how many years it takes to become one.


Patients receive anaesthesia before, during, and post-surgery for pain in the body. An anaesthetist is a physician who delivers medical care to patients who require local anaesthesia for simple to complex surgical procedures.


To become an Anaesthetist in Australia, you must complete a 4 to 6 years medical degree followed by a 1-year Internship, two years Residency program, and five years of ANZCA training.


If you want to know how to become an Anaesthetist in Australia, this detailed guide is for you.


This article discusses the job profile, career opportunities, how many years it takes to become an anaesthetist, courses, salary, etc. It will help you gain the knowledge and expertise to succeed as an anaesthetist in Australia.



1. What Is Anaesthesia?


Anaesthesia implies administering medications through inhalation or injection to block pain, distress, or discomfort in the body. It causes a patient to sink into an unconscious state.


Based on the patient's preference and surgical/diagnostic/ medical procedure, a doctor can administer anaesthesia in the following ways:


  • Sedation

  • Regional Anaesthesia

  • Local Anaesthesia

  • General Anaesthesia



2. What is an Anaesthetist?


  • Anaesthetists are medical doctors in pain, fluid and airway management procedures, resuscitation, including life support.

  • They have undergone training for several years in delivering general, local, or regional anesthesia and sedation to patients for various operations and clinical procedures.

  • In addition to the above, an anaesthetist continuously supervises patients during and post procedures to ensure their well-being and safety.



3. Why Should You Become An Anaesthetist In Australia?


Considering the vast and increasing population, there is a substantial requirement for well-qualified anaesthetists in Australia.


The country is home to the world's leading healthcare institutions that offer the best level of medical facilities to its people.


Numerous nationally accredited education providers and universities offering Certified Registered Nurse Anaesthetist courses ensure rewarding careers, stable employment, and ample progression opportunities.


Here are the top reasons to make a respectable and fulfilling career as an anaesthetist:


  • Ample job opportunities

  • Flexibility to work as per their preference (full-time, part-time, or even overnight) 

  • Work-life balance

  • Ability to deliver services as a sole anaesthetist



Hefty Compensation (Salary)


The average hourly rate of a nurse anaesthetist in Australia is $111, equivalent to a gross salary of $231,576 per annum. The average salary for a beginner-level anaesthetist with 1 to 3 years of experience is A$144,546


A senior-level anaesthetist with 3 to 8 years of experience earns A$195k. A highly experienced anaesthesiologist with work experience of between 10 and 19 years earns a median compensation of AU$ 250,000.


The anesthesiologist's salary depends on their skills, experience level, and employment location. Based on the employment data, nurse anaesthetists who offer services in rural areas get the highest pay.



Diverse Employment Avenues


  • Hospitals

  • Plastic surgery centres 

  • Dental offices

  • Physicians' offices

  • Pain clinics 

  • Endoscopy centres



Numerous Job Roles


A qualified anaesthetist has a diverse range of employment options to choose from:


  • Researcher

  • Clinical Professor

  • Medical writing/rewriting

  • Didactic professor

  • Program director



Contentment And Pride


A nurse anaesthetist gains confidence, fulfilment, and professional pride by offering a broad range of anaesthetics and displaying competency in anaesthetic techniques.


  • A nurse anaesthetist supports patients by listening to and resolving their queries and making them feel safe before performing a procedure. The ability to confidently care for patients in their vulnerable times is a splendid aspect of being a nursing anaesthetist.


  • A vast community and subject matter experts offer assistance and mentorship to student and practising nurse anaesthetists. This helps the people around them in the best way possible.



4. Duties Of An Anaesthetist In Australia


Anaesthetists perform various duties, such as preparing patients, obtaining consent for operations, supervising, and offering care.



Before Performing The Operation:


  • Spend time with the patient to learn about his health status and medical conditions to offer the utmost care to the patient. It helps an anaesthetist to find the most appropriate anesthetic agent and the level of supervision required.

  • Assure and pacify patients before surgery

  • Discuss medical processes with patients and get their consent before starting the surgery.

  • Supervise transferring patients to operating theatres by positioning them on operating tables and responding fast if any issues arise.



During The Operation:


  • Work with a team of medical professionals, including surgeons, to take care of the patient while he is in a state of unconsciousness. An anaesthetist uses complex medical machines to check the patient's critical organs and adjust the dose of anesthetic medicines and other medications to ensure patient safety. 

  • Next, an anaesthetist administers an anaesthetic agent to block the painful sensation for patients who undergo surgical procedures. 

  • Diagnose allergic reactions to anaesthetics, and monitor treatment in emergencies.

  • Ensures no objects apply any pressure on the patient's body.

  • Address any complications that could come up during the process





An anaesthetist monitors the patient and administers analgesia to ensure the patient wakes up comfortably.



