what is a pharmacist?

As a pharmacist, you handle prescriptions and guide customers on the proper use of medications. You fill prescriptions issued by healthcare professionals. If the medications are unavailable, you advise patients on alternatives and explain the possible side effects of the drugs.

A pharmacist typically works in a chemist's shop dispensing prescription medications. You help customers choose over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for minor ailments. As a pharmacist, you answer health-related questions, from inquiries about various drugs to methods of use. Some pharmacists also work in hospitals and research facilities. The career has evolved from a historical focus on the distribution of medicines to an emphasis on safe and rational drug use. Pharmacists provide a pharmaceutical service that revolves around preventative health care and monitoring medication use. That’s why all prescription drugs are issued with a valid prescription from a licensed Greek physician. Restricted medications require special permission from the National Organisation for Medicines.

The provision of pharmaceutical care relies on understanding the characteristics of medications, from dosage formulations to the dispersal of drugs in the body. You should also understand drugs' interactions with the human body to determine their effects.

Personal attributes necessary for pharmacists include compassion and genuine care for patients. It is also important to be accurate to avoid administering the wrong medication or incorrect dosages.

Would working as a pharmacist suit your precision and attentiveness to details? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a pharmacist role.

pharmacist jobs

average pharmacist salary

According to the Economic Research Institute, pharmacists in Greece earn an average salary of €47,000 per year. The average hourly rate is €23, and you can earn bonuses of approximately €1,100, depending on your employer. Your salary fluctuates based on experience and educational qualifications. In an entry-level role, you start with minimal experience and a lower salary of €32,000 annually. When you have the highest qualifications and experience, your earnings can increase to over €59,000 per year.

what factors affect the salary of a pharmacist?

Your earnings as a pharmacist depend on your experience and qualifications. Pharmacists with a licence earn more compared to trainee pharmacists with minimal experience. Having a doctorate or PhD in Pharmacy also attracts a higher salary.

Aside from education, your employer also influences your earnings. You earn a different salary working in a hospital or private pharmaceutical enterprise. The size of the organisation also determines your earnings. When you work in a small community pharmacy, you earn a lower salary due to the limited resources. Working in large hospitals involves handling complex responsibilities, which attracts higher pharmacist salaries.

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types of pharmacists

Some of the types of pharmacists include:

smiling man wearing white coat
smiling man wearing white coat

working as a pharmacist

If you love science and medicine, being a pharmacist is an ideal career that allows you to help people. Read on for details on the tasks and responsibilities involved in the role of a pharmacist.


pharmacist skills and education

To work as a pharmacist in Greece, you require the following educational qualifications:

  • Education: you require a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy approved by the Hellenic National Recognition and Information Centre (Hellenic NARIC). The undergraduate course takes five years, comprising four years of theory and laboratory practice, and the fifth year is full-time in-service training in a community pharmacy or pharmaceutical department at the hospital. You can also pursue a Master's in Clinical Pharmacy to enhance your qualifications.
  • Licence and certifications: after graduation, if you wish to work in a hospital or community pharmacy, obtain a licence by finishing the board exams organised by the Greek Ministry of Health. You should also consider joining the Panhellenic Association of Hospital Pharmacists.

competencies and characteristics of pharmacists

Important skills for pharmacists include:

  • Accuracy: as a pharmacist, it is important to dispense proper medications to patients after reviewing their prescriptions. You also check medical histories to avoid potentially dangerous interactions. Attention to detail and a high level of accuracy help you provide patients with the correct medicines and appropriate methods of use.
  • Problem-solving skills: you assist patients in solving pharmaceutical challenges, such as identifying medication from damaged labels. Since you analyse how various medications interact with the human body, you help doctors find the best pharmaceutical solution. Problem-solving skills are useful in working out the best possible solutions.
  • Communication skills: you require exceptional communication skills to explain complex medical concepts to patients. Providing clear and concise information is important to ensure patients do not misuse prescriptions.
  • Critical thinking skills: as a pharmacist, you are expected to use critical thinking skills when determining the medications to offer patients with various health issues. You require extensive knowledge of the symptoms of minor health issues to provide patients with effective solutions to manage the side effects.
  • Computer proficiency: as a pharmacist, you use computer systems to retrieve prescription orders and print patient instructions. Computer knowledge helps you send insurance claims and use pharmacy management software.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a pharmacist.

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