NHS doctors’ pay scales in Scotland

If you’re looking for information about NHS doctors’ salaries in Scotland, we’ve got you covered. Learn how salaries are calculated for junior doctors, specialty doctors and consultants, using pay scales and additional allowances for NHS Scotland.

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 scales in England, Junior doctors’ pay scales in England, NHS pay scales for doctors in England and NHS doctor’s pay scales in Wales.

Junior doctor salary in Scotland

Junior doctors in Scotland earn a basic salary between £31,082 and £64,461 a year. The pay scale for doctors in training is based on a 40-hour work week.

Years of experienceFY1 (£)FY2 (£)Specialty registrar (£) Specialist registrar (£)
3  49,12649,126
4  51,68051,680
5  54,23654,236
6  56,79356,793
7  59,38459,384
8  61,90361,903
9  64,46164,461

Whilst England began implementing a new junior doctor contract in 2016, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland continue to use the old 2002 contract. Basic pay in Scotland increases in small increments at the end of each year of training, which means you will receive a salary increase even if it takes you longer to complete your grade of training than expected.

In Scotland, the total junior doctor salary can be calculated with the basic salary and banding. Banding recognises the work which is undertaken over 40 hours and the frequency of working unsocial hours (7 pm-7 am, nights and weekends).

BandAvg. number & nature of hoursIncrease
3>56 hours/week or not achieving the required rest100%
2A48–56 hours/week, most antisocially80%
2B48–56 hours/week, least antisocially50%
1A40–48 hours/week, most antisocially50%
1B40–48 hours/week, moderately antisocially40%
1C40–48 hours/week, least antisocially20%
No bandNo more than 40 hours/week on averageBasic pay

What is the new deal for junior doctors in Scotland?

The Scottish government confirmed a 12.4% uplift for junior doctors in training, and a 6% uplift to basic pay across all other NHS medical staff for 2023/2024. This pay rise was backdated to April 2023.

 The British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland has started negotiations with the Scottish Government from February 2024 to determine junior doctors’ pay for the next three financial years.

Stay up to date with the latest developments on the BMA campaign for junior doctors in Scotland.

NHS Scotland consultant pay scale

NHS consultants in Scotland earn a basic salary between £96,963 and £128,841 a year. The NHS Scotland consultant pay scale is based on a full-time work commitment of 10 programmes activities (PAs) per week. Each PAs is equivalent to 4 hours and additional PAs are calculated as 10% of basic salary.

Pay point Salary (£) Years until the next pay point

Specialty doctor pay scales in Scotland

Speciality doctors in Scotland will earn an annual basic salary between £47,905 and £109,259 depending on their pay scale.  Speciality doctors in Scotland can be on several different pay scales including Speciality Doctors (2021), New Specialist Grade (2021) or the SAS doctors’ contract (2008 – now closed).

Speciality doctor (2022 contract)
Pay point Salary (£)Years until next pay point
590,688  NA

Doctors entering the new specialist grade pay scale will need to demonstrate a minimum of 10 years of medical work since obtaining their primary medical qualification. At least six of those years should be in the relevant specialty in the specialty doctors or now closed SAS grades.

New specialist grade (2021 contract)
Pay point Salary (£)Years until the next pay point
294,065 3

Some doctors in Scotland may still be working on the SAS Doctors pay scale (2008) however this scale is now closed and all new speciality doctors working in the NHS use the 2021 pay scales.

On-call supplement

The on-call supplement for both new specialty doctor pay scales in Scotland are aligned with the arrangements in place for consultants. The supplement is based on the on-call frequency and nature of the work during the on call.

  • Level 1 is typically for on-site on-calls or telemedicine and complex phone calls which would be dealt with on site.
  • Level 2 is for off-site on-calls where responses are typically provided as over-the-phone advice.
FrequencySupplement as a percentage of basic salary
Level 1Level 2
High frequency: 1 in 1 to 1 in 48%3%
Medium frequency: 1 in 5 to 1 in 85%2%
Low frequency: 1 in 9 or less frequent3%1%

Working as a doctor in Scotland with Pulse

You go above and beyond, so we do too.

If you’re a doctor looking for your next role, browse our available jobs or request a call back from Pulse to start your search.

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

Register with us

Register your interest and we will be in touch to discuss your work preferences.

Register today

Search jobs for doctors

We offer a huge variety of temporary and permanent jobs to choose from.

Search and apply