5. Desirable Personal Skills In An Anaesthetist In Australia


An aspiring anaesthetist needs the following skills and attributes to make a successful career in this field:


  • Alertness and attentiveness throughout the entire surgical procedure

  • Ability to stay calm and composed under high-pressure surgical environments

  • Dexterity, physical fitness, and physical stamina

  • Accuracy and attention to detail

  • A careful planner

  • Knowledge of complex technology-enabled systems to monitor patients

  • Excellent communication skills

  • Empathetic and amiable

  • Highly organized



6. Required Qualifications Of An Anaesthetists In Australia


An anaesthetist must have an expert understanding of the safety practices of anesthesia. 


The basic qualifications needed to be an anaesthetist in Australia are as follows:



It is worth noting that there is intense competition among students seeking entry into ANZCA. You may apply multiple times to get selected for training in this reputable institution.


Furthermore, the training program is rigorous and encompasses different educational programs that offer lifelong learning to domestic and international students.



Training And Diploma Courses To Become A Qualified Anaesthetist In Australia



Here are a few reputable Australian universities and schools that offer nationally accredited diploma courses and training programs in anesthesia to significantly enhance your employability for this role.



ACT, NSW, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, and NZ


Anaesthesia training program - ANZCA


This is one of Australia's most sought Australian Medical Council-accredited anaesthetist university courses.


This one-year training program in anesthesia/ intensive care helps develop a strong foundation in anesthesia and general medicine. For a doctor to apply for the course, he has to have graduated from medical school and completed two years of work experience in a public hospital.


All who enrol in this training program must undergo five years of training. During the training, students are monitored by a team of qualified anaesthetists throughout Australia.





Diploma of Anaesthetic Technology – Western Sydney University


The diploma course is one of the best paths to becoming an anesthetic technician. A student gets thorough learning of a comprehensive range of skills, including:


  • Anesthetic preparation
  • Offering professional assistance to the anaesthetist during surgical/medical procedures



Western Australia


Diploma of Anaesthetic Technology - Australian Anaesthesia Allied Health Practitioners


This professional-level course is delivered by highly experienced medical professionals in the industry. The course guides students at each step to ensure a smooth and successful transition into the health field.


With state-of-the-art anaesthetic machines, intubation equipment, and simulator mannequins, the course prepares a student to deal with real-world situations under the administration of industry professionals.



Diploma of Anaesthetic Technology - TAFE North Metropolitan


The anaesthetist course in Perth is a practical and hands-on course delivered in a classroom setting and the simulated anaesthetic tech lab. 


The course offers a full-time placement in a clinic or hospital where they will work together with other anaesthetists who undertake the tasks and responsibilities of an anaesthetic technician.





Diploma of Anaesthetic Technology - TAFE QLD


This advanced-level anaesthetic course will help you progress your career in the healthcare sector and become an anaesthetic technician.


The course provides full-fledged training to prepare patients for anaesthesia and supervise them during and after post-surgery. Throughout the course, the student is exposed to several surgeries requiring differing needs to learn how to respond to allergic reactions that could occur in individual surgeries.


A student gets in-depth learning about the following:


  • Inspecting and keeping the anaesthetic machine in the best order 

  • Preparing sedation medications based on the patient's medical condition

  • Supervising clinical measurements

  • Helping with airway management procedures

  • Responding to different sorts of an anaesthetic emergency



7. Steps To Become An Anaesthetist In Australia


The road to becoming a qualified Anaesthetist in Australia is long. Still, the extensive and prolonged training confirms that qualified Anaesthetists offer patients the highest standards of safety and quality. 


Here is a 4-step procedure to become a fully qualified Anaesthetist in Australia:



Step 1: Get A Medical Degree


The first step to becoming an Anaesthetist is to complete a medical degree, depending on whether you are an undergraduate or a graduate student, the duration for a medical degree / MBBS in Australia range from 4 years to 6 years.


Upon completion of the degree, a student has to undergo a one and half year of compulsory training in a state-run or private hospital as a junior doctor.



Step 2: Enrol in An Internship Program (1 year)


After you graduate with a university-level medical degree, the next step is to board an internship program at an accredited hospital. The required duration of the program is one year.


During this period, a candidate must fulfil the following milestones:


  • Get work experience in providing emergency medical care for a minimum of 8 weeks that provides 

  • Get exposure to medicine for at least ten weeks. 

  • Familiarize with surgical processes for at least ten weeks, and

  • An array of other officially agreed terms to make up one-year months or equivalent to at least 47 weeks of full-time service.



Step 3: Enter into a "Residency program" (1 or more years)


After becoming a doctor and completing one year of Internship, you need to pursue training in a hospital accredited as a 'Resident'.


