Australia is the land of dreams. Many people migrate to Australia in need of a better salary, standard of living and many more. Healthcare jobs are in high demand in Australia. If you are a pharmacist and want better opportunities, Australia would be a move worth making.
Most pharmacists in India struggle with a lot of issues and are dissatisfied with their jobs due to the lack of career flexibility, low salaries, and long working hours. Fortunately, Australia has a rising demand for pharmacists and even overseas-trained pharmacists like Indian pharmacists can seek registration to practise in Australia.
For Indian pharmacists looking to migrate to Australia, the process involves several steps that ensure qualifications align with Australian standards and legal requirements. Let us break down the essential steps to help you navigate the path to becoming a pharmacist in the land Down Under.
There are numerous reasons why pharmacists from different parts of the world choose Australia as their career destination. Australia has an environment that embraces diverse cultures, a world-class healthcare system, a community that provides ample career opportunities to learn and grow, and breathtaking scenic beauty.
Australia also offers permanent residence to international pharmacists after they’ve practised for a certain period of time and proven their skills, which is another primary reason why pharmacists prefer migrating to Australia. Australia’s rewarding career opportunities have constantly been enticing to students and professionals across the globe.
Australia has an acute shortage of pharmacists, which is why it has proved to be a popular destination for pharmacists across the globe. Australia invites skilled pharmacists to practise in their country. Pharmacy is a top profession and a lucrative pathway to migrate to Australia. However, to become a registered pharmacist in Australia, you need to have a clear idea of particular prerequisites.
The average pharmacist salary in Australia is $92,793 per year or $47.59 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $81,953 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $120,045 per year. (As per https://au.talent.com/salary?job=pharmacist)
Pharmacists must first register themselves with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Then, register themselves with the Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA), which would require checking the criteria and eligibility and providing a coloured copy of the original document.
The first step is to have your qualifications and skills assessed by the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC). This involves submitting your academic and professional credentials for evaluation to ensure they meet Australian standards.
The Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences (KAPS) exam is an Australian Licensing process for international pharmacists who wish to work in Australia. The Australian Pharmacy Council assesses the candidates on the basis of their educational qualifications, KAPS exam or intern written exam and intern oral exam.
The first step is to complete all the requirements and get registered with the Pharmacy Board of Australia. Once your eligibility is confirmed, you will be asked to complete a full-time internship under supervision, where you will be assessed on various aspects. After this, you need to register for the KAPS exam and upload all the required documents. The exam is conducted in 2 steps: Intern Written Exam (IWE) and Intern Oral Exam (IOE).
English language proficiency is a non-negotiable aspect of the migration process.
You will need to demonstrate proficiency in English by taking an approved English language test such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE).
PTE is easier than the IELTS exam. PTE is a computer-based exam with different types of short tasks, while IELTS is a written-based test with pen and paper and has questions.
Achieving the required scores is paramount, as effective communication is vital in the healthcare sector.
Once you have a positive skills assessment and have met the English language requirements, you need to apply for registration with the Pharmacy Board of Australia. This is also known as AHPRA registration. Each state in Australia has its own pharmacy board, so you may need to apply to the board in the state where you intend to work.
For this, you can register through the AHPRA website,
This process involves submitting your skills assessment, proof of English proficiency, and other necessary documentation.
As soon as you have passed the KAPS exam and met the English proficiency requirements, you will have several options, and you may apply for a General Skilled Migration Visa.
For pharmacists, there are a total of 5 Visa types that can be your gateway to enter Australia.
● General Skilled Migration Visa under Subclass 190 (Skilled Nominated Visa),
● Subclass 491 (Regional Sponsored Visa),
● Subclass 482 (Temporary Skilled Shortage Visa),
● Subclass 494 (Skilled employer-sponsored Regional Visa), and
● Subclass 407 (Training visa).
If we talk about the Visa options, they can be broadly categorised into three categories.
You can get a skilled migration visa from the Australian government with the help of a state nomination. The state governments propose qualified immigrants who are prepared to live and work in their jurisdiction and who possess the knowledge and experience needed by the jurisdiction. Under Subclass 190 (Skilled Nominated Visa) and Subclass 491, state sponsorship (Regional Sponsored Visa). These Visas might not require prior work experience.
Subclass 482 (Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa) and 494 (Temporary Skilled Shortage Visa). Working experience as a community pharmacist or hospital pharmacist may be required.
Subclass 407 (Training Visa) can apply to those who’ve passed the KAPS exam and have completed the English competency test as per the requirement. Those sponsoring someone on 407 Visas must be either an organisation operating lawfully in Australia, a government agency, or a foreign government agency. Provide the occupational training directly unless an exemption applies. Experience is not required.
You may speak with any registered migration agent for further information on which Visa is best for you.
Depending on the visa type, you may need to secure a job offer in Australia before applying. Actively participating in the job search process and networking within the Australian healthcare community can significantly enhance your chances of finding suitable employment.
Working as an immigrant pharmacist in Australia is both challenging and rewarding. To ace the exam and pursue a career as a pharmacist, you must be meticulous with your preparation.
Academically assists pharmacists who want to practise as pharmacists abroad. Academically assists you in preparing for the KAPS exam while steering you through the enrolment and screening processes.
The experienced instructors at Academically have been working in your desired country for years and are well-versed in the exam format and the best way to ace it. Our goal is to get you to where you want to go. So, if you want to ace the KAPS exam in one sitting and become a certified pharmacist in Australia, this is the course for you.
To consult our experts, drop a mail to email@example.com
By obtaining a positive skill assessment, mastering English proficiency, navigating the Visa application process, and actively engaging in the Australian pharmacy community, Indian pharmacists can open doors to a rewarding career in the vibrant healthcare landscape of Australia. Always stay informed about the latest immigration regulations and seek professional advice when needed to ensure a smooth transition and a successful career Down Under.
Q: How can I stay informed about the latest immigration regulations?
Ans: Regularly check the official websites of relevant authorities such as the Australian Pharmacy Council, Pharmacy Board of Australia, and the Department of Home Affairs. Seeking advice from migration agents or professionals in the field can also be beneficial.
Q: Do I need a job offer before applying for a Visa?
Ans: Depending on the Visa type, you may need to secure a job offer in Australia before applying. Actively participating in the job search process and networking within the Australian healthcare community can enhance your chances of finding suitable employment.
Q: Which visa should I apply for, and what is the points system?
Ans: Skilled Migration Visas, such as subclass 189 or 190, are commonly sought after. The points system considers factors like age, work experience, and qualifications. It's important to understand the criteria and score the required points for a successful application.
Q: Why should I consider migrating to Australia as a pharmacist?
Ans: Australia offers a vibrant healthcare system, diverse work opportunities, and a high quality of life. With a strong economy and well-established healthcare infrastructure, it provides an attractive environment for pharmacists seeking professional growth.
Q: What is the first step in migrating to Australia as a pharmacist?
Ans: The initial step is to obtain a positive skills assessment from the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC). This assessment ensures that your academic and professional qualifications meet Australian standards.
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.