By J. Charleston
So you want to become a pharmacist but are not sure where to start? Unlike other careers, there really is only one way to go about becoming a pharmacist. And that is to attend a university and gain a degree. For this reason all prospective pharmacists must have fantastic study abilities as well as the commitment to see out a long six year degree.
Pharmacy is one of the most strenuous degrees to complete, however it is very worthwhile as the career opportunities are excellent. Because the degree takes 6 years to complete full time, all pharmacists are in their mid-20’s or older by they time they are qualified. This gives a person ample time to mature and be absolutely certain this is what they want to do with their life. On the upside, pharmacists earn great money, even in their first year out of university. That is what makes all the study worthwhile.
It is not unusual for pharmacists to work long hours but the pay can often reach $40 or $50 per hour, making it one of the most well paid graduate jobs. A starting salary can begin at $90,000 a year; great incentive for completing your degree and beginning your career. However money should not be the reason you choose pharmacy as a career. You must be knowledgeable at mathematics and chemistry amongst other subjects. The technical study is tough but those with the mental capacity to complete it will come out the other end with considerable knowledge and skills.
To get into pharmacy school you must have excellent high school results in chemistry, mathematics and English. If you are lacking in any of these areas then you will need to complete a bridging course or other qualifications at college before applying for a program in pharmacy studies.
What is the Average Pharmacist Salary?
Pharmacists have the respected role of helping the community with their prescription medications and other medications and treatments. A pharmacist is a trusted local person and one that the community looks up to. The extensive knowledge and wisdom of a pharmacist is often drawn upon by those in need. Your work as a pharmacist will provide many challenges and as such you will want to be remunerated accordingly.
So what is the average pharmacist salary? It is significantly higher than many other lines of work with the average salary being around $105,000. The starting salary is often $75,000. Experienced pharmacists have been known to earn in excess of $150,000 per year depending on the location of work placement.
Pharmacists have the unique benefit of being able to become fully fledged science professionals in their early 20s if they begin studying right after high school. This means you can earn considerable amounts of money at a very young age. You can also pay off your college debt considerably faster than other graduates who must persevere with a low paying graduate job, often for several years before moving up the ranks.
What Tasks do Pharmacists Undertake?
Pharmacists undertake many different tasks including the dispatching of medicines, providing advice on the usage of medicines (both prescription and non-prescription) and working with doctors to formulate the best treatment options and emerging treatments for various illnesses.
Pharmacy is one of the few fields of scientific work where you have direct access to the public. This is ideal if you enjoy talking to people and helping customers. It is not a field of work for those who prefer to be out of the public eye, although pharmacists can also take on laboratory positions if they prefer.
What are the Benefits of Becoming a Pharmacist?
Besides the high starting salary, there are other benefits to becoming a pharmacist including:
– Flexible work schedule
– Wide choice of work location – Ability to use skills to assist community and charities – Relaxed environment when compared with other health related scientific fields
These benefits are why more and more people are in training to become a pharmacist. Although it is hard work and requires significant academic skills and commitment, pharmacy is a highly rewarding career that will satisfy your desire to use your skills to help other people.
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