Locum Medical Jobs: Why Locum Jobs Can Help Your Career

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Locum Doctor

Sick of being stuck in the same workplace, doing the same hours, day in and day out? If you’re a medical professional (like a GP or pharmacist) looking for a change, a locum medical job could be just what the doctor ordered.

Here we’ll explore:

  • What a locum job is
  • Why you might like (or love) a locum job
  • The types of medical roles best suited to locum jobs.

Read on to discover why becoming a locum doctor, a locum GP, or a locum pharmacist could be the best career move you’ll ever make.

What are locum jobs?

Locum Pharmacist

As mentioned in our previous article on this topic, this term is translated from locum tenens, an old-English word that roughly means substituting for or holding the place of. So, somebody with a locum job works on a short-term contract, either full-time or part-time, based on a temporary need the employer has.

Perhaps the most well-known type of locum job – and the one most of us encounter first in our lives – is the substitute teacher. But this role exists in many other industries too, including the medical field, which is where the locum term is most commonly used.

After all, a hospital can’t just refuse patients while a doctor is on leave.

What's so great about medical locum jobs?

There are several aspects of locum jobs you might find attractive. Survey data from LocumTenens.com suggests having a more flexible working schedule is the most significant benefit of locum jobs for doctors. Other noteworthy advantages include:

Benefits of Locum Medical Jobs

Opportunities to Travel

You can explore new places around the country (or even across the globe) without putting your income on hold.

Extra Income

Locum medical jobs can be quite lucrative, even compared to full-time medical positions. It’s possible to make $6,000 in a single weekend or up to $200/hour, though the dollars are a little more restricted now with payment caps and other regulations in place.

Career Progression and Transitions

Working in a wide variety of places gives you a richer variety of experience and allows you to build a larger and more diverse professional network. This can help you take a step upwards – or perhaps sideways, if you’re interested in a slight career change. For example, TEGO and ZEEP Medical suggest you might:

  • Take on a locum consulting role in a specialist field that you’re passionate about
  • Reinforce your skills as a trainee locum doctor before applying for a residency
  • Become a locum physician as you transition into retirement.

Making a Difference

There’s also a bonus benefit for locum doctors in Australia, and it goes hand in hand with the great travel opportunities. Being a locum physician enables you to work in several rural communities. This type of work can be particularly rewarding, as many of these areas are struggling with a doctor shortage and require more medical professionals.

According to the NSW Rural Doctors Networkthere were 241 GP job vacancies in rural towns as of June 2017. And that’s just in NSW.


What types of roles are suited to medical locum jobs?

Locum Medical Jobs, Doctors and Nurses

Virtually all people working in a hospital or other medical facility are vital. So, many positions in this field are commonly filled by locum jobs. Opportunities are often plentiful for:

  • Locum doctor jobs
  • Locum physician jobs
  • Locum GP jobs
  • Locum pharmacist jobs
  • Locum nurse jobs
  • Locum psychologist jobs.

The volume of opportunities will depend on the area where you’re looking and the attitudes of the local medical facilities (e.g. some hospitals turn to locum recruitment more frequently than others). But whatever your location and specialisation might be, taking on some locum jobs could be an incredible next step in your medical career.  

Suggested next step

Update your CV and make sure you’ve got 2 appropriate references. Check what kind of credentialing you need to complete in your state or territory (i.e. which certificates/documents you’ll need to present to be eligible for locum roles). Then you’ll be ready to look for a locum job.​