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What do Pharmacists do?
A Pharmacist’s job is to prep and provide over-the-counter drugs and fill prescriptions, provide advice about the best medications and treatments for minor ailments, as well as how to safely take medicines.
If you pay attention to detail, have great communication skills and a caring personality, this could be an excellent career to consider.
- A problem-solving guru
- Meticulous and thorough
- Approachable and trustworthy
- Great team worker
- Empathetic and understanding
- Excellent time management skills
- Can multitask effectively
- Fantastic people skills
- Receiving, checking and filling prescriptions
- Advising patients on dosage, side effects and other important information
- Determining appropriate medication for a patient’s situation
- Partaking in ongoing care and monitoring of patients
- Supervising Pharmacy Technicians and Assistants
- Conducting research into the development of new medicines
- Working with other professionals to refine manufacturing techniques
- Developing standards for medicine used in pharmaceuticals
Lifestyle Impact: Low
- Part Time opportunities: Moderate – around 32% of Pharmacists work part-time (source: joboutlook.gov.au).
- Average hours for full-time workers: 43 hours a week, which is average (source: joboutlook.gov.au).
- Pharmacists’ salary (average) $80,000* per year (source: seek.com.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
- Future career growth: Moderate (source: joboutlook.gov.au).
- You will be spending most of your time indoors, in pharmacies, labs, hospitals, or even offices.
Pharmacists are most in demand in these locations:
This is a large occupation, with around 34,900 people working as Pharmacists in 2020 (source: joboutlook.gov.au), with moderate growth expected over the next five years. Demand for Pharmacists is spread evenly across Australia. Most Pharmacists work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
Although you might mainly see Pharmacists working in pharmacies and hospitals, there are varied roles available for Pharmacists. You could be working in a lab developing new medicines, helping chemists and engineers manufacture medicines, or even working in advocacy and community education.
How to become a Pharmacist in Australia
You will need to complete a minimum Bachelor-level degree and register with the Pharmacy Board of Australia in order to work as a Pharmacist.
Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a strong focus on English, Maths and Sciences.
Step 2 – Complete an approved undergraduate degree, usually a Bachelor of Pharmacy. You can see a full list of Ahpra approved programs of study here.
Step 3 – Apply for Provisional Registration with the Pharmacy Board of Australia. You will need to provide information such as completion of an approved course, criminal history check, and any relevant health impairments.
Step 4 – Complete 1,824 hours of approved supervised practise (an internship), and pass a Board registration examination. You can then apply for General Registration and start working as a fully qualified Pharmacist.
Step 5 – Reapply for registration every 12 months, which includes partaking in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) throughout your career.
Find out more here –
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do Pharmacists do?
Pharmacists help ensure the safe use of medicines in the community, by selecting and dispensing appropriate medications for a patient’s needs. They may also be involved in the research, manufacturing, and testing of new medicines.
Which industries employ Pharmacists?
Pharmacists are usually employed in the Healthcare and Social Assistance industry.
What options are there for career progression?
You could start out working in a Pharmacy, and potentially move on to roles in research and manufacturing, as well as community education.
Do I need to go to university to become a Pharmacist?
Yes, you will need to complete an approved Bachelor- or Masters-level qualification, as well as an internship, before you can start working as a Pharmacist in Australia.
Where do Pharmacists work?
Pharmacists are needed all across Australia. They usually work indoors.
What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Pharmacist?
If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Pharmacist is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:
- Get work experience in your local pharmacy, doctor’s office or hospital. This is a great way to get experience in the industry and find out if this might be the right job for you.
- Find volunteering opportunities to start building some essential skills, such as communication and problem solving, as well as getting to know your local community.
- Start doing some research into the course you would like to study, and carefully consider the amount of work you will need to do before you can start practising.