About the Job

Air Force Pharmacists are employed as both logisticians and clinicians. It is a unique role comprising health logistics, planning and administration, along with more traditional elements of community (and occasionally hospital) pharmacy practice. 

Air Force Pharmacists are integral members of the Defence health continuum. During your service you can expect a wide-range of employments opportunities both within Australia and overseas in support of ADF operations. 

Duties may include a mix of both health logistics and clinical duties.

Clinical Duties: Working within a Defence Health Facility your role as the clinical pharmacist will include dispensing medications and management of pharmaceutical accounts.

Health Logistics Duties: Ordering and stock control, policy management, health equipment management, transport of medical equipment and pharmaceutical accounts.

You will be expected to take on a leadership role managing and leading a health logistics team and providing advice to commanders and higher command. 

Pharmacists are also an integral element of the Royal Australian Air Force Specialist Reserve (RAAFSR) which is designed to provide a broad range of health services to complement and supplement those maintained in the Permanent Air Force (PAF).


This entry method is currently not recruiting

Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

Download

Salary & Allowances

In the Air Force you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.

In addition to your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.


For more details download our Salary Scales.

Read our Conditions of Service.


Locations

You may be posted to a number of Defence establishments around Australia, including (but not limited to) Amberley (QLD), Williamtown (NSW), Canberra (ACT), Richmond (NSW), Tindal (NT) or Edinburgh (SA).

Opportunities also exist for postings to Army and Navy Bases within Australia however these postings are limited and dependent on experience.


Requirements

Age

Applicants must be a minimum of 17 years of age on day of entry. Maximum age on entry is 56 years of age.

Education & Experience

You must:

  • Have a university degree in Pharmacy (BPharm;) or equivalent
  • Have undergone a recognised graduate training year and
  • Be registered by the Pharmacy Registration Board of an Australian State or Territory. Evidence of registration is required.

Degree qualified officers normally start their careers at one rank higher that non-graduate officers.

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Period of Service

When you embark on a career as a Pharmacist through Graduate Entry you'll be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of three years.

Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to ADF needs and your suitability for further service. You may tender your resignation at any time provided you do not have an outstanding IMPS obligation and give a minimum of three months' notice.

Additional Requirements

Licence Requirements:

At a minimum, candidates must hold a valid Australian State or Territory provisional/probationary C Class Drivers Licence upon enlistment/appointment. Candidates with suspended or cancelled licences will not be eligible to join until the suspension or cancellation has been lifted or has expired.

Aptitude

Online Aptitude Testing (OAT) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

OAT is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information about OAT can be found in the Guide to Online Aptitude Testing for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in an Online Aptitude Test and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Online Aptitude Testing Example Questions.

Citizenship

To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have a security clearance appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial information
  • Travel

Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.

Training

Military Training

Initial Officer Training: 17 Weeks

Immediately upon joining the Air Force, direct entry officers will normally undertake the Initial Officer Course of 17 weeks duration. This is a live-in course completed at RAAF Base East Sale, located 220 kilometres east of Melbourne (VIC).

The major elements of the course involve introduction to military life, Air Force Values and attitudes, Ground Defence and Weapons training, Leadership and Personal Development, Communication Skills and Air Force Operations studies.

Further details on officer training are available on the Officers Training School website.

During Military (Initial Officer) Training and (Initial) Employment Training (if applicable), members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.

Employment Training

Operational Health Support Course - 7 Days

The Operational Health Support Course is an Air Force course that instructs both Medical and Allied health personnel on all aspects of deployable health including preparation for a deployment and familiarisation of equipment currently in use. The aim of this course is to provide an introduction into the Air Force deployable health capability.

Training is conducted at Health Operational Conversion Unit – HOCU at RAAF Base Amberley.


Health Officer Induction Course
- 3.5 days

A 3.5 day course for Air Force health professionals. This will provide an overview of Air Force health capabilities both expeditionary (deployed) and garrison (local – in barracks).

The aim of this course is to introduce you to other Air Force health categories and what they each contribute to the ADF health continuum.

Training is conducted at Health Operational Conversion Unit – HOCU at RAAF Base Amberley.


Logistics Officer Initial Course
- 6 Weeks

During this six week course, you will receive logistics specialist instruction. This is necessary as you will have broad health logistics responsibilities, which not only entail provision of medications but also equipment management and coordination of other supplies and services necessary to support health units.

During your first year of service you will also be trained in specific pharmacy and stock control computer systems which you will be using in your role as a pharmaceutical officer.

Training is conducted at RAAF School of Administration and Logistics Training – RAAF Base, Wagga Wagga.

 

Further Education and Training

As your career progresses the opportunity to undertake further logistic management and planning training will be provided. You may also have the opportunity to gain further professional qualifications through RAAF-supported post-graduate education.

 

Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

Download

Salary Information

In the Air Force you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your salary increases as you progress through training.

In addition to your salary you could receive a variety of allowances specific to your service - plus superannuation at a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.

