already a member?   login »
username password

Pharmacist Jobs

What Pharmacy positions are available in the UK?

There are 3 different types of Pharmacy jobs:

  • Primary Care Pharmacy
  • Community Pharmacy
  • Hospital Pharmacy

Primary Care Pharmacists may work directly for a GP as a practice Pharmacist or they may work directly for a Primary Care Trust (PCT) in England or Local Health Board (LHB) in Wales or Scotland to provide:

  • medicine management
  • prescribing advice
  • professional development advice
  • pharmacy clinical governance coordination

Community Pharmacists work in chemist shops open to the public — it is UK law that every chemist shop / community pharmacy be under the “direct supervision” of a pharmacist. Community Pharmacists are responsible for:

  • selling and supplying medicines
  • providing advice about medicines
  • providing advice about symptoms and general health matters
  • counselling patients on the proper use of medicines
  • ensuring that different treatments are compatible

Hospital Pharmacists work directly for hospitals and have an expertise in medicines and their use. Responsibilities include:

  • purchasing, manufacturing and dispensing medicines
  • providing quality testing and supply of medicines
  • providing advice on the selection of medicine and the dosage

UK Pharmacists generally work as part of a pharmacy team which includes a Pharmacy Technician or Pharmacy Assistant. The role of the Pharmacy Technician involves:

  • preparing and delivering drugs
  • storing incoming drugs
  • making up sterile preparations

Employment opportunities for Pharmacy Technicians are usually found in hospital or community pharmacies.

What are the prospects like for Pharmacists the UK?

Pharmacists are in high demand across the UK and the outlook for qualified and experienced Pharmacists is very positive. This section of the website will give you all the information you need to successfully transfer your career to the UK and gain invaluable personal and professional experience in one of the world's most impressive healthcare systems. Get the ball rolling by applying to allied health recruitment agencies.

Is Pharmacy regulated in the UK? Will your overseas Pharmacy qualifications be recognised?

If you wish to practice as a Pharmacist in England, Wales or Scotland you must register with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB). If you wish to practice as a Pharmacist in Northern Ireland then you must register with the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI). For information regarding registration in Northern Ireland, contact the PSNI on +44 028 9032 6927 or registration@psni.org.uk. If you wish to work as a Pharmacist Technician, registration with the RPSGB is currently voluntary only.

The process of registration as a Pharmacist with the RPSGB is quite intense and involves:

  • completing an Overseas Pharmacists Assessment Programme (OSPAP)
  • completing a period of pre-registration training (internship)
  • passing a registration examination set by the Society

The successful completion of each of these stages demands a large commitment on your behalf but the chance to work in the UK - one of the world's most advanced healthcare systems - is a considerable reward. This section will outline the most important steps along the pathway to registration but if you require any additional information you can check out the RPSGB website or contact the Society on +44 020 7572 2317 or overseas@rpsgb.org.

Before you begin anything, you will have to apply to participate in an Overseas Pharmacists Assessment Programme (OSPAP). To do so you must:

  • have completed a pharmacy degree which is comparable to those awarded in the UK
  • be registered or eligible to register as a Pharmacist in your country of qualification.

Your application must include:

  • proof of your English proficiency
  • a completed general questionnaire
  • your original degree certificate
  • a certified copy of your passport
  • your CV (specifically relating to pharmacy work)
  • your photograph
  • an application fee of £631

Certain documents must also be sent directly from the issuing body. These include:

  • a copy of your academic transcript
  • a letter confirming your registration and good standing in the country of your qualification
  • a minimum of 2 references detailing your personal and professional standing

If your application is successful you will be accepted into an an Overseas Pharmacists Assessment Programme (OSPAP) which is a full-time, full fee-paying, year long course at a UK university. The cost of the OSPAP varies between universities but you can expect to pay at least £7000.

Upon completing your OSPAP, you will then need to undertake a period of pre-registration training employment, lasting a minimum of 45 weeks. During this period you will be assessed every 13 weeks. If you pass each of these assessments you will then be eligible to sit the pre-registration exam.

Once you have passed the Society's registration exam and paid a new member fee of £191, you will be conferred the award of Member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (MRPharms) and be eligible to work as Pharmacist in England, Scotland or Wales.

How much can you expect to earn and what are the working conditions like for UK Pharmacy jobs?

Your salary as a Pharmacist in the UK will be affected by your experience, qualifications and responsibilities. Salary rates may vary from the public to the private sector, though they are usually fairly similar.

The following hierarchy can be used as general guide for UK Pharmacy jobs:

Position Title Pay Band (NHS) Salary Range (all sectors)
Pharmacy Technician 4 £16.5K — £20K per annum
Pharmacist Entry Level 5 £19.5K — £25.5K per annum
Pharmacy Technician Higher Level 5 £19.5K — £25.5K per annum
Pharmacist 6 £23.5K — £31.5K per annum
Pharmacy Technician Specialist 6 £23.5K — £31.5K per annum
Pharmacy Technician Team Manager 7 £28K — £37.5K per annum
Pharmacist Specialist 7 £28K — £37.5K per annum
Pharmacist Advanced 8A-8B £34.5K — £51.5K per annum
Pharmacist Team Manager 8B-8C £39K — £61.5K per annum
Pharmacy Consultant 8B-8D £39K — £74K per annum

Your salary will also reflect the location in which you live. If you live in a high cost area, such as Inner London, then this will be reflected in your salary. The work hours for a Pharmacist in the UK are around 37.5 hours a week (Monday to Friday).

How should you go about finding the right UK Pharmacy job for you?

Whether you are applying for a specific Pharmacy job or simply looking for anything which matches your skills and experience, your first point of contact will probably be a UK Allied Health recruiter. Recruitment agencies are heavily involved in the UK job market - it is their business to find quality candidates for employers while simultaneously helping candidates to develop and progress their careers.

WORKgateways manages a network of the best UK Allied Health recruiters to help you reach your potential.

Register with recruitment agencies up to 2 years before your arrival in the UK. Your recruitment consultant will then begin the process of finding you a suitable position, giving you a great head start to your working life in the UK. If your travel plans or arrival date changes, make sure you inform your recruitment consultant immediately.

Go to top of page UK Jobs / UK Job Industries / Pharmacist Jobs