Iceland is famous for its landscapes and unique culture and is a destination for many foreign pharmacists worldwide. The prospect of moving to this serene country can be particularly enticing. But how does one immigrate to Iceland as a pharmacist? This article will walk you through the process of moving to Iceland as a pharmacist, covering everything from Iceland pharmacist salaries and requirements to Iceland pharmacist jobs. Keep reading to gather the information you need for your immigration process.

How to Work and Immigrate to Iceland as a Pharmacist

How to Immigrate to Iceland as a Pharmacist?

Let’s go deep and answer the question” How to work in Iceland as a pharmacist?” Immigrating to Iceland as a pharmacist involves a series of steps. Here’s a guide to help you:

  1. Researching and Understanding Icelandic Requirements
  2. Having Language Proficiency
  3. Verifying Your Education and Qualifications
  4. Applying for a License to Practice
  5. Finding a Job
  6. Getting a Visa and Work Permit
  7. Moving to Iceland

Step 1. Researching and Understanding Icelandic Requirements

Firstly, You must familiarize yourself with the Icelandic healthcare system and the specific requirements for pharmacists, including:

  • You must have a recognized pharmacy degree. If you are from outside the EEA, you may need additional assessment for equivalence by the Icelandic authorities.
  • You must obtain a license from the Directorate of Health in Iceland (Iceland Pharmacy Council).
  • Proficiency in Icelandic is crucial.
  • While not always mandatory, relevant work experience in your field can be beneficial.
  • A thorough understanding of the laws, ethics, and the Iceland drug policy is required to practice pharmacy in Iceland.
  • Iceland may require pharmacists to engage in continuing education or professional development.
  • Professional liability insurance might be necessary, depending on your role and where you work.
  • Registration with relevant professional organizations in Iceland can be a requirement.

Step 2. Having Language Proficiency

Proficiency in Icelandic is usually required for healthcare professionals. Typically, pharmacists are expected to have a B2 proficiency level per CEFR. Approved tests to demonstrate proficiency include Íslenskupróf Stúdenta and proficiency tests offered by Icelandic universities.

Step 3. Verifying Your Education and Qualifications

To immigrate to Iceland as a pharmacist, you must ensure your pharmacy degree and qualifications are recognized in Iceland. The Directorate of Health in Iceland is responsible for recognizing foreign qualifications. You must:

  1. Collect all relevant documents, including your pharmacy degree certificate, transcripts, and other certifications. Ensure these are in English or Icelandic, or have them officially translated.
  2. Reach out to the Directorate of Health. They will provide specific guidance on the process.
  3. Fill out the necessary application forms for the assessment of your qualifications. Include all required documentation.
  4. Submit evidence of your proficiency in Icelandic or English.
  5. Pay the assessment fee from ISK 10,000 to ISK 50,000 (approximately USD 80 to USD 400).
  6. The Directorate of Health will review your application and qualifications. The processing time takes anywhere from 1 to 6 months. They may request additional information or clarification during this time.
  7. You’ll receive formal verification once your qualifications are assessed and deemed equivalent to Icelandic standards.

Step 4. Applying for a License to Practice

Here’s the process of foreign pharmacist registration in Iceland:

  1. Gather all your relevant documents, including your pharmacy degree, transcripts, and any additional certifications. Also, prepare proof of your language proficiency in Icelandic.
  2. Contact Iceland’s Directorate of Health (the authoritative body for issuing licenses to healthcare professionals).
  3. Obtain and complete the application form for a pharmacy license.
  4. Submit proof of education and qualifications recognition along with the application.
  5. Attach proof of your Icelandic language proficiency.
  6. In some cases, you may be required to pass a professional exam. You can find the details about the Iceland pharmacist exam after the steps of the process.
  7. Pay the application fee between ISK 20,000 and ISK 60,000 (approximately USD 160 to USD 480).
  8. Once all documents are prepared and the fee is paid, submit your application to the Directorate of Health.
  9. After submission, your application will be reviewed. This process can take about 1 to 3 months.

Iceland Pharmacist Exam

If you’re trained as a pharmacist outside the European Economic Area and looking to work in Iceland, you may need to pass a specific exam. The exam evaluates your grasp of pharmaceutical knowledge and your understanding of Icelandic pharmacy regulations and healthcare practices.

The exam has two sections: written and oral sections. The written part tests theoretical knowledge, while the oral part assesses practical application. The exam is usually in Icelandic, highlighting the importance of language proficiency.

To prepare for the exam, study Iceland’s pharmacy regulations, including medication handling, patient privacy, and the overall healthcare system, and become familiar with the Icelandic healthcare system.

To apply for the exam, contact the Icelandic Directorate of Health to get the necessary information, including application forms and exam dates, submit your application and your qualifications, and possibly pay an exam fee. After passing the exam, you can obtain your license to practice in Iceland. Remember, once licensed, it’s important to continue learning and stay updated with the latest in the field.

Step 5. Finding a Job

Start looking for job opportunities in Iceland. You can search online, use professional networks, or contact Icelandic healthcare institutions directly.

