How to Become a Pharmacist

Welcome to the comprehensive guide that teaches you how to become a pharmacist!  Read on to learn why pharmacists are an important part of healthcare, what pharmacists do at work, and the future outlook for pharmacists.  We also show you the educational requirements and professional licensing requirements to become a pharmacist as well as provide a step by step guide to become a pharmacist yourself.  There is a chance a rewarding professional career awaits.  Become a pharmacist and make a difference!

What are Pharmacists?

Pharmacists are an important part of the healthcare team and play a vital role in patient well-being.  They provide members of the public with advice and information on drugs that should be taken according to the ailment or disease the patient has.  Pharmacists are different from doctors in that a pharmacist does not prescribe the actual medicine, but instead dispenses the medicine to the patient.  As such, pharmacists are the last healthcare professional that can check if the appropriate medication is given.

What do Pharmacists do?

The role of the pharmacist is to dispense the drugs and label the goods with clear instructions as well as provide counseling and clinical services.  Pharmacists are also becoming more involved with managing diseases and the role has expanded in the recent years.  Contemporary pharmacists also evaluate patients alongside doctors and develop treatment options for patients.

Pharmacy Video

What are the Educational Requirements to Become a Pharmacist?

Previously, a Bachelor of Science was required to become a pharmacist, but nowadays a Doctor of Pharmacy degree (Pharm D) is required.  A pharmacy student has 4 years of undergraduate coursework to get a Bachelor degree and an additional 4 years of professional pharmacy school to get the Pharm D.  The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is used for professional pharmacy school admissions.  Alternatively, some pharmacy programs offer 2 years of undergraduate coursework and 4 years of pharmacy courses directly after high school without the need for the PCAT. The best schools to choose from are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

What Does the Future Look Like for Pharmacists?

The career outlook for pharmacists is bright since healthcare is an industry that is a necessity.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacists in the US earn over $110,000 per year.  There are also many different types of pharmacist positions available.  Some examples include retail pharmacist, hospital staff pharmacist, clinical pharmacist, consultant pharmacist, mail order pharmacist, managed care pharmacist, and drug industry pharmacist.

How do I Get a Pharmacist License?

Many of the job positions for pharmacists also require a pharmacist license.  To get a license, pharmacists need to pass the NAPLEX (North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination) and for most states, the MPJE (Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination).  A few states have slightly different requirements, but the NAPLEX , MPJE, and internship experience will suffice for the most part. Most of the exams are registered through the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).

How to Become a Pharmacist

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Want to Get Started on How to Become a Pharmacist?

Our guide will show you how to become a pharmacist no matter what stage you are at!

Starting from High School -The journey to become a pharmacist is challenging, so get a head start and prepare in high school!

Building a Strong Foundation in Undergrad -College is a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. Set priorities and know what courses to focus on to get into a pharmacy school.

Making the Most of Pharmacy School -There is a lot more to do than study in pharmacy school. Prepare yourself to meet your professional goals after graduation.

Thriving in the Job Market -You’ve worked hard throughout the years. Make the most of it by getting your dream job!

Every state has its own requirements to become a pharmacist and navigating all the rules for each individual state is time-consuming. Take a look at our state licensing information to save time.