Pharmacist Education and Career Pathway

By | January 12, 2024
Pharmacist Education
You need to go through certain education to become a pharmacist and be successful in your career.

This post provides detailed information on the pharmacist education and career pathway to help you understand what you need to do to become a successful pharmacist, including the certifications you need to have.

Who is a Pharmacist?

A pharmacist is a healthcare professional who has completed an accredited pharmacy education program, which includes coursework in pharmacology, therapeutics, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmaceutics, medical terminology, health care law, and the practice of pharmacy.

Why Choose Pharmacist Career?

There are a number of reasons why you should choose to become a pharmacist:

  1. The profession offers great opportunities for career advancement.
  2. You can work part-time or full-time as a pharmacist.
  3. There are many different types of jobs available within the field.
  4. A pharmacist earns a good salary.
  5. The job provides excellent benefits such as dental insurance, life insurance, retirement plans, etc.
  6. As a pharmacist, you have access to continuing education courses that help you stay current with new developments in your field.

Pharmacist Education Requirements

The requirements for becoming a pharmacist vary by state but generally include:

  1. An Associate’s Degree from a College or University that is accredited.
  2. Successful completion of the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)

Pharmacist Continuing Education

Continuing education is important for all professionals because it helps keep them up to date on the latest trends in their field.

It also allows them to be more effective at what they do. Because there are so many different areas of pharmacy, however, it is difficult to know where to start when looking for continuing education options.

Fortunately, there are several resources available to assist you in finding the best programs for your needs.

Pharmacist Certification/License

Once you complete your training, you must obtain a license to practice medicine in order to legally prescribe medications.

This process varies by state, but generally requires successful completion of a national certification exam administered by a nationally recognized organization.

Some states require additional certifications before allowing a pharmacist to practice independently.

Pharmacist Career Opportunities

There are a number of career opportunities available to a pharmacist, these include:

  1. Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Clinical pharmacists specialize in one area of pharmacy, such as compounding, patient counseling, medication therapy management, or clinical research.

They may work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, pharmacies, or other locations.

2. Community Pharmacist

Community pharmacists provide services to patients in retail settings. They dispense prescription drugs, provide advice regarding drug use, and perform various administrative tasks.

Most community pharmacists work in independent pharmacies.

3. Hospital Pharmacist

Hospital pharmacists work in hospital pharmacies. Their primary responsibilities include dispensing medications and providing advice about drug therapies.

Many hospital pharmacists also take part in patient monitoring activities.

4. Independent Pharmacist

Independent pharmacists sell prescription drugs directly to consumers. They may also offer health care products, nutritional supplements, and over-the-counter medicines.

These pharmacists usually operate out of retail stores.

5. Medication Therapy Management Pharmacist

Medication Therapy Managers (MTMs) are licensed pharmacists who counsel individuals about appropriate uses of medications and monitor their progress.

MTMs often work with physicians and other healthcare providers to ensure that patients receive the most appropriate treatment.

Other career opportunities that pharmacists can explore include:

  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
  • Research Scientist
  • Regulatory Affairs Professional
  • School Pharmacist
  • Senior Pharmacist
  • Specialty Pharmacist
  • Therapeutic Services Coordinator
  • Transitional Care Manager
  • Traveling Pharmacist.

How to Advance your Pharmacist Career

To advance your pharmacist career, you should consider taking advantage of the following opportunities:

  1. Be sure to maintain good relationships with your employer and coworkers. You never know when a chance will present itself.
  2. Network with others in your profession. Find out what they’re doing, how they got into their current position, and ask questions.
  3. Take advantage of professional organizations and associations. The American Pharmaceutical Association has a wealth of information on careers in pharmacy.
  4. Keep yourself up-to-date with new developments in your field. Subscribe to journals like Drug Information Journal, which provides articles written by leading experts in the pharmaceutical industry.
  5. Participate in continuing education programs offered through your local college or university.
  6. Ask your employer if there is any training available for you. Your employer might be able to help you gain additional skills or learn more about a particular specialty.

How to find a Good Pharmacist School

Finding a quality school can be difficult but here are some tips to get started with:

  1. Talk to friends, family members, and co-workers. They can recommend schools based on their experiences.
  2. Use online resources. Check out websites like and
  3. Search on Google for “best pharmacy school near me”. This search term will bring up results from different sources, including pharmacy schools, state boards of pharmacy, and individual universities.
  4. Contact schools directly. Most schools have websites where you can view their admissions requirements and application deadlines.
  5. Visit the schools you’re interested in attending. Make sure you visit the campus before applying. If possible, talk to students at the school and see if they would recommend it.

How to be Successful in your Pharmacist Career

A successful pharmacist must possess these qualities:

  1. A positive attitude. When things don’t go as planned, it’s natural to grow disheartened. However, it is wise to focus on the positive parts of your job.
  2. Knowledgeable. Learn everything you can about your product line.
  3. Patient. Remember that you are helping people every day.
  4. Dedicated. Give all of your energy to each patient encounter.
  5. Responsible. Always do your best to provide the highest level of care.
  6. Honest. Be honest with patients and colleagues.
  7. Ethical. Do not take advantage of patients or colleagues.
  8. Flexible. Adaptability is important because pharmacists work in many environments.
  9. Innovative. Try new ways to improve your practice.
  10. Professional. Treat your customers and colleagues respectfully.

What Does a Pharmacist Do?

A pharmacist is a healthcare professional who has completed an accredited pharmacy education program, which includes coursework in pharmacology, therapeutics, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmaceutics, medical terminology, health care law, and the practice of pharmacy.

The following list includes some of the duties performed by a pharmacist:

  1. Dispense medications
  2. Answer customer questions
  3. Counsel patients about drug use
  4. Maintain records
  5. Order supplies
  6. Review prescriptions
  7. Provide health promotion services
  8. Administer immunizations
  9. Perform physical exams
  10. Manage medication therapy management (MTM) programs
  11. Conduct research
  12. Work with other healthcare providers.

Qualities of a Good Pharmacist 

These are some traits that make a good pharmacist:

  1. Integrity

The most important characteristic of a good pharmacist is integrity. You should always act honestly and ethically.

2. Respectfulness

You need to show respect for others. When interacting with patients, coworkers, and employers, you should treat them with dignity and courtesy.

3. Responsibility

You must accept responsibility for your actions. As a pharmacist, you must always put the needs of your patients first.

4. Honesty

You must never, ever lie, cheat, or steal, and you must never condone people who do.

5. Self-discipline

In your personal life, you must uphold high standards. You must set goals and keep yourself accountable for meeting them.

Pharmacist Salary

The base income for pharmacist ranges from $134,168 to $151,672, with an average base salary of $142,398 according to

Pharmacist Job Outlook

Pharmacist employment is expected to fall by 2% between 2020 and 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Despite decreased employment, an average of 11,300 openings for pharmacists are expected each year over the next decade.


Pharmacists play a vital role in our society. They help us stay healthy and safe by providing information and advice about prescription drugs.

In addition, pharmacists can diagnose medical conditions and prescribe treatments.

This guide gives you a better understanding of the education you need to have to become a pharmacist and advance your career.