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Pharmacist

Pharmacists give advice on the use and supply of medicines and medical appliances.

Annual Salary

£35,000 to £69,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on a rota

3.8%
Future employment

There will be 3.8% more Pharmacist jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a pharmacist you could:

  • dispense medicines in a pharmacy, hospital or GP practice
  • give advice about prescriptions, drug dosages, risks and how to use and store medication
  • run screening programmes and buy, test and distribute medicines in a hospital
  • manage stock and supervise and train staff like junior pharmacists
  • do research into new medicines or run clinical trials

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital, at a GP practice, at a university, at a store or at a research facility.

You can get into this job through a university course.

University

To become a pharmacist, you'll need to complete a master's of pharmacy (MPharm) degree, approved by the General Pharmaceutical Council which takes 4 years.

You'll then need to complete the pharmacist foundation training scheme which takes 1 year.

If you do not have the qualifications to get onto a master's of pharmacy degree, you could do a pharmacy foundation degree which takes 2 years.

You could then take a job as a pharmacy assistant or pharmacy technician and apply to join the master's degree in its second year.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including chemistry
For more information

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a pharmacist from Health Careers and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

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With experience you could:progress to team manager, regional or national manager or become a pharmacy consultant; work in a GP practice, health centre or set up your own community pharmacy business; work as a pharmacist in the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy or Army; move into teaching, scientific journalism or publishing; do a postgraduate qualification in a subject like toxicology or pharmacology and move into research

You can find more information about developing your career in pharmacy from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

You'll find more on pharmacy careers and training from Health Careers and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • maths knowledge
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to read English
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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