Pharmacists ensure safe and quality use of medicines, and optimise health outcomes by contributing to selecting, prescribing, monitoring and evaluating medicine therapy, and researching, testing and developing pharmaceuticals and medical products.

A Bachelor Degree or higher and a 1 year post graduation development year is required. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed in addition to a qualification. Registration or licensing is required.

Tasks

  • receiving prescriptions, checking patients' medicine histories, and ensuring optimal dosage and methods of administration and drug compatibility before dispensing
  • preparing or supervising the preparation and labelling of liquid medicines, ointments, powders, tablets and other medications to fill prescriptions
  • advising prescribers on drug incompatibility and contra-indications
  • reviewing and monitoring the medicine therapy of individual patients, and assessing the effectiveness of the total medicine therapy
  • maintaining prescription files and recording issue of narcotics, poisons and habit-forming drugs
  • storing and preserving vaccines, serums and other drugs subject to deterioration
  • supplying non-prescription medicines, and diagnostic and therapeutic aids
  • supervising and coordinating the work of Pharmacy Technicians, pharmacy interns and Pharmacy Sales Assistants
  • conducting research to develop and improve pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and related chemical products
  • conferring with Chemists, Engineering Professionals and other professionals about manufacturing techniques and ingredients
  • testing and analysing drugs to determine their identity, purity and strength in relation to specified standards
  • developing standards for drugs used in pharmaceuticals

Job Titles

  • Hospital Pharmacist
  • Industrial Pharmacist
  • Retail or Community Pharmacist
  • Hospital Pharmacist

    Prepares and dispenses pharmaceuticals, drugs and medicines in a hospital pharmacy. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Pharmaceutical Officer (Army)

  • Industrial Pharmacist

    Undertakes research, testing and analysis related to the development, production, storage, quality control and distribution of drugs and related supplies. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Retail or Community Pharmacist

    Dispenses prescribed pharmaceuticals to the public, educates customers on health promotion, disease prevention and the proper use of medicines, and sells non-prescription medicines and related goods in a community pharmacy. Registration or licensing is required.

Fast Facts

  • $1,334 Weekly Pay
  • 29,100 workers Employment Size
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 70.5% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 39.3 hours Average full-time
  • 38 years Average age
  • 60.8% female Gender Share

The number of Pharmacists grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
from 29,100 in 2017 to 32,400 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 16,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: Pharmacists work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Retail Trade; Health Care and Social Assistance; and Manufacturing.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $1,334 per week (higher than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (70.5%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 39.3 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 38 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 60.8% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200718500
200818500
200924700
201018700
201125500
201223400
201319600
201423700
201530800
201629500
201729100
202232400

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsPharmacistsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings13341230

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Retail Trade79.5
Health Care and Social Assistance13.7
Manufacturing2.7
Education and Training1.4
Other Industries2.7

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StatePharmacistsAll Jobs Average
NSW24.931.6
VIC36.126.2
QLD16.019.7
SA6.06.7
WA11.510.8
TAS2.72.0
NT0.91.1
ACT2.01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketPharmacistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-191.5-5.25.2
20-2410.2-9.99.9
25-3427.2-23.623.6
35-4423.2-21.721.7
45-5418.1-20.820.8
55-5910.3-8.88.8
60-644.5-6.06.0
65 and Over5.0-4.04.0

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationPharmacistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate19.8-8.68.6
Bachelor degree75.3-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV0-18.918.9
Year 124.9-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

A Bachelor Degree or higher and a 1 year post graduation development year is required. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed in addition to a qualification. Registration or licensing is required.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Health Industry VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Pharmacists who can connect with others, provide good customer service and have good communication skills.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Medicine and Dentistry

    86% Important

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

  2. Customer and Personal Service

    82% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  3. Mathematics

    76% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  4. Chemistry

    75% Important

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change. Danger signs and disposal methods.

  5. English Language

    73% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1051.00 - Pharmacists.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  1. Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge

    95% Important

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  2. Interacting With Computers

    92% Important

    Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  3. Getting Information

    92% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  4. Processing Information

    91% Important

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  5. Documenting/Recording Information

    88% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1051.00 - Pharmacists.

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