How To Become A Pharmacist In South Africa

Pharmacy is one of the highest paid careers in South Africa. It’s also a profession that gives you the opportunity to make a positive difference in people’s lives every day. In this article, we will tell you everything there is to know about becoming a pharmacist and what it takes to get into this rewarding career path.

How To Become A Pharmacist In South Africa

A pharmacist is a health professional who dispenses prescription drugs, provides advice about medications and other treatments, and may also provide advice on herbal remedies and vitamins.

Who can become a pharmacist and what do you need to study?

You must first have a university degree. You can do this by studying a Bachelor of Pharmacy, or you can study at the University of Cape Town, which offers both a BPharm and an Honours Degree in Pharmacology.

If you don’t have either of these qualifications, then you need to complete an accredited degree in pharmacy at a university where pharmacists are trained, like UCT or Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). Then, after completing your studies, you will need to apply for registration as a pharmacist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

What are the specialisations in this field?

There are different fields in the pharmacy industry for you to consider. Some of these include:

  • Pharmacology – This is the study of how drugs interact with the body and what symptoms they cause. It also includes research into possible interactions between drugs and how they affect the body over time.
  • Pharmacy practice – This involves dispensing medication to patients, as well as advising them on their treatment plans. Pharmacists can work in hospitals, clinics or other health facilities where their skills will be useful when it comes to providing advice about which medications would be best for specific medical conditions.
  • Pharmacy administration – The duties of this role include managing a pharmacy’s finances, hiring staff members and ensuring that everything runs smoothly behind-the-scenes so that pharmacists can focus on providing quality care for their customers instead of worrying about business matters like budget reports or inventory management tasks (which would also fall under this category).

Where can you study?

There are many options when it comes to studying pharmacy in South Africa. You can study at a university, or you can do a diploma or degree. You can also study through postgraduate studies, where you will complete a postgraduate diploma or degree.

If you’re interested in studying pharmacy, there’s no shortage of options!

Career Opportunities for Pharmacists in South Africa

If you’re not sure where to begin your search for a job, consider the following options:

  • Hospitals
  • Retail stores
  • Government facilities

Pharmacist Salaries in South Africa

As you can see, the average salary of a pharmacist is between R200,000 and R300,000 per year. The exact amount you earn depends on your experience and qualifications.

Pharmacists in South Africa earn more than pharmacists do in other countries. For example, New Zealand-based pharmacists make around R150,000 per year (as of 2018). In Ireland they earn upwards of €60,000 annually; in Canada it’s about CAD$90K (about US$70K); and in the United States it’s US$121K (as of 2019).

In comparison to doctors and nurses who earn much less than pharmacists—the median salary for a nurse is about R206k/year according to PayScale; while physicians’ salaries range from an average $166k – $190k depending on their specialty—pharmacy seems like an appealing career path!

How to get into a Pharmacy Career in South Africa

A pharmacy career in South Africa is a great way to make a living if you have the right qualifications. There are many different routes one could take to get into this exciting field of work, but most of them involve going through an accredited pharmacy school and then obtaining a degree in Pharmacy or Pharmacy Technology.

If you want to pursue this career path, it’s important that you study subjects like chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics at high school level. You’ll also need good grades because these courses will be taken into consideration when applying for your university degree program.

The next step would be getting qualified as a pharmacist with a BPharm (Bachelor of Pharmacy) degree from an accredited institution such as University of Cape Town’s Faculty Of Health Sciences or Rhodes University’s School Of Medicine And Health Sciences. Once your diploma is complete – which usually takes three years – it will be time for work experience!

If you are interested in becoming a pharmacist, remember that it is a worthwhile career that allows you to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Pharmacists are in high demand in the healthcare industry, as they are the most qualified people to dispense medicine and help patients with their prescriptions. If you want to get into research or development, then pharmacists can also work on these areas.


If you are interested in becoming a pharmacist, remember that it is a worthwhile career that allows you to make a positive difference in the lives of others. The salary may not be as high as other professions but there are still many benefits such as job security and flexible working hours.

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