How To Become A Pharmacist In Australia: A Complete Guide

Students want to know how to become a pharmacist in Australia and how long it takes.


Are you a dedicated person who wants to serve the people? Do you want to make a difference in society by pursuing a profession that is more than work? If yes, then a career in pharmacy is the right choice for you!


Dealing with patients and reviewing prescriptions requires dedication, patience, and hard work. To become a pharmacist, you must complete a degree, including a one-year internship program.


You must be kind and emphatic with the patients and advise them accordingly. The pharmacist profession itself is a great responsibility and requires pure commitment.


So, if you want to become a pharmacist and pursue it as a career, you are at the right place!


The following article contains all the necessary information to become a successful pharmacist in Australia, including how much salary they earn, how long it takes to be one, and much more.



1. What Are Pharmacists?


A pharmacist is a health care professional that distributes prescribed drugs and advice and counsels individuals on how to use a specific drug. Further, they advise on the medication's side effects and proper usage.


The pharmacist provides basic and primary healthcare services to the patient. If you're fascinated by medical studies and want to pursue a medical career, becoming a pharmacist is a great option. Not only has this degree s a great scope in Australia, but it also allows you to serve people.


To become a pharmacist in Australia, you must complete an undergraduate degree in pharmacy and pre-registration training. After that, you apply for a provisional registration so that you can work as a pharmacist. Lastly, you need to obtain an internship under a certified pharmacist.


There are various tasks that pharmacists perform, including:


  • Writing prescription

  • Advising the patient

  • Preparing medications

  • Counsel patients to help them understand the prescribed medicine

  • Research in medicines



2. The Best Thing About A Career In Pharmacy


Pharmacist doing their job is equal to them saving 100s of lives. By viewing the prescription, they can determine whether a patient is taking the correct dosage or if the combination of a particular medicine is harmful to a patient. 


A 70% reduction in medical errors has been observed if the pharmacist is in the hospital. The job of a pharmacist is not only essential but also has value. Moreover, pharmacist knowledge about medicine continues to increase as new drugs hit the market.



3. Key Skills of Pharmacists



Good Communication Skills


  • To become a pharmacist, you must have excellent communication skills as you interact with and advise the patient. You must communicate with the patient in a friendly way and advise them accordingly.





  • Becoming a pharmacist is a long process, so patience is the key. You should maintain patience under every circumstance. Usually, patients are already scared, so you should have ultimate patience to deal with every kind of patient.





  • Becoming a pharmacist is a great responsibility as you counsel the patient about the medicines they are using. Furthermore, you also have to review their prescription to determine whether they are taking the correct dosage.



Analytical Skills


  • You need analytical skills in almost every field of pharmacy. Pharmacy students must evaluate claims, review prescriptions, and advise the patient. Good analytical skills help a pharmacist do their jobs quickly and effectively.



Attention To Detail


  • Attention to detail is the most critical skill-set because a pharmacist must view the prescription and determine whether the prescribed drugs are in the correct quantity. Further, you need to check whether the combination of medicines harms the patient. For this purpose, pharmacists must pay attention to every small detail.



4. Steps To Become A Clinical Pharmacist In Australia


You can find below the complete steps on how to become a clinical pharmacist in Australia:



Step 1: Complete a University Degree


The first and most vital step is completing your university's pharmacy degree. 


You must meet the minimum GPA requirement, subject and English language requirements.


Entry Tests that medical universities accept for undergrad and graduate students are as follows:


  • MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)

  • GAMSAT (Graduate Australian Medical Admission Test)



Step 2: Complete A One Year Internship/Training Program


After completing the degree, you must complete a one-year internship/training program under a certified pharmacist. Working under a professional and accredited pharmacist will increase your knowledge and skill set. 


You will become more professional and get the core idea of the field of pharmacy. The one-year internship will focus on the practical part of your degree and ensure that you build an advanced level of skills such as:


  • Preparing the medicines

  • Checking errors in the proscriptions

  • Promote and safeguard health awareness

  • Advising the patient about the medicine

  • Determining which combinations of drugs are harmful to patients


The primary purpose of the one-year internship is to broaden your skillset so that you can work as a successful pharmacist in future.



Step 3: Sit The Pharmacy Board of Australia's Registration Exam


After completing a one-year internship program, you can sit in the Pharmacy Board's registration examination. After completion of the process, you can apply for registration as a pharmacist in Australia.


Industry Bodies:





5. How To Become a Pharmacist as A Mature Student?


Passion has no age. Age is just a number if you're passionate about becoming a pharmacist.


You can become a pharmacist as a mature student. A quote goes, "if you can dream it, then you can do it" Anything is possible if you have an ultimate will to do it.



6. Are Pharmacy Courses in Australia Difficult?


Usually, medical degrees are challenging and require ultimate dedication and hard work to complete. According to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, "It is estimated that more than 10% of people who make it into pharmacy school do not make it through graduation day." 


Patience and dedication are the keys. If you're dedicated enough, it won't be hard for you and you can easily pass the degree and pursue your career as a certified pharmacist.