During this time, you will work in a particular stream of medicine under the observation of specialized doctors and Anaesthetists.



Step 4: Undergo Vocational Training (5+ years)


After completing the Residency program, you must apply for a minimum of 5 years of training in an Anaesthetic training program. ANZCA is the official body that organizes and conducts the program.


It is responsible for the training, examination, and accreditation of anaesthetists throughout Australia and New Zealand. This training will take a minimum of five years.



8. Working Conditions Of Anaesthetists In Australia


An anaesthetist often works in hospital rooms, operating theatres, teaching environments like universities, and clinics to administer anaesthetics. They have to follow strict safety and hygiene standards.


They must undergo training before and after becoming anaesthetists to stay updated on recent anaesthesia and appropriate medical technology development.


Not only is the journey to becoming an anaesthetist challenging, but also the life after you become one.


certified nurse anaesthetist has to cope with various challenges such as laborious work hours, prolonged standing, irregular working hours, and working in conjunction with other medical-care professionals while performing necessary medical procedures.



9. FAQs On Becoming An Anaesthetist In Australia



What Are The Professional Bodies Involved In The Field of Anaesthesia?



Australian Society of Anaesthetists


It is developed to promote and safeguard the status, autonomy, and best interests of anaesthetists in Australia.



Medical Board of Australia


To work as an Anaesthetist in Australia, a student must register with the registration and licensing authority. The Medical Board of Australia is the official body that offers registration and license to anaesthetists in Australia.



How Much Does an AnaesthetistEearn in Australia?


State-wise average anaesthetist earnings in Australia are:


  • Sydney: The hourly rate of $122 or a gross equivalent annual salary of $252,929

  • Melbourne: The hourly rate of $113 or a gross equivalent yearly wage of $235,678

  • Brisbane: The hourly rate of $101 or a gross equal annual salary of $210,779

  • Queensland: Hourly rate between $36.49 and $46.82



How Long Does It Take To Become an Anaesthesiologist in Australia?


A student needs 10 to 15 years of continuous study and hard work to qualify for this role.


  • 4 to 6 years of Medical school

  • One year of Internship

  • Two years of Residency program

  • Five years of Fellowship in the ANZCA training program



What Areas Do You Study To Qualify as an Anaesthetist In Australia?


The coursework to become an anaesthetist is vast and diverse to help students build broader medical knowledge. 


The medical degree and training programs cover the following areas:



Students get an opportunity to put all the knowledge gained into practical experience during Internship and on-the-job training.



Anaesthetist vs Anaesthesiologist In Australia?   


An anaesthetist is a nurse, and an anaesthesiologist is a doctor.


As per the medical and state laws, an anaesthetist differs from an Anaesthesiologist in the following ways:





An anaesthetist is a registered nurse with a nursing degree (2-4 years), a two years training program, and has passed the certification exam. 


An Anaesthesiologist is a licensed doctor with a medical school degree, has undergone undergrad training, and has a medical anaesthesiologist degree in Australia.



Type of Surgeries


Anaesthetists and anaesthesiologists qualify to use anesthesia on patients to execute surgical operations. However, there are certain surgeries only anaesthesiologists can do.





An Anaesthetist often works in small clinics and hospitals performing small surgical practices. On the other hand, Anaesthesiologists are employed in extensive facilities and big hospitals dealing with several complex cases.



Is There Any Ongoing Training?


In the fast-paced medical world, an anaesthetist must stay updated on the latest studies, knowledge, and modern anesthesia techniques.


To maintain Fellowship and keep practising as a specialist doctor, anaesthetists should participate in professional development programs conducted by the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.


The institute runs workshop programs and courses in Anaesthesia that assist them in learning and practising new skills and staying updated on the most recent innovations and developments of the modern medical world.


The institute also organizes scientific meetings and conferences that present new technologies, research findings, and techniques to anaesthetists in Australia and NZ.



What Tools Does an Anaesthetist Use?


An anaesthetist uses the latest technology-based complex medical machines to monitor the vital signs in a patient. 


The tools such as intravenous pumps, ventilators, etc., help measure anesthesia and administer the anaesthetic.



Is it Difficult To Become an Anaesthetist?


The road to becoming an anaesthetist in Australia is lengthy but doable. A student must undergo several years of rigorous and intense training to gain the necessary skills and qualifications to work as an anaesthetist.


A candidate should be ready to face the lengthy and challenging process of becoming a licensed nurse anaesthetist. This requires a student to be extremely patient, resilient, dedicated and determined.



Where Can I Do a Bachelor of Anesthesia in Australia?


There are no bachelor's degree programs in Anesthesia. 


To make a career as an anaesthetist, you must complete medical school and specialized residency and internship training.



Useful Links to Explore:


How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Please Subscribe to our Newsletter