A pharmacist works to fulfill prescriptions and dispense the necessary drugs to patients in need. In order to perform this job safely and professionally, it is important for the pharmacist to be well-educated in chemistry and to understand the often complex effects that a particular medicine can have on the human body. Drugs often interact with each other in complicated ways, and this has the potential to be disastrous for a person’s health if the pharmacist fails to spot it in advance. In interacting with patients, the pharmacist’s job is to select and measure medicines and doses properly as well as to educate the customer about any problems that might occur, such as side effects and what to do about them. Overall, it is a job that requires both academic ability and personal communication skills.
Becoming A Pharmacist
In this article, we will consider how to become a pharmacist, or more specifically, how to get a pharmacist degree, which is known as a Doctorate of Pharmacy or PharmD. Pharmacist education requirements are stringent due to the importance of the job and the dangers of making mistakes. Exactly what road you take into the field of pharmacy will play a large part in answering the question of how long does it take to become a pharmacist. The shortest possible route involves knowing well in advance of your college career that you want to follow this line of work. If you do, you may be able to fulfill the pharmacist education requirements in about six years. It is more typical, however, for a student to have eight years of college under his or her belt by the time he or she becomes a pharmacist.
When you study to get a pharmacist degree, you will learn many things about related topics in the fields of anatomy, biology generally, physiology, physics and of course chemistry. It is obviously important that a person learns all these things given the responsibility that will be placed on his or her shoulders. However, the pharmacist education requirements involve more than just academic course work. It is also important that you gain experience in lines of work similar to yours. For this reason, you will be expected to work in various settings, including pharmacies and clinics, in addition to your regular course work. By the time you become a professional, you will probably already have several months of experience in the field.
As the pharmacist education requirements involve both academic work and personal interaction and communication with customers, the criteria for a successful graduate are both unique and strict. In order to have a good chance of succeeding in getting a pharmacist degree, you will need to be hard-working, intelligent, caring, happy to learn about the details of biology and the human body, and also very driven in general. These are relatively rare qualities in a person, and you can see therefore that becoming a pharmacist can be a demanding choice that pushes you to your limits. If you are interested in a challenge and think that the work will suit you, then by all means go for it.
Getting A Job
Pharmacists are in reasonably high demand, which is not surprising given the importance of the job they do and also the strict pharmacist education requirements. Getting steady work is therefore typically not terribly difficult. However, since you will be working in a career that demands strict adherence to procedure and excellent communication with customers, these are likely the qualities that employers will look for in candidates. Besides your pharmacist degree, extra experience working in customer service will likely be seen as an advantage.
Positives And Negatives
Any job has it good parts and its bad parts, and pharmacy is no exception. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacist can typically expect an average salary of roughly $100,000. However, this generally does not change a great deal during the pharmacist’s career. You can also expect to be able to find work in many locations around the country. One problem with many medical careers is that of burn-out; once you have your pharmacy degree and a position, you are unlikely to experience much change over the following years. The demands of the job can also be stressful, given the danger of making a mistake and the repetition of the work involved.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Pharmacist?
So, you finally wonder, how long does it take to become a pharmacist? Well, it typically takes six to eight years to get a pharmacist degree. Pharmacist education requirements are strict and will require a well-rounded, intelligent student. Jobs are in demand and typically command a good salary, although like any job, the work can be stressful.