How to become

How to become a pharmacist

How to become a pharmacist

Pharmacy technicians fill prescriptions and give patients advice on how to use prescription and over-the-counter medications safely. The number of pharmacy employment is anticipated to grow by 25% between 2010 and 2020, which is a quicker growth rate than the majority of jobs. You should get ready for pharmacy school, finish pharmacy school, and look for pharmacy jobs if you want to become a pharmacist.

A Pharmacist What Is It?

Pharmacists are medical specialists with a focus on the proper administration, preservation, and storage of medications. They can provide you advice on how to take drugs and inform you of any possible side effects. They fill prescriptions written by doctors and other medical specialists.

Pharmacists work on new drug testing and research as well. They are employed by pharmacies, doctors’ offices, hospitals, universities, and public institutions.

What Is the Work of a Pharmacist?

Plants and other natural resources have been used as medicine for thousands of years. However, in the middle of the nineteenth century, the practice of professional pharmacy emerged as a distinct professional discipline.

Prescription medications are given out to people by pharmacists. In addition, they give recommendations on how to use or take medications, the appropriate dosage of a drug, and possible adverse effects to patients and other healthcare professionals. They can also ensure that a drug won’t negatively interact with any other prescriptions you use or any existing medical conditions you may have.

They can also offer advice on things like medical equipment and home healthcare supplies, as well as information on general health issues like food and exercise.

In the modern pharmacy, compounding—the process of combining components to create medications—makes up a very minor portion of the profession. Drugs are now made by pharmaceutical corporations and delivered to pharmacies, where pharmacists calculate the proper dosages for patients.

Training and Education

A Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from a school recognised by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education is required to practise pharmacy in the United States (ACPE).

All PharmD programmes require students to finish postsecondary courses in chemistry, biology, and physics, despite the fact that admittance requirements differ based on the university. The majority of pharmacy programmes also demand a bachelor’s degree and at least two years of undergraduate study. Additionally, applicants must pass the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT).

PharmD programmes last for roughly 4 years. Pharmacology and medical ethics courses are among the additional requirements for a degree in this area. For practical experience, students also perform internships in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics, or retail pharmacies.

To stay up to date with the most recent developments in pharmacological research, pharmacists must also enroll in continuing education courses.

College preparation

You need to have your high school diploma in order to be admitted into an undergraduate programme at a college or university. Alternatively, a GED is accepted by several schools and universities.

  • Take a number of science and math courses to better prepare yourself for college-level coursework.
  • In your junior or senior year of high school, take the SAT or ACT. One of these tests is typically required by colleges and universities.
  • Make your college application more competitive by getting involved in extracurricular activities like sports groups, volunteer work, or nonprofit organizations.

Pick a bachelor’s programme

Although there are many various degrees you can get before enrolling in pharmacy school, pre-pharmacy, biology, or chemistry are the most popular. The prerequisites you need to apply to pharmacy school are most likely to be offered by these schools, which are also the most relevant.

  • Look at the prerequisite courses for admission to the majority of pharmacy schools.
  • With your counselor, go over your pharmacy aspirations. They will assist you in signing up for the courses required to complete your degree and fulfill the requirements for pharmacy school.
  • A 3.0 GPA is often required for pharmacy schools. You will be more competitive while applying to pharmacy school if you have a good GPA.

Acquire expertise in pharmacies

It might be wise to obtain work experience in a pharmacy while you are pursuing your undergraduate degree. There are numerous methods to gain experience working in a pharmacy. You can work in a drugstore, do a pharmaceutical internship, or observe a pharmacist. You can establish contacts and determine whether being a pharmacist is the best career decision with the aid of these experiences.

  • Find out how to locate internships at nearby pharmacies by contacting the career center at your school.

A list of potential pharmacy schools should be made

Pick at least three pharmacy colleges that interest you. The school’s location, reputation, and cost should all be taken into consideration while choosing a school. The majority of schools provide a list of the requirements for applying. Make use of this knowledge as the foundation for your planning.

Attempt the PCAT

Most pharmacy schools employ the Pharmacy College Admission Test, a standardized exam, to assess applicants’ academic aptitude. All PCAT exams are now computer-based, despite the fact that the PCAT used to be a written exam.

  • Visit to register online for the PCAT.
  • During the registration procedure, there is a registration fee that can be paid online.
  • You can find and buy study resources at your local library, in bookstores, or online.
  • You will be prompted to choose the institutions you want your PCAT results sent to when you register. Send the results to all of the schools on your list.

