Pharmacist salary and pay rates across the UK

If you are wondering what a pharmacist salary in the UK entails, we have all areas covered in this guide. A pharmacist is professionally trained and qualified to dispense drugs and medicinal products. Duties of a pharmacist include:

  • Dispensing medicines to service users
  • Giving advice about prescriptions, drug dosages, risks, and how to use and store medications
  • Running screening programmes, buy, test and distribute medicines in hospitals
  • Managing stock
  • Training and supervising staff, such as junior pharmacists
  • Help run clinical trials and complete research into new medicines

Pharmacist typically work in GP surgeries, hospitals, prisons and community pharmacies.

Pharmacist salary in the UK

Average salary for a pharmacist

The average salary for a pharmacist in the UK ranges from £35,000 to £69,000. Where you sit on this range depends on your level of seniority, where you work, the type of contract you have, and whether you work in the NHS or private sector.

The salary of a pharmacists working in the NHS is set by national pay scales:

NHS England pharmacist salary

The salary of a pharmacist working for NHS England ranges from £35,392 to £114,949 and is dependent on their years of experience and current band. Additionally, the salary of a pharmacist may be higher if the role is within the Greater London area as it is subject to the High Cost Area Supplement.

Band  Years of experience Salary range (£) Role 
<2 35,392 Newly qualified pharmacist 
2-5 37,350 
5+ 42,618 
<2 43,742 Clinical pharmacist 
2-5 45,996 
5+ 50,056   
8a < 5   50,952 Senior pharmacist 

5+ 

57,349   
8b < 5   50,952 Senior lead pharmacist 
5+ 68,525 
8b < 5   58,972 Principal clinical pharmacist 
5+ 68,525 
8c < 5   70,417 Consultant pharmacist 
5+ 81,138   
8d < 5   83,571 Deputy chief pharmacist 
5+ 96,376   
< 5   99,891   Chief pharmacist 
5+ 114,949 

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NHS Scotland pharmacist salary

The salary of a pharmacist working for NHS Scotland ranges from £37,831 to £116,428 and is dependent on their years of experience and current band.

Band  

Pay point 

Salary range (£) 

Role 

6 

1 

37,831 

Newly qualified pharmacist 

2 

39,498 

3 

46,100 

7 

1 

46,244 

Clinical pharmacist 

2 

48,010 

3 

53,789  

8a 

1 

56,992   

Senior pharmacist 

2 

61,522  

8b 

1 

67,285 

Senior lead pharmacist 

2 

71,978   

8b 

1 

67,285 

Principal clinical pharmacist 

2 

71,978 

8c 

1 

79,466 

Consultant pharmacist 

2 

85,181 

8d 

1 

94,345 

Deputy chief pharmacist 

2 

98,384  

9 

1 

111,595   

Chief pharmacist 

2 

116,428 

NHS Wales pharmacist salary

The salary of a pharmacist working for NHS Wales ranges from £35,922 to £116,673 and is dependent on their years of experience and current band.

Band  

Years of experience 

Salary range (£) 

Role 

6 

<2 

35,922 

Newly qualified pharmacist 

2 

37,911 

3 

43,257 

7 

<2 

44,398 

Clinical pharmacist 

2 

46,686 

3 

50,807 

8a 

< 5   

51,706 

Senior pharmacist 

5+ 

58,210  

8b 

< 5   

59,857 

Senior lead pharmacist 

5+ 

69,553 

8b 

< 5   

59,857 

Principal clinical pharmacist 

5+ 

69,553 

8c 

< 5   

71,473 

Consultant pharmacist 

5+ 

82,355   

8d 

< 5   

84,825 

Deputy chief pharmacist 

5+ 

97,822  

9 

< 5   

101,390 

Chief pharmacist 

5+ 

116,673 

Locum pharmacist salary and pay rates

Pay rates for locum pharmacists range from £25 to £60 per hour based on experience and position. Locum and contract pharmacist roles typically pay more than permanent positions and offer flexible working hours but offer less security than permanent positions.

What is the lowest salary for a pharmacist?

The lowest salary a pharmacist working for NHS England can earn is £35,392 on band 6. This is a starting salary for newly qualified pharmacists and can differ based on your contract type and location.

What is the highest salary for a pharmacist?

The highest salary a pharmacist can earn working for NHS England is £114,949 on band 9. This is the highest salary on the NHS England Agenda for Change, but this figure might differ for locum positions or roles in the private sector.

The qualifications you will need to become a pharmacist

To become a pharmacist, you must complete a Master’s of pharmacy (MPharm) degree that has been approved by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). This is an integrated degree which combines both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. An MPharm degree course takes four years to complete and there are no equivalent courses you can take to achieve this qualification.

Once you have gained this qualification, you must then complete a one-year work placement called a pharmacist foundation training year. This means that overall, you will need to complete five years of training to register with the GPhC. Once you are registered with them, you can legally practise as a pharmacist.

Explore pharmacist opportunities with Pulse

Whether you’re looking for pharmacist roles in hospitals or other healthcare settings, Pulse has you covered. We work with a wide range of different service providers to offer you exclusive roles in pharmacy. If you can’t find the role you are looking for, register your interest with us to have access to new opportunities as they become available.

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