Thinking of applying for Pharmacy through Clearing? Read this first.

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mrlittlebigman
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If you have missed your medicine or dentistry grade, I would strongly advise you to re-sit or do it abroad rather than do pharmacy. The most miserable pharmacy students and pharmacists are those that really, really wanted to be a Dr, and by christmas you will realise you have accepted second best. And @ecolier will tell you, doing pharmacy with a view to doing fast -track medicine is a very, very long route, and expensive in fees, and very competitive to get into!! So think carefully and find out as mutes you can about the degree and career.

Pharmacy has been going down hill slowly for a decade now, and with government funding cuts, and amazon entering the market who knows what will happen by nearly 2030 when you guys will qualify.

Yes, there are new jobs in PCNs and GP surgeries but not enough for all the graduates. You will see Russell group uni's in clearing, this is never a good sign.

You won't find medicine in clearing!

If you really have decided in a couple of weeks to go via clearing then you need to get yourself some work experience very quickly, just a couple of days in community pharmacy, or as Chillbear on here said, go down your local town and talk to pharmacists and see if they would recommend doing the course, and what opportunities it can give you, and if they had their time over would they do it again?!

Wages in community haven't moved for ten years and this is leading to lots of very unhappy pharmacists on here! and in general. Don't do pharmacy if you want to be rich, those days are gone.

Also, read the stickies at the top of the page about 'what the uni's tell you', and 'MPharm is it worth it' threads to get 2 young guys perspectives on what they thought of their degree and the prospect after. One good in clinical work, and one bad who left and now owns a cafe!!
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Admit-One
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Just to add that there have been medicine programmes in clearing in recent years. So it’s worth exploring that option before resorting to plan B.
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ChillBear
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Great post.

With tuition fees at £9,000+ it's ever more difficult to recommend pharmacy as a career. Those firm on it I hope you're the ambitious type, ready to upskill with postgrad education or ok with the idea to relocate across the country. Chances are, good wages aren't on your doorstep and if they are they're probably competitive. Ending up with ~£40,000+ debt and earning £20 per hour will not make you happy. It will not be an easy ride to get decent wages, you will have to upskill if you want to work in hospital or general practice, or you will have to relocate to less desirable locations and become a pharmacy manager. All of these options are competitive because they lead to higher wages. If you succeed then you'll start earning £25+ p/h, as you get more experienced or chase bonuses it can go up further. Just realise that while you may succeed, other pharmacists are stuck with lower roles. This is the nature of competition, and it may have a significant impact on your life (studying outside work hours, relocating across the country).
Last edited by ChillBear; 1 month ago
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mrlittlebigman
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(Original post by ChillBear)
Great post.

With tuition fees at £9,000+ it's ever more difficult to recommend pharmacy as a career. Those firm on it I hope you're the ambitious type, ready to upskill with postgrad education or ok with the idea to relocate across the country. Chances are, good wages aren't on your doorstep and if they are they're probably competitive. Ending up with ~£40,000+ debt and earning £20 per hour will not make you happy. It will not be an easy ride to get decent wages, you will have to upskill if you want to work in hospital or general practice, or you will have to relocate to less desirable locations and become a pharmacy manager. All of these options are competitive because they lead to higher wages. If you succeed then you'll start earning £25+ p/h, as you get more experienced or chase bonuses it can go up further. Just realise that while you may succeed, other pharmacists are stuck with lower roles. This is the nature of competition, and it may have a significant impact on your life (studying outside work hours, relocating across the country).
i would agree. If you are prepared to qualify and do a post grad diploma, then the IP, independent prescribing course, then there could be lots of opportunities. And as you say, being willing to move outside the big cities will help you secure a better salary package usually if you negotiate.
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mrlittlebigman
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(Original post by Admit-One)
Just to add that there have been medicine programmes in clearing in recent years. So it’s worth exploring that option before resorting to plan B.
True, but I only saw one last year, and it had gone by lunchtime on results day.
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Claremont4ever
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Corporate chains are offering circa £60,000 plus to newly qualified pharmacists in the NE. Sign on and relocation bonus available as well. Total take home in your first year inclusive of sign on and relocation bonus averages circa £85,000 which exceeds an MPs pay. When averaged over a standard 3 year contract, take home avarages £68,000 plus per year.
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ChillBear
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(Original post by Claremont4ever)
Corporate chains are offering circa £60,000 plus to newly qualified pharmacists in the NE. Sign on and relocation bonus available as well. Total take home in your first year inclusive of sign on and relocation bonus averages circa £85,000 which exceeds an MPs pay. When averaged over a standard 3 year contract, take home avarages £68,000 plus per year.
This has been refuted dozens of times already on the forum. Out of reach of most 99% of pharmacists. ie, do not listen.
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Admit-One
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(Original post by mrlittlebigman)
True, but I only saw one last year, and it had gone by lunchtime on results day.
Yeah, the numbers weren't huge, (like medicine in general), but there were some if you moved quickly. As above, worth checking although I would not be banking on it - especially with the uncertainty about this years results.
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mrlittlebigman
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In the PJ earlier this year Boots and Lloyds were starting most of their newly qualified on mid 30s. 36/37k.
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Claremont4ever
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(Original post by mrlittlebigman)
In the PJ earlier this year Boots and Lloyds were starting most of their newly qualified on mid 30s. 36/37k.
Which location?
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mrlittlebigman
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(Original post by ChillBear)
Great post.

