We have all heard of get rich quick schemes. Although they sound good at first, usually the more you hear, the more you realize it’s a scam and walk away. But what if MedCareerNews was to tell you about a way to make great money, in a great field, with great hours and almost guaranteed job placement, with terrific potential for career growth? Would you jump on it? If you said yes, then all you need to do is become a pharmacist! Check out our quiz to see if you have what it takes. If you pass the test, then read on to learn more.
We have all had dealings with a pharmacist at the retail pharmacy, like CVS or Walgreens. The American Association of College Pharmacies (AACP), states that approximately 62 percent of pharmacists work in these types of community pharmacies. However, there are host of other opportunities for a pharmacist, such as hospital pharmacist and specialties within the hospital, research and development, opportunities in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device industries, managed care, public health, government and more. Though responsibilities contrast among the different areas of pharmacy practice, it is clear the goal of a pharmacists is to help patients get well.
A typical pharmacist is responsible for overseeing patient care by dispensing medications, monitoring patient health and oversee patient’s response to medications. Per AACP, “pharmacists educate consumers and patients on the use of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, counsel physicians, nurses and other health professionals on drug decisions.” Pharmacists also provide expertise about the composition of drugs, including their chemical, biological, and physical properties and their manufacture and use. They ensure drug purity and strength and make sure that drugs do not interact in a harmful way. Pharmacists are drug information experts ultimately concerned about their patients’ health and wellness.
Now for the good part, the salary you can expect after graduation and as your career progresses. The Bureau of Labor & Statistics tracks data on pharmacist salaries and industry differences. Their data shows the mean hourly wage of a pharmacist is $56.96 and the mean annual wage is $118,470. There are slight differences depending on industry.
The average salary for a retail pharmacist is $119,420, hospital pharmacist $117,690, other retail/specialty pharmacy $127,350, outpatient care center $125,980 and the highest paid is research and development at $129,790. These are fabulous salaries, but it gets better. If you are a career minded and ambitious person, there is a lot of opportunity for personal growth and increased income potential.
Some of the positions that are options for pharmacist with experience not tracked by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics under pharmacist are Medical Science Liaison (MSL). A Senior MSL can make $150,000 salary, plus bonus. Pharmacy Manager for a Home Healthcare Company can make $155,000 annual salary. Pharmacist that become experts in Managed Care can climb the corporate ladder and become a National Director, this role can earn as much as $200,000 in salary yearly.
Not only do pharmacist make good money, have wonderful opportunities for career growth and personal development but, more good news, it is relatively easy to get an entry level job. According to US News, more than 280,000 pharmacists are employed in the United States. With a population that is growing older and with more Americans gaining access to health services through the Affordable Care Act, the need for pharmacists is expected to grow by 14.5%.
Now you know what it takes to become a pharmacist, the countless opportunities for career growth and income potential that exist, you may decide this is a great career for you.