• 12 January 2021
  • 11 min read

Irish Pharmacist Salary & Pay Guide

  • Mat Martin
    Content Manager
    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
    • Matt Farrah
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Padraig Grory
  • 1
  • 11027

"Pharmacists in Ireland enjoy some of the highest rates of pay on the planet."

If you’ve ever thought about becoming a Pharmacist, here we outline what you can earn, how you can increase your pay as well as the available career paths for Pharmacists in Ireland.

Topics covered in this article

Introduction

What Is The Average Salary For An Irish Pharmacist?

What Is The Starting Salary For An Irish Pharmacist?

What Does An Irish Pharmacist Do To Earn This Salary?

How Do You Become A Pharmacist In Ireland?

Where Do Irish Pharmacists Work?

What Is The Average Pay For An Experienced Pharmacist?

How Much Can You Earn As A Locum Pharmacist?

What Are The Responsibilities Of A Locum Pharmacist?

What Is The Career Progression For Irish Pharmacists?

Find Your Next Pharmacist Role In Ireland Today!

Introduction

Pharmacists all over the world enjoy excellent job security and decent financial reward for what is a highly skilled and often under-appreciated profession.

And in Ireland, it’s no different.

In fact, the more than 6,500 Pharmacists in Ireland enjoy some of the highest rates of pay on the planet.

But what exactly does Pharmacist pay look like in Ireland?

And what does it take to earn it?

What Is The Average Salary For An Irish Pharmacist?

The average pay for Pharmacists in Ireland is somewhere between €60,000 and €70,000 a year.

This is based on industry statistics collected by major job boards.

However, it’s very difficult to pinpoint an exact average.

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Salaries for Irish Pharmacists vary widely dependent on experience – and because pharmacies are deregulated and privately owned, Pharmacists who run their own pharmacies can potentially earn far beyond what might be considered the average salary.

What Is The Starting Salary For An Irish Pharmacist?

Here’s what Pharmacist, Áine Mac Grory, explains about Pharmacist starting salaries.

The majority of newly qualified community pharmacists should expect to earn €50,000-€65,000 depending on the position taken.

In industry pharmacy the salary would be entry level with the opportunity to progress through the company.

There are so many positions in this setting it would be difficult to give an overall range.

Each company will offer their own payment structures and benefits.

HSE hospital pharmacist salaries are subject to rigid pay scales and a newly qualified hospital pharmacist should expect to earn about €33,500 starting off.

What Does An Irish Pharmacist Do To Earn This Salary?

Pharmacists in Ireland safely dispense medicines and provide a variety of healthcare services and advice – including vaccinations and counselling.

Pharmacists explain how to take certain medication, discuss potential side effects, recommend over-the-counter treatments and answer customer questions.

In fact, Pharmacists are first and foremost health advisors.

Although individuals don’t always utilise it, Pharmacists have an enormous wealth of knowledge about all kinds of illnesses and ailments.

Pharmacists should in many cases be the first port of call when an illness emerges – and in this scenario, Pharmacists are vital in reducing the number of patients visiting GP surgeries and even hospitals.

Because Pharmacists often effectively run their own business, they also have lots of other managerial duties.

This can include hiring and training staff, ordering and managing stock, and even home visits on some occasions.

How Do You Become A Pharmacist In Ireland?

To become a Pharmacist in Ireland you must register with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI). And for registration, you have to complete a recognised degree programme.

Currently these programmes are offered by Trinity College, Dublin; University College, Cork; and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

In all, you’ll undertake five years of education and training to become a Pharmacist.

Where Do Irish Pharmacists Work?

Pharmacists in Ireland primarily work within the community – in independent or chain pharmacies, on high streets or in hospital settings.

Within hospitals Pharmacists can also be referred to as Pharmacy Technicians, clinical Pharmacists and Pharmacologists.

However, Pharmacists do occasionally work in other settings, including prisons, the military or pharmaceutical production companies.

What is the average pay for an experienced Pharmacist?

Here’s what Pharmacist, Áine Mac Grory, explains about pay rates within the various Pharmacist roles.

The four main positions in community pharmacy are locum, support, supervising and superintendent pharmacist.

An experienced Community Pharmacist should expect to be on at least €65,000 but more if taking a more responsible position.

For instance:

A Support Pharmacist could expect to earn €65,000-€75,000 per annum.

A Supervising Pharmacist could expect to earn €75,000 - €95,000 per annum.

A Superintendent Pharmacist could expect €80,000-€150,000 per annum depending on the number of pharmacies they are in charge of.

It should be noted that locum rates and salaries are also dependent on your ability to negotiate.

Community pharmacies with late nights, weekends and greater than 40 hrs per week should yield a higher salary.

An experienced Hospital Pharmacist should expect to receive €60,000 per annum or more, again, depending on the level of responsibility associated with the position.

The salary range for a Senior Pharmacist is €61,641 - €72,590 per annum.

