Alternative titles for this job include Dispensing chemist, community pharmacist, hospital pharmacist

Pharmacists give advice on the use and supply of medicines and medical appliances.

Average salary (a year)

£35,000 Starter


£69,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Pharmacist

You can get into this job through a university course.


To become a pharmacist, you'll need to complete a master's of pharmacy (MPharm) degree, approved by the General Pharmaceutical Council which takes 4 years. 

You'll then need to complete the pharmacist foundation training scheme which takes 1 year.

If you do not have the qualifications to get onto a master's of pharmacy degree, you could do a pharmacy foundation degree which takes 2 years.

You could then take a job as a pharmacy assistant or pharmacy technician and apply to join the master's degree in its second year.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including chemistry

More Information

More Information


Further information

You can find out more about becoming a pharmacist from Health Careers and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • maths knowledge
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to read English
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a pharmacist you could:

  • dispense medicines in a pharmacy, hospital or GP practice
  • give advice about prescriptions, drug dosages, risks and how to use and store medication
  • run screening programmes and buy, test and distribute medicines in a hospital
  • manage stock and supervise and train staff like junior pharmacists
  • do research into new medicines or run clinical trials

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital, at a GP practice, at a university, at a store or at a research facility.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could:

  • progress to team manager, regional or national manager or become a pharmacy consultant
  • work in a GP practice, health centre or set up your own community pharmacy business
  • work as a pharmacist in the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy or Army
  • move into teaching, scientific journalism or publishing
  • do a postgraduate qualification in a subject like toxicology or pharmacology and move into research

You can find more information about developing your career in pharmacy from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Pharmacist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Access to Higher Education Diploma: Pharmacy and Bio-Medical Sciences

  • Start date: 16 September 2024
  • Location: Stamore

FT Access- Pharmacy & Bio-Medical Sciences

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Portsmouth

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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