For those running a pharmacy, additional training and a background in business and management also comes into play. Some pharmacists work every day of the week, while others log in overtime hours. Despite the costs, a pharmacy degree is generally viewed as having one of the most promising ROIs within the healthcare field. Paul Tran explains how much the true cost of pharmacy school will cost someone after 7-8 years of school. “There are a lot of opportunities for pharmacists right now,” says Hartmann. Pharmacy school generally consists of four years of education, which is required for a graduate to earn a doctor of pharmacy, or Pharm.D. Overall career and job satisfaction usually runs high among pharmacists; which is particularly noticeable in the future career plans of pharmacists surveyed for the 2014 National Pharmacist Workforce Survey : “The cost of my time was well worth it, I don’t regret my decision at all to become a pharmacist,” says Peters. program, pharmacists seeking an advanced position, such as a clinical pharmacy or research job, may need to complete a one- to two-year residency. Patrick Finnegan, Pham.D., BCPS, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, acknowledges the escalating competition for pharmacy jobs, and notes a significant change within the industry that could affect new pharmacy students and graduates. Skills and knowledge are verified by successfully passing the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) test. Knowledge of the effects of a drug and its activity within the body are critical, and physicians increasingly rely on the pharmacist for information on specific drugs and their availability. “The job market is a lot tighter in other areas of the country, especially the Northeast.”, When asked if he would do it all over if given the chance, Peters answered, “I would encourage my son to go into pharmacy, it’s a really good profession.”, “I am amazed at how far we’ve come as a profession since I graduated pharmacy school a decade ago,” says Finnegan. Oftentimes, a pharmacist works directly with physicians to formulate treatment plans for patients. “Through all of the advances in the profession, the patient is still always at the center of everything we do,” says Goldie Peters, Pham.D., BCPS, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. If becoming a pharmacist is not the right career choice for you, another option is to become a pharmacy assistant. Despite high levels of stress associated with the career field, U.S. News rates the profession of pharmacist above average in terms of upward mobility. Pharmacists who choose to complete the two-year residency option receive additional training in a specialty area such as internal medicine or geriatric care. “You also need to be a good independent learner,” says Hartmann. Total cost? As you can see from the chart, the average annual salary for pharmacists ranges from $109,000 (Nebraska) to $138,000 (Alaska).Differences among states in average pharmacist salaries can be due to multiple factors, including cost of living, demand for pharmacists, and where the pharmacists … Looking forward for something that should cover both aspects – practical as well as theoretical. Pharmacists may pursue shift-based work on a contract basis where they are employed on an ‘as-needed’ basis. “There are always new drugs coming out on the market and new studies being published. Please sign in to access your education expenses portfolio. One of the most common complaints of pharmacists related to job stress (with the exception of those that work in independent community settings) is “having so much work to do that everything cannot be done well” . Pharmacists who complete a residency often gain additional skills and experience which generally creates a more-appealing job candidate that qualifies for a wider range of employment opportunities. Average cost of a pharmacy degree from top tier schools Across the U.S., there are 12 public and one private schools of pharmacology that rank in the top 10. However, as with many medical-related professions, the overall job climate, shifts in government, and organization of work environments are constantly changing the role, salary and availability of jobs for pharmacists. A few schools offer what is often referred to as a “0 to 6” program, which is geared towards high school graduates and provides six years of study that combines undergraduate-level coursework with pharmacy school. New graduates tend to encounter a promising debt-to-income ratio with many pharmacists paying off their full student loan debt in a little over 10 years. “Working with patients is very rewarding and you also have the time to pursue a personal life to get those benefits and rewards.”. Dispensing medications at grocery stores and drug stores, a retail pharmacist can work long, demanding hours that include nights and weekends. “There are so many opportunities and so much we can offer patients.”, “Being in environments where inter-professional health care teams value your opinion is great,” he adds. In addition to having a great deal of responsibilities, pharmacists also experience varying workloads according to their work environment. 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