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Pharmacists

Pharmacists
Quick Facts : Pharmacists*
2010 Median Pay$111,570
Entry Level EducationDoctoral or professional degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012274,900
Job Outlook25% (Faster than average)
Employment Change69,700


Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer advice on their safe use. Those who own their store or manage a chain pharmacy spend more time on business activities, such as inventory management. Pharmacists also take continuing education throughout their career to keep up with the latest advances in pharmacological science.

What Pharmacists Do

  • Fill prescriptions, verifying instructions from physicians on the proper amounts of medication to give to patients
  • Instruct patients on how and when to take a prescribed medicine
  • Advise patients on potential side effects they may experience from taking the medicine
  • Complete insurance forms and work with insurance companies to be sure that patients get the medicines they need
  • Oversee the work of pharmacy technicians and pharmacists in training (interns)

Work Environment

Pharmacists work in pharmacies, including those in grocery and drug stores. They also work in hospitals and clinics.
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Job Outlook

Employment of pharmacists is expected to increase by 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, spurred by several factors.
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Pay

The average salary of pharmacists was $111,570 in May 2010.
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Pharmacists*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Pharmacists

111570

Healthcare Occupations

58203.2

All Jobs in the U.S.

52312.5223
Pharmacists*
Percent Change in Employment

Pharmacists

25.3547

Healthcare Occupations

25.417691284418105

All Jobs in the U.S.

15.767561808929724

Becoming a Pharmacists

All Doctor of Pharmacy programs require applicants to have taken postsecondary courses such as chemistry, biology, and anatomy. Applicants need at least 2 to 3 years of undergraduate study; for some programs, applicants must have a bachelor's degree. For most programs, applicants also must take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT). Pharm.D. programs usually take 4 years to finish, although some programs offer a 3-year options.
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