How To Become A Pharmacist

How To Become A Pharmacist

Career Video: Pharmacist

If you are interested in the medical field and are searching for a high-paying career, pharmacist may be a great choice. Pharmacists are in charge of making sure that patients receive the appropriate medications they need to treat their conditions, as prescribed by a doctor. As a pharmacist, you also may need to explain to patients how to take their medications. Patients often have questions and concerns, and it is your job to alleviate their concerns, explain any risks they should be aware of, and answer their questions.

Why Become A Pharmacist

Pharmacists are well positioned to help people. This is a career that involves working with people, often frustrated people. People who are sick and need medication generally want to get in and out of the pharmacy as quickly as possible so they can get on with the business of feeling better. If you are great at working with frustrated customers, and want to make a difference for people who are going through a difficult situation, this is a great job. You will need to have great attention to detail and be able to memorize and look up a great deal of information, since patients’ lives are in your hands. The pay is excellent, particularly considering the educational track is only four years.

Pharmacist Work Environment

Pharmacists work in pharmacies, which may be located in drug stores, department stores, grocery stores, hospitals, and clinics. How fast the pace is will depend on where your pharmacy is located. Pharmacists are needed in urban and rural areas all over the country.

Pharmacist Salary

This is a very well-paid job. The median pay for year in 2010 as recorded by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics was $111,570, which translates to $53.64 per hour. The lowest 10% of pharmacists made close to $82,090. The highest 10% earned more than $138,620. The majority work full time, though around one-fifth of all pharmacists in 2010 worked part-time jobs. Even with part-time hours, you could make a very comfortable living wage as a pharmacist. Pharmacies may be open 24/7, especially in hospitals. In these situations, pharmacists may work overnight or on weekends. This may provide flexible work opportunities for those in search of non-traditional work hours.

Pharmacist Career Outlook

Pharmacy jobs are opening up at a rate of 25% according to the BLS, which is faster than the average for all other occupations. With an aging population, more and more customers are needed medication to get by. That means more jobs for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

Pharmacist Degree

This is probably one of the highest-paying fields in existence relative to the amount of education needed. You must obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) degree to become a pharmacist. This is only a four-year degree, though, so no longer than a typical bachelor’s degree program. You must also pass two exams in order to become licensed. With so much growth in this field and such high pay, pharmacy represents a great opportunity for steady, lucrative work.

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