What is Pharmacy?

Pharmacists or assistant pharmacists prepare and monitor medicines given to patients as well as provide advice on how to manage and administer medicines to improve health. It can involve consulting with other professionals, monitoring prescriptions and assisting other staff to develop the best outcome for members of the community. There’s plenty of areas that your career can take you, including consultancy, research, community health and public health fields.

Pharmacy Industry Australia

The Health industry in Australia is booming, and along with it, is the Pharmacy and medicine sector. According to Job Outlook data, the future growth of pharmacist jobs is very strong, with up to 25,000 new job openings expected through to 2020. In terms of securing a job in this field, pharmacists are needed in all regions across Australia, not just in capital cities. This makes it a sought-after career that will always have a need in the community. The average pharmacist salary in Australia is $66,000, with experience and qualifications enabling professionals in this sector to earn up to $97,000. The average full-time earnings are above the National job average, which is a common theme in Health careers. The average pharmacist works 39 hours a week, with most employed on a full-time basis. The retail trade sector employs the most pharmacists in Australia, followed by the health care and social assistance industry and manufacturing.

The average pharmacist works 39 hours a week, with most employed on a full-time basis. The retail trade sector employs the most pharmacists in Australia, followed by the health care and social assistance industry and manufacturing. New South Wales and Victoria employ the most in the pharmacy sector, with over 60% combined across the two states. Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia all have strong employment as well. More females are employed than males, making up 60% of the workforce. In terms of education, 75% of Pharmacy workers have a Bachelor Degree and 20% have Postgraduate qualifications.

How to Become a Pharmacist

To become a pharmacist in Australia, you’ll need a qualification at a Bachelor or Master’s Degree level. After you’ve completed one of these courses, in Australia, it’s required to be registered with the Pharmacy Board of Australia. Following this, a Pharmacy internship for a year or more will be needed before you can become a fully registered pharmacist. A Bachelor Degree such as a Bachelor of Pharmacy usually takes four years to complete, so to become a Pharmacist usually required five or more years. A Pharmacy Technician, also known as a Pharmacy Sales Assistant, doesn’t require this level of education, however, with most having a Diploma or Certificate IV qualification.

Career Outcomes

There are plenty of careers in Pharmacy available to students when they complete a pharmacist course. These careers include:

  • Pharmacist
  • Assistant Pharmacist
  • Medical Consultant
  • Hospital Pharmacist
  • Medical Researcher
  • Health Promoter
  • Community Health Advisor
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Pharmacy Sales Assistant

Pharmacy Courses

To become a Pharmacist in Australia, you’ll need a Bachelor Degree, but that doesn’t mean your career prospects stop there if you’re not ready to commit to that level of education. There’s plenty of Certificate IV and Diploma courses available which can lead you to a rewarding career as a Pharmacy Technician. There’s also a great range of pharmacy courses online which are perfect for any career changers looking to study around their existing work or personal commitments.

Certificate

One of the most popular Pharmacy courses in the Certificate III in Community Pharmacy. If you’ve got your sights on a career that allows you to provide a vital service to the community, then this is a great way to get into jobs such as a pharmacy technician or retail pharmacy assistant. A Certificate III in Community Pharmacy can allow you to develop the skills needed to assist with customer service, provide advice and make recommendations to customers. Some of the common areas of study in this pharmacy course include:

  • Assist customers
  • Understand pharmacy products
  • Accept and process prescriptions
  • Understand legislation and regulations
  • Apply the right protocols in pharmacies
  • Operate sales
  • Maintain stock supplies
  • Display and organise products

Bachelor Degree

In order to be a registered Pharmacist in Australia, you need to have the right qualifications. This includes a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree as well as the required work placement training. A Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) program is a comprehensive qualification that will ensure you’re prepared to offer the very best care, assistance and advice to customers while helping them improve their health and wellbeing through the right medication. This course usually takes four years to complete, with online options available at some Universities. The last year is normally spent in a professional experience placement program at a hospital or community pharmacy. The Bachelor of Pharmacy is a highly specialised course, with a strong focus on subjects including medicinal chemistry, biorganic chemistry, microbiology, pharamceuticals, drug delivery and therapeutics.

What Do Pharmacists Do?

Pharmacists in Australia take part in a number of tasks throughout their careers, including:

  • Prepare subscription medications to patients
  • Provide advice on administering medicines
  • Promoting health and well-being
  • Answer questions and concerns
  • Have a wealth of knowledge on treatments, medicines and ointments
  • Consult with other medical professionals

Want to take part in a career that offers the chance to care, support and assist the community in improving their health and wellbeing? Browse pharmacy courses today and get started in this rewarding career path. 

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