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Pharmacist Job Description, Career as a Pharmacist, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

pharmacists pharmacies pharmacy drugs

Education and Training: Advanced degree

Salary: Median—$84,900 per year

Employment Outlook: Very good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Pharmacists are health practitioners who specialize in dispensing drugs prescribed by physicians and providing information to patients about their side effects and use. Pharmacists must understand the composition of medicines, as well as the laws that regulate their manufacture and sale. They order and store medicines, keeping them safe, pure, and effective. They are required by law to maintain records of the drugs they handle.

Most pharmacists work in community pharmacies. Some of these retail stores, which are owned either by the pharmacists themselves or by drugstore chains, sell only medical and sickroom supplies; others carry a wide range of items, from health supplies to laundry detergent and stationery. Some pharmacists concentrate on the dispensing of drugs, while others manage entire stores, creating combined pharmacy and business careers.

Some pharmacists work in hospital or nursing home pharmacies. They buy, inspect, store, and distribute drugs. They often keep drug information libraries and advise the medical and nursing staffs about new drugs.

Other pharmacists work in the pharmaceutical industry, which includes companies that research, manufacture, or sell medicines. Pharmacists are also employed Pharmacists work in pharmacies, hospitals, or nursing homes, dispensing drugs that require a doctor's prescription. (© Martha Tabor/Working Images Photographs. Reproduced by permission.) by government agencies and as teachers in colleges and universities. A small number work in specialized areas, such as writing or editing books, articles, or advertisements about drugs.

Education and Training Requirements

Pharmacists must have at least six years of education beyond high school. After two or three years of college, students enter four-year programs that result in pharmacy degrees. Entry requirements usually include courses in mathematics, natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences. About two-thirds of all colleges of pharmacy require applicants to take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test. Students may go on to earn master's degrees or doctorates in specialty areas of pharmacy.

All states expect pharmacists to be licensed. Requirements include degrees from colleges of pharmacy accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and examinations.

Getting the Job

Most pharmacists begin their careers as employees in community or hospital pharmacies. Placement services of colleges of pharmacy usually have information about job openings. Graduates can also apply directly to pharmacies or to firms that make medicines. Professional associations can help graduates get jobs or open pharmacies of their own.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Advancement depends on many factors, including location, type of work, business skill, and ambition. About sixty percent of all pharmacists work in community pharmacies. Some open their own pharmacies. Those who work for chain-owned drugstores can become managers, while those employed by hospitals can become directors of pharmacy services. Pharmacists working for drug manufacturers can move into executive positions. Some pharmacists become administrators in government agencies, teachers, or researchers.

The employment of pharmacists is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014. The demand for pharmacists—because of general employment growth or because of retirements—should exceed the number of new graduates.

Working Conditions

Pharmacists work in clean, pleasant surroundings. Most salaried employees work about forty hours per week, while self-employed pharmacists work about fifty hours per week. They often work evening and weekend hours. Some pharmacists work part time.

Pharmacists are usually on their feet for long hours. They should be in good health and be able to communicate with other professionals as well as with the public. They must be responsible people who can do careful, detailed, and confidential work. Management skills are also an asset.

Earnings and Benefits

Earnings vary depending on experience, skill, and place of employment. In 2004 the median annual salary of pharmacists was $84,900 per year. Owners of pharmacies, managers of chain drugstores, and high-level administrators often earned much more.

Where to Go for More Information

American Pharmacists Association
2215 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20037-2985
(800) 237-2742
http://www.aphanet.org

National Association of Chain Drug Stores
413 N. Lee St.
PO Box 1417-D49
Alexandria, VA 22313-1480
(703) 549-3001
http://www.nacds.org

Self-employed pharmacists must provide their own benefits. Benefits for salaried pharmacists generally include paid holidays and vacations, health insurance, and retirement plans.

Pharmacologist Job Description, Career as a Pharmacologist, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job [next] [back] Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Job Description, Career as a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

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over 7 years ago

my dad is a pharmacist and he makes 175,000

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over 8 years ago

This is an excellent source of information and is exactly what the internet need more of: straight answers...but it needs to be kept up to date.

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over 5 years ago

Does a pharmacist have the right to refuse to fill a prescription that he feels will harm or kill a person?

