Pharmacy is a booming profession and a lucrative pathway to migrate to Australia. Most pharmacists in Australia practise within the community itself as retailers or work in hospitals.
The domain of pharmacy provides a plethora of career opportunities ranging from patient care to research and development. This field gives you the opportunity to know about and participate in the innovation of drugs. It provides ample opportunities in both academia and industry, along with the chance to earn a stable income in your homeland and abroad.
Today, we will talk in detail about the complete process of becoming a retail pharmacist in Australia and the best options to do that.
Retail pharmacists in Australia are highly trained and trusted professionals, often holding a Bachelor of Pharmacy or a Master of Pharmacy degree. They are qualified to dispense medications, have the required knowledge about most medicines and are capable of counselling healthcare professionals, patients and other people on key responsibilities such as processing prescriptions, maintaining patient medication records, promoting primary healthcare, etc.
The Pharmacy Board of Australia oversees the registration and regulation of pharmacists, ensuring that they meet stringent standards of competence and ethical practice.
Let us understand more about the functions of retail pharmacists.
Retail pharmacists wear many hats, balancing various roles to provide top-quality healthcare services to their communities. They are an integral part of the healthcare system and take up various responsibilities to educate the patients and promote healthcare in their community.
Retail pharmacists dispense prescription and over-the-counter medications with precision and care and provide essential information to patients regarding proper usage and potential side effects. They collaborate closely with doctors to ensure patients get the appropriate medications in the right doses.
Retail pharmacies are stocked with a wide array of over-the-counter medications, allowing individuals to address minor ailments without the need for a prescription. Pharmacists provide guidance on the proper use of these medications and potential interactions.
Retail pharmacists are trusted sources of health information. Whether it's advice on managing chronic conditions, addressing common ailments, or promoting general wellness, pharmacists are readily available for consultations. Retail pharmacists also contribute to public health education by providing information on vaccinations, disease prevention, and health promotion.
Retail pharmacists often collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as general practitioners and specialists, to ensure seamless patient care and effective communication across the healthcare spectrum.
The average salary of a pharmacist in Australia is $92,793 annually 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.
Apart from having one of the best healthcare systems in the world, Australia also offers several advantages to overseas-trained pharmacists seeking registration to practise in Australia. Lucrative salaries and an excellent quality of life are some of the most attractive benefits of being a registered pharmacist in Australia. Let’s take a look at some of the other benefits.
Pharmacists in Australia enjoy great career flexibility and are not required to work long hours, unlike in other countries. They are generally said to have an outstanding work-life balance.
Practising pharmacy in Australia means exposure to incredible technological advances. They use technologies such as automated dispensing systems and electronic health records.
As the role of pharmacists expands, there is a growing demand for additional services, including vaccination clinics, health screenings, and medication reviews. This scenario opens up great career opportunities for overseas-trained pharmacists in Australia.
In recent years, the role of retail pharmacists in Australia has evolved to meet the changing needs of the population and the healthcare landscape. Some notable trends include
Expanded Clinical Services: Retail pharmacists are increasingly providing a wider range of clinical services, such as health checks, medication management reviews, and chronic disease management.
Integration of Technology: Pharmacists are incorporating digital solutions to streamline processes, reinforce patient care, and improve communication with other healthcare providers.
Health Promotion Initiatives: Recognising the importance of preventive healthcare, retail pharmacists actively participate in health promotion initiatives, including vaccination campaigns and public awareness programs.
Authorisation body: Australian Pharmacy Council
Prior work experience is not required for initial skill assessment. However, you can attach evidence of work experience if you have any.
Assessment Time: 8 weeks
Fee: $1310 AUD
The KAPS Exam covers the following four domains from the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia 2010:
There are two papers for each KAPS Exam:
The types of questions in the examination may either be stand-alone or be associated with a patient profile.
KAPS Passing Score: 50%
KAPS Exam Fee: $2190 AUD
KAPS Exam Results:
1. Approximately eight weeks after the KAPS exam, you or your nominated agent will receive an email from us about when you can view/download your exam results in your Candidate Portal.
2. If you pass the KAPS exam, you will also receive a copy of the APC Skill Assessment letter at your email address.
There are multiple test types that you can take to qualify and prove your English proficiency and get registered with APHRA.
As soon as you are registered as a pharmacist to practice in Australia, you will have several options.
You may apply for a General Skilled Migration Visa under
You may speak with any registered migration agent for further information on which Visa is best for you.
Clearing the KAPS exam is the most important part of the process. When you have the ability and skills to clear the exam, no one can stop you from getting the Visa of your choice in Australia.
To help students clear the KAPS exam on the first go, we have launched the unique KAPS Exam Preparation Course, which is entirely online. With this, you can prepare for and then take the KAPS exam in your home country and then migrate to Australia with a PR Visa in your hand!
Get in touch with our experts to know more about your options and kick-start your journey to success with Academically!
Q: Can Indian pharmacists practise retail pharmacy in Australia?
Ans: Yes. Overseas-trained pharmacists from countries like India, Pakistan, Nepal, etc, can seek registration to practise pharmacy in Australia once they clear the KAPS exam.
Q: What is the alternate name for a retail pharmacist?
Ans: Retail pharmacists are also known as community pharmacists.
Q: How much do retail pharmacists make in Australia?
Ans: The average pharmacist salary in Australia is $92,793 annually 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.
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.