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Revealed: The average locum pharmacist pay rate in 2022

The average locum rate has rocketed to a new record high for a second year in a row, data from the 2022 annual C+D Salary Survey has revealed.

Last year, C+D revealed that locums based in Great Britain earned £28.10 per hour on average throughout 2021, the highest rate recorded since C+D launched its annual Salary Survey in 2008.

But data gathered in C+D’s Salary Survey between October 25 last year and January 20 indicated that the average locum pharmacist rate continued to rise steeply throughout last year, surpassing the 2021 record.

Locums across the UK were on average paid £33.30 per hour in 2022, according to a total of 269 responses from locum pharmacists.

The average rate rose by £5.20 (19%), almost equal to the £5.76 jump between 2021 and the previous year.

Locum rates were at their lowest in 2016, with the average locum only receiving £20.50 per hour according to Salary Survey data.

 

C+D also asked locum pharmacists what they thought their average hourly rate should amount to.

Results were mixed – 18% of 262 respondents to the question said they should receive £35 per hour, 19% said £40 and 15% said £45.

Some went a step further, with 13% thinking they should be paid £50 per hour and 7% saying more than £50.

 

Half of respondents received higher pay

 

Similar to last year, just over half (51%) of 269 locum pharmacist respondents said their salary had increased in the 12 months leading up to the survey.

Some 38% reported their rate stayed the same, while 11% said it had decreased.

Of those who saw a rate increase, 69% reported that it had risen by more than £3 an hour. Another 20% said they were receiving £2 more compared to the previous year.

Almost three quarters (74%) of the locum pharmacists being paid more in 2022 said they had successfully negotiated a higher rate of pay with their employer. The rest reported that their employer had increased their rate voluntarily.

And of the 11% who saw their rates dip in 2022, most (87%) said they had decreased by more than £1 an hour.

 

Pay satisfaction tempered by inflationary pressures

 

Pay satisfaction among locum pharmacist respondents increased in 2022 along with pay rates – up from 60% last year to 75%.

While just 6% of 262 respondents reported being ‘more than satisfied’ with their pay, 17% said they were ‘very satisfied’ and 52% said ‘fairly satisfied’.

Accordingly, pay dissatisfaction was down compared to the previous year from 40% to 24%.

However, a few respondents pointed to inflationary pressures.

One locum pharmacist said that while their wages “keep staying the same…prices for everything are increasing too much”.

“This erodes the buying power of wages,” they added.   

Another wrote that the “economic situation is challenging to say the least and [the] money we are getting paid doesn’t reflect fast-rising costs of living and inflation”.

 

Most blame employers for poor pay

 

Almost half (44%) of the locum pharmacists who reported being dissatisfied with their pay blamed their employers.

Another 30% pointed a finger at the government for not giving pharmacy enough funding, while 11% laid blame on negotiating bodies for not securing a better pharmacy funding contract.

Meanwhile, a couple of respondents blamed themselves for pay dissatisfaction, with one writing: “I should have asked for more [but] I was worried I may get rejected.”

The C+D Salary Survey 2022 ran between October 25 2022 and January 20 2023 and was completed by a total of 1,480 pharmacists and pharmacy staff.

 

See all the coverage so far on the C+D Salary Survey hub

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