The Difference Between A Chemist And A Pharmacist

Difference Between A Chemist And A Pharmacist

Are you struggling to understand the difference between a pharmacist and a chemist? Well, you are not alone. Most people are not aware that these are two different professions. So, it’s common for people to use the words pharmacist and chemist interchangeably in Australia.

It may appear as though they do the same thing, but there is a huge difference in their training and the work they do. Below are 3 of the major differences:

pharmacist looking at a drug


To qualify to work as a pharmacist, you must study the science of pharmacy. You need a tertiary degree in pharmacy to be a certified pharmacist in Australia. You also need to complete a postgraduate course. Many pursue a Master of Pharmacy however students often also partake in postgraduate study in related fields such as anatomy, biology, and chemistry.

For chemists, they are educated in the science of chemistry. To work as a chemist in Australia, you need a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a related field. Unlike pharmacists, you don’t need a master’s degree. However, there are some essential courses such as inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, pharmacy, and physical chemistry.

pharmacists at a drugstore

Duties and Responsibilities

If you thought a pharmacists’ job is purely to fill the prescription as ordered by a doctor, you would be wrong. Prescribing medication is just one of the many things they are trained to do. Pharmacists are specialists who check for negative drug interactions. They also check for the side effects of various drugs. They can also administer immunisations such as flu shots.

For the chemists, they work hand in hand with pharmacists to develop new and improved drugs, such as the Nobel Prize winning medicine Ivermectin. They specialise in studying properties and building molecules. Chemists conduct complex research projects on various drugs. They are the experts who conduct analysis and research on the development of new drugs. You can also find them selling drugs at your local chemist shop. But how about in comparison to a doctor? We spoke about the differences between a doctor and a pharmacist in a previous post.

chemists working in the lab

Work Environment

Both chemists and pharmacists can work within a range of health-related fields. A pharmacist can work as a clinical pharmacist. These are experts in the therapeutic use of medicine and mostly works in hospitals. Their job is to evaluate medication therapy and make recommendations to the patient. They can also work as consultant pharmacists, college professors, or pharmaceutical industry pharmacists.

For the chemists, they can work in any of the many drug stores around Australia. There are other fields such as analytical, inorganic, medicinal, and physical chemists. They work mostly in labs formulating new drugs or improving existing drugs. If you’re looking for pharmacy medical supplies, contact Think Pharmacy today for quality products at bulk prices.