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Helping you find a career as a Pharmacist

The job of a pharmacist is to provide advice to members of the public on various medical issues as well as to dispense medicines and medical supplies. Pharmacists are generally divided between community pharmacists, dispensing pharmacists or hospital pharmacists.


What does a Pharmacist do?
Although your exact day-to-day tasks will vary depending on the type of pharmacist you are, general duties will include:

  • Dispensing medicines to members of the public

  • Providing advice for both prescription and over the counter medicines

  • Ordering necessary stock

  • Providing screening for various ailments including diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol

  • Offering advice to those in care homes

  • Helping those in hospital and those being discharged

  • Training junior pharmacists

  • Working together with GPs and nurses to prescribe medicine

  • Researching new medicines

What skills and interests should an Pharmacist have?
Pharmacists require technical knowledge of the properties of different drugs in order to safely handle prescription medicines and to advise patients of their potential side effects. You will also have to be good at building relationships with people and identifying issues with their medical treatments.
- Attention to detail
- Life Sciences
- Mathematical ability
- Organisation
- Verbal Communication
- Written Communication
What hours does a Pharmacist typically do?
As a pharmacist you will generally be expected to work 37.5 hours a week, including some evening and weekend work on call.

For community pharmacists, the hours a week could be much higher, with some being expected to work up to 48 hours a week.
What environment is a Pharmacist based in?
Depending on your exact role you could work in a GP surgery, pharmacy, hospital or shop.
How much does a Pharmacist travel?
Travel is generally limited to community pharmacists who will typically travel between a variety of locations (for instance GP surgeries or patients’ homes) in their local community.
How much does a Pharmacist get paid?
Entry level pharmacists can expect to earn £26,500 a year as soon as they qualify, which can then increase to between £32,000 and £41,000 a year with experience.

Those who then go on to become senior pharmacists can expect a salary of £41,000 and £83,000.
What qualifications does a Pharmacist need?
To become a pharmacist you must have a Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree that has been approved by the General Pharmaceutical Council.

On top of these you will also need to pass a registration exam and have undertaken at least a years work or training in a pharmacy.
Useful subjects to study at school & university
  • Pharmacy

  • Chemistry

  • Biology

  • Life Sciences
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