Payment Structure for Full-Time, Part-Time, Relief, and Locum Pharmacy Work

How You Will Be Compensated for Your Pharmacy Work

An interesting topic that pharmacists often pose to us is why their salary/wage varies from location to location? A typical pharmacist would have gone through seven years of university while putting in long hours of studying, only to see such a smaller return on investment when picking up relief shifts through an agency compared to finding a relief shift themselves. A common misconception is that agencies take more than they should and undercut the pharmacists brought on to work – this, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many factors that affect how much a pharmacist gets paid. These can include: the type of pharmacy, RX volume of pharmacy, location, pharmacy owners and RPI Consulting Group’s fees. Here is a breakdown of how these play a role in how much you get paid:

Type of Pharmacy

There are many different types of pharmacies, including retail, central-fill locations, methadone clinics, health and wellness clinics, long term care facilities, etc. Each type plays a significant role in how much you get paid, as each one has a certain skill level required for a pharmacist to work there. When a pharmacy owner goes through an agency and gets charged for a staffing service, they expect the very best. This means that the pharmacist coming in has to be competent in that field of pharmacy and has to be knowledgeable in using their computer system. More complicated locations will get charged more and the more experienced pharmacists will be paid more— it’s that simple.
Pharmacy Owners
When the pharmacy owner decides to work with an agency, the fee structure is made very clear from the outset. When you receive a much lower pay than expected it is due to the amount the pharmacy owner is willing to pay the pharmacist to get the job done. Some pharmacy owners don’t take into consideration that if they are only looking to pay the same amount they pay their employees, it means the relief pharmacist will be paid substantially less due to overhead costs and other fees.


The location of a pharmacy plays a major role in payment structure. The higher the difficulty it is for a pharmacist to reach the location, the higher their pay for reimbursement. Pharmacies located in large cities, such as Toronto and Vancouver, will generally have the lowest rate of pay, due to the convenience of being easily accessible by car or transit. These locations also tend to have a large number of pharmacists who are readily available to work there. As you move further away from cities – say, to Northern Ontario – the number of pharmacists willing to work there will be greatly reduced, and a higher rate of pay must be given.

RPI Consulting Group’s Fees

As recruiters, we at RPI Consulting Group work tirelessly in speaking to pharmacy managers and owners to build a strong lasting relationship with them and gain their trust to give us the opportunity to fill their shifts. We put in the hard work and we must be paid for it. We are also required to pay certain expenses to ensure the law is followed, such as matching contributions to CPP and EI, as well as WSIB to keep you safe. These mandatory expenses must be deducted and cuts into how much a relief pharmacists can be paid.

Contact Us!

Don’t forget that if you ever have any concerns or questions about your rate of pay with RPI, feel free to bring them up directly with your Account Manager. We are always here to help!

Written by Aquib Ansari ( )

RPI Consulting Group Inc.

416.850.9809 (ext. 231)

Toll-free: 1-866-505-3383 (ext. 231)

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