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Become A Staff Pharmacist

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Working As A Staff 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

  • $108,477

    Average Salary

What Does A Staff Pharmacist Do

Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. They also may conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, oversee the medications given to patients, and provide advice on healthy lifestyles.

Duties

Pharmacists typically do the following:

  • Fill prescriptions, verifying instructions from physicians on the proper amounts of medication to give to patients
  • Check whether prescriptions will interact negatively with other drugs that a patient is taking or any medical conditions the patient has
  • Instruct patients on how and when to take a prescribed medicine and inform them about potential side effects they may experience from taking the medicine
  • Give flu shots and, in most states, other vaccinations
  • Advise patients about general health topics, such as diet, exercise, and managing stress, and on other issues, such as what equipment or supplies would be best to treat a health problem
  • Complete insurance forms and work with insurance companies to ensure that patients get the medicines they need
  • Oversee the work of pharmacy technicians and pharmacists in training (interns)
  • Keep records and do other administrative tasks
  • Teach other healthcare practitioners about proper medication therapies for patients

Some pharmacists who own their pharmacy or manage a chain pharmacy spend time on business activities, such as inventory management. Pharmacists also must take continuing education courses throughout their career to keep up with the latest advances in pharmacological science.

With most drugs, pharmacists use standard dosages from pharmaceutical companies. However, some pharmacists create customized medications by mixing ingredients themselves, a process known as compounding.

The following are examples of types of pharmacists:

Community pharmacists work in retail stores such as chain drug stores or independently owned pharmacies. They dispense medications to patients and answer any questions that patients may have about prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, or any health concerns that the patient may have. They also may provide some primary care services such as giving flu shots.

Clinical pharmacists work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings. They spend little time dispensing prescriptions. Instead, they are involved in direct patient care. Clinical pharmacists may go on rounds in a hospital with a physician or healthcare team. They recommend medications to give to patients and oversee the dosage and timing of the delivery of those medications. They also may conduct some medical tests and offer advice to patients. For example, pharmacists working in a diabetes clinic may counsel patients on how and when to take medications, suggest healthy food choices, and monitor patients’ blood sugar.

Consultant pharmacists advise healthcare facilities or insurance providers on patient medication use or improving pharmacy services. They also may give advice directly to patients, such as helping seniors manage their prescriptions.

Pharmaceutical industry pharmacists work in areas such as marketing, sales, or research and development. They may design or conduct clinical drug trials and help to develop new drugs. They may also help to establish safety regulations and ensure quality control for drugs.

Some pharmacists work as college professors. They may teach pharmacy students or conduct research. For more information, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.

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How To Become A Staff 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.

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.

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Staff Pharmacist jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Pharmacist Manager 6.3 years
Staff Pharmacist 6.0 years
Retail Pharmacist 5.3 years
Pharmacist 4.5 years
Float Pharmacist 2.5 years
Top Employers Before
Pharmacist 18.6%
Internship 2.4%
Manager 0.7%
Top Employers After
Pharmacist 24.3%
PRN 1.5%
Manager 1.2%
Owner 0.6%

Staff Pharmacist Demographics

Gender

Female

52.7%

Male

44.1%

Unknown

3.2%
Ethnicity

White

70.4%

Asian

16.9%

Hispanic or Latino

7.5%

Unknown

3.8%

Black or African American

1.4%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.5%

Hindi

7.2%

Arabic

6.7%

French

6.4%

Vietnamese

5.8%

Mandarin

5.3%

Korean

5.3%

Russian

5.0%

Gujarati

4.5%

Chinese

4.5%

Cantonese

2.5%

Hebrew

2.2%

Italian

1.7%

German

1.7%

Urdu

1.7%

Malayalam

1.1%

Greek

1.1%

Polish

1.1%

Bengali

0.8%

Persian

0.8%
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Staff Pharmacist Education

