Pharmacist in the United States: Features, Education, Salary, Job Prospects
A pharmacist is a respected and highly paid profession in the United States. Certified specialists are in great demand in the labor market, and their career opportunities are not at all limited to working in a pharmacy. Pharmacy at US universities is one of the most demanded programs, and training is conducted using modern technology and scientific research. Having received a diploma in pharmaceuticals, you can quickly find a job in the United States and even engage in scientific activities.
Pharmacist in the USA – features of the profession
According to Money magazine, the profession of a pharmacist is one of the ten most demanded specialties in the United States. Today, there are over 275,000 pharmacists in the United States. The vast majority of specialists work in retail pharmacy chains and clinics. But, despite the rather large staff of pharmacists, the demand for these specialists is increasing every year and, according to experts, this tendency will continue for at least another 10 years. In part, the rise in demand for pharmacists in the United States is driven by the retirement of many professionals and the need to replace them with young workers.
Besides, the demand for this profession has increased in 2020 due to the spread of online pharmacies. The most popular online pharmacy platform in 2020 was Trust Pharmacy – mlst.net. This is one of the largest online pharmacies in the USA, experiencing a steady growth year-on-year. The company has achieved popularity and high penetration majorly in many countries. The main advantages of the pharmacy are a rich selection of medicines, low prices, fast international delivery, and 24/7 customer support.
The duties of a pharmacist in the United States include not only selling drugs, but also preparing them, advising patients on how to take them and, in some cases, providing additional services, such as helping patients with asthma, diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases.
Pharmacists working in hospitals and clinics are often involved in one-to-one patient consultation and drug treatment plans. It is not uncommon for a pharmacist in the United States to specialize in a specific area. For example, you can become a cancer, cardiac, psychiatric, or diabetic pharmacist. In this case, the specialist must keep a computerized record of medications and prescriptions in order to be able to clearly control the results of treatment and exclude the occurrence of side effects and overdose.
Reasons to become a pharmacist in the USA
Pharmaceutical education in the United States is recognized as one of the best in the world. As a pharmacist, you will receive not only quality education but also excellent job opportunities and even the opportunity to start your own business. The United States pay great attention to the education of these specialists. During your studies, you will study subjects such as chemistry, biology, human physiology, pharmacology and pharmacy. Pharmacy at US universities will allow you to participate in scientific research that is part of the curriculum, which means that you will receive not only theoretical but also a lot of practical knowledge.
The salary for Pharmacist in the United States is one of the criteria for the popularity of this specialty. The minimum wage for a specialist is $104,000 per year. Such a salary is offered in North Dakota. In California, the minimum wage for a pharmacist is $140,000 per year. The national average monthly salary of a pharmacist is $7,000. Such salaries, of course, attract many applicants to the profession because pharmacists are provided with good insurance and other social benefits in addition to salaries. That is why, if you have a diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine, you are guaranteed to provide yourself with a stable and secure future.
How to enroll and how many years to study
It is possible to study pharmacy only in accredited educational institutions. In total, there are about 100 pharmaceutical schools in the United States. More than 100,000 applicants apply here annually, but no more than 50,000 are held for competition. According to statistics, the bulk of the enrolled students are US citizens. Some schools do not accept foreign applicants at all, while in others the percentage of foreign students does not exceed 5%.
To enroll in a US pharmaceutical school, an applicant will need to pass SAT exams, language test results, write an essay, and pass a serious interview with the admissions committee. Also, most universities require the results of profile tests SAT 2 in biology and chemistry.
The duration of study directly depends on the chosen university. There is no uniform training program for pharmacists in the United States. There are only general recommendations, but universities have the right to independently develop the curriculum. It should be noted that only holders of a Doctor of Pharmacy degree are eligible to work as a pharmacist in the United States. Training to become a pharmacist in the United States takes 4 to 6 years.
Features of training for a pharmacist in the USA
Pharmacy schools in the United States prepare students to become practicing pharmacists immediately after graduation. During the training, students receive a huge amount of theoretical and practical knowledge that allows graduates to already be real professionals in their field. After receiving a diploma, students are ready to work not only in pharmacy chains but also to advise patients in clinics and hospitals in the country.
To enroll in a US pharmaceutical school, you need to study at a university for 2 years, and then go to a school of pharmacy. The pre-pharmacy curriculum includes subjects such as general and organic chemistry, molecular and cellular biology, microbiology, physiology, statistics and computing.
After completing this program, the student enters a pharmaceutical school, where he or she already receives a doctorate in pharmacy. The curriculum at the School of Pharmacy combines scientific and clinical knowledge with practical skills to solve patient problems. At school, students study more deeply drug and pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacology and toxicology, as well as law, ethics, management and drug information. As a result, students gain in-depth knowledge of immunization, combination drugs, and the use of a wide range of medical devices.
Best pharmacy universities in the US in 2021
As already mentioned, you can study pharmacy in more than 100 educational institutions at US universities. However, a limited number of pharmaceutical schools in the United States are available to international students. One of the best training options is admission to the University of Kansas. The University of Kansas School of Pharmacy is ranked 21st of all pharmaceutical schools in the United States and 7th in the country in terms of funding. University students are trained by internationally renowned scientists and practicing pharmacists. You can also apply to the following universities for a pharmacist in the United States:
- University of Kansas;
- University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill;
- University of California–San Francisco;
- University of Michigan–Ann Arbor;
- University of Minnesota;
- University of Florida;
- University of Kentucky;
- Ohio State University;
- Purdue University.
Job prospects after graduation
After completing your PhD in Pharmacy, you are eligible for employment in the country. The holders of the diploma have wide career opportunities. You can work in the following positions:
- Compounding Pharmacist. This specialist is engaged in the manufacture of prescription drugs and individual dosage forms;
- Drug Information Specialist. This specialist provides educational services and drug advice to pharmacy clerks, consumers and healthcare professionals;
- Pharmaceutical Sales Representative. The sales representative provides information about drugs to pharmacists, doctors and patients;
- Pharmaceutical Consulting. This specialist provides specialized information, advice and services for the industry;
- Independent Retail Pharmacist. By starting a business, an independent pharmacist can be involved in the retail sale of medicines and the provision of medication therapy services;
- Specialty Practice Pharmacist. This specialist serves specific patient groups such as prisoners, patients with special needs, etc.;
- Hospital Pharmacist. The hospital pharmacist works in the hospital and provides drug therapy to patients, and is also involved in consulting doctors and patients;
- Long Term Care Facility Pharmacist. This specialist works with patients in long-term care clinics.
These are not all employment options after studying in the pharmaceutical program at US universities. There are a lot of career options. You can work in a pharmacy, clinic, department, pharmaceutical corporation, or open your own pharmacy network.