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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.Education
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.Training
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Float Pharmacist
Top Careers After Float Pharmacist
Hispanic or Latino7.5%
Black or African American0.6%
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Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences14.4%
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill5.8%
University of Florida5.1%
University of Illinois at Chicago5.1%
Saint Louis College of Pharmacy5.1%
University of South Carolina - Columbia4.7%
University of Southern California4.7%
Albany College of Pharmacy4.3%
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University4.3%
University of Georgia4.3%
University of Louisiana at Monroe4.3%
University of Washington3.9%
Saint John's University - New York3.9%
University of Iowa3.9%
University of Utah3.9%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Floater Pharmacist||Kmart Corporation||Artesia, NM||Sep 28, 2015||$135,200|
|Floating Pharmacist||Kmart Corporation||Las Cruces, NM||Sep 28, 2015||$135,200|
|Floater Pharmacist||Kmart Corporation||Santa Fe, NM||Sep 28, 2015||$135,200|
|Floating Pharmacist||Kmart Corporation||Columbus, GA||May 08, 2012||$133,120 -
|Floating Pharmacist||Kmart Corporation||FL||Feb 28, 2012||$133,120 -
|Floating Pharmacist||Kmart Corporation||Pensacola, FL||Feb 28, 2012||$133,120 -
|Floater Pharmacist||Kmart Corporation||Prattville, AL||May 08, 2012||$133,120 -
|Floater Pharmacist||Kmart Corporation||Homewood, AL||May 08, 2012||$133,120 -
|Floater Pharmacist||Kmart Corporation||Birmingham, AL||May 08, 2012||$133,120 -
|Floating Pharmacist||Kmart Corporation||Dothan, AL||Dec 01, 2011||$133,120 -
|Floating Pharmacist||Kmart Corporation||Mobile, AL||Dec 01, 2011||$133,120 -
|Floating Pharmacist||Kmart Corporation||Orange Park, FL||Feb 28, 2012||$133,120 -
|Floating Pharmacist||Kmart Corporation||Panama City Beach, FL||Feb 28, 2012||$133,120 -
|Floating Pharmacist||Kmart Corporation||Jacksonville, FL||Feb 28, 2012||$133,120 -
|Floating Pharmacist||Albertson's, LLC||Clovis, NM||May 23, 2011||$114,400|
|Floating Pharmacist||Albertson's, LLC||Albuquerque, NM||May 23, 2011||$114,400|
|Floating Pharmacist||Albertson's, LLC||Santa Fe, NM||May 23, 2011||$114,400|
|Floating Pharmacist||Albertson's, LLC||Las Cruces, NM||May 23, 2011||$114,400|
|Floating Pharmacist||Albertson's, LLC||Taos, NM||May 23, 2011||$114,400|
|Pharmacist Pharmacist Floater)||Publix Super Markets, Inc.||Gallatin, TN||Jul 06, 2010||$110,240|
|Pharmacist Pharmacist Floater)||Publix Super Markets, Inc.||TN||Jul 06, 2010||$110,240|
|Pharmacy Floater||Publix Super Markets, Inc.||Enterprise, AL||May 07, 2012||$108,160|
|Pharmacy Floater||Publix Super Markets, Inc.||Columbus, GA||May 07, 2012||$108,160|
|Pharmacy Floater||Publix Super Markets, Inc.||Montgomery, AL||May 07, 2012||$108,160|
|Pharmacy Floater||Publix Super Markets, Inc.||Orange Beach, AL||May 07, 2012||$108,160|
|Pharmacy Floater||Publix Super Markets, Inc.||Destin, FL||May 07, 2012||$108,160|
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