Schools

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences

10.5%

Temple University

7.9%

University of Florida

7.5%

Duquesne University

6.5%

University of Illinois at Chicago

5.3%

Saint Louis College of Pharmacy

5.1%

Ferris State University

4.9%

Howard University

4.4%

Albany College of Pharmacy

4.4%

Northeastern University

4.4%

Saint John's University - New York

4.4%

Auburn University

4.1%

University of Kentucky

4.0%

University of Georgia

4.0%

Ohio Northern University

3.9%

University of Mississippi

3.9%

University of Louisiana at Monroe

3.8%

University of Iowa

3.7%

University of Rhode Island

3.7%

University of Connecticut

3.7%
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Majors

Pharmacy

85.0%

Business

3.0%

Biology

2.3%

Chemistry

1.2%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

0.9%

Health Care Administration

0.8%

Clinical Psychology

0.8%

Education

0.7%

Public Health

0.7%

Pharmacology

0.7%

Management

0.6%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

0.5%

Medicine

0.5%

Law

0.4%

Nursing

0.4%

Marketing

0.4%

Psychology

0.4%

Medical Technician

0.3%

Liberal Arts

0.3%

Health Sciences And Services

0.3%
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Degrees

Doctorate

39.8%

Bachelors

35.3%

Other

14.5%

Masters

8.1%

Certificate

1.3%

Associate

0.7%

License

0.2%

Diploma

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Staff Pharmacist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Staff Pharmacist Bansi Corporation Beaumont, CA Jan 10, 2016 $250,440
Staff Pharmacist Kmart Corporation Show Low, AZ Jun 27, 2016 $145,600
Compounding, Marketing & Dispensing Staff Pharmacist Snyder-Mark Drugs Roselle Inc. Roselle, IL Mar 06, 2016 $145,371
Staff Pharmacist Safeway Inc. Willits, CA Jan 05, 2015 $145,255
Staff Pharmacist University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA Aug 01, 2015 $141,566
CA Staff Pharmacist CVS RX Services, Inc. Indio, CA Jul 22, 2016 $140,246
Staff Pharmacist Safeway Inc. Burney, CA Jun 16, 2015 $138,994
Staff Pharmacist CVS RX Services, Inc. Odessa, TX Jan 04, 2016 $138,786
Staff Pharmacist Safeway Inc. Fairbanks, AK Aug 24, 2016 $138,264
Staff Pharmacist Safeway Inc. North Pole, AK Sep 09, 2016 $138,264
Staff Pharmacist Safeway Inc. Fort Bragg, CA Jan 05, 2015 $137,951
Staff Pharmacist Safeway Inc. Lakeport, CA Jan 05, 2015 $137,951
Staff Pharmacist Weatherwax Family Pharmacies, Inc. Jackson, MI Jun 24, 2016 $137,280
Staff Pharmacist CVS RX Services, Inc. Dublin, GA Oct 15, 2015 $125,783
Staff Pharmacist Safeway Inc. Alliance, NE Aug 25, 2015 $125,220
Staff Pharmacist Safeway Inc. Chadron, NE Sep 25, 2015 $125,220
Staff Pharmacist GKN RX Inc. Livingston, CA Jan 03, 2016 $125,220
Staff Pharmacist Safeway Inc. Ellensburg, WA Jun 27, 2016 $125,220
Staff Pharmacist Opitiz Inc. Woodbridge, VA Jul 09, 2016 $125,220
Staff Pharmacist Safeway Inc. Yakima, WA Oct 09, 2016 $125,220
Staff Pharmacist Brothers Pharmacy Flint, MI Oct 15, 2015 $125,000
Staff Pharmacist Highland Park Glory Pharmacy, LLC Highland Park, MI Dec 14, 2015 $114,400
Staff Pharmacist Luker Pharmacy Management Incorporated Bay City, TX Sep 15, 2015 $114,000
Staff Pharmacist Luker Pharmacy Management, Incorporated Bay City, TX Sep 10, 2015 $114,000
Staff Pharmacist Rapides Regional Medical Center Alexandria, LA May 09, 2016 $112,907
Staff Pharmacist Heartland Discount Pharmacy LLC Okeechobee, FL Sep 17, 2016 $112,698
Staff Pharmacist Bala Ganapati Inc. Newark, NJ Jul 12, 2015 $112,320
Staff Pharmacist Bala Ganapati Inc. Newark, NJ Sep 12, 2015 $112,320
Staff Pharmacist Accredo Health Group Inc. Memphis, TN Sep 19, 2016 $112,000

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Top Skills for A Staff Pharmacist

PharmacyStaffDrugTherapyIVPossibleDrugInteractionsCustomerServiceDrugInformationDrugUtilizationReviewOTCOrderEntryMedicationTherapyManagementCounselPatientsMedicationOrdersTPNPatientCareSupervisePrescriptionOrdersInventoryControlOutcomesPatientProfilesRetailPharmacy

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Top Staff Pharmacist Skills

  1. Pharmacy Staff
  2. Drug Therapy
  3. IV
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Manage pharmacy staff in fulfilling approximately 250 prescriptions daily.
  • Participated in drug therapy rounds.
  • Performed assigned duties and responsibilities for the delivery of quality pharmacy services.
  • Answered patient questions about medication and possible drug interactions.
  • Provided excellent customer service, minimal wait time for prescription pickups and handled stat same day deliveries.

Top Staff Pharmacist Employers

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Staff Pharmacist Videos

Division of Pharmacy: We Are All Caregivers | Cincinnati Children's

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