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over 5 years ago

i love ur mom

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about 10 years ago

I am very interested in studying to be a pharmacist, but it does take long to be a pharmacist, and I am afraid that I wouldn't be able to make it. I would like to know what courses exactly are required and what it takes to be a pharmacist.

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over 9 years ago

HEY...THIS IS A GOOD WEBSITE...NEEDS MORE INFO THOUGH...LOOKS LIKE A GOOD JOB...

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over 5 years ago

I would be curious how many of the pharmacy college credits could transfer to an anesthesiology degree?

What I would like to have my son consider would be getting the pharmacy degree at 6 years then going on to get the anesthesiology degree. typically the anesthesiology degree is 8 years of school and then 4 years of residency.

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over 6 years ago

Im only 15 but i've always wanted to help people in SOME form.. I started getting interested in biology this year.. I was wondering does a pharmasist have a boring job? I think i'd enjoy it but i wouldnt want to go to a BORING job.. Thanks

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over 6 years ago

i might only be in junior high but i want to know what i want to do when i grow up and this helped me decide since my career test and my parents, tell me to be a pharmasist and i enjoy this type of work. im excited to know what will come to me in the future

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over 7 years ago

Yes there is a "glut" of pharmacists graduating but the majority of graduates are female ( 80 % ) . As any pharmacy supervisor will tell you, young females will only work for about 4 to 5 years as full time RPh's and then they tend to go part-time. Which leaves a big opening for full time pharmacists. In my district, almost all of the stores are staffed by part timers because none of the mostly female staff want to work fulltime. Also, there are so many "out of the box" opportunities for pharmacists that many end up leaving pharmacy altogether. Examples are RPh's that start their own companies making health care products or working in publishing. Many go to Med school ( which is a breeze after pharmacy school-- this I know from my brother ).

Incomes are high and you earn them quick , which means you can pay off your school loans fast.

Also, competetion is very high and most schools want a BS degree before pharmacy school. The wash out rate in pharmacy schools is high.

Even with all of the pharmacy schools, the "glut" will not reach critical until about 20 years from today. A lot can happen in 20 years.

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about 6 years ago

i am in middle school and this job sounds like a cool job that i would love to learn more about :)

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over 7 years ago

i thought they earned more?



89,000? thats it? i mean its only six years of school...but still, im severelly dissapointed.



does anybody know if thats still the case? (provide links if possible)





im switching to anesthesiology in the mean time

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over 7 years ago

The pharmacist job market is rapidly drying up in the large cities--has any one looked?

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over 7 years ago

Don't be deceived- a glut of pharmacists is developing due to the schools flooding the market w new graduates. Retail pharmacy is monotonous and stressful,and traditionally jobs were tough to fill, so salaries were high- the greed colleges and the retail chains have gotten together to remedy this, so now there will be plenty of grunt workers to fill chain pharmacy jobs. Schools talk about new roles and the aging population- this is not true. Pharmacy work has become more mundane and unfulfilling and the new roles have yet to be developed. Rapidly improving consumer technology will relegate the pharmacist to a relatively minor player in health care. Pharmacist will be in abundant supply to sell candy and cigarettes- so much for professionalism

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over 6 years ago

i want to study pharmacy in the university, to know the area that works on production of drugs, herbal medinice and school to study that works on scholarship. please i'm ready to work in order to see nyseif through sudies.

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over 5 years ago

it was useful

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about 6 years ago

I will be happy if more information can be send.I what to pursue it as career

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over 7 years ago

Glut of pharmacists? One only can hope. The average retail pharmacist's salary in the Baltimore-Metro area ranges from $112,000 to $115,000. Now add in healthcare, bonuses, 401K, time off, employers share of FICA, state and fed unemployment and other perks and the employer's true outlay is up around $150,000 a year. Pharmacists haven't been paid $84,000 for over a decade; it is most certain you could never find a "Pharm D" to work for such tawdry wages.

