How to Become a Pharmacist-Salary, Schools, and Career

To become a pharmacist, most candidates typically have a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology or physics, though there are no degree requirements.

However, most pharmacy schools require specific classes in natural science and mathematics, as well as having spent three years in college. This, however, is not necessarily required by all schools. The more classes one takes, the greater the chance of getting accepted. Also, a bachelor’s degree makes one more competitive. After undergraduate education, potential pharmacists must study at a school of pharmacy and earn a Pharm.D. in order to practice.  To see if this career track is for you, take a totally free career quiz.

Pharm.D. degrees typically take four years to complete. The rigorous courses focus on multiple aspects of drug therapy. This includes the chemistry behind to the medicine, as well as the biophysics of delivery in the body. In addition to theoretical courses, students learn how to compound drugs and other practical skills, like patient relation and collaboration with other healthcare providers.

Top Ranked Pharmacy Schools

  • 1. University of California – San Francisco
  • 2. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
  • 3. University of Minnesota
  • 4. University of Texas – Austin
  • 5. Ohio State University
  • 6. University of Kentucky
  • 7. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  • 8. University of Washington
  • 9. Purdue University
  • 10. University of Arizona

Pharmacist – The Job

Pharmacists distribute drugs based off of prescriptions from doctors. They work with patients, physicians, and other healthcare experts to determine optimal doses of medications and to ensure that the medications are efficacious and safe. Many pharmacists also compound drugs, which is the process of forming medications from ingredients.

Pharmacists work in a variety of environments, from community drugstores to large hospital facilities. Despite location differences, the working conditions are very similar. Pharmacists work in clean, safe conditions with access to standard laboratory equipment for compounding as well as a check-out area to take insurance and payment for prescriptions. Often a pharmacist technician or store clerk will manage this area. Though pharmacists do work with some dangerous drugs, they take safety precautions to protect themselves when necessary.

The majority of pharmacists work a typical forty hour workweek, with only a small number working fifty or more hours. Depending on the type and size of the pharmacy, they may be open on holidays and weekends and pharmacists may have to work these hours. In larger hospitals, pharmacists may be needed on-staff twenty-four hours a day, meaning night shifts for some.

Pharmacist Salary

  • Average Annual Salary: $115,760
  • Projected Lifetime Earnings: $4,860,000

The average pharmacist makes approximately $112,000 a year working in a hospital, grocery store or health store settings, while the average pharmacist in a consulting role makes closer to $121,000 a year. There is room for advancement in the field of pharmacology, with the potential for managing a drug store or working as a hospital administrator. Salaries for these managerial positions range closer to $125,000 to $138,000 per year.

Pharmaceutical Career

The pharmaceutical industry has greater opportunities for candidates graduating with a degree in the same. Healthcare itself is a wide sphere offering a wide range of opportunities for candidates hailing from a medical background. Typical pharma jobs would demand dedication and knowledge. Pharmaceutical companies usually operate with the help of professionals proving their skills in medium to upper levels of drug determining procedures.

The staff working for a pharma firm would invariably have to implement their skills and knowledge in diverse functional areas like the discovery of a drug, clinical development procedures, drug approval and post-approval functions, and marketing. Some of the prospective clients of a pharmaceutical company are biological firms, biotechnology-based companies, CRO, and industries dealing with medical devices.

The professional services offered by these pharmaceutical organizations are aiding several industries across the globe. In fact, their intentions to reach the global arena have actually helped them come up with innovative concepts. The leaders in the pharma sphere are dynamic in nature since they have to adopt newer and better technologies for perfect solutions to health issues.

The pharmaceutical sphere is vast and involves businesses helping mankind to live better. The companies hire professionally competent individuals with an excellent science background. They usually offer jobs for professionals who have already earned higher degrees in medicine and biotechnology.

Pharmaceutical careers are definitely rewarding enough for professionals who have dedicated their lives to medical innovations. Medical companies offer innovative concepts derived from skills and intelligence implemented by highly professional staff. These medical results are aimed at bringing  changes in human health. The therapeutic derivatives are basically meant to enliven human life. The efforts of staff lead to innovation of therapeutics for patients.

The best thing about working for a pharmaceutical firm is that the professionals enjoy every bit of their life, inventing new drugs for a new cause. It is quite a challenging profession since you deal with discovering new compounds helping treat several physical or mental disorders.

You may very well take a career fitness test to see if the profession of pharmacist is the right ticket for you.

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