Pharmacy graduates poorest paid in Australia


New data to be released next week has found that pharmacy graduates are the lowest paid graduates in Australia, sparking concerns for the sustainability of the industry and the sector’s capacity to support community health.

The Community and Hospital Pharmacists Employment and Remuneration Report 2019-20, compiled by Professional Pharmacists Australia examines pay, hours worked, employment conditions and attitudes of pharmacist, including graduates in the sector.

Professional Pharmacists Australia President Geoff March said the report revealed the deeply concerning conditions faced by new pharmacy graduates.

“Pharmacy graduates are the lowest paid compared to every other profession in Australia and this is a major concern for the future of this vital sector.

“For multiple years in a row the commencing rates of pay for pharmacists have been the lowest of any study area, and prior to 2018 by a large margin.

“A pharmacy graduate begins on a starting salary of just $48,000 per year. This compares with a median starting salary of $62,500 for all graduates.

“That makes a career in pharmacy one of the least attractive options for new candidates deciding what industry they’d like to enter.”

Dr March said that with poor pay and conditions for pharmacists who were just starting their careers, the sector would increasingly have difficulty attracting quality candidates to join this vital profession to the detriment of the community’s health.

“If the pharmacy sector is going to continue to attract the talented graduates it needs to ensure the community is provided with quality services and health care, it’s clear we have to provide them with proper pay, decent working conditions and clear opportunities for career progression.”

Dr March said that fortunately, Professional Pharmacists Australia was at the forefront of pursuing the matter of pharmacy graduate pay through the Fair Work Commission.

“Professionals Pharmacists Australia has raised specific concerns relating to the pharmacist graduate rate of pay and has highlighted the fact that it is currently below all other award graduate rates of pay.  

“Importantly, the work our union undertook through the ‘pharmacists work value case’ promoted a major review of all graduate pay rates by the Fair Work Commission.

“This review of graduate pay, which has been delayed because of COVID-19, has now been initiated and will consider what the appropriate rate of pay is for graduate pharmacists and a wide variety of other professions.

“Professional Pharmacists Australia will continue to play a major part in this case” The data was derived from the Graduate Outcomes Survey run by Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) which provides an annual insight into the employment outcomes of recent graduates from most Australian Universities, including commencing rates of pay.

The full Community and Hospital Pharmacists Employment and Remuneration Report 2019-20 will be released next week.
Media Contact:
Darren Rodrigo – 0414783405