New tax office data lifts the lid on occupational income differences, and on the gender gap in pharmacist pay

A gender gap definitely exists in Australian pharmacist pay rates, if new tax data can be believed.

The data also shows that pharmacy assistants earn less on average than workers in a range of other retail occupations, including delicatessen, post office and cinema workers.  

Information released by the Australian Taxation Office sheds interesting light on the taxable income breakdowns across different occupations.

The data, from the ATO’s newly-released 2014-15 taxation statistics shows how pharmacist and pharmacy staff incomes compare with those of other occupations.  

The data shows that female hospital pharmacists earn more than their community (retail) pharmacy counterparts, while their male colleagues earn less than their equivalents in community pharmacy.

Data for both groups, as well as for the much smaller cohort of industrial pharmacists, reveal a substantial gender pay gap.

  • Retail pharmacist—Female: 10,556, average income $61,279
  • Retail pharmacist—Male: 5,799, average $83,792
  • Hospital pharmacist—Female 3,135, average $66,784
  • Hospital pharmacist—Male 1,045, average: $77,807
  • Industrial pharmacist—Female: 504, average: $93,427
  • Industrial pharmacist—Male: 312, average: $110,787

When those classified as pharmacists were added together, the average taxable income was $70,277.

Female pharmacists (of all types) skewed strongly into the $37,000-$80,000 income bracket, with more than half falling into this range. Male pharmacists were more evenly spread, with most in this bracket or in the $80,001-$180,000 range.     

In contrast, the average taxable income for GPs is $133,221 (female) and $186,643 (male). Pharmacy incomes compared closely to those of chiropractors, who earned $60,702 (female) and $75,604 (male).  

The taxation data reveals the relatively low pay of Australia’s pharmacy assistants, with the 31,804 females identifying themselves in this occupation having an average taxable income of $30,463. The 3,262 male pharmacy assistants recorded an average of $30,303.

This pay rate placed them behind that of retail assistants (including bottle shop and cinema attendants, post office clerks, cosmeticians, deli assistants and a range of others).

The ATO data also shows the taxable income for those identified as ‘Company rep. – medical and pharmaceutical products; Sales representative – medical and pharmaceutical products’.

The 4246 females identifying this as their occupation had an average taxable income of $84,653, while the 2911 male reps had an average of $104,981.