How to become a locum pharmacist

If you’re looking for a pharmacist job that provides you with flexibility, versatility and greater control over when and where you work, you may be interested in becoming a locum pharmacist.

There are various ways to take on this type of work and enjoy the benefits that locum roles offer. At Pulse, our recruitment consultants are highly experienced in supporting locum pharmacists. They are here to listen to you and understand what you are looking for so that they can provide the best advice, guidance and locum pharmacist opportunities.

Within this blog, we have outlined the benefits of becoming a locum pharmacist, information on how to get started and answers to some frequently asked questions.

What is a locum pharmacist?

A locum pharmacist takes on contracted work through an agency to temporarily support teams who may be dealing with staffing gaps or busy periods. As a locum pharmacist, you’ll do a similar job to a pharmacist in a permanent role but will work with an employer temporarily, whether that is for a few days or a few months.

The length of your contracts can vary each time, with both short-term and long-term opportunities available. You could be working in the same role for just a few days or for as long as a few months, allowing you to add variety to your working life, which can help to broaden both your experience and skill set.

Reasons to become a locum pharmacist

There’s a wide range of reasons and benefits to becoming a locum pharmacist. These include:


You get to enjoy variety on all levels. In a locum pharmacist role, you can get involved in different settings, gain experience working alongside different teams and work on different shifts and contracts, which can help keep your working days exciting.


As a locum pharmacist, having the flexibility to choose your contracts means you can work the hours that best fit your schedule, allowing for a greater work-life balance. You also have the freedom to keep trying new challenges and selecting work that fulfils you.

Gain experience and skills

You have the opportunity to build your skills and knowledge in a shorter time than you would often be able to in a permanent role, as you work for various providers in a range of environments. It allows you to practise different approaches and learn to work alongside many different types of teams.

Develop your professional reputation

Working as a locum pharmacist helps you to get your foot in the door with certain healthcare providers and companies. You have the unique opportunity to make a lasting impression within a number of settings. This can enhance your future prospects greatly by giving you the chance to be considered for future roles with those employers.

Financial rewards

There are financial benefits to being a locum pharmacist too. Rates of pay are usually higher in agency work than in permanent roles.

Register with us

Register your interest and we will be in touch to discuss your work preferences.

Step by step: How to become a locum pharmacist

Sourcing the right recruitment agency is key to finding the right opportunities. Sign up with an agency that knows the industry well and is trusted by NHS trusts and other healthcare providers. They should be passionate about connecting people to the right roles, with experience in helping pharmacists take their careers to new heights.

At Pulse, we’ve been placing healthcare professionals into work for decades, with preferred supplier status at multiple NHS trusts. Not only do we recruit for the most rewarding locum pharmacist jobs on the market, but many of our roles are also exclusive to Pulse. So, you have access to opportunities you won’t find with any other agency.

Start your search for locum pharmacist jobs with Pulse.

2. Speak with your recruitment specialist

When you speak with your recruitment consultant, it’s important to discuss what you want from your next step forward along with your future goals. They’ll want to talk about:

  • Your qualifications
  • Your experience
  • Your skills

They may also want to know about the types of teams, settings and communities you’re familiar with. This will help your recruitment consultant to understand the type of work that will be best for you, so they can find and put you forward for the best possible roles.

During this time, it is also beneficial to find out what you need to do during your registration. At Pulse, your dedicated recruitment consultant will guide you throughout the entire process so that it remains simple and straightforward.

3. Provide documentation needed

When you register with a recruitment specialist like Pulse, you’ll need to supply certain documentation and information.

It’s to safeguard you, the service users and the service in which you’ll be working. Organising this documentation early in the process will also save you time, so you’re ready to start work as soon as the right opportunity comes up.

Our dedicated compliance team will help you to put together the required documents for this stage of the process, making it as easy as possible for you.

Find the full list of documents you’ll need to supply to Pulse in our compliance guide.

4. Start your locum work

Once you’ve completed the registration and compliance process, you’ll be able to start working as a locum pharmacist

FAQs about how to become a locum pharmacist

If you’d like to know more about how to become a locum pharmacist, find our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below.

How long does it take to register as a locum pharmacist?

Registering with Pulse takes a matter of minutes, either online or over the phone.

Once you’re registered, your dedicated recruitment consultant will help you with your search and talk you through the opportunities available to you.

Then, all we need to do is complete the compliance process, which can take as little as 24 hours once you have your documents together.

How will I find locum pharmacist shifts?

At Pulse, we’ll support you in the process of finding shifts. You can view our current vacancies via our website, call your recruitment consultant or get updates on the latest roles via email.

If you apply for a specific role and your skills match the client’s requirements, we’ll work to get you started quickly and make the process as smooth and efficient as possible.

How do I get paid as a locum pharmacist?

Pay dates are usually more regular with locum work, which is another advantage. At Pulse, we operate on daily payroll runs, so you access your pay quickly.

You’ll need to submit a timesheet after each shift or each week, which we’ll provide a straightforward template for.

You’ll most commonly be paid through PAYE, though you can also be paid to an umbrella company or a limited business.

Become a locum pharmacist with Pulse

You go above and beyond, so we do too.

If you’re interested in becoming a locum pharmacist with Pulse, register your interest in locum pharmacist jobs online or browse pharmacist opportunities we currently have available.

Register with us

Register your interest and we will be in touch to discuss your work preferences.

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