Pharmacists

Earnings Potential

  • A Pharmacist makes an average salary of $98,777 annually (Salary.com).
  • The highest 10% can make an average of $103,570 annually.
  • Pharmacy aides can make between $8.00-13.00 hourly.

Facts at a glance

  • Very good employment opportunities are expected for pharmacists.
  • Earnings are high, but some pharmacists work long hours, nights, weekends, and holidays.
  • Pharmacists are becoming more involved in making decisions regarding drug therapy and in counseling patients.
  • A license is required; the prospective pharmacist must graduate from an accredited college of pharmacy and pass a State examination.

Summary of what this career entails

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pharmacists distribute drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. They advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosages, interactions, and side effects of medications. Pharmacists also monitor the health and progress of patients in response to drug therapy to ensure the safe and effective use of medication. Pharmacists must understand the use, clinical effects, and composition of drugs, including their chemical, biological, and physical properties. Compounding—the actual mixing of ingredients to form powders, tablets, capsules, ointments, and solutions—is a small part of a pharmacist’s practice, because most medicines are produced by pharmaceutical companies in a standard dosage and drug delivery form. Most pharmacists work in a community setting, such as a retail drugstore, or in a health care facility, such as a hospital, nursing home, mental health institution, or neighborhood health clinic. Pharmacy aides work in clean, organized, well-lighted, and well-ventilated areas. Most of their workday is spent on their feet. They may be required to lift heavy boxes or to use stepladders to retrieve supplies from high shelves. Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists provide medication and other health care products to patients. Technicians usually perform routine tasks to help prepare prescribed medication for patients, such as counting tablets and labeling bottles.

Examples and or details of work

According to MedicalNewsTody.com, higher co-payments for “special pharmacy” medication can be very costly but have little effect on use. Patients that are in need of these medications will pay between $1,000 and $10,000 annually to get whatever is out there to that may help them. Patients with such conditions as anemia and cancer are required to pay 25% co pays for the treatment with maximum out-of-pocket payments.

Degrees that lead to this career

The minimal degree an individual needs to become a pharmacist is a Doctor of Pharmacy. Some of the degrees an individual can attain include:

  • B.S. in Pharmacy
  • B.S. in Health Care Consultants
  • M.S. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • PhD in Pharmacy

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Pharmacists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos079.htm



Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Pharmacy Aides, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos274.htm



Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Pharmacy Technicians, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos252.



MedicalNewsToday.com. “High Copayments For "Specialty Pharmacy" Medications Has Little Effect On Use, Report Says” 14 Sept. 2006. 06 Nov. 2006 http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=51745.

Salary.com. 2000-2006. 06 Nov. 2006. http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/layouthtmls/swzl_compresult_national_....

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