Top Careers for Pharmacy Majors
Interested in pursuing a medical career? Pharmacy is one of the promising healthcare jobs that never cease demand. Even more, there are a variety of pharmacy careers you can pursue if you are not exactly sure which path you’ll take.
What do Pharmacists do?
Pharmacists prepare and dispense medical prescriptions. They ensure that patients get the right medicines at the correct dosage, avoid harmful drug interactions, and guide patients about the proper consumption of drugs. Pharmacists have a crucial role in health care. They specialize in medicine composition, which includes the physical and biological properties, manufacture, and use.
A profession in pharmacy doesn’t incline one to work at hospitals and pharmacies—there are lots of sectors that need their assistance. They can work for pharmaceutical research, drug development, quality assurance, and medical schools.
How long does it take to become a pharmacist?
Becoming a pharmacist takes some time—eight years on average. That is because you’ll need to take up undergraduate coursework for three to four years. Then, you’ll need to complete the four-year professional study to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.). You can check out the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) to seek guidance in applying to multiple schools with one application.
After academic completion, they must earn their license by taking two licensure exams. These are the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE), or an exam for your state.
The process may take a while, but it’s a path that offers bountiful opportunities.
Top pharmacy careers
Here are the top pharmacy careers you need to know in becoming a pharmacist:
1. Chemotherapy pharmacist
Chemotherapy pharmacists prepare and dispense chemotherapy medications for cancer patients. Their job is to assess drug quality and provide relevant reviews to cancer treatment facilities. They help the tending doctors evaluate the efficacy of drugs to be used for cancer treatment.
Becoming a chemotherapy pharmacist is a rewarding path, especially if you desire to help cancer patients.
2. Community pharmacist
Do you enjoy working with different people? If you do, you may find being a community pharmacist rewarding. This is the most visible type of pharmacists as they work in pharmacies located in local areas, malls, and even supermarkets. They interact face-to-face with patients or customers to tend to their needs, requiring you to have good interpersonal skills and the capability to explain complex contexts in layman’s terms.
You will enjoy this profession as a pharmacist if you have a genuine interest in working with people and the patience in assisting them.
3. Hospital pharmacist
Hospital pharmacists work in the hospitals to serve as primary support in overseeing the proper medication of patients. As experts in medicine, they help nurses and doctors ensure patients receive the appropriate treatment. They guide physicians and nurses in the proper dosage, selection, and administration of drugs. Also, they help in the procurement and testing of medicines for purchase.
If you thrive in a fast-paced work environment like a hospital setting, you may find joy in serving patients in the hospital.
If you’re not ready to give up the academe yet, you can pursue research to impart discoveries. You can use your love for research in serving the public and the health care sector. Some of the areas you can research include pharmacotherapy, toxicology, clinical sciences, drug discovery, and public health.
Becoming a researcher is a fulfilling career for pharmacists who possess innate love for discovery and writing.
Since pharmacists are the experts in medicines, they serve as the authority in pharmaceuticals. They help pharmaceuticals in clinical trials of new drugs. In this field, pharmacists conduct studies from a medicinal perspective, ensuring that clinical trials for drugs undergo the appropriate process. They also head the liaising with hospital staff, consisting of counseling trial participants and educating the tending medical staff.
You’ll fit right into this job if you have a passion for drug development.
6. Director of pharmacy
If you got stellar leadership skills, you could give this profession a try. Directors of pharmacy manage a pharmacy’s operations. They handle drug procurement, storage, and staff coordination on proper dispensing to patients. As the pharmacy’s head, they make critical decisions and implement strategic plans for efficient pharmacy operations.
To thrive in this work environment, you need good management skills on top of your medical expertise. Here’s an online management class to help you brush up on the necessary skills.
7. Nuclear pharmacist
Nuclear pharmacists develop and test the safety and effectiveness of radiopharmaceuticals. These medicines are used for the diagnosis and treatment of different types of cancers and other ailments. They perform typical duties pharmacists like filling prescriptions and dispensing only radioactive drugs. That said, this profession requires additional expertise and knowledge in dealing with radioactive material and its safety.
Nuclear pharmacists typically work at large hospitals and commercial nuclear pharmacies, which cater to smaller hospitals and treatment facilities.
8. Military pharmacist
The Department of National Defense hires pharmacists to serve in the army, navy, and air force. If you are willing to be deployed in far-flung areas, you can carve out a promising career in the military. You can either be deployed in remote areas or board navy ships where the military needs your medical care.
Military pharmacists earn an annual salary of $85,354 – $130,949, which is impressive pay for licensed pharmacists.
9. Drug safety officer
Drug safety officers or pharmacovigilance officers report and monitor the effectiveness and the effects of pharmaceutical products. They process the reports of any adverse drug events, conduct the necessary conciliation with health authorities.
Drug safety officers earn an average pay of $120,000 a year.
Pharmacologists discover and develop different therapies to treat illnesses like cancer. They work with hospitals, biopharmaceuticals, and different public health organizations. Pharmacologists are good at research since the job requires collaboration with research scientists for quantitative modeling, clinical trials, and testing.
You’ll find satisfaction taking on this job with its attractive base salary of $97,993 a year.