The average salary of the 324 “second or non-manager pharmacists” who completed the latest C+D Salary Survey – which ran throughout October – had increased from £35,621 in 2017 to £35,995 in 2018, a rise of £374.
It marked the continuation of a slow but steady rise over the past three years, with salaries for non-manager pharmacists increasing by an average of £292 a year between 2015 and 2017.
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Some 44% of second or non-manager pharmacists who completed the survey said they were dissatisfied with their pay. One pharmacist who earned between £45,000 and £49,999 at a large multiple said: “Pharmacists are very underpaid compared to GPs, dentists and opticians.”
“We are being asked to take on more of GPs’ work, but we are given no additional resources to carry out this extra work,” they added.
This was echoed by a pharmacist at another large multiple. “Pay for pharmacists should be banded like NHS pay scales,” they said. “I have masses of experience and provide lots of services, but am only paid [the] ‘average’ for my company. I deserve more.”
Pay rises and bonuses
Half of respondents (51%) said their pay increased between October 2017 and October 2018, with 44% of these saying it had increased by 1%. Only 4% of all second or non-manager pharmacists said their pay had decreased, while 45% said their salary had remained the same.
When it came to bonuses, 46% of non-manager pharmacists said they received one in the past year, while 54% did not.
Half of non-managers work unpaid overtime
However, C+D's findings suggested the slight increase in the average non-manager's salary may have come at a cost, with half (54%) of respondents saying they work an average of between one and five hours unpaid overtime a week, and 10% saying they work between six and 10 hours.
The C+D Salary Survey 2018 – the largest survey of community pharmacy, and the biggest in the survey's 11-year history – was completed by a total of 1,916 pharmacists and pharmacy staff.
C+D will be publishing further findings about pay and working conditions in community pharmacy throughout December, available here.
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