Send applications to pharmacies

It is time to apply to pharmacy school when you have finished your undergraduate degree, gained some practical pharmacy experience, and passed the PCAT. Make a list of the criteria you want the pharmacy school to satisfy, then find out which of them are within your aim. Go to their website and complete the steps for applying there.

  • Remember that most pharmacy school applications require a cost.
  • Applying to more than one pharmacy school is a good idea in case your top option is not approved.

Acquire a doctorate in pharmacy

There are four academic semesters in pharmacy school. By adding summer semesters to the academic calendar, several pharmacy schools extend to three academic years.

  • Each pharmacy school has a different tuition and fee structure. To pay for pharmacy school, many people rely on loans, grants, and scholarships.


You need the following abilities to succeed in pharmacy school:

1. Observation of details

To give consumers safe, effective pharmaceuticals, pharmacists must scrupulously abide by prescriptions. To accurately process each prescription, you must be detail-oriented.

2. Rationality of thought

It is your duty as a pharmacist to ensure that patients take their drugs correctly. To keep your customers safe, you must be able to assess their needs and any potential conflicts that taking various prescriptions can bring about.

3. Talents in communication

You need strong communication skills whether you are asking a doctor for information, verifying insurance information with a provider, or teaching a customer about safe prescription consumption. Pharmacists need to be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

4. Knowledge about computers

In order to get prescription information, validate insurance information, and update client data while working in a pharmacy, you must utilize a computer. You must be familiar with how to navigate the software system at your pharmacy, conduct simple searches, and enter data.

Obtaining employment

Obtain licenced

You must obtain a license to practise pharmacy after graduation. In order to assess pharmacy school grads’ pharmacology knowledge, the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) is a standardized test that is used across the United States. Additionally, there are particular exams that must be passed in each state before a pharmacist can work there.

  • The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy is a good place to learn more about state-specific licenses.
Become an expert

You might desire to continue your studies in particular circumstances in order to become a specialized pharmacist. For instance, you need to pass the BPS (Board of Pharmacy Specialties) certification exam if you wish to become a clinical pharmacist.

  • A two-year pharmaceutical residency is required. Generalized training takes place in the first year, and specialized instruction takes place in the second.
  • Specializations are not necessary.
Apply for employment

You can start looking for a job once you have received your full pharmacist license. Utilize online websites. Speak to any contacts you have established through residency, pharmacy school, or shadowing.

  • It’s possible that your first position as a pharmacist won’t be the ideal fit for you. You could have to work irregular hours and in a pharmacy that is not your preferred location.
  • Expecting to “advance up the ladder” rapidly is unrealistic. Work hard and you will advance.
  • Even new pharmacists make decent money. The typical starting pharmacist earns $75,000 a year. Remember that this sum is based on where you work.
Set up your own pharmacy

Owning your own pharmacy involves a lot more than just selling prescription drugs. There are numerous initial expenses. To handle the marketing and accounting, you will need to either know someone with business experience or employ them. But the reward might be worthwhile. You can choose your own working hours, be your own boss, and possibly earn more money.

Average pharmacist pay

A pharmacist makes $52.29 per hour on average, but salaries might vary. The pay of pharmacists is influenced by both their location and level of expertise.

Companies in the US for pharmacists

Dignity Health                                        $75.93 per hour

UCLA Health                                          $75.67 per hour

Meijer                                                     $73.92 per hour

Raley’s / Bel Air / Nob Hill                      $71.12 per hour

Oregon Health & Science 

University                                               $69.17 per hour

Costco Wholesale                                  $67.38 per hour

Riverside Health System                        $67.09 per hour

eTeam Inc                                               $67.00 per hour

Adventist Health                                     $65.46 per hour

TotalMed                                                 $65.29 per hour

CVS Pharmacy, California                      $64.87 per hour

MedWatchers Inc                                    $64.19 per hour

Soleo Health                                           $62.39 per hour

Pharmedium                                            $62.33 per hour

Stop and Shop Supermarket                   $60.53 per hour

Best Cities for Pharmacists to work

Cities                                     Yearly                                     Hourly

Sacramento, CA                     $182,612                                     $87.00

Portland, OR                     $165,253                                     $79.50

Tacoma, WA                        $161,770                                     $77.00

Portland, ME                                 $151,437                                          $72.90

Newark, DE                                 $146,137                                     $70.30

Baltimore, MD                       $146,040                                     $70.25

New Haven, CT                     $145,823                                     $70.00

Arlington, MA                     $144,041                                     $69.35

Washington, DC                     $143,749                                     $69.25

New York, NY                     $143,209                                     $68.85

Jersey City, NJ                     $143,202                                     $68.85

Yuma, AZ                                 $142,272                                       $68.50

Philadelphia, PA                     $140,673                                           $67.60

Arlington, VA            $137,850                                              $66.29

Milwaukee, WI                     $135,368                                       $65.00


Are there any online pharmacy programmes available?

