Pharmacy Careers – Reasons to Become a Pharmacist

Pharmacists distribute drug medications prescribed by doctors to patients. Pharmacist are usually responsible for filling prescriptions, verifying instructions of doctors on the proper amount of medication to hand out, and check of negative effects of drug combinations taken by the patient. They also advice and instruct the patients on how and when to take the medicine, possible side effects of taking the drug, and their safe use.

Pharmacists are important to the healthcare industry, some work in universities and pharmaceutical companies where they research and test new medications, others have their own store and sometimes a chain of pharmacy which makes them more involve in business activities such as: inventory management, administrative work to interns, and completion of insurance forms and collaborate with insurance companies to make sure the patients get their medicine. Basically, there are two types of pharmacists: clinical pharmacists, they involve direct patient care and often work in hospitals and other healthcare settings, and consultant pharmacists, one which give direct advice to patients, manage their prescriptions and dispense medications; they usually advise healthcare facilities and insurance providers on improving their pharmaceutical services.

Pharmacists in the U.S

People considering a career in pharmacy must have an undergraduate course work of at least 2 to 3 years and take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT); some pharmacy schools require a Bachelor’s Degree. After having completed necessary requirements, they must apply and be accept to a pharmacy school that is accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education.

A Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.) program is required in order for pharmacists to take the licensure examination. Most schools offer this program in a four year course. Future pharmacists will work as interns in different working environments; hospitals, clinic, and retail pharmacies, while taking classes on medical ethics, pharmacology, and toxicology. Specializing in either one of the two aforementioned areas or in research, they usually have to complete a one to two year residency once they’ve completed their Pharm. D.

The final steps for a prospective pharmacist are to pass two state exams, one which test pharmacy knowledge and skill, the other on state-specific pharmaceutical law. It’s important to mention for prospective students that the job outlook according to the bureau of labor statistics is looking great for pharmacists due to the aging of the population!

Pharmacist Salary

The top five states with the highest annual salary for pharmacist are Alaska ($125,330), California ($122,800), Vermont ($122,490), and Alabama ($119,810). Top industrial options for pharmacist to earn are Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing ($125,480), Management and Technical Consulting Services ($118,490), Offices of Physicians ($117,750), Outpatient Care Centers ($117,510) and Other General Merchandise Stores ($118,630).

So how much does pharmacists make? On a year to average salary scale:

Less than one year of experience on the average earns $82,782. One to four years of experience earns $84,092, five to nine years of experience earns $93,463. Ten to nineteen years earns $95,235 and more than ten years of experience earns $103,515.

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