How a Pharmacist Can Migrate to Australia: Everything You Need to Know

Dec 21, 2023 4 min read
Pharmacist Migrate to Australia

Key Takeaways

  • There are a plethora of jobs and roles available for Pharmacists in Australia. 
  • With a few steps, you can apply for a direct PR Visa in Australia from your home country. 
  • The KAPS exam is the key to your success in landing a good job in Australia. 
  • Academically offers outstanding guidance and counselling to the aspirants. 

Pharmacy is a booming profession and a lucrative pathway to migrate to Australia. Most pharmacists in Australia practice within the community itself as retailers or work in hospitals. 

Pharmacists are highly trusted professionals who are qualified to dispense medications. They have the required knowledge about most medicines and are capable of offering counselling to healthcare professionals, patients and other people 

The key responsibilities of Pharmacists include processing prescriptions, maintaining patient medication records, promoting primary health care etc. 

However, to become a pharmacist in Australia, you need to be well aware of certain prerequisites. 

In this article, we will look at the complete registration and migration process for retail pharmacists and hospital pharmacists in Australia.

Pharmacy in Australia

Pharmacy in Australia presents a compelling opportunity for Indian pharmacists seeking better career prospects. Many pharmacists in India are currently underpaid and may be unaware of the vast potential available outside the country. 

Australia is experiencing a significant shortage of pharmacists, making it an attractive destination for professionals worldwide. Skilled pharmacists are invited to practise in the country, offering a thriving and rewarding career path. However, there are certain prerequisites to be met for those aspiring to become pharmacists in Australia.

One key incentive for pharmacists to consider Australia is the opportunity for permanent residence after a designated period of practice, highlighting the nation's commitment to skilled professionals. The allure of Australia's flourishing career prospects has consistently attracted students and professionals globally.

Steps to Migrate to Australia

Step 1- Initial Skills Assessment

Conducted by the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC), the Initial Skills Assessment is a critical step. 

Pharmacists need to provide essential documents such as their B Pharm/Pharm D degree, transcripts, state pharmacy council registration, passport, and any relevant working experience. This assessment is foundational to the migration process.

Step 2- KAPS Exam

The Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences (KAPS) exam is integral to the licensing process for international pharmacists. 

Administered by the Australian Pharmacy Council, the exam comprises the Written Exam (IWE) and the Oral Exam (IOE). Successful completion of these exams is crucial for moving forward.

Step 3- English Language Proficiency

To meet the requirements for AHPRA registration, overseas-qualified pharmacists must demonstrate English proficiency. OET, PTE and IELTS exams are accepted. Fulfilling this language criterion is an essential milestone.

 You can fulfil any of the two eligibility criteria mentioned below- 

IELTS (academic): an overall total score of 7.5 with a minimum score of 7 in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing and speaking) in one sitting; or

OET: an overall pass with grades A or B only in each of the four components in one sitting. Results must have been obtained within two years prior to applying for general registration.

Step 4- Visa Options

After successfully passing the KAPS exam and meeting English language requirements, pharmacists gain eligibility for various visa options. 

The General Skilled Migration Visa becomes a viable choice, offering different categories tailored to pharmacists' specific needs.

Step 5-  Apply for Provisional Registration

The final step involves applying for provisional registration as a pharmacist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). This pivotal registration marks the readiness of pharmacists to embark on their professional journey in Australia, ensuring compliance with Australian healthcare standards.

Salary

In Australia, the typical annual salary for pharmacists averages around $92,793, equivalent to an hourly rate of $47.59. Entry-level positions typically start at $81,953 per year, while seasoned and experienced professionals can earn up to $120,045 annually. 

Job Options for Pharmacists in Australia

Pharmacists in Australia have diverse career opportunities, each playing a unique role in the healthcare landscape. Here are several roles available for pharmacists:

Hospital Pharmacist 

In a hospital setting, pharmacists prepare and dispense pharmaceuticals, drugs, and medicines. They play a crucial role in ensuring the safe and effective use of medications. This role requires registration or licensing.

Retail Pharmacist 

Working in community pharmacies, retail pharmacists dispense prescribed medications to the public. They also educate customers on health promotion, disease prevention, and the proper use of medicines. Additionally, they sell non-prescription medicines and related goods. Registration or licensing is a prerequisite for this role.

Industrial Pharmacist 

Similar to retail pharmacists, industrial pharmacists are involved in dispensing prescribed pharmaceuticals and providing education on health promotion and disease prevention. They operate in community pharmacies and are licensed or registered to carry out their responsibilities.

Conclusion

Many individuals in the medical field aspire to enhance their careers by migrating to Australia, seeking better opportunities. Unfortunately, the lack of proper guidance and sufficient information often leaves students uncertain about the right path.

In their pursuit, many opt for Study Visas, spending years navigating the job market before securing a Permanent Residency (PR) Visa. Dr. Akram Ahmad and the dedicated team at Academically understand these challenges. They offer comprehensive support to students and skilled professionals, guiding them seamlessly through the journey of obtaining a PR Visa and securing rewarding employment.

For those eager to explore the abundant opportunities and lucrative options available, don't hesitate to connect with the Academically team. Your pathway to a successful career and permanent residency in Australia begins with the expert guidance and assistance they provide!

FAQs

Q: Can I write the KAPS from India?

Ans: Yes, you can write the KAPS (Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences) exam from India. 

Q: What is the scope of pharmacists in Australia?

Ans:  The scope of pharmacists in Australia is broad and dynamic. Beyond dispensing medications, pharmacists play a vital role in patient care, medication management, and public health. They engage in clinical services, including medication reviews and health assessments, collaborate in community pharmacies for over-the-counter advice and vaccinations, and contribute to hospital settings by participating in prescribing and monitoring drug therapy.

Q: How many hours do pharmacists work in Australia?

Ans:  Pharmacists in Australia commonly work around 38 to 40 hours per week, following standard full-time employment norms. However, actual work hours may vary based on factors such as the employer, specific job responsibilities, and individual preferences. 

Q: What is the Australian license exam for pharmacists?

Ans: Foreign-trained pharmacists seeking licensure in Australia typically need to undergo the process of skills assessment and recognition of qualifications by the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC). 

Dr. Akram Ahmad
Dr. Akram Ahmad
about the author

Dr. Akram Ahmad is a clinical pharmacist and lecturer with over 10 years of teaching and research experience across various subjects of medicine in India, Malaysia and Australia. He is an educationist and a medpreneur with extensive knowledge of the global healthcare diaspora. Through his articles, videos and engaging sessions, he always aims to impart unexplored knowledge about the healthcare world to interested students and professionals.