Online Job Portals

  • Alfred.is
  • Starfsmidstod.is (The Directorate of Labour)
  • Mbl.is/atvinna (Morgunblaðið)
  • Reykjavik Grapevine’s Job Listings
  • Tvinna.is
  • Storf.is

Famous Recruitment Agencies in Iceland

  • Capacent
  • Efling-Stéttarfélag
  • HH ráðgjöf (HH Recruitment)
  • ISKráðgjöf
  • Manpower Iceland

Icelandic Healthcare Institutions

  • Landspitali
  • Heilsugæsla höfuðborgarsvæðisins (Capital Area Primary Health Care)
  • Reykjavik Health Care Clinic
  • Akureyri Hospital
  • Sjukrahusid Fossvogi (Fossvogur Hospital)
  • Domus Medica

Step 6. Getting a Visa and Work Permit

To immigrate to Iceland as a pharmacist, you may need a visa or work permit depending on your nationality. Steps for obtaining an Iceland visa or work permit include the following:

  1. Firstly, have a confirmed job offer from an Icelandic employer.
  2. Identify the type of permit you need. For most employment scenarios, a work permit is required.
  3. Gather your documents, including your passport, job offer letter, housing arrangements in Iceland, and potentially your health insurance details.
  4. Your Icelandic employer must submit an application to the Directorate of Labour on your behalf.
  5. Obtain health insurance that covers you in Iceland and, if required, provide a medical certificate.
  6. Pay the application fee of between ISK 10,000 and ISK 15,000 (approximately USD 80 to USD 120).
  7. Once your employer has initiated the application and you have all your documents ready, submit your application to the Directorate of Labour or the relevant Icelandic embassy or consulate.
  8. Wait for approval. The processing time takes between 1 to 3 months.

Step 7. Moving to Iceland

To immigrate to Iceland as a pharmacist, you must take several steps and complete registrations to settle smoothly into your new life in Iceland:

  • Register with the Icelandic Pharmaceutical Society. It is crucial for networking and staying informed about the pharmacy profession in Iceland.
  • Get a Kennitala (Icelandic ID Number). This number is used for healthcare, taxes, and other official matters. Apply for it at the National Registry (Þjóðskrá Íslands).

General Steps for Settling in Iceland

  • Banking
    • Landsbankinn
    • Arion Banki
    • Íslandsbanki
  • Housing
    • Leiga.is
    • Bland.is
    • Mbl.is (Morgunblaðið) Real Estate Section
  • Health Insurance
    • Sjúkratryggingar Íslands (Icelandic Health Insurance)
    • TM Tryggingar
    • VÍS Insurance
  • Cost of Living. The cost of living in Iceland can range from approximately ISK 130,000 to ISK 200,000 (about USD 1,000 to USD 1,600).
  • Adapting to Icelandic Culture and Lifestyle. Learn basic Icelandic, socialize and engage in local events and activities, embrace outdoor activities, get to know the culture and society, participate in local cultural events and festivals, visit local community centers for various cultural and language learning opportunities, and volunteer to meet locals and understand Icelandic society better.

Read about how to Work and Immigration as a Pharmacist to other countries.

What is a Pharmacy Called in Iceland?

In Iceland, a pharmacy is called “Apótek”. These are found throughout the country and are the primary places pharmacists can find employment.

Can Foreign Pharmacists Work in Iceland?

Yes, foreign pharmacists can work in Iceland. However, certain requirements and processes need to be fulfilled. Iceland is part of the EEA. Therefore, pharmacists from EEA countries have a somewhat streamlined process. Non-EEA pharmacists must undergo additional steps, including recognition of qualifications and language requirements.

Infographic Work and Immigrate to Iceland as a Pharmacist

Pharmaceutical Jobs in Iceland

  • Retail Pharmacist
  • Hospital Pharmacist
  • Clinical Pharmacist
  • Pharmaceutical Researcher
  • Quality Control Pharmacist
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
  • Regulatory Affairs Specialist

How Much is a Pharmacist’s Salary in Iceland?

The salary of a pharmacist in Iceland can vary based on experience, location, and the type of employer. On average, pharmacist wages in Iceland are between ISK 8,000,000 to ISK 12,000,000 per year.

  • Entry-Level Pharmacists. ISK 400,000 to ISK 600,000 per month (approximately USD 3,200 to USD 4,800).
  • Experienced Pharmacists. ISK 600,000 to ISK 800,000 per month (about USD 4,800 to USD 6,400).

Can I Study Pharmacy in Iceland in English?

Currently, Iceland does not offer pharmacy programs entirely in English. Understanding Icelandic or another Scandinavian language would be necessary for studying and practicing pharmacy in Iceland.

Immigrate to Iceland as a Pharmacist: Let’s Recap

You need to go through a series of steps and adhere to specific regulations to be able to immigrate to Iceland as a pharmacist. However, your efforts can be immensely rewarding, both professionally and personally.

If you have any questions about working as a pharmacist in Iceland, write them in the comment section. You can also use Visa Library’s free consultation session for more help.


It can be challenging to immigrate to Iceland due to regulation requirements, but it is feasible if you plan and prepare well.

Because of the EEA, EU citizens have an easier time moving to Iceland.

To move to Iceland, you need a residence permit, which usually means getting a job or having family there.

To support its economy and healthcare system, Iceland generally welcomes skilled immigrants.

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