Junior doctors’ pay scales in England

Junior doctors’ pay scales in England can be difficult to navigate with various contracts, pay scales and enhancements. This article outlines the pay scale for junior doctors in training posts. By the end of this article, you will have a full understanding of the starting salaries within each stage of training and how different enhancements can impact your salary.  

A junior doctor’s salary can be calculated by looking at the five different areas which make up the junior doctor pay scale: 

You can learn more about each area in detail and how to calculate your complete salary below.  

For more information about other NHS pay scales, you can view our guides on NHS consultant pay scale in England and NHS pay scales for doctors in England. 

Pay scales for junior doctors in England 

Junior doctor title explained 

Junior doctors are qualified doctors in clinical training and work under the supervision of a senior doctor. This covers doctors from foundation to specialist training. Depending on their specialty, some doctors might have up to nine years of experience and are near the end of their training. Whilst not “junior” in the typical sense of the word, all these doctors in clinical training are considered junior doctors and will be covered in this pay scale guide.  

Basic salary

Junior doctor’s basic salary is defined based on their stage of training. In this pay scale, basic salary is not increased annually but at nodal points. Nodal points refer to the band where a junior doctor sits in the pay scale and the increase coincides with the first day that they commence work at a grade in the next nodal point.  Some nodal points cover three stages of training which means basic pay would not be increased for a minimum of three years.  

Junior doctors will earn additional money on top of their basic salary through the pay scale enhancements which we will explain next.  

Doctors in training pay scale 
Grade Stage of training Nodal point Basic salary (£) 
Foundation doctor FY1  32,398 
FY2 37,303 
Specialty registrar CT1–2 43,923 
CT3 55,329 
ST1 / SpR1 43,923 
ST2 / SpR2 
ST3–5 / SpR3-5 55,329 
ST6–8 / SpR6-8 63,152 

On-call allowance

For junior doctors working as part of an on-call rota, there is an amount paid annually in addition to the basic pay. This amount is calculated based on the corresponding nodal point.  

On-call allowance 
Nodal point Value (£) 

Weekend allowance

Junior doctors who work over the weekend may be eligible for an additional allowance depending on the frequency of weekends they work. The amount is calculated as a percentage of the doctor’s basic salary and varies depending on the corresponding nodal point (NP). 

Weekend allowance
FrequencyPercentageValue (£)
< 1:6–1:74%1,2961,4931,7572,2142,527
< 1:7–1:83%9721,1201,3181,6601,895

Additional hours

Junior doctor contracts include a set number of working hours which correlate with basic pay. These are typically 40 hours per week. Any additional hours worked will be calculated as a percentage of basic pay and included in the next monthly salary payment.  

Enhanced hours

If a junior doctor works between 7pm and 7am on weekdays or at any time on weekends, these are unsocial hours and eligible for a 37% uplift above the basic hourly pay.   

Full junior doctor pay example

Dr Smith is working as a specialist registrar (ST4) and will be participating in the on-call rota which includes between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 weekends. They have received the rota and will be working an average of 50 hours per week and 24 of those are unsocial hours.  

  • Basic pay (nodal point 4): £55,329  
  • Pay for additional hours above 40 (10/week): £13,832 
  • On-call allowance (nodal point 4): £3,320 
  • Weekend allowance (1 in 4 to 1 in 5 weekends): £4,427 
  • Enhanced pay at 37% rate (based on 24 hours): £9,826 

Projected total annual pay: £86,734  

Junior doctor pay scale in summary

Junior doctors’ pay is made up of five elements including basic salary and allowances. The enhancements are calculated based on specific rotas and the distribution of shifts across that rota in line with the pay scale and nodal points.  

A doctor working 40 hours per week between 7am and 7pm from Monday to Friday won’t qualify for any enhancements, whereas a doctor participating in an unsocial on-call rota will qualify for several enhancements.  

The junior doctor pay scale is reactive and applies to the specific rota being worked that month. This means that a doctor’s pay may fluctuate month to month depending on the distribution of shifts and the volume of hours worked.  

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This article was originally written in January 2024 and relates to the junior doctor pay scales for 2023/2024. Pay scales are updated annually and this article will be updated again when the 2024/2025 junior doctor pay scales are announced. 

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