What Does a Pharmacist Do?
One of the leading industries when it comes to healthcare is the work of a pharmacist,
but not many really know what kind of work goes into becoming a pharmacist or the
education required to become one.
As reported by U.S. News, there are roughly over 69,700 pharmacist jobs out there
right now and over 272,320 pharmacists already working within the United States alone.
Pharmacy is also consistently named one of the hottest growing healthcare sectors, as
well as one of the most stable jobs, ranking among engineering and technology.
So, what exactly does a pharmacist do? What kind of training and education is
involved? And what can you expect from a career in pharmacy?
Just like most medical degrees, expect to be in school for at least six years when
achieving a fully-fledged pharmacy degree. Much in the same vein as medical doctors,
a future pharmacist will go through two years of "pre-med," or generalized college
classes, before starting to look at a Pharm.D, or their actual degree that will guarantee
However, a Pharm.D, or Doctor of Pharmacy, is a little bit similar to the degrees that a
regular doctor would try to aim for. A pharmacy degree is a normal four year degree,
but there is also an added on two to three extra years of training (also known as a
residency), certification, and testing. A Pharm.D and the training can also be specialized
for different areas of pharmacy.
Fortunately, all of the two-year, and even most of a Pharm.D, can all be done through
online classes. As a word of caution, though: once you start your two-year path, it's
good to begin your search for a pharmacy internship or residency as they can be hard
to get into.
Classes include the memorization of different chemical compounds and how they
interact with the body, medical terminology, human anatomy, and even things like
healthcare business administration and of course medical--and most specifically--
pharmacy law. Being highly proficient in the sciences and mathematics is a huge plus.
Once you've graduated, went through your training, and passed all state and national
tests required to be certified, it's time to start your career! There are several different
paths a pharmacist can take within the industry:
- Clinical private practices
- Public or private hospitals
- Research labs
- Government work
- Retailers outfitted with pharmacies
- •Medication therapy offices
The biggest places to find work are in research, hospital work, and working at places
such as CVS or Walgreens. The pharmacist will normally be keeping track of the
medication, making the right measurements for all of their patients, and administering
medical advice in a normal setting. In research, it's mostly dealing with chemistry and
making new compounds to make medicine better and even finding new medicine for
However, the stress levels are also above average for a pharmacist, and in fact
normally set in at the pharmacy degree. But, it is also a very promising and stable
career with lots of benefits. If you're looking for a truly fulfilling career and don't mind
the hard work to achieve it, then a pharmacy degree is certainly for you.
Despite the stress levels and perhaps the long work days, you will also have the
satisfaction of helping people be healthy. With a job outlook climbing up 25% in the next decade and with the ability to help people in a stable job, it makes sense to look into a pharmacy degree that you can get online right now.