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  1. What are the employment prospects for Pharmacy graduates?
  2. What are some potential career opportunities once I graduate?
  3. As a registered pharmacist what would be the annual salary I might expect?

1. What are the employment prospects for Pharmacy graduates?

There are over 33,200 registered pharmacists in Canada, with an average age of 43.5 years.  In 2012, those age 50 and older represented more than 30% of the workforce.  Approximately 60% of pharmacists are female, and only 3% of Canadian-educated pharmacists were seeking employment in 2012. [source: Pharmacist Workforce, 2012, Canadian Institute for Health Information]

In the hospital sector, the average reported vacancy rate for hospital pharmacists was 5.1% as of March 31, 2014.  There were a total of 154 pharmacist position vacancies in 2013/14.  [source: Hospital Pharmacy in Canada 2013/2014 Report]

With an ageing population, the importance of medication management of chronic diseases, and the expanding scope of practice for pharmacists in every province, the demand for pharmacists’ services is expected to increase.  The Canadian Pharmacists Association provides a nice overview of where provinces are at in regard to expanding scope of practice.

2. What are some potential career opportunities once I graduate?

Graduates will have a solid foundation for a range of career options including clinical patient care (general or specialist) in a variety of practice settings (community pharmacies, family health teams, hospitals, long term care institutions), health informatics, research, public policy, regulatory agencies, professional associations, the pharmaceutical industry, and academia. As Pharmacy Technicians become a regulated profession (in provinces like Ontario), and governments enhance their payment systems beyond dispensing, the clinical (direct patient care) role of pharmacists will undoubtedly increase. This includes more involvement in patient health management, chronic disease prevention and management, prescribing, physical assessment, immunization, and other types of services for which pharmacists are trained. The Canadian Pharmacists Association provides a nice overview of where provinces are at in regard to expanding scope of practice.

3. As a registered pharmacist what would be the annual salary I might expect?

Wages are dependent upon various factors such as where you work (for example hospital, community or industry), whether you work full or part-time and whether you are a manager or owner (if in a community pharmacy setting). There are also numerous other career possibilities. Typically a pharmacist working in community practice in Ontario could expect to earn an annual salary in the range of $97,000 – $110,000. [Source: Wages & Benefits Survey 2013, Ontario Pharmacists Association]

Hospital pharmacists in Ontario typically earn an annual salary of $68,000 - $115,000. [source: Hospital Pharmacy in Canada 2013/2014 Report]