The numbers are in

Who are Australia’s pharmacists and where do they work?  

A detailed breakdown of pharmacy demographics has been released by the Pharmacy Board of Australia.

The National Health Workforce Dataset (NHWDS) Pharmacy 2015 figures are the latest in-depth statistics on who pharmacists are and where they work.    

Among the key numbers revealed be the data are:

  • 39: the average age of a pharmacist
  • 35.7: the average weekly hours worked by pharmacists (down from 36.2 hours in 2013)
  • 60% of pharmacists are female (67% of pharmacists aged 20-34 are female)
  • 57% of pharmacists were born in Australia
  • 3% of pharmacists identify as being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders
  • 87% have Australian or New Zealand qualifications
  • 76% of pharmacists are employed in major cities

The hours worked by pharmacists increased with remoteness, from 33.5 hours per week in major cities, to 38.2 in remote areas. Male pharmacists generally worked 39 hours per week, their female colleagues 33.5 hours in total.

Of the 29,414 registered pharmacists in 2015, there were 281 employed as teachers or educators, 243 as researchers and 223 as independent consultants.

The numbers of independent consultants had increased by 6% since 2013. They also had the shortest weekly hours worked (29.5).

Of the more than 23,000 employed pharmacists, the majority (66%) worked in a community pharmacy setting. Another 20% worked in a hospital setting.

There were 1157 clinician pharmacists (6% of the workforce) working in an Advanced Scope of Practice role.

One in ten pharmacists (11% in total) were identified as Early Career Practitioners. This group were disproportionately employed in Aboriginal Health service and community health care settings.

Meanwhile, the Board has also released the latest quarterly registration data. This reveals that, as of December 2016, there were a total of 30,368 registered pharmacists comprising the following number of registrants according to registration type:

  • 27,452 – general registration
  • 1,777 – provisional registration
  • 7 – limited registration, and
  • 1,132 – non-practising registration.

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