What has changed for Pharmacist Wages in 2019?

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Over the past 12 months we have seen the demand for pharmacists in all sectors increase, although pharmacist shortages are still most critical in our rural and remote communities within community and hospital pharmacy.

We have also seen an increasing gap between the skills employers want and the skills job seekers possess. Demand for pharmacists who are able to develop, provide and implement professional services programs has increased as community pharmacies’ focus increasingly looks to provide a point of difference surrounding value and service in a market where customer spending is primarily driven by price point. 

The release of the PSA’s ‘Pharmacists in 2023 - Roles and Remuneration’ report highlighted the fact that remuneration for pharmacists did not reflect their skills, training, expertise or responsibility in the healthcare system - with the average hourly pay rate for community pharmacists well below that of professions with comparative levels of professional responsibility and training.

The decision by the Fair Work Commission to provide a 5% increase in pharmacists’ pay - introduced in two equal instalments of 2.5% from 1 July 2019 and 2.5% from 1 October 2019 - was welcome news, however many in the industry share the opinion that the Community Pharmacy Award is still irrelevant to the actual cost of recruiting and retaining quality staff.

At Raven’s we have seen an overall increase in Pharmacist salaries this year - a Pharmacist Manager in rural Australia can be expected to earn between $110,000 and $135,000 per annum, with extras including relocation, accommodation and retention bonuses paid.

However, many employees have felt that the increases are too low for the responsibilities and workload the role entails. This has been most evident in our metro locations, where the average Pharmacist salary is still sitting between $70,000 and $82,000 per annum.

To counter the effect on attraction and retention, employers will need to look at investing in training programs, offer career development pathways and offer genuine work-life balance initiatives if they are to retain valued staff and not lose them to other industries.

If you’d like to see the full Pharmacy salary guide survey data for 2019 across Australia and New Zealand feel free to pick up a copy of our 2019 Pharmacy Market Report here.

By Heidi Dariz, General Manager at Raven’s Recruitment.


At Raven's Recruitment, we’ve been specialising in Pharmacist recruitment for a long time, so we have expert knowledge in the space. If you’re looking for an exciting opportunity to work as a locum pharmacist or want a permanent job, then look no further - get in touch with our Recruitment Consultants now.