How much do locum pharmacists earn in your area?

Friday 29 December 2017

No matter what area they're in, freelancers always need to be aware of how much they could be earning. If you're under or over-charging, it can harm your business; either you end up working hard for less money than you should be, or you end up losing out on custom because potential clients see you as too expensive.

This applies in the world of freelance - or locum - pharmacists, and a recent survey has revealed the average price these self-employed professionals can charge. Chemist and Druggist (C+D) surveyed 275 locum pharmacists to find out what they earn, and how happy they are with it.

While many might expect locums working in the capital to earn the most - as this is the case with many professions - London was actually one of the worst places for pay. Locums working in the city charge an average of £19.79 per hour, which is lower than any region besides Northern Ireland, with an average hourly rate of £16.57.

The highest-paying region in the UK for locum pharmacists was Wales, where a freelance chemist can charge an average of £22.50 per hour. However, this rate has actually dropped since 2015, when the average hourly rate was £23.50. It is perhaps for this reason that 60 per cent of Welsh locums reported being dissatisfied with their rate.

London was home to the most unhappy locums, with 76 per cent saying they were dissatisfied with their rate. This is perhaps unsurprising; as well as being some of the lowest-paid freelance pharmacists in the UK, the average hourly rate in London was found to have dropped by 12p since 2015, while living costs have increased.

However, overall pay for locum pharmacists has risen across the UK. The average hourly rate for the whole country is £20.84, which is an increase of 34p compared to 2015. This is the first time locum pay has risen since 2009, which bodes well for 2018. However, it is still not close to the high of £24 per hour seen in 2007.
If you're wondering how much you should be earning, you can use our take-home pay calculator or book in to see us for a free take-home pay illustration. This is a key question at the heart of freelancing, so it is important you know what you should be charging.

By Victoria McDonnell

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