How To Become A Pharmacist In Ontario? (2023)

A pharmacist is a healthcare professional who specializes in the right way to use, store, preserve, and provide medicine. They can educate you on how to use medicines and inform you of any potential adverse effects of the medicine that has been prescribed to you. They fill prescriptions written by doctors and other healthcare professionals. Pharmacists also help with drug development and testing. Pharmacies, medical clinics, hospitals, universities, and government agencies provide employment opportunities for pharmacists.

To become a Pharmacist in Ontario, you must possess a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from a Canadian University, complete a national board examination through the Pharmacy Examining board of Canada, and complete an internship or apprenticeship program to become licensed to be a Pharmacist in Ontario.

Plants and other natural substances have been used as medicine for thousands of years. Professional Pharmacy, on the other hand, emerged as a distinct profession in the mid-nineteenth century. Individuals receive prescription medications from pharmacists. They also give patients and other health professionals advice on how to use and take medications as well as the proper dosage and side effects. They also ensure that drugs will not interact negatively with any other prescriptions you are taking or any health issues you have. They can also give advice on things like home healthcare supplies and medical equipment, as well as general health issues like food and exercise. Some of the major functions of a pharmacist include;

  • Being responsible for the quality of drugs supplied to patients
  • Ensuring that the supply of the drugs is within the law
  • Ensuring that the drugs prescribed to the patients are suitable.
  • Advising patients about medicine, including how to take them, what reactions may occur, and answering patients’ questions.
  • Supervising the medicine supply chain and ensuring that pharmacy premises and systems are fit for purpose.
  • Responding to patients’ symptoms and advising on medicines for sale in pharmacies.

How to Become a Pharmacist in Ontario?

Becoming a Pharmacy in Ontario requires you to have strong educational qualifications as it requires a university degree to have a chance of having a license to practice pharmacy in Ontario. Becoming a pharmacist requires a lot of skill and it usually takes about 6 years of study and successfully passing the board before you can become a licensed Pharmacist.

Here are the steps that need to be taken to become a pharmacist in the province of Ontario;

Undergraduate Study

After high school, you need to study in the University in what is called the undergraduate program. University usually takes three to four years to complete but you can apply for the Pharmacy program after two years as long as you have taken the courses required for admission into the Pharmacy program. It is usually advisable to study sciences during your undergraduate study to make you better prepared for your Pharmacy program.

Pharmacy Program

The Pharmacy program is the next step in becoming a licensed pharmacist in Ontario. The pharmacy program usually takes four years in which you will earn the Pharm.D. degree which is a bachelor’s in Pharmacy degree. The pharmacy program usually costs about $21,000 per year which makes it one of the more expensive courses to study.

Pharmacy Board Exam

After the completion of your four-year pharmacy program and earning your bachelor in Pharmacy degree (Pharm. D.) the next step in becoming a licensed pharmacist is sitting for the national board examination through the Pharmacy Examination Board of Canada (PEBC). Writing and passing this examination will certify you as a professional and your license to practice pharmacy can be gotten after passing this examination. The examination costs $665 for students that got their pharmacy degree in Canada and $850 for students that got their bachelor’s degree outside the country. 


After completing the national board examination, you have to undergo an internship or apprenticeship in other to gain hands-on practical experience under the supervision of more experienced pharmacists. The internship phase is a learning experience for newly licensed pharmacists to learn the ropes in a reputable pharmacy, hospital, university, or government institution. In the province of Ontario, a pharmacist needs to complete a 600-hour internship to become a fully licensed pharmacists. An intern can practice to the full scope of the profession as long as it is supervised.

Requirements to Become a Pharmacist in Ontario?

The following are the minimum requirements required to become a pharmacist in the province of Ontario;

  • Complete at least two years of undergraduate study and take courses required to gain admission into a pharmacy program.
  • Complete four years of pharmacy program from a Canadian university and earn a bachelors’ degree in pharmacy.
  • Write and complete the national board examination through the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada.
  • Earn practical hands-on supervised experience by completing a 600-hour internship or apprenticeship program in a reputable hospital, government institution, university, or pharmacy.
  • Be fluent in either English or French.

How Much do Pharmacists make in Ontario?

Pharmacists are paid well in the province of Ontario with an average pharmacist salary of $54 per hour in the province of Ontario. Entry-level pharmacists in Ontario are being paid approximately $23.28 per hour which makes up to $48,417 per year at the entry-level while the top earning pharmacists in the province of Ontario can earn as much as $120,507 per year as a top earner. This statistic shows that Pharmacists earn 30% more than the national average in the province of Ontario.

Are Pharmacists in Demand in Ontario?

Yes, Pharmacists are currently in demand in Ontario. Job opportunities are looking good for pharmacists over the next 3 years in Ontario dues to some factors. A lot of employees in this sector will retire over the next three years which leaves the door open for new employments, general employment growth will lead to the opening of new positions in the sector and a shortage of Pharmacists in hospitals, pharmacies and drug stores in the province of Ontario will give the opportunity to a new array of employment opportunities over the next three years.


How Long Does it Take to Become a Pharmacist in Ontario?

It takes about 6 years to become a pharmacist in Ontario. This consists of 2 years of undergraduate study, 4 years of study in your pharmacy program, completing the national board examination through the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada, and 600 hours of Internship.

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