The salary range for a chief 2 pharmacist is €69,421 - €85,447 and the salary range for a chief 1 pharmacist is €77,261 - €89,964.

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There is always an option for a hospital or industry pharmacist to take on some seasonal locum work during periods of high demand.

Pharmacy is a well-paid profession.

The profession offers job security.

When between jobs the option of locum work is always available.

Pharmacists are highly sought after health care professionals and work is in abundance.

This was seen particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The role of a Pharmacist is incredibly diverse and a typical day will look different depending on the setting being worked in.

For detailed information on a typical day for a pharmacist, have a look at my previous article.

How Much Can You Earn As A Locum Pharmacist?

Here’s what Catherine McIlroy, a practising Locum Pharmacist, explains about the pay and responsibilities of Locum Pharmacists.

The current hourly rate for a locum pharmacist ranges from €35 for shifts booked in advance to up to €80 or more in summer for last minute emergencies.

A locum can easily make upwards of €70,000 per year.

There tends to be less work available in the winter months (December-April) and so rates would be on the lower end of the scale at this time of year.

Last winter I was regularly making €35 per hour and was working on average 45 hours per week.

From May-November a locum can expect €45-55 per hour for bookings and so it is possible to make €8000-9000 per month during this period.

The coronavirus pandemic had a huge impact on the availability of work, and thus on rates from April-June this year.

Many pharmacies reduced their opening hours and regular staff were not permitted to take annual leave during this period, and the large chains saw it as an opportunity to drive down locum rates which many of them consider to be too high.

Rates and work recovered to normal levels as of July 2020.

As a result, I would estimate this knocked about €15,000 off of my earnings for 2020.

What Are The Responsibilities Of A Locum Pharmacist?

The main responsibility of a locum pharmacist is to run the pharmacy smoothly in the absence of the regular pharmacist, or in the case where one is booked as “double cover” to work alongside the regular pharmacist to provide assistance where needed.

Day to day tasks such as dispensing, issuing healthcare advice, sending the daily drug order and carrying out consultations where needed (for example, blood pressure readings or emergency contraception service) would be the main duties of a locum.

If you are only booked to cover a pharmacy for one or two days, then your responsibilities would generally not amount to any more than this.

Anything complicated is usually left for the regular pharmacist to follow up on their return.

Locums are generally not expected to involve themselves with completion of paperwork (except when it is necessary to complete a prescription or stock order) or sending of end of month reimbursement claims.

They are not involved in audits, maintenance of standard operating procedures, reaching financial “targets” or other responsibilities usually associated with a pharmacist position.

The exception to this rule would be in the case of a block booking where a locum books several weeks or months of work in the same pharmacy.

As they will often be working in a new place at each booking, a locum must also be personable and able to adapt quickly to new pharmacies and teams.

The biggest and most obvious difference between a locum pharmacist and other pharmacist roles is that a locum is for all intents and purposes self-employed.

Some are considered PAYE employees in so far as the locum agency processes our tax, however they book their own hours and so can work as much or as little as they wish.

A locum can take holidays or days off whenever they choose without having to request permission from an employer.

What Is The Career Progression For Irish Pharmacists?

Pharmacists can easily increase their responsibilities and pay as they build their experience without transitioning into a different role.

However, many Pharmacists do progress into different positions.

Firstly, many Pharmacists choose to open their own pharmacy once they’ve gained enough experience.

But they can also move into supervisory or consultant roles.

Another common career route is for a Pharmacist to develop specialised skills.

Good examples of this are ambulatory care Pharmacists, critical care Pharmacists and academic Pharmacists.

And also, it’s not uncommon for Pharmacists to move into pharmacological manufacturing, research and development.

These wide ranging and highly specialised roles all come with potentially high salaries too.

Find Your Next Pharmacist Role In Ireland Today!

Register your CV with us today and we’ll send you a perfectly matched selection of roles.

Let me know in the comments your thoughts on becoming a Pharmacist in Ireland and what I've written about pay - let's chat there!

Oh, and please Like this article to let me know you enjoyed it - thank you!

About the author

  • Mat Martin
    Content Manager

I have a background in visual media and film content. I'm now developing other content delivery skills, and am enjoying talking to people in health and social care who want to contribute and feel passionate about what they do. I’m constantly struck by the quality and feeling in the articles we receive from them, and I aim to ensure the readers are too.

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  • Mat Martin
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About the author

  • Mat Martin
    Content Manager

I have a background in visual media and film content. I'm now developing other content delivery skills, and am enjoying talking to people in health and social care who want to contribute and feel passionate about what they do. I’m constantly struck by the quality and feeling in the articles we receive from them, and I aim to ensure the readers are too.

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    • Padraig Grory 3 months ago
      Padraig Grory
    • Padraig Grory
      3 months ago

      Áine's input was particularly interesting. I am so delighted to have her insight