How to Become a Pharmacist

Overview & Salaries

Some pharmacists 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.

Median salary:

Expected growth from 2012-2020:

Specialization Options:
Medication specialist, analyst, clinical laboratory science, and management

Recommended Degree:
Those looking to become a pharmacist will need a Ph.D. in Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, or a PharmD degree. All states require that you earn a license as well, which required you to pass two state-approve exams. To learn more, please click on the “Education Required” tab up top.

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Pharmacist page page) 

Discover the Best Places to Become a Pharmacist

Currently, California offers the highest annual mean wage for pharmacists at $129,560, also having over 26,000 jobs in the pharmacist workforce. For pharmacy technicians, California again gives practitioners the highest annual mean salary, coming in at $39,570, and employing 2.16 of those in the field per thousand jobs available.

Salary and Employment Data by State for Pharmacist

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Pharmacy. All data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a highly credible government agency.

Employment and Information Data for Pharmacist

Why Pharmacy

The often complex, and dangerous, world of pharmacology is predicted to continue to grow over the next decade due to an influx of senior citizens, combined with major advancements in pharmaceutical drugs designed to improve and extend lives.

According to government studies, the demand for pharmacy services will become so great, professionals will soon be setting up shop in senior homes and retirement centers.

Recommended Pharmacology Courses

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Calculations
  • Pathophysiology
  • Pharmaceutical Analysis
  • Professional Practice & Informatics
  • Integrated Pharmacy Skills
  • Health Care Systems
  • Microbiology/Immunology
  • Molecular Biology

Degrees for Pharmacy Careers

Certificate programs in pharmacology provides students a basic understanding of pharmacy operations and drug safety  It prepares students to work as pharmacy technicians.

Bachelor’s Degree
The Bachelor’s in Pharmacology lays the groundwork for a career in pharmacology. Many applicants to the Doctor of Pharmacy program begin studies with this program.

In order to begin a Doctor of Pharmacy program, applicants will need to have a solid background in as chemistry, biology and anatomy. Similar to the path of the chiropractor, once you’ve completed three years of undergraduate studies, applicants can begin the pharmacy program.