You might be wondering how much a pharmacist earns in Nigeria especially if you are a fresh graduate that has just finished serving the country. One question that quickly comes to mind is, how much are entry level pharmacists paid in the country? You even think about the range of figures these medical professionals take home per month, even anually, especially if you are one of them but fresh from the university. Not to worry, the details of the salary scale for pharmacists in the country are covered in this article.
Pharmacy is the science, the profession, the practice and the technique of preparing, preserving, compounding and dispensing medicinal drugs. It is one of the courses and disciplines that Nigerians regard. It is very much esteemed and put in the top bracket of disciplines termed “Professional courses” in the country. In Nigeria today, pharmacists are inducted into an association once they graduate from the university and are given a licence to practice their profession unlike biochemists and microbiologists.
This profession is up there among the highest earning professions in Nigeria, that is why it is no surprise to hear science inclined students at secondary school level mention pharmacy as a possible course to study in the university. Most families in Nigeria often prefer their science inclined children/wards to study this course if medicine and surgery is ruled out.
In this part of the world, it is very realistic to have a great career in pharmacy because a graduate of the course has a career path set out for him or her in the public and private sector of the country should they wish to climb up the professional ladder in this chosen field. They can as well choose do be self employed and still earn as much as those who are gainfully employed, if not more.
Pharmacy is one of the professional courses which tends to almost automatically guarantee and secure you a job placement after graduation and it is a known fact that these medical professionals are very important in the society because of the closeness of their drug stores, as well as the hospitals they work in, to the residents of their local community.
People who love to do a lot of research would fancy their chances in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences as this is one of the skills required to succeed in this field. If you also have interest in how drugs are manufactured, prepared, compounded and preserved, it may be a sign that your career path is in this aspect of science and apart from Nigeria and Nigerians, almost everyone the world over respects and regards this profession for indeed it ranks up there with other top professions that are involved in the business of saving lives.
Having learnt about this course and the importance of the profession to human life, what cones to mind next is how to earn as a professional in this field. It is as we proceed that Nigerian Guide will intimate you on the salary scale and range of pharmacists in the country. If you are interested in how much they take home as payment every month and even per annum, do well to continue reading.
PHARMACISTS SALARY SCALE: HOW MUCH DO THEY PAY PHARMACISTS IN NIGERIA?
The take home pay of pharmacists differ from to level to level and as one gains experience on the job. Entry level pharmacists for example are not expected to earn more than a chief pharmacist. Also, payment of pharmacists in the public sector differs from how they earn in the private sector in the country.
There are also standard that determine the salary range of pharmacists and these standards largely influence how much these health professionals earn as take home pay. The standards are:
- Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) which determines how hospitals pay pharmacists, and
- Consolidated University Academic Structure (CONAUSS) which determines how pharmacists in the academic sector are paid.
Entry level pharmacists are paid an average salary of ₦100,000 – ₦180,000 in Nigeria. The salary range for fresh graduate pharmacists in government institutions is between ₦165,000 – ₦300,000 per month which is subject to a renewal after a period of three to four years which includes other basic bonuses and allowances. According to level and experience, below is what pharmacists are paid in the country:
PHARMACISTS SALARY STRUCTURE IN GOVERNMENT AND TEACHING HOSPITALS
Below is the breakdown of pharmacists salary in the public sector:
- Entry Level Pharmacists (0 – 2 years experience): ₦165,000 – ₦200,000 per month. Some teaching hospitals pay ₦300,000 to their entry level pharmacists.
- Mid Level Pharmacists (2 – 5 years experience): ₦250,000 – ₦450,000 per month.
- Experienced Pharmacists (5 years and above): ₦450,000 – ₦800,000 per month.
PHARMACISTS SALARY STRUCTURE IN PRIVATE HOSPITALS
Below is the breakdown of the monthly pay of pharmacists in the private sector:
- Entry Level Pharmacists (0 – 2 years experience): ₦75,000 – ₦150,000 per month.
- Mid Level Pharmacists (2 – 5 years): ₦150 000 – ₦250,000 per month.
- Experienced Pharmacists (5 years and above): ₦200,000 – ₦400,000 per month.
PHARMACISTS SALARY IN GOVERNMENT HEALTH AGENCIES
The monthly salary of pharmacists in the government health agencies in Nigeria is about ₦150,000. Starting salary for newly employed pharmacists is between the range of ₦75,000 – ₦100,000 while experienced pharmacists in government agencies are paid up to ₦250,000 naira and above per month.
The salaries of pharmacists at top government health agencies such as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA and other sister agencies is dependent on the years which the pharmacist has spent in the civil service as well as their educational qualification.
SALARY OF PHARMACISTS IN EDUCATION
Pharmacists in education who work as lecturers in any of the state or federal universities in Nigeria are paid monthly salaries in the range between ₦200,000 – ₦500,000.
SALARY OF PHARMACISTS IN MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES
On the average, multinational companies pay pharmacists between ₦150,000 – ₦500,000 depending on the level of the pharmacist in the company. Most multinational companies employ entry level pharmacists as pharma sales people or medical representatives and with time, these med reps work their way into top managerial positions in the company.
SALARY OF PHARMACISTS WHO ARE SELF EMPLOYED
Depending on the location and the type of drugs that a self employed pharmacist sells, on the average, these type of pharmacists can make monthly salaries from ₦200,000 and above.
If you desire to pursue a career in pharmacy in the country, you should first of all have interest in the sciences and science subjects at primary and secondary school level. After this comes your tertiary education in which you have intentionally decided to study Pharmacy in the university as a course.
To be eligible to study pharmacy in the university, you must have a credit pass at least in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, including Mathematics and English Language at O Level. Then you are also required to pass the compulsory Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination, UTME with a considerably high score.
UTME cut-off marks differ from institution to institution. Once you are successful, you will be required to write the post UTME which you must pass with a reasonably high score as well if you are to fulfil your dreams of becoming a pharmacist.
During the course of your university education, you are required to go for a compulsory one-year internship programme that will expose you to life as a pharmacist in a health facility or a teaching hospital. During your internship, you will know more about your chosen career path and interact with other pharmacists in the profession.
On successfully completing your university education, you will be inducted into the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, PCN which certifies you as a bonafide pharmacist in the country after which you are required to go for the mandatory one year of national service to your fatherland under the NYSC scheme. After completing your youth service, you will be presented with a certificate of national service which gives you the eligibility to be employed anywhere in the country.