Top 10 countries to migrate to as a Nigerian

This post is not about encouraging brain drain especially for Nigerian Pharmacists, it is more like an eye opener to the many opportunities that you may have as a Nigerian Pharmacist abroad. It will make you see the choices before you.

Interestingly, the psychology of choices is a good one as having more choices ultimately makes us happier. For example, having the power of choice in a work environment makes us feel more in control.

Therefore we have put together a list of countries with their estimated salary wages for pharmacists, if you want to travel abroad.

1. United States
Pharmacist average salary: $133,014

Remember your pharmaceutical care? The United States is the pioneer and champion of pharmaceutical care; the gold standard for the practice of pharmacy worldwide.

Not just will practicing pharmacy in the States be rewarding financially, it will also be enriching experience wise. Therefore, it sits comfortably on the first spot in the list of top 10 countries to migrate to as a Nigerian Pharmacist.

The highest average wage obtained by pharmacists in the US comes from San Francisco, this is probably because they have the second highest cost of living in the US (the average home price in San Francisco is nearly $1.2 million.)

Essentially, higher wages are mainly seen in the States on the outskirts of the Midwest and the eastern coastal areas near Washington and New York.

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In terms of hourly pay, the median was $59.70 per hour. Within the US higher wages are dependent on:

  • Geographic location – along the coast, East and West are the most expensive.
  • Type of employer – corporate generally pays better than independents.
  • Years of experience – the higher the better.
2. Iceland
Pharmacist average salary: $106,000

Iceland has relentlessly climbed the scale of most desirable destinations over the years and up to 98 percent of people in the service industry are fluent in English.

On first glance, this may seem fantastic, but don’t pack your bags just yet. One of the reasons the wage is so high is that the country is so small, there are about 60 pharmacies in Iceland, most of them are only manned by one pharmacist at any given time.

Well, as Nigerian trained Pharmacists we are known to excel in any part of the world, so this shouldn’t be a problem is it? Of course not and that is why Iceland sits on the second in the list of top 10 countries to migrate to as a Nigerian Pharmacist.

3. Australia
Pharmacist average salary: $88,843

No 3 on the list of countries to migrate to as a Nigerian Pharmacist is Australia.

The average pharmacist wage is $42.54 per hour based on 913 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed. If you do the average 40 hour week this equates to $88,483 per year.

However the time difference between Australia and Nigeria is up to 10 hours. This suggests that it maybe a little difficult for you to adjust and keep up with people back home in Nigeria, but hey you didn’t spend all those years battling Pharm. Chem in Pharmacy school to back down from a small challenge did you?

4. Switzerland
Pharmacist average salary: $83,600 – $127,000

While Swiss pharmacists may not be paid as much as their US counterparts, Switzerland has often been named the country with the highest quality of life-based on indexes such as health care, safety, traffic, and pollution.

The CHF, commonly called the Swiss Franc is about equivalent to the US Dollar.

Migration to Switzerland maybe a little difficult because of a seeming harsh immigration law that they have. Meanwhile be rest assured that an Igbo man will probably live a street after yours when you arrive. It is doable darling.

5. Canada
Pharmacist average salary: $80,70

I bet there must a meeting of Nigerian Pharmacists in Canada. There seems to be an electrovalent bond between Canada and Nigerian Pharmacists who want to migrate.

It  seems clear now as the median hourly rate for pharmacists in Canada is $33.74 and there is no noticeable difference in salary for pharmacists with higher levels of experience.

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Most Canadian pharmacists move on to other jobs once they accrue more than 20 years of experience. The average wage for all Canadians in 2014 was around $49,000, according to Statistics Canada.

Still thinking Canada? Your thoughts are still in line especially if you plan to migrate as a Nigerian Pharmacist.

6. Sweden
Pharmacist average salary: $70,465

An average pharmacist wage in Sweden is $34ph, $5,842.04 per month or $70,465 per year.

A major benefit of pharmacist migration to Sweden is that the income tax is relatively low, only 24%, however, it is mandatory to learn Swedish for you to practice as a pharmacist.

It is estimated that learning Swedish takes approximately 575-600 class hours (4 working weeks) to gain a proficient level. Learning a new language can even be fun you know?

7. United Kingdom
Pharmacist average salary: $57,000 to $53,300

According to PayScale, pharmacists in the United Kingdom tend to make around $53,000, but the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) estimated the average salary at around $57,000 in 2014. Per hour working as a locum you can expect a wage of £21 per hour which is around $26.

For more context, the highest-paid workers in the United Kingdom in 2014 were city brokers at an average of $205,000, according to ONS. UK pilots tend to make around $138,000.

The fact that UK English is our lingua franca here in Nigeria helps it to make sense if you choose to migrate to the UK as a Nigerian Pharmacist.

8. Germany
Pharmacist average salary: $44,800

Women in Germany make up 55% of the country’s pharmacist workforce, according to PayScale.

German pharmacists are only allowed to own up to 3 locations, so there are no large drugstore chains like there are in the United States or the United Kingdom.

Most pharmacies in Germany are closed during the evenings, Saturday afternoons, Sundays, and holidays. Some pharmacies even close on Wednesdays, according to How To Germany.

Most Germans are bilingual and can speak English fluently. Meanwhile learning German language they said is not difficult. If for anything I can assure you that it is easier than writing pharmacognosy exams.

9. Republic of Ireland
Pharmacist average salary: $45,442 – $68,163

Pharmacists can earn between $45,442 and $68,163 (with up to three years’ experience) and between $56,000 and $1130,000 (over three years’ experience), although this will vary depending on the employer.

The Republic of Ireland has become a good destination to migrate as a Nigerian Pharmacist and not just Pharmacists, Physicians and Nurses too.

10. United Arab Emirates
Pharmacist average salary: $24,800

This wage increases slightly in Dubai, where the average is $25,330. The best pharmacist wage in UAE are found in the top private clinics, you would expect a lower wage if you were engaged in the pharmaceutical industry.

Pharmacist graduates sometimes cannot work directly as a licensed pharmacist, in these cases they sometimes work as interns and graduate trainees and earn between $1,000 to $2,000 USD.

Highest paid pharmacists are those who have accumulated at least 10 years’ experience and possess at least a Masters degree in a health related course.

Apparently for a Nigerian pharmacist that wants to migrate, the UAE is not just a place for holidays, it has become a good destination for pursuing a career abroad.

What do you think? Are you considering any of these countries? Leave a comment below


UK, US, UAE based pharmacist wage figures from PharmacyCPA.

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About Ishima

Ishima™ is a Pharmacist with special interests in the management of chronic illnesses, gender studies, mental health and psychotherapy. He is the convener of #SaveTheBoyChildMovement which is geared at repositioning the place of men in the society and redefining masculinity . He is a writer, a crazy poet and a firm believer in making the world a better place.

6 thoughts on “Top 10 countries to migrate to as a Nigerian Pharmacist

    1. Hello Shadrach. There are 50 states in the US, the American dream is still valid. Meanwhile migration is not for everyone

  1. Moreso, you didn’t expound on the relevant exams that one needs to write before he/she can practice in those countries.

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