The chains, mass merchandisers and the Pharm D program have ruined the profession. Otherwise extremely professional men & women were very easily seduced by the lure of big bucks in the red light districts of the big retailers. It didn't matter that they had to practice between the deli & the produce, or have to ring up cigarettes and motor oil while their clerk/tech is at lunch. Usher in the gilded age of the "PharmD" which has attracted some people more interested in the money they can make than in the people they will serve. Perhaps this observation is sexist, but most of these "Pharm D's" are young females who have no interest in working forty hours a week for an extended period of time after graduation. I often wonder how many of these new PharmDs (male and female) I have worked with would have made it in the good old days when you were fresh out of school and worked a ten hour day for your primary employer and then had to work another 4 at the corner drug store to make ends meets at a buck twenty-one an hour and you actually had to COMPOUND all the medicine you dispensed. Some are more interested in providing "cognitive services" that we don't get paid for than getting the people what they actually came into the store for-their scripts, or they turn their noses up and talk down to the customer who needs their help. Don't get me wrong, I have worked with some fine young pharmacists who are proud of their profession and who are exemplary in their duties, but sadly, they are few and far between. As an old-timer, I can honestly say this Rph hopes to see the day when the glut of pharmacists pushes the ones out of the profession only there for the money, and keeps the greedy out of pharmacy schools. Maybe then pharmacists will go back to being the most respected profession in the country instead of settling for being number 2 or 3.

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over 6 years ago

i'm a student pharmacist and i really enjoy the information provided. ithink this will bring more enlightenment to those who are seeking for professional courses like PHARMACY!

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about 5 years ago

good article

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about 9 years ago

I am very interested in going to school to learn about this stuff alot more.. could you please email me a whole lot of information about this stuff..



thank you :)



lots of love



Anthony

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about 4 years ago

I am a pharmacist, and I have never heard of PharmD earning less than 95k/yr. Average to my knowledge is 110k.

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about 5 years ago

Good Article

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over 5 years ago

Drugs pls

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over 6 years ago

It is interesting that this data is still being quoted, as a major glut of pharmacists is developing in most large metropolitan areas around the country. The craze for pharmacy schools has been heavily financed by the chain drug stores so they could have cheaper labor. As the schools talk "professionalism", the new abundance of pharmacists will force working pharmacists to work more like burdened automatons who will be subject to the whims of the profit hungry employers. Prospective students, please ask how many pharmacy school academics work in chain retail settings? Ask any pharmacist if the conditions have improved in the last 2 years.Ask them if there is still a shortage? Something is seriously wrong! One does not have to be a genius to see that there is a real problem here!

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almost 5 years ago

after graduate, actually what pharmacist really do? i was wondering does pharmacist have a boring job?

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over 5 years ago

needs more info please

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about 10 years ago

I am also interested in pursuing a career as a pharmacist. I am planning on attending UW-Oshkosh and was wondering if this is a good place to start.

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almost 5 years ago

This is a great informative article for my project ! Thanks : )

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about 4 years ago

My mom is a failure

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over 5 years ago

heyy im in a votech school and i had to do a research project on this1 and id like to know more about this cuz i think theres a good chance i could be interested in going down this job carrer..please let me know?

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almost 5 years ago

kamamam poop

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over 5 years ago

It said there is a median of $89,000 which means the highest annual earning is about $178,000. Also thank you SOOOO much for helping me decide my future job and research project. THANK YOU!!!! :)

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about 6 years ago

I am a high school student and I am highly interested in the pursuit of the pharmacist career. Before going to college I wanted to know where and who I can speak to about what it takes to be a successful pharmacist.

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over 6 years ago

i love this, i having been looking for type of information now i can go ahead with procession of my document please keep updating with resend inform and detail explanation.i look forward to be came a pharmacist in future

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over 4 years ago

Now m studying...nd i want to become a drug Inspactor.Nd what a amazing experiance have found in this course...

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almost 5 years ago

can send me more information about pharmacist?

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almost 5 years ago

I have decided that I want to become a pharmacist. :)

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about 5 years ago

tttttttttttiiiiiinnnnnnnnnaaaaa wants to become a pharmacist

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almost 5 years ago

IS A DOCTOR AND PHARMACIST HAVE EQUAL IMPORTANCE OR NOT PLEASE LET ME KNOW................

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about 5 years ago

sir myself mohan completed pharmacy intersted to do my job in abroad can you tell me the way to go there and to get a job

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over 5 years ago

You should really put the citing into MLA format. A lot of people who do research are going to that formatting.

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over 5 years ago

Pharmacist Job Description, Career as a Pharmacist, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

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over 5 years ago

very confused

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over 5 years ago

very confused

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almost 5 years ago

so cool 8=====D

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about 5 years ago

i would like to **** you

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about 2 years ago

i want the job desciption of the pharmacist in TPN unit