A pharmacist is a skilled medical work that assists doctors, physicians, dentists and other health professionals by dispensing medications to patients based on prescriptions. The job of a pharmacist can vary depending on the specific field of expertise. For example, some pharmacists work in a pharmacy setting dispensing drugs, but there are also pharmacists that choose to work in the field of pharmaceutical research. It is even possible for a pharmacist to gain employment marketing a specific medication for a large corporation. Even though there are many different types of employment that pharmacists can pursue, many in this field choose to work in drug retail or hospital settings.
Pros of Becoming a Pharmacist
1. Flexibility That Offers Stability.
One great benefits of pursuing this career path is that there are a number of different job opportunities available. Since a pharmacist can potentially work in a variety of different settings, there is room for advancement and flexibility to choose the setting that fits you best. Certified pharmacists have the freedom to choose the setting and work environment that they find most appealing.
2. Flexibility That Isn’t Matched in Other Professions.
This is not the case for every type of job in today’s market. This means that pharmacists have the advantage of choosing from a variety of work settings including retail drug stores, schools, colleges, nursing homes, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. If job flexibility is something you are concerned with, becoming a pharmacist is the ideal career path for you.
3. Job Security.
Since there are so many different types of jobs available to qualified pharmacists, there is a lot of demand in this field. This means that pharmacists also have the luxury of job security. Technology is constantly evolving and new medications are being discovered on a daily basis. This means that the demand for pharmacists will only continue to increase overtime. This is a field that continues to grow and new jobs are developing daily for those with the proper education and credentials.
4. High Compensation.
Another big pro associated with becoming a pharmacist is the earning potential. The salary for a pharmacist varies based on the setting where they are employed, but the figure can range from $77,000.00 to $135,000.00 annually. This compensation is high, but the best part is that the workload is not as demanding. This means that pharmacists have the ability to earn a high salary with a workload that is less than most doctors and physicians. However, even though the workload is not comparable, the salary is.
Cons for Becoming a Pharmacist
Even though there are many benefits that can be gained by becoming a pharmacist, there are a few downsides that must be considered and acknowledged.
1. Education and Training Requirements.
Most professions require minimal schooling or training, but pharmacy is not one of these fields. A pharmacists must complete a high level of education and retain a doctorate degree. Clinical work training is also a part of the program and can be very demanding. The path to becoming a pharmacist is not easy and requires both dedication and effort. This means that you need to be aware of the educational and training requirements before you begin the program.
2. Work Conditions and Job Duties Vary Greatly.
Even though flexibility can be seen as a positive, the diversity in this field can be viewed as a downside to some. The working conditions pharmacists are exposed to and job requirements that are mandated vary based on setting where employment is gained. The job duties are not constant over the entire profession, which means that special training or further education might be required for certain job positions in this field.
What Does a Pharmacist Study?
Even though there are different career paths that a pharmacist can take, most of the coursework focuses on pharmacology. This is a curriculum that is centered on math, biology and chemistry. Wile some pharmacists are specialists and have a higher education in specified fields of study, a traditional pharmacist much graduate with a Doctor of Pharmacy from a university with approved accreditation. There are also two licensure exams that must be passed before an individual can have the required credentials to work as a qualified pharmacist within the legal guidelines.
Pharmacist in Retail Settings
A pharmacist that works in a retail setting has the job description of compounding drugs, ordering supplies and collaborating with doctors or physicians. Medications can only be dispensed to customers that have a valid prescription. A pharmacist is not legally allowed to give medications unless a prescription is shown unless a medication does not require a prescription. Not only does a pharmacist working in a retail setting dispense medications, but they also make sure that patients understand how to use the medications safely and are aware of any drug conflicts with certain medications.
Pharmacists in Hospital Setting
Pharmacists that choose to gain employment in the hospital setting have a slightly different job description than those that work in a retail setting. In a hospital, a pharmacist prepares medications, labels medications ands advises doctors on best medications for specific illnesses or conditions. There are even some hospital settings where the pharmacists will actually dispense medications directly to patients.
A Pharmacist Specializing in Research
Some pharmacists even choose to take a unique career path and focus their efforts more on research. Some research positions require additional education depending on the job. In most cases, a pharmacist working in a research setting is responsible for developing new drugs, testing drugs and studying how drugs are developed using specific safety measures.
Is This a Job Field With Opportunity?
The job of a pharmacist can range from dealing with customers to advising physicians. Since the job duties range so greatly, there are a number of different settings where a pharmacists could potentially gain employment. Before you decide if a career in pharmacy is ideal for you, it might be a good idea to take a look at the pros and cons. This will give you a greater understanding of what is expected within this field and how the job market is changing for people with this type of degree. Becoming a pharmacists requires a commitment to education, so you need to know if it is worth the effort before you begin pursuing this type of degree.
The Conclusion and Final Verdict
Even though there are both pros and cons associated with becoming a pharmacist, the good seems to outweigh the bad in terms of relevance and importance. Job flexibility, security and compensation matter more than the high amount of training and lack of daily routine that exists in this profession.
Becoming a pharmacist takes commitment, but the payoff is definitely worth it in the end. You have the freedom to choose where you want to work and can pick your own hours based on the setting that you choose. Having the ability to dictate where your career will take you is a huge advantage in today’s job market. Pursuing a career as a pharmacist is a great job opportunity for anyone with an interest in match and sciences. When the pros and cons are weighed against one another, the pros come out on top by a wide margin.