Pharmacists give over-the-counter medications to people. So, how to become a pharmacist? Working as a pharmacist can provide a good income if you desire to work as part of a healthcare team. Today, we will discuss how to become a pharmacist in brief. This article will also cover skills, duties, salary, and everything else you need to get started as a pharmacist. Make sure you check out the areas of specialization in this field such as pharmacist technicians and pharmacy assistants. Without wasting much time, let us dig into how to become a pharmacist in detail.
How To Become A Pharmacist?
You can follow these steps to learn how to become a pharmacist in the USA.
- Complete High School Education
- Take PCAT
- Complete Pharmacy Degree Programme
- Complete Pharmacist Internship
- Apply For A Pharmacist’s Licence
Pharmacists are essential workers in the healthcare industry. You can keep on reading to understand the complete process of becoming a pharmacist.
Step By Step Guide To Become A Pharmacist
In this section, I will explain how can you become a pharmacist to work in hospitals and other healthcare centers.
Complete High School Education
The first step towards the journey of becoming a pharmacist is to complete your high school education. Make sure you focus on subjects like English, Mathematics, Liberal Studies, and Chemistry. You can also take core science subjects to set a firm foundation for learning pharmacy.
Before taking admission to pharmacy schools, make sure you take the PCAT. Now, here, PCAT stands for Pharmacy College Admission Test. This test will help you test your verbal ability, chemistry, biology, reading, and writing skills.
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Complete Pharmacy Degree Programme
After attempting and passing the PCAT, apply for a pharmacy degree program. This program consists of subjects like biology and pharmacology. Make sure you complete this degree program with good scores to get community-based training. This will help you master your patient counselling skills. You can also complete your degree online.
Complete Pharmacist Internship
Once you complete your degree program, you are ready to apply for an internship. This training period usually lasts for a year. In fact, this training will also help you to practice as a pharmacist.
Apply For A Pharmacist’s Licence
Every pharmacist must contain a pharmacist’s license. For this, you have to complete a board-approved post-degree program and pass the registration examinations. Once you pass these examinations, the board will issue a license to you to practice pharmacy.
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Different Types Of Pharmacist Careers/Degrees
As I have mentioned earlier, pharmacists are advanced professionals who hold the responsibility of a pharmacy. There are two more job titles in pharmacy that require different levels of education and training.
First, let us check out how to become a pharmacist assistant.
These professionals only need a high school diploma and on-job training to secure their position in this field. Their general tasks include keeping medication records, stocking supplies, and working on a cash register.
Continue to read to know how to become a pharmacist technician.
Pharmacist technicians receive specialized training to assist pharmacists. They only have to complete a formal education degree program. Their main task is to operate medication dispensing equipment. They are legally allowed to call the doctor’s office for medication refills.
You can keep on reading further to know how many years does it takes to become a pharmacist.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Pharmacist?
Generally, it takes about five to eight years to become a licensed pharmacist. The time may vary depending upon the course you choose. Some pharmacy schools might ask the applicant to earn a 4-year bachelor’s degree. It further then takes 3 to 4 years to complete the course.
Skills Of A Pharmacist
Here are a few essential skills that can help pharmacists to perform their tasks more effectively.
- They must pay attention to every detail of doctor’s prescriptions.
- The pharmacists make sure that the patient gets the correct medications.
- They must also be able to educate their customers.
- This role requires excellent reading and writing skills.
- Actively listen to the customers’ responses.
- Must be able to access customer’s medical history.
- They must have excellent interpersonal skills.
- Computer literacy is an essential skill as they record customers’ medical histories.
- Have excellent organisation and administrative skills.
- It is important to have a good knowledge of basic health sciences.
Duties Of A Pharmacist
Apart from skills, there are certain tasks that must be only done by a pharmacist. Here, have a look at the duties and responsibilities of a pharmacist.
- Give clear instructions on the dosage of medications to the customers.
- Working with other healthcare professionals to design treatment programs.
- Maintain customer and inventory records.
- Provide basic medical services.
- Keep the pharmacy environment clean and tidy.
- Perform several administrative duties.
- Operate office equipment and instruments.
You can keep on reading to know how to become a pharmacist salary.
Salary Of A Pharmacist
The average salary of a pharmacist is about $59,851 dollars per month. There are several factors that can affect the salary of pharmacists. This includes your experience and education. However, the average salary of a pharmacy assistant is about $29,930 dollars. While the salary of a pharmacy technician is about $36,740 dollars.
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How Many Years Would It Take To Be A Pharmacist?
Three to four years of undergraduate pre-professional (prerequisite) coursework, followed by four academic years in the professional program. Most students need four years to complete their prerequisite courses. Thus, it usually takes eight years of college study to earn a Pharm. D.
What Is The Fastest Way To Become A Pharmacist?
While a bachelor’s degree in a related field can set you up for a doctorate-level pharmacy education, a pre-pharmacy program offers a faster path. Assuming a typical class load, a bachelor’s degree takes about four years; a pre-pharmacy program takes roughly two.
Is It Hard Becoming A Pharmacist?
With required topics such as pharmacology, pharmacotherapy, and pharmacokinetics, there can be no doubt that pharmacy school is hard. According to the American Associations of Colleges of Pharmacy it is estimated that more than 10% of people who make it into pharmacy school do not make it through to graduation day
What Is The First Step To Becoming A Pharmacist?
To work as a pharmacist, you must have a credential from your state’s licensing board. To get a license, you have to complete an internship and pass two exams: North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam: This test confirms your understanding of prescription medication and pharmacy skills.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Pharmacist In CA?
Programs take 4 years to complete. There are some 3 year options available through certain programs. Certain schools accept high school graduates for a special 6 year program. Courses in medical ethics, pharmacology and chemistry are included in Pharm.
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Is Becoming A Pharmacist Difficult?
To become a pharmacist, you need to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and pass the NAPLEX and MPJE exams. It’s a challenging and rigorous process—around 15 percent of students drop out after the first year of pharmacy school.
From my above post, you got to learn how to become a pharmacist online and offline. An individual needs to complete Pharm.D program to become a pharmacist. Further, they also have to complete internships and get a license for practicing. This field needs numerous professionals to serve customers. The process of how to become a pharmacist tech and assistant is slightly different. However, having an advanced degree in the pharmaceutical industry can increase your ability to earn a higher income. Now you know how to become a pharmacist, you are ready to apply for the pharmacy degree program in your state.
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