Your starting salary

When you first join the Air Force and while studying for your degree at the university of your choice, you will be paid:

4 years to graduation                     $34,633
3 years to graduation                     $40,790
2 years to graduation                     $46,947
In final year                                      $53,104

Please note these figures do not include compulsory deductions for tax, meals, accommodation and utilities (as applicable).

Salaries continue to increase based on your rank and years of service.

In addition to this package you will receive free medical and dental care, substantial housing and accommodation subsidies.

For more details download our Salary Scales.

Locations

You may be posted to a number of Defence establishments around Australia, including (but not limited to) Amberley (QLD), Williamtown (NSW), Canberra (ACT), Richmond (NSW), Tindal (NT) or Edinburgh (SA). 

Opportunities also exist for postings to Army and Navy Bases within Australia however these postings are limited and dependent on experience.
 

Requirements

Education & Experience

To be eligible for an Air Force Undergraduate sponsorship, applicants must have completed the first year of your tertiary studies.

You can commence your application process upon successful completion of the first semester of your university degree- Pharmacy, however you will not be offered sponsorship until completion of your first year of study.

After graduating you will be required to complete one year's pre-registration training at an approved pharmacy or pharmacy department and gain registration from the Pharmacy Registration Board of an Australian State or Territory.

This entry mode attracts a debt roughly similar to the maximum rate of HECS costs ($10,000 per annum). In general terms, this debt accrues (increases) whilst you are undertaking study, with the maximum debt reached on completion of study. Once the period of study has ended, the debt begins to acquit (reduce) for the remainder of your Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS). Once the IMPS period is complete, there is no remaining debt.

Applicants who are currently in Year 12, or due to finish Year 12 and are able to provide confirmation of acceptance/enrolment into a relevant degree pathway will be considered on a case by case basis to commence an application. Applicants will then be able to progress to Officer Selection Board prior to gaining first semester university results. All applicants must be able to confirm successful university results before appointment.

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Period of Service

You will be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) dependant on your length of sponsorship. Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may tender your resignation at any time provided you do not have an outstanding Initial Minimum Period of Service obligation and provide a minimum of three months notice.

The length of IMPS in total will depend on the duration of sponsorship. Any requirement for post-graduation experience, eg: medical residency, legal articles will be incorporated in your IMPS.

Your Careers Coach can advise on how IMPS will relate to your chosen occupation.

Additional Requirements

Licence Requirements:

At a minimum, candidates must hold a valid Australian State or Territory provisional/probationary C Class Drivers Licence upon enlistment/appointment. Candidates with suspended or cancelled licences will not be eligible to join until the suspension or cancellation has been lifted or has expired.

Aptitude

Online Aptitude Testing (OAT) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

OAT is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information about OAT can be found in the Guide to Online Aptitude Testing for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in an Online Aptitude Test and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Online Aptitude Testing Example Questions.

Citizenship

To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have a security clearance appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial information
  • Travel

Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.

Training

Military Training

Initial Officer Training: 1 week + 17 Weeks

During your first year of sponsorship you'll attend a one-week (1) familiarisation Course at RAAF Base East Sale, VIC. This will introduce you to basic military protocols and procedures.

Then following graduation and completion of any post graduate training you will undertake the Initial Officer Course of seventeen (17) weeks duration. 

The major elements of the course involve introduction to military life, Air Force values and attitudes, ground defence and weapons training, leadership and personal development, communication skills and Air Force operational studies. 

During Military (OTS) Training and any subsequent (Initial) Employment Training, members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.

Employment Training

Operational Health Support Course - 7 Days

The Operational Health Support Course is an Air Force course that instructs both Medical and Allied health personnel on all aspects of deployable health including preparation for a deployment and
familiarisation with equipment currently in use. The aim of this course is to provide an introduction into the Air Force deployable health capability.

Training is conducted at Health Operational Conversion Unit – HOCU at RAAF Base Amberley.


Health Officer Induction Course
- 3.5 days

A 3.5 day course for Air Force health professionals. This will provide an overview of Air Force health capabilities both expeditionary (deployed) and garrison (local – in barracks). The aim of this course is to introduce you to other Air Force health categories and what they each contribute to the ADF health continuum.

Training is conducted at Health Operational Conversion Unit – HOCU at RAAF Base Amberley.


Logistics Officer Initial Course
- 6 Weeks

During this six week course, you will receive logistics specialist instruction. This is necessary as you will have broad health logistics responsibilities, which not only entail provision of medications but also equipment management and coordination of other supplies and services necessary to support health units.

During your first year of service you will also be trained in specific pharmacy and stock control computer systems which you will be using in your role as a pharmaceutical officer.

Training is conducted at RAAF School of Administration and Logistics Training – RAAF Base Wagga Wagga.

 

Further Education and Training

As your career progresses the opportunity to undertake further logistic management and planning training will be provided. You may also have the opportunity to gain further professional qualifications through RAAF-supported post-graduate education.