What Does it Take to Be a Pharmacist?
Career Description Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.
A Day in the Life of a Pharmacist
- Work in hospitals or clinics or for Health Management Organizations (HMOs), dispensing prescriptions, serving as a medical team consultant, or specializing in specific drug therapy areas, such as oncology or nuclear pharmacotherapy.
- Teach pharmacy students serving as interns in preparation for their graduation or licensure.
- Compound and dispense medications as prescribed by doctors and dentists, by calculating, weighing, measuring, and mixing ingredients, or oversee these activities.
- Analyze prescribing trends to monitor patient compliance and to prevent excessive usage or harmful interactions.
- Collaborate with other health care professionals to plan, monitor, review, or evaluate the quality or effectiveness of drugs or drug regimens, providing advice on drug applications or characteristics.
- Update or troubleshoot pharmacy information databases.
Pharmacist Required Skills
These are the skills Pharmacists say are the most useful in their careers:
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Instructing: Teaching others how to do something.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Other Pharmacist Job Titles
- Staff Pharmacist, Hospital
- Doctor of Pharmacy
- Clinical Pharmacist
- Pharmacist in Charge, Owner (PIC, Owner)
Is There Job Demand for Pharmacists?
In the United States, there were 312,500 jobs for Pharmacist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 17,400 new jobs for Pharmacist by 2026. There will be an estimated 15,300 positions for Pharmacist per year.
The states with the most job growth for Pharmacist are Utah, Arizona, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Wisconsin, or New Jersey. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Salary for a Pharmacist
Pharmacists make between $87,790 and $161,250 a year.
Pharmacists who work in Alaska, California, or Vermont, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Pharmacists in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$125,160|
What Tools do Pharmacists Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Pharmacists:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Web browser software
- Word processing software
- Spreadsheet software
- Microsoft SharePoint
- MEDITECH software
- Epic Systems
- Recordkeeping software
- Pyxis MedStation software
- Label-making software
Becoming a Pharmacist
What education or degrees do I need to become a Pharmacist?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where Pharmacists Work
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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