"How to be a Pharmacist"

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Janine P. Mendoza

A pharmacist distributes prescription drugs to individuals. With this, a pharmacist, has many responsibilites in which they must accurately fill out prescriptions. To become a pharmacist you have to get your education such as a high school diploma, a Pharm D., and a license (required). A pharmacist can work in many settings such as hospitals, stores (department, grocery, drug), or mass merchandising (companies). The salary of a pharmacist depends on how many years of experience you have and the place where you work.
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A pharmacist works in many fields as I have mentioned above (they can work in many settings). Here are a list of different settings a pharmacist would work at and their day-to-day basis:
  • Hospitals:
About 1/4th of Pharmacists work in this particular location. A pharmacist would dispense medicine and advise the medical staff on medications. A day in the shoes of a Hospital Pharmacist would consist of buying supplies, making solutions, assess, plan, and monitor drug programs, and advise their patients on how to use the drug prescribed and make sure they use it correctly and properly. They may also evaluate outcomes of medicines on patients. They are part of a team and they have to monitor pateint records.
  • Stores:
This includes department, grocery, and drug stores. Pharmacists would usually fill-out prescriptions or compound it. They can advise their patients and patients can ask health-questions. A Pharmacist can also advise on over-the-counter drugs. A pharmacist may also help patients manage conditions such as diabetes.
  • Companies:
This includes health insurance companies and Pharmaceutical manufacturers. The Pharmacist can make new medicine in this area as well.
  • Agencies:
This includes Government or Public Health Agencies.
  • University or College:
Pharmacists usually in this location would either teach, reasearch, or in on-campus pharmacies.

A Pharmacist works in clean, well-ventilated areas, and well-lighted. Many pharmacists spend most of their workday on their feet. Most full-time Pharmacist work 40 hours per week.
A Pharmacist can advance or be promoted upon more experience in this job. Usually, Pharmacist begins at staff-level with no experience or less than 1 year. Also, they keep patient's records confidential.

Educational Requirement of a Pharmacist:
  1. High School Diploma
  2. Unviersity or College - Complete Pre-Pharmacy Courses (at least two years)
  3. Take the PCAT (Pharmacy College Admissions Test), if rewuired.
  4. Complete the applications and interviews.
  5. Graduate with 4 years of Pharm D. (accredited college of Pharmacy)
  6. Internship under a licensed Pharmacist
  7. Pass NAPLEX (North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination)
  8. LICENSURE (Required in all 50 states)

Two potential schools I might be interested in attending are:

The Salary of a Pharmacist:

The Median Salary by Years Of Experience

Median Salary by Years Experience

(another website with a graph--salary.com)
The Median Wages (Hourly Rate) by Years of Experiance

Hourly Rate

Your Estimated Paycheck Results
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As a Pharmacist in San Antonio, Texasexternal image clear.gif

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Bi-weekly Gross Pay
$ 3,797.86

Federal Withholding
$ 815.89

Social Security
$ 235.47

$ 55.07

$ 0.00

The median starting salary for a pharmacist is around $81,000. After 20 years in a pharmacy career, the median pharmacist salary reaches to over $100,000. The top 25% earn more than $112,000. The beginning wages for a Pharmacist is $20.00-$55.00, depending on which state you live and experience.

To become a Pharmacist, you must be responisble and well educated (all the steps must be completed). It takes a lot of hard work but it is a very rewarding job. There are many job options for a Pharmacist and there are many duties on a day-to-day basis. I learned a lot of important facts on how to become a Pharmacist and the many required needs for it. I learned that not only do Pharmacist interact with the medical staff but also patients. A pharmacist will also be a key player in conducting mass immunization and treatment in response to epidemics and bioterrorism. There are a lot of good things in being a Pharmacist but I know it will take a lot of hard work and effort to accomplish this goal.

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Pictures are found using the GOOGLE IMAGES search engine.