Numerous pharmacist programmes are offered, and they all include online education as well as a practical component that must be finished at a recognised facility. Before beginning their education, students should make sure that their school or programme is nationally accredited.

What is the future of the pharmacy field?

The demand for pharmacists is expected to increase in healthcare environments including hospitals and clinics from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which projects a stable job outlook for pharmacists throughout that time.

What is the time commitment to become a pharmacist?

To become a pharmacist, you normally need to spend 6 to 8 years in school. This entails completing a four-year pharmacy degree after at least two years of undergraduate education. Depending on state laws, job objectives, and other reasons, training duration varies.

What is the price of a pharmacist’s training?

Depending on the institution, the price of a pharmacy training programme might range from about $65,000 to $200,000 per year. Depending on how long it takes to finish the programme, different costs apply, and out-of-state students may pay significantly more.

What is the minimum score needed to pass the pharmacy licensing exam?

The North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) has a passing score of 75 as of August 2020.

What various types of pharmacists are there?

There are various kinds of pharmacists, including:

  • Pharmacist in retail.
  • Atomic pharmacist
  • Professional pharmacist
  • Pharmacist for chemotherapy.
  • Pharmacist for long-term care.
Pharmacists may work from home?

Yes, there are positions for pharmacists that allow them to work remotely, including consultant, medical science liaison, and clinical research associate.

Can a pharmacist renew a patient’s prescription?

A prescription may be renewed by a pharmacist for a time period that does not exceed the initial prescription length. The prescription cannot be renewed by the pharmacist for more than a year. Additionally, pharmacists are unable to space out certain medicine prescriptions.

In one hour, how many prescriptions can a pharmacist fill?

Pharmacists are typically required to fill 300 prescriptions or more per day, or 37.5 prescriptions per hour during an 8-hour shift.

What education is needed to be a pharmacist?

The Pharmacy College Admissions Test is required for the majority of pharmacy programmes in the US (PCAT). Along with multiple-choice questions on subjects like biological processes, critical reading, and quantitative reasoning, there is an essay portion. 

Is a pharmacist hard to become?

There is no denying that pharmacy school is challenging with subjects like pharmacology, pharmacotherapy, and pharmacokinetics being required. 

Do pharmacists get paid well?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median annual salary for pharmacists was $128,570 in May 2021. Half of all pharmacists make more money than this median wage, and the other half make less. 

Are pharmacists rich?

Yes, depending on the circumstances. A pharmacist can achieve financial success by understanding how to invest their accumulated funds. 

How much is the pharmacist’s average salary?

The national average pay for pharmacists is $52.35 per hour, with individual salaries varying by geographic region, level of expertise, and industry from $20.55 to $98.40 per hour. 

How to become a pharmacist?

take college science courses Pass the exam required for enrollment in the pharmacy school. Obtain a PhD in pharmacy develop vital abilities Apply for a license and complete the appropriate training to practise medicine in your state.

How to become a pharmacist technician?

Pharmacy technicians would first submit a job application at a nearby pharmacy. The pharmacist would instruct them on how to type up labels, count out medicines, and record all relevant patient and insurance information after they had mastered the cash register and how to stock shelves. 

How to become a pharmacist in texas?

Pass the Texas State Board of Pharmacy’s license test, which covers the topics of chemistry, algebra, pharmacy, pharmacology, practise, and pharmacy law.

Additionally, a candidate for licensing needs to be at least 18 years old and morally upright. Complete a 1,500-hour internship.

How to become a pharmacist in georgia?

Three exams—the Georgia Practical, the MPJE, and the NAPLEX—must be taken and passed in order to become a licensed pharmacist in the state of Georgia. However, you must first apply to the Georgia State Board to have your eligibility confirmed. 

How to become a pharmacist online?

Enroll in higher education scientific courses after enrolling in online PharmD programmes. pass the exam required for pharmacy school admission. Obtain a pharmacy doctorate. 

What subjects are needed to become a pharmacist?

The following subjects are necessary to become a pharmacist. English/communications, Economics, Biology, Mathematical statistics, Chemistry and Physics.

How to become a pharmacist in the USA?

First, enroll in a four-year college and major in a subject like biology or pharmaceutical chemistry. There are times when a pharmacy programme verifies that you have completed all necessary courses as well as the criteria for pharmacy school. take the test for admission to pharmacy school (PCAT).