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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

  • Druggist
  • 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.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Pharmacists in U.S.

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.

Salary Ranges for Pharmacists

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
Alabama $122,200
Alaska $139,880
Arizona $125,210
Arkansas $118,320
California $139,690
Colorado $120,980
Connecticut $123,950
Delaware $125,400
District of Columbia $125,160
Florida $119,710
Georgia $118,710
Hawaii $121,780
Idaho $121,940
Illinois $125,360
Indiana $117,260
Iowa $116,160
Kansas $121,790
Kentucky $122,450
Louisiana $119,380
Maine $133,050
Maryland $121,210
Massachusetts $116,890
Michigan $117,680
Minnesota $129,080
Mississippi $124,120
Missouri $128,420
Montana $112,290
Nebraska $119,670
Nevada $124,430
New Hampshire $127,350
New Jersey $120,660
New Mexico $125,450
New York $121,030
North Carolina $123,370
North Dakota $103,250
Ohio $116,720
Oklahoma $115,000
Oregon $130,480
Pennsylvania $116,200
Rhode Island $120,890
South Carolina $122,900
South Dakota $116,410
Tennessee $124,310
Texas $126,800
Utah $117,570
Vermont $135,420
Virginia $123,920
Washington $127,360
West Virginia $115,130
Wisconsin $132,400
Wyoming $117,700

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?

Pharmacist Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Pharmacist Work Experience

Where Pharmacists Work

Pharmacist Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Pharmacist Industries

References:

Image Credit: {} via public domain (CC0)

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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