Pharmacists’ Salary in South Africa (2019)


Did I just hear someone ask “Who are pharmacists’ in fact?”

“What exactly does a pharmacist do?”

Well, I would not be surprised if such a question is asked. You see, where I come from, pharmacists are seen as this bunch of people who sit in a shop and sell drugs.

“You can even do without them”, says a friend of mine. “Is it not just a headache you’re having. I can give you a drug I have. It works well” This is called self-prescription. It is dangerous and has cost many their lives.

pharmacists salary in south africa

Pharmacists’ Salary in South Africa

If you are like my friend, you have come to the right place. This post will take you through the job specification and pay of a pharmacist, especially in South Africa. You can never tell, perhaps at the end of this reading, you just might want to become one yourself.

The average salary for a pharmacist in South Africa is R 34,073.

These salary estimates are submitted anonymously to Indeed by Pharmacist employees, users, and collected from past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 36 months. The pay of pharmacists’ also differs according to their individual paces of work. Whatever statistics is provided here should be used for generalization purposes only and you should consult your employee for actual salary.

Pharmacists’ Pay according to Location

  • Pharmacist in Durban- R36 436per month
  • Pharmacist in Johannesburg- R41 004 per month
  • Pharmacist in Bloemfountein-R31 056 per month
  • Pharmacist in Cape town-R33 686 per month
  • Pharmacist in Pretoria- R29 603 per month

Who is a pharmacist?

Pharmacists are culturally competent healthcare providers who communicate directly and effectively with patients to evaluate factors that affect his/her ability to take medication. These include diet, allergies, lifestyle, transportation, language barriers and much more.

Pharmacists are accessible in all healthcare settings: inpatient, ambulatory and community settings. Pharmacists are available to see patients at convenient times every day of the week, whether morning, evening and weekend hours, even without an appointment. In simple terms, pharmacists are your go-to guys that save the day.

What does a pharmacist do?

Pharmacists are responsible for:

  • supervising the production and preparations of medicines supplied to patients
  • ensuring the safety and good worth of medicines
  • ensuring that the supply of medicines is lawful
  • ensuring that the medicines prescribed to patients are appropriate for each individual
  • responding to patients’ symptoms
  • advising patients about medicines, how to take them, what reactions may occur and answering patients’ questions.
  • providing services to patients, such as smoking cessation, diabetes disease management blood pressure measurement and cholesterol management and so on.

Where do Pharmacists work?

Pharmacists enjoy a wide variety of career opportunities.

Over the years, pharmacy has proven to be a diverse and rewarding career. Opportunities abound for patient care, scientific research and innovation in the world of medicine. Majority of pharmacists (45 percent) work in an independent or retail chain community pharmacy (sometimes called retail or high street pharmacy).

They provide counselling to patients on the use of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Some also work in hospitals, nursing homes, colleges, schools and with the federal government. This affords them the opportunity to work directly with patients. They are also able to influence and play important roles in the healthcare system. Other capacities in which a pharmacist can work are:

  • Pharmaceutical production or sales in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Prisons, primary care organisations, universities in teaching and research, the military, veterinary pharmacy and pharmacy organisations.

How to become a pharmacist

Pharmacists are required to have a doctoral degree and pass multiple exams before becoming licensed. Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) is a professional doctorate in pharmacy. In some countries, it is a first professional degree, and a prerequisite for licensing to practice the profession. Without a license, one is not allowed to practice as a pharmacist.

The change to (Pharm.D.) degree for all new pharmacy graduates has increased the type of services pharmacists are able to offer.  Pharmacists are able to work in a wider array of practice settings and positions than ever before.


Pharmacists’ honesty and ethics are rated as high and it should be so. We entrust our health and that of our loved ones into their care. They should be celebrated even more.

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