How to Become a Pharmacist
25 October 2009
Most people already have an idea as to what a Pharmacists major duties, and responsibilities are, but few people actual know what it takes to become a pharmacist, what are the licensing requirements, or even the average pay scale of a pharmacy technician. We’ll go over that here.
Before enrolling in a college for the pharmaceutical field you should have a few requirements met, most are educational and will vary from institution to institution, but the first requirements to be concerned about are the state and federal requirements. Almost every state requires a clean background check, and in the ones that don’t, the companies or college will require it, also most companies now require a drug screen for every qualified candidate. In some rare cases, certain felony convictions can be waived, an easy online check can be done to determine the qualification requirements for each individual state, or the school you are intending to attend will be able to give you this information.
You should expect to have to attend college for around 6 years. The requirements vary, but generally demand 2 or more years in undergraduate study before taking the Pharmacy College Admissions Test. Then 4 years in graduate studies, to earn a PharmD. Undergraduate studies are intense and the graduate work requires an internship be completed. Due to shortages in the medical field grants and fellowships are becoming more available to the student, to help offset the cost of the long course of study, but the national average is around $35,000-$50,000 per year. With the grants and fellowships, this cost can be offset by as much as 75% depending upon the institution and, more importantly, the student.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a pharmacist should make around $98,000.00 per year, but a recruiter in Atlanta claims that the average contract they supply is around $110,000.00-$120,000.00, and with signing bonuses ranging from $5000-$15,000 that may be offered to keep the candidate in place for up to three years the financial reward is considerable. With the present shortage of licensed pharmacists jobs are abundant as compared to other fields, so the average graduate doesn’t stay on the job market long, usually having offers before graduation.