What Career Options Are Available With A Pharmacy Degree?
Published on: August 17, 2023
Like many degrees in the healthcare industry becoming a pharmacist is not an easy path and requires a considerable investment in time and money. Due to this, it is not uncommon for students to question whether or not obtaining a pharmacy degree is worth the effort. As with any career path, there are plenty of pros and cons to becoming a pharmacist and it is not a job that is suitable for everyone. Before committing, it is best to know what career options are available with a pharmacy degree and if this career is a match for your skills and interests.
What Are The Traditional Career Paths In Pharmacy?
Pharmacy is a surprisingly versatile career path, and the following or some of the most common jobs in the field.
**Community Pharmacist** - Becoming a community pharmacist is one of the most common career options after earning a pharmacy degree and getting licensed. It involves working at retail pharmacies and taking care of the prescriptions given to customers by their healthcare providers.
**Clinical Pharmacists** - Clinical pharmacists typically fulfill the same duties as community pharmacists but work at facilities such as hospitals and clinics.
**Consultant Pharmacists** - These pharmacists work with hospitals, insurance providers, or other related companies by providing a consulting service.
**Industrial Pharmacists** - Industrial pharmacists tend to work with companies manufacturing medicine and can work in lab-based as well as marketing or business development roles.
What Are Some of the More Non-Traditional Fields in Pharmacy?
**Veterinary Pharmacists** - Pharmacists are not just restricted to working with humans and those with a love for animals can opt to become veterinary pharmacists. This career involves dispensing veterinary drugs, products, and advice to help owners of pets or livestock.
**Oncology Pharmacists** - Pharmacists who want to work with individuals who have cancer can become certified oncology pharmacists. Their jobs involve patient-centered medication therapy management as well as direct patient care for cancer patients.
**Psychiatric Pharmacists** - Pharmacists can also become Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacists who specialize in the pharmaceutical care of people suffering from psychiatric-related illnesses and disorders.
**Other** - Other types of pharmacists as listed by the Board of Pharmacy Specialities (https://www.bpsweb.org/bps-specialties/) include ambulatory care pharmacy, cardiology pharmacy, critical care pharmacy, geriatric pharmacy, infectious diseases pharmacy, pediatric pharmacy, and nuclear pharmacy.
What Skills Are Required To Be a Pharmacist?
Pharmacy can be a competitive field, which is why having the right skills for the job can help to set you apart from other candidates. In addition to the right qualifications, it is also important to have good communication skills as well as management skills. Depending on the type of pharmacy career you are interested in good research skills can also be beneficial. The work can be stressful, especially when dealing with frustrated, demanding, and sick customers, so being enthusiastic, patient and calm is an advantage.
What Are The Advantages of Studying Pharmacy?
Less Time Spent Studying
A lot of healthcare careers require degrees that take a long time to complete. Along with bachelor's degrees and doctorates, there are also internships and residency programs that have to be completed before becoming a medical professional. While becoming a pharmacist still requires a few years of study as well as licensure, the duration is not as long as other healthcare careers.
As mentioned above, there are numerous traditional as well as non-traditional career paths available in pharmacy. Pharmacists can work in retail, clinical, and research jobs or opt for more business-oriented ones depending on their preferences.
Making a Difference
Pharmacists are a vital part of the healthcare industry and perform services that can make a real difference in the lives of others. Whether it is doing research on drugs that can save lives or providing patients with vital medication, pharmacists dedicate their lives to helping others.
Pharmacists deal with new patients and problems on a daily basis, which is great for people who want variety in their jobs. There’s more to the job than just filling prescriptions as pharmacists can do everything from instructing and advising patience on health topics to administering vaccinations, supervising pharmacy technicians, and maintaining records.
What Degrees Are Required To Become a Pharmacist?
Students who want to work as pharmacists need a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) degree to do so. This doctorate typically takes about four years to complete and admission requirements can vary. Students who want to enroll in a Pharm.D program are usually required to have completed prerequisite courses such as general biology, general chemistry, general physics, calculus, and statistics from an accredited college or university. It is also possible to complete a dual degree and earn a bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Foundations in addition to the Pharm.D. degree. In addition, students are also able to choose which academic concentrations to focus on and can also earn certificates, such as immunization, and tobacco treatment specialist, while completing their studies.
Is A License Required To Become a Pharmacist?
When earning a degree it is important to make sure that it is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education in order to become a licensed pharmacist. In the US each state might have different individual requirements for obtaining a pharmacists license, but students must pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) if they wish to practice in every state.
Becoming a pharmacist is a great opportunity to become a highly respected member of your community and to help people get well. It also opens up a lot more career opportunities than most people assume. While it is not suitable for everyone, it can be an exciting and rewarding career path for those who feel the calling to become a pharmacist.