USA Career Guide- Pharmacists

Education Requirement to become Pharmacists

To become Pharmacists you need at least 2 to 3 years of undergraduate study; for some programs, you must have a bachelor’s degree. You need to take a standardized test  Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT)  for most of the programs.

Pharm.D. programs usually take 4 years to finish, although some programs offer a 3-year option. Pharmacists seeking an advanced pharmacy position, such as a clinical pharmacy or research job, complete a 1- to 2-year residency following their Pharm. D. Some pharmacists who own their own store may choose to get a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). Others may get a degree in public health.


All states license pharmacists. After they finish the Pharm. D., prospective pharmacists must pass two exams to get a license. One of the exams is in pharmacy skills and knowledge. The other is in pharmacy law in the state giving the pharmacy license.

Pay of Pharmacists in the USA

As reported Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor by the median wage of pharmacists was $111,570 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $82,090, and the top 10 percent earned more than $138,620.

Job Prospects of Pharmacists in the USA

The overall employment levels and rates of employment growth of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians reflect the growing size of the nation's pharmaceutical industry. Next to registered nurses and physicians and surgeons, pharmacy technicians and pharmacists are the next largest health care and technical occupations.
Employment of pharmacists is expected to increase by 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Several factors are likely to contribute to this increase- a significant number of pharmacists are expected to retire in the coming decade, new pharmacists should expect good job prospects.(Source:Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor)

Industrial Overview of Pharmacists in the USA

Pharmacists held about 274,900 jobs in 2010. The following industries employed the largest number of pharmacists in 2010:
Pharmacies and drug stores    43%
Hospitals; state, local, and private    23
Grocery stores    8
Department stores    6
Other general merchandise stores    5
Source:Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor
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