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 in pharmacy is needed to work as a Pharmacist. Some Pharmacists complete postgraduate studies.

    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

    More about Pharmacists

    All Pharmacists

    All Pharmacists

    • $1,862 Weekly Pay
    • Moderate Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 25,500 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 68% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 43 hours Average full-time
    • 34 years Average age
    • 62% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Pharmacists (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow over the next 5 years:
    from 25,500 in 2018 to 27,400 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 13,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 2,600 a year).

    • Size: This is a large occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Pharmacists work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in Retail Trade; Health Care and Social Assistance; and Manufacturing.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,862 per week (very high compared to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (68%, similar to the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 34 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 62% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employers in regional areas found it hard to fill vacancies for Hospital and Retail Pharmacists in 2018. Find out more in the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business latest report on Hospital and Retail Pharmacists.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200818300
    200924600
    201018600
    201125300
    201223300
    201319600
    201423000
    201530600
    201629900
    201728700
    201825500
    202327400

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings18621460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Retail Trade72.7
    Health Care and Social Assistance19.3
    Manufacturing2.7
    Wholesale Trade1.9
    Other Industries3.4

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StatePharmacistsAll Jobs Average
    NSW29.331.6
    VIC26.825.6
    QLD20.320.0
    SA7.97.0
    WA10.810.8
    TAS2.42.0
    NT0.71.0
    ACT1.81.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketPharmacistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.8-5.05.0
    20-2410.2-9.39.3
    25-3440.0-22.922.9
    35-4422.2-22.022.0
    45-5413.6-21.621.6
    55-595.8-9.09.0
    60-643.6-6.06.0
    65 and Over3.8-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate19.5-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree74.6-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.6-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV0.7-21.121.1
    Year 124.0-18.118.1
    Year 110.2-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below0.4-12.512.5

    A bachelor degree in pharmacy is needed to work as a Pharmacist. Some Pharmacists complete postgraduate studies.

    You must also be registered with the Pharmacy Board of Australia.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • to complete an intern training program

    Thinking about study or training?

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

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    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.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Customer and personal service

      72% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    2. Psychology

      67% Skill level

      Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

    3. Chemistry

      66% Skill level

      Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

    4. Medicine and dentistry

      65% Skill level

      Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

    5. Mathematics

      62% Skill level

      Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and 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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Indoors, heat controlled

      100% Important

      Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

    2. Telephone

      100% Important

      Talk on the telephone.

    3. Face-to-face discussions

      99% Important

      Talk with people face-to-face.

    4. Being exact or accurate

      99% Important

      Be very exact or highly accurate.

    5. Contact with people

      98% Important

      Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and 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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