Post # 1
I’m a pharmacist from the US and recently picked up my life to move to Australia, where my Fiance lives. I knew I was getting a pay cut working as a pharmacist in Australia but now thats its starring at me in the face, its really hard to swallow. I’m looking at a 40-50k decrease in salary. It would be fine if I didn’t have 100k+ in loans to pay off, the Fiance will help with the loans and he makes 6 figures, but I can’t help but think I worked hard to get a doctorate degree to make good money and now i’m getting paid crap! just venting.
Post # 2
I totally understand what you are going through, being a pharmacist myself… My Fiance recently moved to the US and I know that there ain’t many pharmacist jobs in his area which kinda complicates the possibility of me moving with him… So we are a long distance couple now : ( Even if I stay here salaries are decreasing to horrible numbers in the province next to mine ex: 15$ an hour, just the same as the technician …I do feel like I chose the wrong field to be in right now but I had no way of predicting the economy and all back then, and I would not do anything else in the world!
Post # 3
Twty6: I’m really surprised by this. I’m an Aussie and as far as I know pharmacists get paid really well. I was also under the impression that most salaries in Australia are higher than their counter-parts in the US (though our cost of living is much higher).
It really sucks but I guess my only advice would be to find other ways to “make up for” the pay cut, such as making cooking your new hobby and learning how to cook awesome budget meals at home. Buying a DVD on sale rather than going to the movies or perhaps even learning to sew your own clothes if you are so inclined.
I’m sorry that you’ve had to make such a sacrifice but hopefully you love living in Australia at least enough to nearly compensate.
Post # 4
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Twty6: I would be so excited about moving to a foreign country, especially a cool one like Australia, that I would get over it fast. Make sure you and your husband agree on how you plan to pay back your loans (since you’re married, his increased salary is your increased salary too.) You can always look aroun for other jobs that pay better (if you’re in a high income area maybe a private pharmacy or hospital pays their pharmacists more.)
Post # 5
thesummerangel: Being from Canada, do you need extra education to be able to practice in the States? Jobs are hard to come by now in the US but you can always find one if you go to the middle of nowhere areas, and at least they’re still paying in the 6 figures right now. It may be worth looking into if you end up making just $15 an hour, thats really crazy!
Everdeen: I was really surprised too at how little pharmacists in Oz make. I’ll be working as an intern which is $20/hr and once i’ll fully registered, chemist warehouse pays their new pharmacists around $26-28/hr. I was making $50 an hour as a new pharmacist in the US. I really don’t know why they make so little in Oz, the level of responsibility seems to be the same.
beachbride1216: Oz isn’t such a big deal to me because i’ve been here so many times visiting my Fiance when we were dating. I love where I was in the US, cheap clothes, good/cheap food, had an awesome job, all my family/friends are there. I think what makes me frustrated the most is that I have to go through so many steps to be able to work as a pharmacist and once thats finished (hopefully within 2 months) i’ll be making so little compared to my friends in the States. Hospital does pay more but it’ll take me several years to get to the same pay I got starting out in the States. Fiance is fully aware of my loans and he knows he’ll be making the payments for me. We’ve talked about giving it a try for the next year and see how things go, if i’m unhappy in Oz then we will move back to the States.
Post # 6
You get a lot more from the State in Oz so many of the things you’re used to paying out of your pocket for, you get for free there. So it evens out. Startung with health care.
Post # 7
Twty6: No I don’t need extra education really, I have a PharmD too… I want to work in MA and they don’t even require the foreign exam, only the NAPLEX after doing a 2 month internship, but the thing is, it’s impossible to find an internship! All big chains refuse foreigners since jobs are lacking and all… It’s true the salary is still in the 6 figures probably, but the chances of landing such a job is small for me and I can’t go farther than this cause Fiance is studying in Boston for at least 5 yrs… :s
Oh well, I hope your job is fun and that the cost of living is cheaper! I rly don’t have any idea how much life costs in Australia… Also, it’s a good thing your Fiance makes a lot of money, mine doesn’t at all right now so I can’t even say, “wtv if I can’t find a job, I can still live off him” nope… Not my intent anyway! I studied so much so that I could work!!!
