Education Requirements For a Pharmacist: Getting in the Know

If working in the medical field is one of your life ambitions, then you should consider the exciting career of a pharmacist. Becoming a pharmacist allows you to work closely with physicians and patients while providing a valuable service. So what are the education requirements for a pharmacist?

education requirements for a pharmacistThere are different levels of pharmacists. Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies and dispense medication and educate their patients. There are a wide variety of pharmacy technician courses throughout the country as well. Some are held on traditional campuses, but even more are now available online. A Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharmacist D.) works at a higher level and will have more career opportunities. Education requirements for a pharmacist generally include four years of study in an accredited pharmacy program. When you consider the 10 to 12 years required for doctors to complete medical school, it’s easy to understand why becoming a pharmacist is an attractive option for someone who wants to work in the medical field.

The education requirements for a pharmacist allow for a course of study to be completed online. Online education provides many more opportunities to complete an accredited Pharm D. course right from home. Online courses leading to a Pharm D. are available from traditional state universities and colleges as well as strictly Internet based institutions. When researching which school to attend, it is important to ensure the school has been accredited through the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Most institutions require two years of prerequisite classes covering the basics such as biology and chemistry. Once the education requirements for a pharmacist are complete, the final step is taking the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam.

Medical professionals generally have to complete continuing education requirements during their license period to ensure familiarity with the newest practices and procedures. This is true for pharmacists as well. Continuing education requirements for a pharmacist vary from state to state; however, most require about 30 hours of continuing education during the licensing period. Fulfilling the continuing education requirements for a pharmacist can be completed in a number of ways, and online accredited courses are plentiful.

There has never been a higher demand for trained professionals in this medical field. Pharmacists work in community pharmacies, but there are many other employment avenues to consider. Work is available in mail order or Internet pharmacies, smaller clinics and hospitals or for the government. A doctor of pharmacy will have even more opportunities for advancement including being offered part ownership in an independent pharmacy or even moving on to do research and development for pharmaceutical providers. The median salary is $85,000 per year, and depending on the specific area a pharmacist works, the pay can be higher still.

Becoming a pharmacist is a great way to become actively involved in the medical field. The education requirements for a pharmacist do not require a decade to complete and once the requirements are met, there are tremendous opportunities for advancement.


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