Over the last 25 years, pharmacy has evolved as a dynamic field that provides a broad range of health-related services and is practiced in a wide variety of settings. This is great news for anyone who’s considering pharmacy as a career, be it in community pharmacies, hospitals, veterinary pharmacies, or the military. The opportunities are nearly limitless.
If you are wondering about a career in pharmacy, it may help to ask yourself some key questions about the things you like to do and your personal goals. For example, are you interested in science and math? Do you enjoy working with other people? Are you a good communicator? And, finally, are you looking to do something meaningful? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then pharmacy could be the perfect career for you. (Looking for a pharmacy school? Look no further than our college search and these schools offering a pharmacy or pre-pharmacy program. And to pay for it, check out these pharmacy scholarships.)
Pharmacists play an important role in helping people get the best results from their medications. The pharmacist is someone who’s accessible and trustworthy. He or she is someone who can answer health-related questions—what foods, drinks, activities, or other drugs could have an effect on a medication or what to do if you miss a dose. Essentially, pharmacists help people with almost anything related to the use of medicines, helping people stay healthy.
Why else is pharmacy considered a rewarding career?
- It’s exciting. Pharmacy combines science, health care, computer technology, business, math, and counseling. Some jobs in the sciences involve limited interaction with the public, but pharmacy offers a rare balance of independence and interaction with customers, which can be very appealing if you’re a “people person.” If you’re looking for adventure, you might be surprised to learn that pharmacy can be very exciting: pharmacists are often out in the field, offering services during natural disasters, epidemics, and other crises.
- Pharmacists are trusted professionals. Pharmacists are consistently ranked as some of the most highly trusted professionals because of the important care and health-related services they provide. If friends and/or family members frequently turn to you for advice, pharmacy may be a great field for you to explore.
- There’s room to grow. There is a need for pharmacists in a wide variety of work settings: community pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, the pharmaceutical industry, mail order pharmacy centers, managed care organizations, and government agencies (Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Public Health Service, etc.). What’s more, those with advanced pharmacy training can often move easily between these different areas.
- Pharmacy offers excellent earning potential and job security. Pharmacy is one of the most financially rewarding careers. The median expected salary for a pharmacist in the United States is over $110,000 per year. Also, pharmacists are in high demand, even in times of economic downturns, war, political reform, and natural disasters, so there is a relatively high level of job security that comes with a career in pharmacy.
If you think you have what it takes to become a pharmacist or if you want to learn more, you can visit www.PharmacyForMe.org. The site is part of Pharmacy is Right for Me, a new program launched by OptumRx and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) to help middle and high school students better understand the pharmacy field. The interactive website features an educational “roadmap” for pursuing pharmacy studies and also includes career profiles, snapshots of how pharmacy helps communities, a video library of testimonials from students and professionals, and a resource directory dedicated to internships, homework support, and professional organizations.
Take a look now and decide if Pharmacy is Right for You.