A pharmacist is a person who administers, prepares, and monitors medications for patients. This person performs a wide variety of tasks such as reading doctor’s prescriptions, selecting appropriate generic medications as substitutes, verifying the strength and purity of a prescribed medication, and educating clients about the risks associated with each form of medicine. A pharmacist may also train pharmacist assistants and instruct other personnel on pharmacy procedures and practices. A head pharmacist may be responsible for hiring, firing, and interviewing staff for positions at the location. A pharmacist can work in hospitals, retail outlets, colleges, and stand-alone pharmacies.

An individual in this position must be very detail oriented and have a high level of concentration skills. He or she must be fluent in the English language and the ability to decipher a doctor’s written word. Additionally, pharmacists must be good communicators, as they will have to interact with people on a daily basis.

Educational Requirements for a Pharmacist

To become a pharmacist, a student must acquire a Pharm. D. degree. This degree takes approximately four years to obtain. However, some organizations offer accelerated programs to help people obtain this degree faster. Some organizations require a person to obtain a bachelor’s degree before he or she may apply for a Pharm. D. program.

After completing a Pharm. D. program, the individual will have to complete a residency. He or she will have to do this in order to work in a clinical setting. A residency lasts one or two years and there are three different types of residencies.

A person wishing to practice as a pharmacist in the United States must take the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE). Some states may require the person to take additional exams. Additionally, the individual may have to pass a criminal background check before receiving a job opportunity.

Pharmacist Salary

A pharmacist’s salary varies depending on the job location, requirements, educational background, experience, and individual employer. The average salary for a person in this field is $112,000 per year. Pharmacists make some of the best money in the medical field. A person who is just starting out in the position can make as much as $82,000 per year, which is more than some doctors make.

Job Outlook for Pharmacists

A person who is entering this field should have no problem finding a job after he or she completes all training and certification. An existing nationwide shortage of pharmacists will continue to grow until 2020. Therefore, a person in this field has the potential to obtain employment quickly. Fast advancement within the field is also possible. People seeking employment in this area are on their way to a positive and financially successful future.