7. Can I Become A Pharmacist Without A Degree?


Every field and degree requires a complete process to follow. Some fields require a degree and internships, and some are pretty straightforward.


If you want to become a pharmacist, the degree is the main and one of the most critical steps. You can only become a certified pharmacist with a degree.



8. How Long Does It Take to Become A Pharmacist In Australia?


The pharmacy degree typically takes four years to complete, and you need to intern afterwards. The subjects you study in these four years are as follows.


  • Department of Pharmaceutics

  • Pharmaceutics-I (Physical Pharmacy)

  • Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry

  • Department of Pharmacognosy

  • Department of Basic Medical Sciences

  • Department of Pharmacy Practice

  • Pharmacy orientation

  • History and Literature of Pharmacy

  • Physio Chemical Principles

  • Hospital pharmacy

  • Career Pharmacy

  • Primary care pharmacy



9. Bachelor of Pharmacy Online


Some universities in Australia offer online pharmacy degrees as well. The Bachelor of Pharmacy with honours is available to study online. It is a 4-year online degree program. You will learn all the basic and extensive pharmacy modules online via Google Classroom or Meet.


Due to the pandemic, universities started offering degrees online for students to study effectively without compromising their health. The University of New England is the first university that offers a bachelor of pharmacy degree online.



10. How To Become A Pharmacist Assistant?


As a pharmacist assistant, you will work under a certified pharmacist. You will work with the patients, help them understand their prescriptions, and answer all their queries. You will keep track of all the medicines in stock, and you might help the pharmacist prescribe a drug.


You must have excellent communication skills as well as awareness. You must have excellent IT and customer service skills as well.



11. Areas Where Pharmacists Can Work



Hospital Pharmacists


Hospital pharmacists are responsible for dispensing medicines, reviewing the prescriptions, and reviewing the prescribed dosage of drugs. 


Sometimes, there might be a prescription error. Having a hospital pharmacist reduces mistakes.



Retail and Community Pharmacists


A retail pharmacist provides general healthcare services, which include distributing the prescribing of medicines to the patient. A retail pharmacist works in a retail store rather than in a hospital.



Industrial Pharmacist


Industrial pharmacists conduct research, testing, and analysis in developing pharmaceuticals and related supplies. 


They use several methodologies to process and create new medicines.



12. Best Pharmacy Schools in Australia




13. The Demand for Pharmacists in Australia


The demand for a pharmacist has increased rapidly due to the pandemic. According to a survey, it is the second most in-demand profession in Australia. 


Many young people are pursuing their degrees in pharmacy and are ambitious to serve the nation. One good thing about this degree is that you are doing your job and helping people get better. Moreover, it is a respected profession.



14. Top 10 Traits of Highly Professional Pharmacists


  1. Good memory

  2. Ability to accurately interpret prescription

  3. Detail-oriented

  4. Great work ethic

  5. Knowledgeable

  6. Kind

  7. Patience

  8. Highly professional work ethic

  9. Empathy

  10. Attentive



15. Pharmacists Internships and Career Opportunities


The pharmacist internship is the first learning step in the professional field. You will practice all the basic and extensive modules in your training to be polished and have a great work ethic as a certified pharmacist.



Moreover, with regards to career opportunities, as a pharmacist, you have multiple career opportunities, such as:


  • Hospital Pharmacy.

  • Community Pharmacy/ Retail Pharmacy.

  • Industrial Pharmacy.

  • Veterinary Pharmacy.

  • Social/Administrative Pharmacy.

  • Pharmacy Journalism.

  • The Academia.



16. Salary Expectations in Australia for Pharmacists


The average salary of certified pharmacists are about 94.769 USD/Annually or 48$/hour. Fresh graduates earn up to 84,000$/annually, while experienced pharmacists earn 120,000$/Annually.


The employment rate of pharmacists is increasing, and now the employment rate of pharmacists in Australia is 95.2%.



17. Can You Work With an Overseas Qualification as a Pharmacist in Australia?


Overseas qualifiers who want to work as a pharmacist in Australia should have completed a "bachelor's or master's degree in pharmacy". They are also required to pass the examination under the Australian pharmacy council.



18. The Future of Pharmacists in Australia


The future is all about medicine and pharmacists. Australia has a massive population. People live longer, and most people with old age suffer from various diseases. 


For that, they need extra care and health services. Moreover, due to the pandemic, the demand for medical fields has increased rapidly. 


Now there is a vast demand for pharmacists in Australia and worldwide. It is safe to say that future is all about medicines and pharmacists. Moreover, the future holds both opportunities and challenges for pharmacists.



19. Closing Words


A career as a pharmacist holds a great responsibility. Being a certified pharmacist might be a long process. Still, it is worth the wait because it is the most rewarding and empathetic profession. 


However, you should be responsible enough to take this responsibility, not get too involved with your patients, and act professionally. Having a friendly relationship with patients and advising them is essential.


Hopefully, this guide on becoming a pharmacist in Australia has made it easier to understand the career choices, job prospects, study pathways, career opportunities, internships and salary expectations.


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