Retail Pharmacists dispense prescribed pharmaceuticals to the public, educate customers on health promotion, disease prevention and the proper use of medicines, and sell non-prescription medicines and related goods in a community pharmacy.

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

    Tasks

    • Receives prescriptions, checks patients' medicine histories, and ensures optimal dosage and methods of administration and drug compatibility before dispensing.
    • Prepares or supervises the preparation and labelling of liquid medicines, ointments, powders, tablets and other medications to fill prescriptions.
    • Advises patients on drug incompatibility and contra-indications.
    • Maintains prescription files and records issue of narcotics, poisons and habit-forming drugs.
    • Stores and preserves vaccines, serums and other drugs subject to deterioration.
    • Supplies non-prescription medicines, and diagnostic and therapeutic aids.
    • Supervises and co-ordinates the work of pharmacy technicians, pharmacy interns and pharmacy sales assistants.

    More about Pharmacists

    All Pharmacists

    • $1,862 Weekly Pay
    • Moderate Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment

    Retail Pharmacists

    • 18,800 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 66% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 43 hours Average full-time
    • 34 years Average age
    • 59% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Retail Pharmacists (in their main job) grew strongly over 5 years:
    from 16,600 in 2011 to 18,800 in 2016.

    • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
    • Location: Retail Pharmacists work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in Retail Trade; Health Care and Social Assistance; and Wholesale Trade.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (66%, 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: 59% 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

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    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 Trade87.8
    Health Care and Social Assistance7.3
    Wholesale Trade1.6
    Public Administration and Safety1.1
    Other Industries2.2

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateRetail PharmacistsAll Jobs Average
    NSW30.331.6
    VIC25.825.6
    QLD20.420.0
    SA7.97.0
    WA10.810.8
    TAS2.42.0
    NT0.71.0
    ACT1.61.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketRetail PharmacistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.9-5.05.0
    20-2410.1-9.39.3
    25-3439.4-22.922.9
    35-4422.1-22.022.0
    45-5413.7-21.621.6
    55-595.9-9.09.0
    60-643.7-6.06.0
    65 and Over4.2-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, 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 QualificationRetail PharmacistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate15.5-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree78.0-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.5-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV0.8-21.121.1
    Year 124.4-18.118.1
    Year 110.2-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below0.5-12.512.5

    A bachelor degree in pharmacy is needed to work as a Retail Pharmacist. Some Retail 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

      How often do you work indoors with access to heating or cooling?

    2. Telephone

      100% Important

      How often do you talk on the telephone?

    3. Face-to-Face Discussions

      99% Important

      How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

    4. Being Exact or Accurate

      99% Important

      How important is being very exact or highly accurate?

    5. Contact With Others

      98% Important

      How much do you have contact with people (face-to-face, by telephone, 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.

    go to top