pharmacist Sector Overview

Community Pharmacies are an important part of Australia's health care system and many customers visit a pharmacy to seek advice on health issues and treatments. There are almost 400 approved Community Pharmacies in SA, employing more than 4,400 people.

All pharmacy staff need a tactful, respectful, caring manner and must work within the bounds of legislation when providing advice to customers or selling certain medications.

Having such high contact with the public requires excellent customer service and thorough knowledge of the medicines. Other tasks may include merchandising, ordering or receiving stock, housekeeping, arranging store promotions, providing administrative support or making deliveries. Workers can be based either in community pharmacies, or hospital pharmacies and maybe required to work nights and weekends.

For more information on occupations, related job tasks and work environment characteristics visit the sites below:

Job Roles

  • Pharmacy Assistant
  • Dispensary Assistant
  • Retail Pharmacy Manager


  • Certificate II in Community Pharmacy
  • Certificate III in Community Pharmacy
  • Certificate IV in Community Pharmacy
    Certificate IV in Community Pharmacy Dispensary

Training Options

These qualifications can either be completed via a Traineeship in Community Pharmacy or through a nationally accredited training course. For more information on traineeships visit Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services (SA) or Retail Management qualifications such as Certifcate IV in Retail Management and Diploma of Retail Management are available to Retail Pharmacy Managers.

It is not essential to have formal qualifications in order to work within the industry, however formal training can help build your skills and your career options.

To see a list of SA Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) who are approved to deliver Community Pharmacy qualifications click HERE.
Please visit each of the RTOs websites to find out what qualifications they deliver and if they have an office in South Australia.

If you are still at school you can start your retail career through VET in SACE. For more information on what subjects are available check out the VET Recognition register

Personal Characteristics & Skills 

  • Team player
  • Excellent personal presentation
  • Good writing skills
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Flexibility to deal with unexpected situations
  • Tact and confidentiality
  • Ability to understand regulations and work within rules
  • Caring and compassionate
  • Attention to detail
  • A second language could be an advantage

Industry Entry

  • Casual and weekend work is usually available in Community Pharmacy
  • The ‘Introduction to Pharmacy’course through the Pharmacy Guild of Australia
  • Ask about a school-based Traineeship in Community Pharmacy
  • A Certificate II in Community Pharmacy (no prerequisites required) will give you an advantage



RETAIL IS YOUR FUTURE - SA Retail Careers Atlas
SSSA - Careers Snapshot video
Retail is Your Future  - Community Pharmacy Sector Snapshot
The Job I Love - Careers Guide
Skillsone Community Pharmacy Video


General Career Links
SA Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services

Industry Links
Pharmacy Guild of Australia
The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia

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