With tuition fees at £9,000+ it's ever more difficult to recommend pharmacy as a career. Those firm on it I hope you're the ambitious type, ready to upskill with postgrad education or ok with the idea to relocate across the country. Chances are, good wages aren't on your doorstep and if they are they're probably competitive. Ending up with ~£40,000+ debt and earning £20 per hour will not make you happy. It will not be an easy ride to get decent wages, you will have to upskill if you want to work in hospital or general practice, or you will have to relocate to less desirable locations and become a pharmacy manager. All of these options are competitive because they lead to higher wages. If you succeed then you'll start earning £25+ p/h, as you get more experienced or chase bonuses it can go up further. Just realise that while you may succeed, other pharmacists are stuck with lower roles. This is the nature of competition, and it may have a significant impact on your life (studying outside work hours, relocating across the country).
This is a very important point to make to people thinking of pharmacy courses.
Your learning doesn't stop after the pre-reg exam, apart from the annual CPD requirements, if you have the inclination to do a diploma part time over two to three years, then move onto the independent prescribing course (IP), then this could open many doors, especially if you are happy to go and live in a countryside town or village. The big cities are quickly getting saturated with IPs, and those moving into PCNs, so mentioning up-skilling is a very important point.
One of the universities near me offers an IP course with an additional advanced practitioner qualification in diagnosis and treatment of minor ailments seen in GP surgeries, enhancing your role even further.
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Sarah H.
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Just for information…

Having spoken last week to 3 senior managers within two of the largest multiples in NE England I can confirm starting salaries for their pre reg pharmacists when they register with the GPhC are in the £36 - £38k band (standard working week). There will be a very few on a tad higher in those branches that struggle to fill positions.

This fits in with reports of salaries in the pharmaceutical press.

In the independent sector, the few preregistration pharmacists I have spoken to lately report offers in the £35 - £39k band, again standard working hours.
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Sarah H.
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Just to add to previous post to advise those contemplating pharmacy through clearing.

Just spoke again to one of my “large multiple” pharmacy friends. North East England.
(Salaries in NE are usually a little higher than national average).

Their experienced pharmacists (non management) are currently paid £46k +/- 1 or 2k. This is for standard 40 hour, 5 day (9 to 6) weeks. A few branches that have difficulty recruiting and retaining (because of grim working environments) have retention bonuses of up to 4k for those that can stick it.

That is more or less the ceiling regardless of experience or length of service. A fact worth thinking about.

Higher salaries can only be found (apart from overtime if available) by taking on management positions. My friend did say that few now are willing to as the extra pay does not reflect the increase to workload. I do know one of their pharmacist managers currently having to put in about 5 hours a week unpaid overtime to keep on top of work. Worth it??

Hope these facts help decision making.
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manchego
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I can guarantee the only pharmacist jobs i have seen in community offering close to 60 grand are those which require 60 hours a week of work.
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Sarah H.
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And finally I was contacted again this afternoon regarding current salaries after I enquired last week after this post regarding clearing was put up.

Another North East large multiple, 3+ years qualified, standard hours, non management.
Most in 42k to 46k banding. Currently pay rises determined by performance (commercial targets) rather than automatic annual. Length of service counting for for little. Very much a ceiling at present.

Again worth mentioning NE is somewhat higher than average for salaries although difference is less marked with employed rather than with locum rates.

Hope this helps……
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Claremont4ever
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Community pharmacy salary in most areas of the NE isn't fixed, it's all down to negotiation based on many factors including how desperate they need a pharmacist, how many items/month, staffing (the lesser staffed, the higher wage offered), services etc. I'm yet to meet an employed pharmacist that actually accepted the salary advertised by the company for the role. They may advertise £26/hour for a pharmacist manager, but in reality, they are happy to pay £29 with a relocation and possibly sign on lump sum upfront.
Last edited by Claremont4ever; 1 month ago
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mrlittlebigman
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So it's Clearing coming up v soon guys. Please do not just accept a place on a pharmacy course if you miss your medicine or dentistry grade if that is really what you want to be. Re-sit the year.
Please read the 'stickies' at the top of poor prospects/What universities tell you, and the MPharm is it worth it thread.

Also, if you have never stepped foot in a community pharmacy because all your work experience was in a medical/dental environment then you should be doubly cautious. 65/70% of pharmacy grads end up working in community pharmacy.

As @ecolier will advise you on here, if you think of doing pharmacy with a view to doing Fast-track medicine later, it will be a very long, very tiring and expensive and very competitive route.

If you think you are not going to get into medicine or dentistry then you have the chance today. tomorrow and Monday to go and speak to pharmacists on your local High street and ask them if they would recommend a career in pharmacy. And what the pay and working conditions are like in community pharmacy before you spend 37k and 4 years of you life on it.

There are many people who start a pharmacy degree every year with absolutely no knowledge of what the career entails at all, and although the problem is not with the degree, it's with the job at the end of it, please do not be one of those people.
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