As a pharmacist, your job is to dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and to provide information to the patients about the medication they are using. Pharmacists advise other physicians and other health practitioners on the drugs prescribed. A Pharmacist may inform the doctor of dosages, interactions, and the side effects of medications. A pharmacist must understand the use, composition, and effects of all drugs. Today pharmacists are going beyond the traditional delivery of prescriptions. They are becoming more involved in drug therapy decision-making and patient counseling. It is a very important job and takes a lot of schooling and desire.
In the United States, it is required to obtain a license to be a pharmacist. To get a license, one must graduate from a college of pharmacy, serve an internship under a licensed pharmacist, and pass a state examination. To prepare to be a pharmacist, one should take classes in high school like chemistry, advance math classes, and physics. After high school 5 years of study is required to graduate from most programs. Few colleges of pharmacy take students directly out of high school and almost all require you to take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test. Most colleges offer a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and for most people, it takes 5 years to achieve your BS. Some go on to get their Doctor of Pharmacy and that normally takes at least 6 years.
Employment of pharmacists is growing due to the increase of the older population. Most pharmacists work at a type of drug store, but some work at hospitals. The number of pharmacist working at hospitals is also growing slowly. For a starting pharmacist, one could make from 500-700 dollars a week working full time. With time and experience, one could earn up to $1,422 a week. Your pay may depend on your experience but also on where you work. A pharmacist working at a chain drug store may make $61,735 a year, one working in an independent drug stores average about $52,189, and hospital pharmacist average $61,317 a year. Pharmacists also receive compensation in the form of bonuses, overtime, and profit sharing.
Being a pharmacist is sometimes just the first step for some people. Many pharmacists go on to other professions like working with pharmaceutical compounds, being a pharmaceutical chemist, pharmacologists, medical scientists, and biological technicians. It is a very interesting job working with some of the most recent developments in the health field.
Cosca, Theresa. Pharmacist. www.stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos079.htm. Online. May 27,1999.
Shank, Kay. Pharmacist. www.osfamurancis.org/pharmacy.htm. Online. May 26,1999.