How Pharmacy Technicians Can Migrate To Australia: Guide 101

Dec 21, 2023 6 min read
Pharmacy Technicians Migrate To Australia

Introduction

Pharmacy technicians are in a high demand in Australia, and if you are a global pharmacy professional, this is a great opportunity for you! The best part is that the process involved in making your pharmacy dream come true is simplified under the skilled migration scheme of the Australian government. 

If you are a pharmacy professional seeking the best opportunities for yourself, this article is for you. Read all about comprehensive registration process and all other things you need to know about it! 

Role of a Pharmacy Technician

In Australia, pharmacy technicians play a crucial role in the healthcare system, working under the supervision of registered pharmacists to ensure the safe and effective provision of medications and healthcare services. 

The role of a pharmacy technician in Australia encompasses a range of responsibilities aimed at supporting pharmacy operations and enhancing patient care. Here are key aspects of their role- 

  • Dispensing Medications- Pharmacy technicians are responsible for accurately dispensing prescribed medications to patients. This involves measuring, counting, and packaging medications, as well as ensuring that all dispensing activities comply with legal and regulatory standards.
  • Compounding Medications- In some pharmacy settings, technicians may be involved in compounding medications, especially in hospital pharmacies. This involves preparing personalised medications, such as intravenous solutions or specialised dosage forms, following strict protocols.
  • Administrative Tasks: Pharmacy technicians perform various administrative tasks, including maintaining patient records, processing insurance claims, and managing paperwork related to the dispensing of medications.
  • Quality Assurance- Pharmacy technicians play a role in quality assurance by conducting routine checks on medications and equipment to ensure compliance with quality standards. They may also participate in quality improvement initiatives to enhance pharmacy services.
  • Medication Management- Pharmacy technicians assist in managing medication inventory, including ordering, receiving, and organising medications. They also help monitor expiration dates, ensuring the availability of necessary medications while minimising wastage.
  • Patient Interaction- Pharmacy technicians often interact with patients, providing information on medication use, potential side effects, and general health-related inquiries. They may also assist in medication counselling and education under the guidance of a pharmacist.

Why Choose Australia?

Australia boasts a robust and continually growing healthcare sector. As the demand for healthcare services rises, there is a parallel need for skilled professionals, including pharmacy technicians, to support the expanding industry. Not to forget the perks offered to pharmacy technicians in Australia, which include the following- 

  • High-Quality Education and Training- The country offers high-quality education and training programs for pharmacy technicians.
  • Stringent Quality Standards- Australia maintains stringent quality standards in healthcare, ensuring that pharmacy technicians adhere to the highest professional standards.
  • Excellent Job Opportunities- The demand for pharmacy technicians in Australia is on the rise, creating ample job opportunities across various healthcare settings, including community pharmacies, hospitals, and healthcare facilities.
  • Competitive Compensation- Pharmacy technicians in Australia receive competitive compensation packages.
  • Inclusive Work Environment- Pharmacy technicians have the opportunity to work with healthcare teams comprising professionals from different cultural backgrounds, fostering a rich and collaborative workplace culture.
  • Quality of Life- Australia consistently ranks high in terms of quality of life. The country offers a high standard of living, excellent healthcare services, and a favourable work-life balance, making it an appealing destination for individuals looking to build a rewarding career while enjoying a high quality of life.

Average Salary and Career Outcomes

The median annual salary for pharmacy technicians in Australia stands at $64,358, which equals an hourly rate of $33. Entry-level roles typically begin at $59,463 per year, meaning an hourly wage ranging between $23 and $28. On the higher end of the spectrum, seasoned professionals can earn up to $75,502 annually.

Prominent companies forming the employment landscape for pharmacists in Australia, along with their associated salary structures, include 

  • The Chemist Warehouse,
  • Priceline,
  • Terry White,
  • Amcal,
  • My Chemist,
  • Pharmacy 777, and
  • Terry White Pharmacy.

Note: It's important to note that, currently, there are no mandatory licensing or registration requirements for individuals pursuing a career as a Pharmacy Technician in Australia.

The Procedure

Let us now discuss in detail the procedure involved in becoming a pharmacy technician in Australia. This section involves all the intricacies, including the different steps, requirements, visa procedure and more. 

Skill Assessment

The first step required to set up pharmacy practice in Australia is Skill Assessment or document verification. You need to undergo skill assessment and ensure smooth checking of your documents to apply for the work/PR visa. 

