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How to Become a Pharmacist

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How to Become a Pharmacist

How to Become a Pharmacist

Becoming a pharmacist is a deeply rewarding career that offers a unique blend of healthcare expertise, community engagement, and professional growth. Pharmacists do more than dispense medications – they have a significant impact on people’s lives by ensuring the safe and effective use of medications. Pharmacists not only empower patients to take control of their health but also foster an important sense of trust and compassion that is essential to the success of the patients they help.

Pharmacists benefit from the dynamic work environment where each day is different from the next. The field offers constant growth and development, meaning there are always ample opportunities for professional advancement. There’s always going to be a demand for pharmacists, and with a wide variety of practice settings available, pharmacists have the flexibility to choose a work environment that aligns with their personal and professional goals.

With the satisfaction of making a tangible difference in people’s lives, it is no wonder that many individuals find a career as a pharmacist fulfilling. In this guide, Soliant experts break down everything you need to know about how to become a pharmacist, including pharmacist salary information, FAQs about how to become a pharmacist, the duties of the role, and more!

What is a Pharmacist?

A pharmacist is a healthcare professional who specializes in the field of pharmaceuticals, which involves the dispensing and management of medications. They are responsible for ensuring the safe, effective, and appropriate use of drugs and play a crucial role in patient care.

Pharmacists work in various settings, including community pharmacies, hospitals, and long-term care facilities, where they provide valuable guidance and education to patients and other healthcare professionals on the proper use of medications.

What Do Pharmacists Do?

Pharmacists have a wide range of responsibilities which encompass not only dispensing prescribed medications but also monitoring patients’ drug therapies, providing drug information, and counseling patients on potential side effects, drug interactions, and the correct administration of their medications.

Some of the responsibilities that pharmacists have include:

  • Interpreting physician orders
  • Assessing therapeutic compatibilities with certain drugs
  • Dispensing, packaging, and labeling medication
  • Organizing pharmacy technicians’ workflow
  • Participating in clinical health programs
  • Training staff and students
  • Completing required ongoing training
  • Ensuring that all is compliant with federal drug and health laws
  • Removing outdated medications
  • Protecting patient information

In addition, a pharmacist must have strong communication and customer service skills as well as the ability to analyze information quickly and accurately with great attention to detail.

How to Become a Pharmacist

To become a pharmacist, it’s first required to receive a bachelor’s degree in a healthcare or physical science related field, such as biology or chemistry. This is because most Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree programs typically require applicants to have completed undergraduate courses in subjects like anatomy and physiology.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree, it’s required to graduate from an accredited Pharm.D. program and receive a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. During this program, pharmacists will undergo hands-on, supervised training to become well-prepared for the different aspects of the role.

After completing the degree program, all states require pharmacists to be licensed to practice. While the specific requirements vary by state, this generally involves passing two tests: The North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and The Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE). Pharmacists may also be required to receive certification to administer vaccines.

Once obtaining the proper national and state licensure, the pharmacist will become licensed to practice pharmacy in any type of hospital, medical facility, or retail location.

Following the Pharm.D. program and receiving licensure, the pharmacist can choose to pursue additional training through either a residency or a fellowship if they are seeking a clinical or advanced pharmacist position.

Steps to Become a Pharmacist

Below is a step-by-step breakdown of how to become a pharmacist:

  1. Receive a bachelor’s degree.
  2. Enter a Pharm.D. program and receive hands-on experience.
  3. Finish the Pharm.D. program and receive a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
  4. Pass The North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX).
  5. Pass The Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE) (or meet any additional state-specific requirements).
  6. Apply for jobs!

How to Become a Pharmacist FAQs

Explore some frequently asked questions about how to become a pharmacist below!

How long does it take to become a pharmacist?

The route to becoming a pharmacist looks different for everyone; however, it typically takes eight years to become a pharmacist. This accounts for four years to obtain a bachelor’s degree and another four years to complete a Pharm.D. program and receive a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

How long is pharmacy school?

Most Pharm.D. programs typically take around four years to finish. However, there are some shorter and longer programs available, such as dual-degree options and 6-year programs for high school graduates.

How much do pharmacists make?

The amount of money that pharmacists make ranges greatly depending on the location of the job, the job setting, and the experience of the pharmacist. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for pharmacists was $132,750 in May 2022.

Become a Pharmacist Today

Demand for pharmacists is expected to increase in the coming years, especially in hospital and clinic settings. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 13,400 openings for pharmacists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

There is a wide range of opportunities for pharmacists with Soliant. We currently have pharmacist openings nationwide for staff pharmacists, clinical pharmacists, pharmacy managers, and more in a variety of settings, such as retail pharmacies, hospitals, and long-term care facilities. Combine your skills with Soliant’s reach and you’ll find endless career options!

Whatever your unique preferences are, we are dedicated to working with you to find the pharmacy opportunity that works best for you. Search all Soliant’s pharmacy jobs and apply today!

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