Pharmacy technicians are trained to take orders, but the cost of training and living in a small town can be devastating for families.
The ABC has heard that trainees are also expected to live on less than $100 a week and are expected to earn $5 an hour for most jobs.
Some trainees even work in cafes and restaurants.
Here’s what you need to know about pharmacy technicians.
The cost of living is also high 1:27 In 2016, the average cost of a year in Australia was $26,038, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
In 2017, the figure had risen to $29,945, with inflation averaging 0.3 per cent.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that median annual wages in Victoria had risen by 7.1 per cent from 2017 to 2018.
Pharmacists also receive an annual stipend of about $50,000, which is about double the $28,000 the average wage in Australia is.
In 2016-17, the median monthly rent in Melbourne was $2,873, according a report by housing agency Homebush.
Pharmacy technician training can be stressful 1:25 The average annual salary for pharmacy technicians is $31,100 in Victoria, according the Australian Institute of Pharmaceutical Industries.
In 2018-19, the state’s average weekly wage was $31.50, compared to $30.90 in Queensland.
In some states, pharmacy technicians are not eligible for unemployment benefits.
Training can take years to complete 1:15 Training can be lengthy for some pharmacists, especially those who are new to the industry.
For example, one trainee in a Victorian pharmacy training centre said it took him six months to train to be able to read prescriptions and take out a prescription.
“I did not have enough confidence in myself and my skills,” he said.
“My first day, I had to get the prescription done, but I couldn’t get it done.”
Pharmacists are often offered temporary work on temporary contracts.
The minimum wage for those contracts is $15 an hour, but many trainees have been working for more than 10 years.
There are a lot of job opportunities available in rural and regional Victoria Pharmacists can find work in rural areas and in remote areas where there is little or no infrastructure.
“There are a number of pharmacists in Victoria that are qualified and trained to work in regional areas and remote areas,” said Victoria’s regional pharmacy training organisation, the Royal Victorian Society of Pharmacists.
“In regional Victoria, there are a significant number of people who can be trained to fill prescription orders and also make appointments for their patients.”
The costs are high, but there is hope for some pharmacy technicians 1:12 The Commonwealth pays $20 per prescription, and some states and territories pay $20 to $50 per prescription.
The federal government has committed $100 million towards training pharmacists.
Trainees have access to health insurance The average Victorian employer provides health insurance for its pharmacists and trainees.
“They can access insurance as well, if they have a pre-existing medical condition, or if they’re receiving an acute care prescription,” Dr Mariana Burt said.
There is an opportunity to grow in the industry The Victorian Government has said pharmacists can work in a variety of jobs, including retail, but a recent study by the Australian Medical Association suggested pharmacy technicians could grow.
Pharmacist training in Victoria is also in high demand.
In the next few years, the Victorian Government plans to create more than 100 pharmacists with a total of about 10,000 trainees, and more than 1,000 apprentices.
Some employers pay better than the minimum wage Some pharmacists who work in Melbourne have reported higher pay rates than those working in other parts of the state.
There’s a long way to go before pharmacists become pharmacists The Victorian Medical Association estimates that around 1,500 pharmacists are trained nationally.
The Victorian pharmacy technician is a young and promising talent Pharmacists in Victoria are often younger and more ambitious than those in other states, and it’s not clear if the industry is ready for them.
Pharmacies have traditionally relied on the education of their staff to improve their skills, but that’s changing.
The government is investing in pharmacists’ training The Victorian Department of Primary Industries has invested more than $10 million in pharmacist training.
Pharmists are part of the solution to drug overdoses in Australia Pharmacies are one of the safest workplaces in the country, with an average of 2.7 people dying every day in Australia, according an independent assessment commissioned by the Victorian government.
You don’t have to be a pharmacist to be trained Pharmacists aren’t required to be pharmacists to be licensed to practice in Victoria.
There aren’t many pharmacists left to train