Allied Health

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Category of Occupation

Allied Health is a category of occupation, consisting of practitioners providing a variety of health services in patient care, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that are not otherwise categorized as Dental, Medical or Nursing.

Allied workforce Australia 2012

Size of Allied Health workforce

In 2012, the total number of allied health practitioners registered in Australia was 126,788, of whom 29,387 (23.2%) were psychologists. There were 27,025 (21.3%) pharmacists, 23,934 (18.9%) physiotherapists, 14,307 (11.3%) occupational therapists, 13,376 (10.5%) medical radiation practitioners, 4,564 (3.6%) optometrists, 4,533 (3.6%) chiropractors, 3,885 (3.1%) Chinese medicine practitioners, 3,783 (3.1%) podiatrists, 1,729 (1.4%) osteopaths and 265 (0.2%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners registered. The proportion of registered practitioners actively employed in their profession ranged from 76.2% for psychologists to 92.3% for podiatrists.


Most allied health professions had more women employed than men. The exceptions were chiropractors and optometrists (34.8% and 48.2% women respectively). The professions with the highest proportion of women were occupational therapists (91.5%), psychologists (76.7%) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners (71.9%).

For all professions, the average age of those employed was between 37 and 47. The practitioners with the youngest average age were occupational therapists (36.8), while Chinese medicine practitioners had the oldest (47.0).

Working arrangements

The average working week of all employed allied health practitioners ranged from 31.8 hours for Chinese medicine practitioners to 40.5 hours for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners. Chinese medicine practitioners had the largest proportion working part time (less than 35 hours a week) at 51.5%, followed by chiropractors at 48.8%.

Nearly all employed chiropractors were working in private practice (97.0% of clinicians and 95.3% of all employed chiropractors). This was also the case for osteopaths, with 97.0% of clinicians and 94.9% of all employed osteopaths working in private practice.

All but one of the allied health professions had the highest rate of FTE practitioners working in Major cities. The exception was Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners, where the highest FTE rate was in Remote/Very remote areas.


Hospitals Teaching Allied Health

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