Becoming a pharmacist is not as simple as taking a job at your local pharmacy. It is a highly-skilled position which takes years of training. However, it can also be an incredibly rewarding career – and one that will provide well for you for years to come.
Here’s what you need to know about the path to becoming a pharmacist:
With a growing need for pharmacists in the United States and worldwide, universities everywhere are adding and expanding pharmacy courses. Becoming a pharmacist requires a doctorate degree, as well as experience and successful passing of numerous exams. It can be very intimidating for a prospective student!
Begin by finding a great school nearby that offers the education you need. From there, you will be required to take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test – or PCAT – allowing you to move beyond general education requirements and onto specialized training.
After completing your education, you will be required to pass two licensing exams. These include the NAPLEX – the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam – and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam, or MPJE. These are both required before you can formally complete your pharmacy education.
Getting Started in the Field
Many pharmacists begin working during their education as pharmacy techs or pharmacy assistants. However, becoming an actual pharmacist requires extensive and completed education, as well as the experience that previous work in the field brings.
When applying for a pharmacy license, participants will need to pass a background check. They will need to submit proof of having completed an internship to their state’s board. They will be required to complete additional postgraduate experience hours, though this requirement may be waived if they have previous experience as a pharm tech or pharm assistant. Additionally, they may have to pass further examinations as proof of knowledge in specific areas such as vaccination and more.
Obviously, a lot goes into becoming a pharmacist. However, this career choice is one that is often as highly-regarded as doctors and other high-level medical professionals. It is also similarly lucrative. This is because a pharmacist, while not directly interacting with patients the way that many physicians do, is responsible for knowing most of what there is to know about medications, effects, and interactions to keep those patients safe and help them get healthy.
Ready to get started? Once your training is under your belt, consider pairing with the professionals at Concentric Health Care to find pharmacist jobs. We can match you to your perfect position – one that will keep you happy on the job and allow you to positively numerous impact lives.