Post # 8
Twty6:Unfortunately you only need a 4 year undergrad degree to be a pharmacist in Australia (like most jobs), rather than the extra study you undertook. Plus our study is sort of “free” to an extent.
But given that you will most likely be much older and more experienced than other inters I’m sure that you’ll move up the ranks quickly. Also I would be looking for a job in a small pharmacist, certainly not Chemist Warehouse which is all about discounted wares. Many pharmacists are right next to doctor’s surgeries and in the more affluent suburbs those patients are willing to pay more. My BC pills can be $50 in one suburb and $80 (not joking) in another – same brand. I’m assuming that jobs in those areas pay much better.
Please don’t take this the wrong way but if I was in your shoes I would start to feel the loss of prowess between my other pharmacy friends, due to my decreased income. The key therefore, for me, would be to throw myself into the new country and make them feel jealous of my amazing new lifestyle.
As for the expense of clothes and makeup, I assume that you’ll travel back home to see your family. You get two 25kg suitcases to and from the US on most airlines – pack very, very little and go all out shopping when you go back home. That way you can avoid too much expensive shopping in Oz.
Post # 9
Where abouts in Oz are you moving to? It sucks that you’re getting a pay cut, but the lifestyle in Australia is great. It’s a very laid back culture, and the climate is really conducive to outdoor sports and activities. Also remember that you’ll presumably be moving in with your Fiance so bills, rent etc will be split.
Post # 10
Do you know what?? I was actually going to argue that the OP could not possibly be right, and then I did my research.
Holy crud. Pharmacists are paid like crap in Australia. Total pay is estimated between AU$47,823 – AU$87,538, and it would make sense that OP would start at the bottom. I have a job that I don’t need a degree for and earn at the highest end of that. One site states starting pay as low as $38,000pa.
On the plus side, Australia is awesome. I hope you love it here.
Post # 11
I can feel your pain… Darling Husband and I are both pharmacists with massive loans. Taking that pay cut would hurt. We actually went to Sydney for our honeymoon and loved it there. I wish we could move there lol, but cost of living is a little higher. Good luck!
Post # 12
I would keep looking into it. I live in Australia, used to work at a pharmacy and have pharmacist friends and they all get paid over $120k (australian). But yes i agree, the cost of living in certainly high.
Post # 13
Everdeen: The salary thing is true in general, but medicine/pharmacy etc are a big exception.
In my field (teaching) for example, I would be paid almost double to work in NSW than the state I live in (I’m a kiwi and looked into both)
Post # 14
Everdeen: I’ll definitely bring an empty suitcase to the States but gosh, I can’t imagine shopping once/year hahhaa. I loaded up on a lot of clothes before I came and just went to Hong Kong and shopped there so hopefully I don’t feel the urge to go shopping soon. I’ll definitely try to immerse in the experience of living in Oz, i’m sitting at home unemployed at the moment so that probably doesn’t help my situation. I’ll be working in a few weeks so hopefully life will feel a little normal then.
Horseradish: Hopefully you’re right about everything balancing out, i’ve yet to experience it! The 9% super is nice though.
thesummerangel: Have you looked into internships at independent pharmacies? they tend to be more lenient. Maybe you can do the internship without pay?
aliciaspinnet: I’m in melbourne. Weather has been great, getting a little cold but definitely nice without snow. I know the lifestyle is easy going, maybe i’ll see how awesome it is once I start working.
phuketbride2014: Hmm… were they pharmacy owners? I know managers that make 35 per hour but I haven’t seen higher pay than that.
Post # 15
I am more surprised that pharmacists are paid so highly in the States to be honest! The salary for pharmacists in Australia does not surprise me at all. But a $40k-$50k decrease is huge, especially considering that the cost of living here is much higher than it is in the States. As a PP said, maybe try to apply at different pharmacies, Chemist Warehouse is all discounted goods so it would pay their pharmacists a lot less than other places I am assuming.
I hope you like living here and I hope it makes up for the change in salary/lifestyle!