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Become A Clinical Pharmacist

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Working As A Clinical Pharmacist

  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Processing Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • Make Decisions

  • $119,394

    Average Salary

What Does A Clinical Pharmacist Do

A Clinical Pharmacist is responsible for ensuring the rational and effective use of medication. They work directly with patients in the healthcare system, for instance in hospitals or clinics.

How To Become A Clinical Pharmacist

Pharmacists must have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from an accredited pharmacy program. They must also be licensed, which requires passing licensure and law exams.


Prospective pharmacists are required to have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree, a postgraduate professional degree. In July 2014, there were 130 Doctor of Pharmacy programs fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

Admissions requirements vary by program, however, all Doctor of Pharmacy programs require applicants to take postsecondary courses such as chemistry, biology, and anatomy. Most programs require at least 2 years of undergraduate study, although some require a bachelor’s degree. Most programs also require applicants to take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT).

Pharm.D. programs usually take 4 years to finish, although some programs offer a 3-year option. Some schools admit high school graduates into a 6-year program. A Pharm.D. program includes courses in chemistry, pharmacology, and medical ethics. Students also complete supervised work experiences, sometimes referred to as internships, in different settings such as hospitals and retail pharmacies.

Some pharmacists who own their own pharmacy may choose to get a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) in addition to their Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Others may get a degree in public health.


Following graduation from a Pharm.D. program, pharmacists seeking an advanced position, such as a clinical pharmacy or research job, may need to complete a 1- to 2-year residency. Pharmacists who choose to complete the 2-year residency option receive additional training in a specialty area such as internal medicine or geriatric care.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states license pharmacists. After they finish the Pharm.D. program, prospective pharmacists must pass two exams to get a license. The North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) tests pharmacy skills and knowledge. The Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE) or a state-specific test on pharmacy law is also required. Applicants also must complete a number of hours as an intern, which varies by state.

Pharmacists who administer vaccinations and immunizations need to be certified in most states. States typically use the American Pharmacists Association’s Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery program as a qualification for certification.

Pharmacists also may choose to earn a certification to show their advanced level of knowledge in a certain area. For instance, a pharmacist may become a Certified Diabetes Educator, a qualification offered by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators, or earn certification in a specialty area, such as nutrition or oncology, from the Board of Pharmacy Specialties. Certifications from both organizations require varying degrees of work experience, as well as passing an exam and paying a fee.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Pharmacists must provide safe medications efficiently. To do this, they must be able to evaluate a patient’s needs and the prescriber’s orders, and have extensive knowledge of the effects and appropriate circumstances for giving out a specific medication.

Communication skills. Pharmacists frequently offer advice to patients. They might need to explain how to take a medicine, for example, and what its side effects are. They also need to offer clear direction to pharmacy technicians and interns.

Computer skills. Pharmacists need computer skills to use any electronic health record (EHR) systems that their organization has adopted.

Detail oriented. Pharmacists are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the prescriptions they fill. They must be able to find the information that they need to make decisions about what medications are appropriate for each patient, because improper use of medication can pose serious health risks.

Managerial skills. Pharmacists—particularly those who run a retail pharmacy—must have good managerial skills, including the ability to manage inventory and oversee a staff.

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Clinical Pharmacist jobs

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Clinical Pharmacist Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Vietnamese

  • Chinese

  • Mandarin

  • Russian

  • Arabic

  • Hindi

  • Cantonese

  • Gujarati

  • German

  • Swedish

  • Korean

  • Polish

  • Ukrainian

  • Malay

  • Dari

  • Urdu

  • Albanian

  • Italian

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Clinical Pharmacist Education

