Kiss Your Pharmacist—It’s National Pharmacist Day!
What is a pharmacist?
Pharmacists are licensed professionals who connect the health and chemical sciences by dispensing pharmaceutical drugs, over the counter and by prescription, in an organized and standardized manner.
What does a pharmacist do?
Primarily, a pharmacist provides patients with FDA approved drugs and other general supplements and medications in order to manage and improve their health. According to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), pharmacists’ jobs will grow at the rate of 3% from 2014 to 2024. In May of 2015, the median annual wage of a pharmacist was $121,500.
A pharmacist also reviews medical drugs for safety and effectiveness, provides drug information, and administers other clinical services.
What does it take to become a pharmacist?
The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) requires a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) in order to become a pharmacist. Students who are working toward this degree must complete 2-3 years in an undergraduate program before enrolling in a Doctor of Pharmacy program. Since some Pharm.D. programs also require a Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy) degree, many students achieve that degree first. Most colleges and schools of pharmacy require a PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test), and additional requirements for most include references, essays, and an interview. The admissions process is stringent.
If you work or desire to study from home, you can apply to an online pharmacy degree program that will enable you to continue working while satisfying the requirements of the degree. You may find scholarships and grants that can help finance your studying, provided by some of the more renowned pharmaceutical corporations.
How to find a pharmaceutical college
The AACP offers a free pharmaceutical college locator on their website. To find an online pharmacy college, check with education connection.com, which offers a list of 100% online colleges. Not sure which college to apply to? Check out this comparison of pharmaceutical schools to narrow down your decision.
Now, go kiss your pharmacist!