PHARMACISTS dispense drugs and medicines prescribed by physicians and provide information to patients about medications and their use. They advise physicians on the selection, proper dosages, interactions, and potential side effects of medicines. They understand the use, clinical side effects, and composition of drugs, including their chemical, biological, and physical properties. They are responsible for the accuracy of every prescription that is filled. They keep confidential computerized records of patients' drug therapies to ensure that harmful drug interactions do not occur. They monitor patient compliance with the therapeutic plan and objectives.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $110,000 average per year ($53.00 per hour)
- A large occupation (268,000 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.7% per year)
The Doctor of Pharmacy degree (Pharm.D.) is required for entry-level PHARMACISTS. It takes 2 years of pre-professional courses followed by 4 years at a college of pharmacy. Entry requirements usually include math and natural sciences, such as chemistry, biology, and physics, and courses in the humanities and social sciences. A license to practice pharmacy is required in all states. To obtain a license requires an internship under a licensed pharmacist, graduation from an accredited college of pharmacy, and passing a state examination.