Become a Pharmacist in Australia | Academically

How to Become a Pharmacist in Australia From Any Country?

Feb 15, 2024 4 min read
Become a Pharmacist in Australia

Key Takeaways

  • Australia is General Skilled Migration plan allows global pharmacy graduates to become registered pharmacists in Australia. 
  • Pharmacy professionals need to clear the KAPS exam to be eligible to get a pharmacy practice license in Australia. 
  • Anyone can become a registered pharmacist in Australia after completing their 4-year bachelor's degree, and absolutely no prior experience is required. 

The role of a pharmacist in the healthcare setup of any country is indispensable. However, it is not certain that they receive the pay, recognition and the working facilities they deserve. In such a scenario, Australia comes forth as a lucrative destination for global pharmacists to migrate, settle and practice and build a rewarding career. But who can become a pharmacist in Australia? And how can you become a pharmacist in Australia, irrespective of the country you hail from?

For global pharmacist trying to uplift their careers by migrating to Australia, we present a comprehensive guide. This blog will answer all your questions regarding how to become a pharmacist in Australia and what is required in the process. 

Who Can Become a Pharmacist in Australia?

Pharmacy in Australia is a regulated profession, and those aiming to practice in the country must meet certain eligibility criteria. Typically, individuals who can become pharmacists in Australia include:

  • International Graduates: Graduates from accredited pharmacy programs outside of Australia can pursue a career as a pharmacist in the country. This includes pharmacy graduates, i.e. people who have completed their 4-year Bachelor in Pharmacy Degree/Diploma from any global institute recognised by the Australian Pharmacy Council. Also, these graduates must be registered as pharmacists in their home country. 
  • Australian Graduates: Those who have completed their pharmacy degree in Australia and meet other necessary requirements can practice pharmacy in Australia. This includes professionals who have completed Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate in pharmacy from a recognised Australian institute and can practice pharmacy in Australia. 

To sum up, any person who has completed his bachelor's in pharmacy or a higher degree and is registered in any country globally can become a pharmacist in Australia. 

What All Do You Need?

Becoming a pharmacist in Australia involves meeting specific educational, language, and professional requirements. Here's a breakdown of the key prerequisites:

Educational Requirements

  • Recognised Pharmacy Degree: Obtain a pharmacy degree from a recognised institution. For international graduates, this means ensuring that your degree is recognised by the Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA).
  • English Proficiency: Demonstrate proficiency in English by passing a language test such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Occupational English Test (OET). Adequate communication skills are crucial for pharmacy practice.

Professional Requirements

  • Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA) Registration: All pharmacists must be registered with the PBA. This process involves submitting necessary documentation, including proof of education, language proficiency, and character references.
  • National Police Certificate: Provide a valid National Police Certificate to verify good character and suitability for pharmacy practice.

Other Documents

For international applicants, the following documents are required to complete the process of registering with the Australian Pharmacy Council- 

1. Passport-Sized Photo

2. Degree

3. Transcript

4. Government ID Proof

5. Valid Passport

6. Birth Certificate

7. Pharmacy Registration Certificate

About Skilled Migration Visa

Australia offers skilled migration visas for pharmacists and other healthcare professionals under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program. The GSM program is designed to attract skilled workers who can contribute to the Australian economy. The specific visa subclass that pharmacists often apply for is the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) or the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190). 

The skilled migration visas operate on a points-based system. Points are awarded based on factors such as age, English language proficiency, education, work experience, and other relevant criteria. To be eligible for a skilled migration visa, applicants must achieve a minimum points score, typically around 65 points. Points are awarded for meeting specific requirements and thresholds in each category.

To receive the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190), applicants must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government. State or territory nomination is an additional step that requires applicants to meet the specific requirements of the nominating jurisdiction. This can be done only after you pass the skills assessment and clear the KAPS exam. 

Upon successful assessment of the visa application, including meeting health and character requirements, the Department of Home Affairs may grant the skilled migration visa, which can help you set up pharmacy practice in Australia. 

How to Become a Pharmacist in Australia for overseas qualified pharmacy graduates?

Now that we've outlined the prerequisites let's discuss the step-by-step process of becoming a pharmacist in Australia for international pharmacists. 

Skills Assessment

You must begin by submitting a skills assessment application to the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC), the designated authority for assessing pharmacy qualifications.

Then, you'll be required to provide all necessary documentation, including academic transcripts, proof of English proficiency, and evidence of practical training if applicable.

Post that, you must await the APC's assessment outcome, which will determine your eligibility to proceed with the next steps.


The Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences is the exam you need to pass to become a registered pharmacist in Australia. This exam, conducted by the Australian Pharmacy Council, aims to test the capability of an individual to work in an Australian pharmacy setup. 

The exam consists of 2 papers, each with 100 questions. You must get 50% in both the exam to pass it. You can take the KAPS exam at a centre near you, in your home country. 

Apply for Registration with the Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA)

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) manages registrations for pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Create an AHPRA account and initiate the registration process. This can bo done only after you clear the KAPS exam and the English proficiency test. 

Then, submit all required documents, including the APC skills assessment outcome, proof of identity, and any additional documents specified by the PBA.

The registration offered to you at this point of time will be provisional and will allow you to start working in Australia. You have to complete several hours of internship before you get your permanent registration. 

  1. Internship and Intern Examination

After completing 75% of your internship, you can take the intern examination. On clearing the examination, you become eligible to apply for permanent registration with the APC. Post this, you can either get a work or even a PR visa, given you fulfil the requirements.  

Expression of Interest (EOI)

If opting for the Skilled Migration pathway, you need to submit an Expression of Interest through the SkillSelect system. Provide details about your skills, qualifications, and other relevant information. If your EOI is successful, you may receive an Invitation to Apply for a skilled migration visa. Respond promptly and submit a comprehensive visa application.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a pharmacist in Australia as an international graduate is a challenging yet rewarding process. Navigating the educational, professional, and migration requirements demands careful planning and diligence. However, the process to become a pharmacist in Australia from any country can be simplified with the assistance of an expert mentor. 

By following the outlined steps and staying informed about the latest regulatory updates, aspiring pharmacists can successfully transition to a fulfilling career in Australia's healthcare landscape. And you can do just that when you have the guidance of Academically by your side!

Academically helps global pharmacists not only prepare for the KAPS exam but also complete all steps of the registration process easily. Check out our KAPS preparation course to know more!

Sheenu Sharma
Sheenu Sharma
about the author

Sheenu Sharma is a seasoned writer with several years of experience curating content in the EdTech and healthcare sectors. She believes in delivering information and facts to the readers by crafting compelling stories. Through the platform of Academically, she aims to help global healthcare professionals in their career aspirations and dreams!