Vocational Education and Training Assess is the skill assessment authority responsible for conducting document verification for pharmacy technicians in Australia. Let us now have a look at the elements required to have positive skills assessment.

  • AQF Certificate IV Qualification in a highly relevant field of study AND at least one year of post-qualification highly relevant employment at an appropriate skill level in the last five years;

                                                                                              or

  • AQF Certificate IV Qualification that is not a highly relevant field of study AND at least two years post-qualification highly relevant employment at an appropriate skill level in the last five years;

                                                                                              or

  • AQF Certificate III Qualification in a highly relevant field of study AND at least three years of post-qualification highly relevant employment at an appropriate skill level in the last five years.

In addition to this, the application must adhere to the qualification and employment experience requirements. The most relevant fields of study for a smooth skill assessment include the following- 

  • Pharmacy
  • Community Pharmacy
  • Community Pharmacy Dispensary
  • Hospital/Health Services Pharmacy Support

For more information, visit the official website of VETASSESS

Note:

According to VETASSESS, pre-qualification experience for Pharmacy Technicians may be considered in a skills assessment if the experience meets the following requirements:

  • Three years of relevant employment
  • One year of highly relevant employment performed at the required skill level; and The employment experience was gained in the last five years.

English Proficiency

Another important step as a part of becoming a pharmacy technician in Australia is English proficiency, as Australia is a native-English speaking country. You can choose from IELTS Academic, PTE Academic or OET exam, and get the minimum passing marks required to be eligible for visa. 

TOEFL is no longer accepted in Australia. Overall, PTE is considered to be the easiest and the most effective way of proving your English proficiency. 

The minimum scoring requirements are as follows-

  • IELTS Academic- Individual band of 7 or higher.
  • PTE Academic- A minimum score of 65.
  • OET- A score of 350 out of 500 or Grade B or higher.

Calculating Your Points

Once you are thorough with the skill assessment and English requirements, you must start calculation your visa points. It is solely on the basis on these points that you can an invite from the Australian government with a possible PR visa. 

The minimum score to be eligible for the visa application is 65 points. However, this may vary depending upon the state and the occupation that you are applying for. 

Points are given on the following basis- 

  • Age
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Points for Professional Year
  • Points for NAATI- Credentialled Community Language
  • Points for 2 Year Study
  • Points for English
  • Points for Regional Study
  • Points for Work Experience
  • Points for Specialist Educational Qualifications (STEM)
  • Points for Partner

Health and Character

The heath and character requirements are a small but crucial part of the visa application. The Australian government denies application to people who do not meet the health requirements or have a history of criminal records. Therefore, before applying, ensure that you are a healthy individual and your criminal history is clean like a slate! 

Visa Application

Your registration as a pharmacy technician in Australia comes bearing gifts, the most prominent of which include the visa options. You are now eligible to apply for several types of visa, under the skilled migration scheme of the Australia government. The General Skilled Migration Visa options include the following- 

  • subclass 190 (Skilled Nominated Visa),
  • subclass 491 (Regional Sponsored Visa),
  • subclass 482 (Temporary Skilled Shortage Visa) and
  • subclass 494 (Skilled employer sponsored regional Visa)

Discuss with experts and understand your options carefully before you move forward with any decision. 

Final Thoughts

The process of becoming a pharmacy technician in Australia is not strenuous, if you have the necessary guidance and support with you. You must be prepared with all the mandatory documentation and prerequisites to ensure you application process is smooth and error-free. Once you become a registered pharmacist in Australia, you can search the best pharmacy technician jobs and attain your dream job. 

For more information or help regarding overseas migration, get in touch with Academically. We are an educational platform that helps you clear foreign registration exams and become registered healthcare practitioner in your preferred country. 

FAQs 

Q: How can I move to Australia as a pharmacy technician?

Ans: By clearing the KAPS exam, you can get a work/PR visa in Australia and work as a pharmacy technician there. 

Q: What is the average hourly salary of pharmacy technicians in Australia?

Ans: On an average, pharmacy technicians in Australia can earn around $33.52 per hour. 

Q: Is Indian pharmacy license valid in Australia?

Ans: Indian pharmacists can become registered pharmacists in Australia, but they have to pass the KAPS exam first. 

Q: Can I get a PR as a pharmacy technician in Australia?

Ans: You are eligible to get a PR as a pharmacist after you clear the KAPS exam, given you fulfil the other conditions set by the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC). 

Q: Which level of pharmacy technician is highest in Australia?

Ans: Pharmacy technician III is the highest level of pharmacy technician training and experience. 

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.