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Real Clinical Pharmacist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Clinical Pharmacist Community Hospital of The Monterey Peninsula Monterey, CA Jun 01, 2011 $154,355
Clinical Pharmacist Informatics Prowess It Solutions LLC Metuchen, NJ Oct 02, 2016 $147,389
Clinical Pharmacist Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital Santa Rosa, CA Sep 01, 2015 $144,000
Clinical Pharmacist-Diabetes Specialist Sonora Regional Medical Center Sonora, CA Sep 16, 2015 $143,208
Clinical Pharmacist Memorial Hermann Health System Houston, TX May 16, 2016 $132,827
Clinical Pharmacist Memorial Hermann Health System Houston, TX Dec 23, 2015 $132,827
Clinical Pharmacist Rite Aid Corp. Redmond, WA Apr 01, 2014 $131,064
Clinical Pharmacist Health Care Pioneers, Inc. DBA Vivarx Pharmacy Rancho Mirage, CA Jan 03, 2016 $130,000
Clinical Pharmacist Health Care Pioneers, Inc. DBA Vivarx Pharmacy Rancho Mirage, CA Jan 05, 2016 $130,000
Clinical Pharmacist Health Care Pioneers, Inc. DBA Vivarx Pharmacy Rancho Mirage, CA Nov 04, 2016 $130,000
Clinical and Operational Excellence and Process Improvement Pharmacist Kentuckyone Health, Inc. Louisville, KY Jun 03, 2015 $130,000
Clinical Pharmacist Yuma Regional Medical Center Yuma, AZ Sep 19, 2016 $129,269
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist Oroville Hospital Oroville, CA Jul 27, 2011 $127,829
Clinical Pharmacist Trivergent Health Alliance MSO LLC Cumberland, MD Aug 01, 2014 $117,291
Clinical Pharmacist University of Chicago Medical Center Chicago, IL Jan 07, 2016 $116,586
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas Beaumont, TX Sep 10, 2012 $116,480
Clinical Pharmacist-Specialist Adventist Health System/Sunbelt Inc. Orlando, FL Aug 24, 2015 $116,475
Clinical Pharmacist Specialist University of Chicago Medical Center Chicago, IL Oct 30, 2013 $115,000
Staff Clinical Pharmacist Adventist Health System/Sunbelt Inc. D/B/A Florida Orlando, FL Jan 12, 2015 $114,200
Staff Clinical Pharmacist Adventist Health System/Sunbelt Inc. D/B/A Florida Orlando, FL Sep 01, 2015 $114,130
Staff Clinical Pharmacist Adventist Health System/Sunbelt Inc. D/B/A Florida Orlando, FL Sep 21, 2015 $114,130
Clinical Pharmacist The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Memphis, TN Jan 01, 2015 $105,000
Clinical Pharmacist North Florida Regional Medical Center, Inc. Gainesville, FL Oct 13, 2014 $104,953
Clinical Pharmacist Cleveland Clinic Florida Weston, FL Jun 27, 2012 $104,350
Transplant Clinical Pharmacist VCU Health System Authority Richmond, VA Nov 14, 2016 $104,000
Clinical Pharmacist University of Maryland Medical System Baltimore, MD Jul 18, 2011 $102,680
Clinical Pharmacist VHS Harper-Hutzel Hospital, Inc. Detroit, MI Jan 01, 2011 $102,534
Clinical Pharmacist University of Kansas Hospital Authority Kansas City, KS Jul 01, 2013 $102,070

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Top Skills for A Clinical Pharmacist


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Top Clinical Pharmacist Skills

  1. IV
  2. Drug Information Questions
  3. Drug Therapy
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided/interpreted related drug information directly with healthcare providers regarding medication coverage and recommended therapeutic alternative therapy.
  • Deliver drug information questions to physicians, nurses, and patients when requested.
  • Provided patient and provider education related to drug therapy.
  • Monitor drug therapy as well as provide pharmacokinetic consultation.
  • Make all dosage adjustments based on renal function, convert IV to oral medications when appropriate.

Top Clinical Pharmacist Employers

Clinical Pharmacist Videos

Specialty Clinical Pharmacy