What is the average salary of a locum doctor in the UK?


You have probably heard that locum doctors can earn a considerable salary while carrying out locum work in the UK, and the rumors are true. The pay is usually fairly high, offering an attractive financial incentive for doctors seeking flexibility and autonomy in their careers. As a locum doctor, you can have greater control over your working hours, allowing you to create a schedule that suits your preferences and personal commitments. Moreover, you have the freedom to choose the locations where you work, whether it's in bustling cities, rural areas, or specific healthcare institutions. This level of control and flexibility is a significant draw for many doctors considering locum work, as it provides the opportunity to tailor their professional lives to their personal needs and aspirations.

The Average Salary of a Locum Doctor

Locum doctors will on average earn anything from £46,000 without much experience, increasing all the way up to £88,000, which is almost double, which of course will require much more experience. Doctor shifts can range from anywhere between £80 and £150 per hour. In some cases, you can make over £600 in a day. The rate of pay for locum is considerably high considering that you often do not need to be a specialty doctor.

As a locum doctor in the UK, you could also attempt to negotiate a much higher wage if you are in a position to do so. The general hourly rates for locum doctors are outlined below to give you an idea of how much you can expect to earn as a locum doctor depending on your level of experience.

Experience Level

Hourly Rate

Foundation Level: Newly Qualified


Speciality Doctor




Can I Earn More Than a Full-Time Doctor Working as A Locum Doctor?

Whether you can outearn a full-time doctor while working as a locum doctor is largely debatable. When first beginning your career as a locum doctor without much experience, you will more than likely earn more than a full-time doctor who is just starting their career. At the higher end of locum doctor salaries, there is not much difference from that of a full-time salaried doctor.

There are also some drawbacks to working as a locum doctor in the UK, such as no paid bank holidays or paid sick days, which can add up to a considerable sum of money that you will not earn compared to salaried doctors.

However, it is not unheard of for a locum doctor to earn more than a full-time salaried job. However, this does depend heavily on whether you can get regular work, whether you have to travel far to get to your job, and how many hours a week you work.

That being said, there are many benefits to working as a locum doctor in the UK. Working as a locum doctor is a great way to gain lots of experience across the field, which you likely wouldn’t get exposure to if working in one salaried role.

You also have a large amount of flexibility as a locum doctor. You can pick and choose your hours and when you would like to work, allowing you to base your job around other life and family commitments. This is one of the main reasons why some people prefer working as a locum doctor over a salaried doctor.

If a locum salary is attractive to you, then you will want to consider applying with ThinkLocum. What's more, we will pay you directly after your shift. Instant payments are made through your limited company.

If you are looking to switch to locum work, get in touch with us today!

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