Whether or not you are looking for a first job, considering changing careers, or hoping to advance yourself along your career path, becoming a pharmacist is an option you should consider.
What makes Pharmacy a Good Job Opportunity?
Pharmacists often make great money, have great hours and there are openings around the country, which makes finding a job easier than in other fields. Just check out our job board and search “pharmacy” and see for yourself. If we’ve sparked your interest in the field check out our quiz to see if you have what it takes.
Diverse Job Opportunities Means Lots of Openings
The American Association of College Pharmacies (AACP), states that approximately 62 percent of pharmacists work in community pharmacies like Walgreens or CVS. However there are host of other opportunities for a pharmacist, such as positions in a hospital pharmacy, managed care, public health, government and more. If customer service isn’t for you, take a look at positions within the research and development divisions of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device industries. As the country’s average age increases it means all of these are growing fields with new openings across the country waiting for qualified applicants.
Job Requirements for Pharmacists
A typical pharmacist is responsible for overseeing patient care by dispensing medications, monitoring patient health and oversee patient’s response to medications. This means you’ll need at least a Bachelor’s degree, but more than likely a Master’s degree or a PhD, to get in the door. Med Career News looked at several different websites’ ranking of pharmacy schools, put them all in a matrix and came up with our own list of Best Pharmacy Schools to consider.
Salary Expectations for Pharmacy Postions
According to the Bureau of Labor & Statistics the mean hourly wage of a pharmacist is $56.96 and the mean annual wage is $118,470. However, 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.
Other options for experienced pharmacist include Medical Science Liaison (MSL). A Senior MSL can make $150,000 salary, plus bonus. Pharmacy Managers 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.
Entry Level Pharmacist Positions Available
Not only do pharmacist make good money, have wonderful opportunities for career growth and personal development but 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%.