optom vs pharm

does anybody have an insight into both fields? seems like pharmacy will have more job opportunities in the future, but pay is low. Content wise both sound interesting.
Any optometry graduates know how difficult it is to find jobs after finishing?vs pharmacy?


Regular Member
Hi, I am a pharmacy student at UQ and just recently attended the NAPSA Congress 2015 on the Gold Coast. There are mixed messages about the current situation in this industry but the main point is that there are many (19) pharmacy schools in Australia pumping out ~1000 graduates each year and the metropolitan areas are getting quite saturated, yet the rural areas are in great need of pharmacists. In terms of pay, yes, it is relatively low (in the cities) so if you're in it for the money, you are looking at the wrong place (if you don't want to go rural). There are many threats to the viability of pharmacy including price disclosure, discount pharmacy chains, pharmacies in supermarkets etc but there are some organisations that are advocating for change.

Right now, there is quite a negative perception about the future of pharmacy, but also an opportunity. QLD has successfully completed a vaccination pilot where pharmacists vaccinated healthy adults in pharmacies around QLD with positive results. WA and SA are now planning to go ahead as well. Many people believed that vaccination in pharmacies are great as they are easily accessible, affordable and really solidify their trust in pharmacists. This is a massive opportunity to lessen the burden on GPs and also give pharmacists a wider scope of practice. Another opportunity for pharmacists is to widen their scope of practice to give health checks and provide different health services within the pharmacy.

A model where the pharmacists should come out of the dispensary and have more presence in the front shop interacting with patients (which we have been trained to do rather than hide behind the in the dispensary) is what many are striving for so that the profession is viable, sustainable and addresses the needs of the community.

There are a number of other views out there, but as a pharmacy student, I need to look at the situation from a certain angle because if all we do is complain about the future instead of facilitating change, who else is? I am sure there are some other students on medstudentsonline that can contribute their own views as well.

I can't give much of an insight on optom, because I didn't actually do the prerequisite subject to get into it LOL. But in terms of pay, optom graduates do have a significantly higher pay than pharmacists (but then again, the data uses pharmacist interns pay as a comparison).
Thanks so much. I guess I should also post in the optometry forum. There is also a negative perception about the future of optometry, making the decision so difficult. I guess it comes down to interest.