Pharmacy is the most sought-after profession in the US. They are qualified to dispense medicines, advise on their use and provide health advice.
Being a pharmacist may seem like an attractive career, but is it worth it? There are many things to consider when deciding whether or not pursuing this profession is the right choice for you.
Pharmacy school is not for the faint of heart, nor for those who can’t deal with stress or long hours. But if it is something you genuinely want to do, then go for it!
This article will discuss everything pharmacy-related, from the branches of pharmacy to the sought-after perks of this profession, as well as the salary expectations.
Is Being A Pharmacist Worth It?
Being a pharmacist is worth it because pharmacy is a noble profession. It also comes with a hefty salary and benefits package, making it worth the very long hours and hard work.
And while this career is not for everyone, it’s a fantastic option for those who have the right mindset and attitude.
What Is A Pharmacist?
When you are sick and need medicine, what do you do? You go to a pharmacy and ask for it. And if the medicine is not there, most times you get upset.
Why is that? Why do we feel so dependent on pharmacists? The answer is straightforward: pharmacists know their medicines.
Pharmacists are medical professionals who help patients get the medications they need. Pharmacists are;
- They are trained to manage patient medications, including prescription and non-prescription medications and nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, and vitamins.
- Prepare medications
- Instruct patients on how to use their prescriptions properly
- Inform patients on how to control drug costs.
- They also provide advice on maintaining good health
Pharmacists work in a lot of different ways, depending on the setting. For example, if you go to your local pharmacy, you’ll see that pharmacists can give you advice on over-the-counter medications as well as your prescription medications.
You might see pharmacists working with nurses and doctors to hand out medication in a hospital or clinic. Some pharmacists also work directly with patients to help them manage their drug therapies.
In many countries, pharmacists have undergone extensive training in pharmacy before they are licensed to practice. And in most countries, the profession is subject to professional regulation.
Types Of Pharmacists
There are various types of pharmacists depending on the area of job specialization that includes;
- community pharmacists
- hospital pharmacists
- public health pharmacists
- research pharmacists
- ambulatory care pharmacists
- nuclear pharmacists
- military pharmacists
- pharmaceutical scientists
The most common pharmacists are community pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and hospital pharmacists.
Sub-Branches Of Pharmacy
Five sub-branches of pharmacy are:
Pharmaceutics is a branch of science that deals with pharmaceutical products’ physical, chemical, and biological aspects and their interactions with the body. It deals with the drug’s processing, formulation, and delivery to the patient.
A pharmacologist is a person who has knowledge of how drugs interact with living organisms and uses it to provide better therapeutic results.
Pharmaceutics is one of the most diverse fields in all of science. In pharmacology, there are many sub-branches like;
- Pharmaceutical information
- Dispensing pharmacy
- Physical pharmacy
- Pharmaceutical manufacturing
2. Medicinal Chemistry
Medicinal chemistry is a branch of pharmacy that deals with discovering, developing, and manufacturing new medicines or drug substances. It can be considered a bridge between pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences.
Medicinal chemists often work in drug discovery. Medicinal chemistry is essentially the study of new medicines and the science behind their creation.
A medicinal chemist may specialize in one particular aspect of the pharmaceutical industry, such as research and development (R&D), manufacturing, or quality assurance.
They may also be concerned with analyzing the produced compounds and how they affect human health.
Pharmacognosy is the study of medicines derived from natural sources and for which the action is not fully understood. It studies drugs derived from plants, fungi, and other natural sources.
It’s usually used in traditional medicine and has applications in modern science. The field is used to identify plants that have medicinal value and develop therapies for diseases.
4. Pharmacy Practice
Pharmacy Practice refers to the art and process of practicing pharmacy and is further subdivided into:
- Clinical interventions
- Communication skills
- Patient care
- Pharmaceutical care
Pharmacology is the study of drugs. It encompasses the uses, actions, properties, and side effects of medications.
The word ‘pharmacology’ comes from Greek pharmakon, meaning ‘poison,’ and logos, meaning ‘discourse.’
Pharmacologists study medicines and how they work on the body; they run tests on animals to see how effective and safe drugs will be for humans.
If a drug passes its test, it is then taken to clinical trials, tested on people with the disease or condition it is supposed to treat.
The Perks Of Being A Pharmacist
Here are five reasons to seriously consider becoming a pharmacist:
1. Meaningful Work
Pharmacists hold a great deal of responsibility in the health care system. They help patients make informed decisions about their medications, provide advice on which medications they should take, and ensure that pharmacies operate smoothly.
Being a pharmacist does not only make you money, but it also fulfills your purpose in life as you improve patient outcomes. You get to help people every day of your life.
2. Competitive Pay
Pharmacists are very well paid. One of the main pros of being a pharmacist is having a good income and salary packages.
This is because you will be paid according to your specialization and years of experience as a pharmacist. These factors will determine the kind of salary package that you will receive upon entering the job market as a pharmacist.
3. Job Security
In addition to the high salary, pharmacists enjoy a lot of job security and a low unemployment rate. The average age for pharmacists is 35 years old.
The job of a pharmacist is always in demand; it is a growing field rather than a shrinking one. The truth is that pharmacists are constantly needed, and they are seldom out of work.
Pharmacists will be in high demand with longer life expectancy and an aging baby boomer population. With an average like this, you can see why the pharmacy field will always be in demand for years to come.
4. Flexible Hours for a Balanced Lifestyle
Due to the nature of their work, most pharmacists work full-time and need a source of income that can sustain their families.
However, due to the high demand for pharmacists and their expertise in the medical community, many pharmacists choose part-time pharmacies jobs or consulting positions to get paid more than $55 an hour.
This allows them to have a flexible schedule that works around their personal life.
5. The Opportunity To Work With Incredible People In A Dynamic Industry
Pharmacy is more than just a profession. It is a lifestyle that requires 24/7 access to the world’s best education, technology, and resources.
Pharmacists have an exciting and fulfilling career. They can work with various people and various drugs; they get to make a difference in someone’s life every day.
The Cons of Being A Pharmacist
The job of a pharmacist involves a lot of responsibilities, but it is also gratifying. However, being a pharmacist also has some drawbacks that you should consider before beginning your career.
1. Long Work Hours
Most pharmacists work full time, and they have extended hours. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the average pharmacist usually works 44 hours per week and more than 48 hours in some cases.
Pharmacists have more responsibility than most other healthcare professionals, which can sometimes be a downside when they want to enjoy their free time.
2. Mostly Night Shifts
Even if you have a full-time job as a pharmacist, you will most likely have to work night shifts. This may be an inconvenience.
How Much Do Pharmacists Make?
The average yearly salary is $128,710.00, which isn’t bad considering all the perks of being a pharmacist. However, salaries vary depending on location and experience level.
Pharmacists make enough money to sustain themselves and have plenty of time to spend with their families and pursue other passions.
In the US, pharmacists earn more than most health care professionals. They come 4th after Doctors, Dentists, and Podiatrists.
But a pharmacist’s salary is not the only perk. Pharmacists enjoy job security and a large amount of autonomy within their workplace. The job market for pharmacists is also thriving.
As you can see, being a pharmacist is a rewarding career. The best part about this job is that it can be done in different settings across various industries. Whether you want to pursue retail, hospital, or medical clinics, many options are available for you.
They make good money and work with exciting people daily. But as with any career, it does have some challenges you should be aware of before deciding to pursue this profession.
We hope you’ve been encouraged by all the great things about being a pharmacist!