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Become A Retail Pharmacist

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Working As A Retail 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

  • $122,560

    Average Salary

What Does A Retail Pharmacist Do

A Retail Pharmacist prepares and distributes medications to customers, as well as advises them about how to use medications. They are responsible for providing the proper dosages and medicine to patients according to their prescriptions.

How To Become A Retail 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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Retail Pharmacist jobs

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Retail Pharmacist Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Chinese

  • Vietnamese

  • Mandarin

  • French

  • Cantonese

  • Hindi

  • Russian

  • Korean

  • Portuguese

  • Arabic

  • Gujarati

  • Ukrainian

  • Bengali

  • Tamil

  • Filipino

  • Urdu

  • Tagalog

  • Malayalam

  • German

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Retail Pharmacist Education

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Real Retail Pharmacist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Registered Pharmacist Janali LLC Milwaukee, WI Jul 15, 2014 $125,220
Registered Pharmacist HNZ, LLC Milwaukee, WI Apr 10, 2014 $125,220
Registered Pharmacist Dhanavantri Inc. Lexington, VA Sep 11, 2015 $115,265
Registered Pharmacist 31St. & 3Rd Pharmacy Inc. Melville, NY Feb 09, 2016 $115,000
Registered Pharmacist Baalaajee Inc. Roanoke, VA Oct 01, 2015 $108,000
Registered Pharmacist Raju & Gadiraju Inc. Morristown, NJ Jan 10, 2016 $105,480
Registered Pharmacist Raju & Gadiraju Inc. Morristown, NJ Feb 01, 2015 $104,433
Registered Pharmacist Sphinx Pharmacy Group Inc. Houston, TX Dec 31, 2014 $104,350
Registered Pharmacist Dhanavantri Inc. Lexington, VA Nov 16, 2013 $104,350
Registered Pharmacist Dhanavantri Inc. Lexington, VA Mar 01, 2014 $104,350
Registered Pharmacist Dhanavantri Inc. Roanoke, VA Nov 23, 2012 $104,350
Registered Pharmacist Dhanavantri Inc. Lexington, VA Mar 01, 2011 $104,350
Registered Pharmacist Dhanavantri Inc. Roanoke, VA Jun 13, 2011 $104,350
Registered Pharmacist Baalaajee Inc. Roanoke, VA Oct 01, 2015 $104,000
Registered Pharmacist Spectrum Health Hospitals Grand Rapids, MI Jun 04, 2010 $100,364
Registered Pharmacist Knight Service Company Owosso, MI May 19, 2009 $97,760

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Top Skills for A Retail Pharmacist


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Top Retail Pharmacist Skills

  1. Relief Pharmacist
  2. Drug Therapy
  3. Pharmacy Technicians
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Rehired to assume regular duties and serve as relief pharmacist for other shifts.
  • Provided patient and family education concerning drug therapy.
  • Supervised up to 5 pharmacists and 12 pharmacy technicians in all aspects of retail pharmaceutical care.
  • Reviewed patient pharmacy profiles for possible drug interactions.
  • Counseled patients regarding prescription medications and OTC items.

Top Retail Pharmacist Employers

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