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Career profile Pharmacist

Also known as Clinical Pharmacist; Hospital Pharmacist; Pharmacist; Pharmacist in Charge (PIC); Pharmacist in Charge, Owner (PIC, Owner); Pharmacy Informaticist; Registered Pharmacist; Staff Pharmacist; Staff Pharmacist, Hospital

Pharmacist

Also known as Clinical Pharmacist; Hospital Pharmacist; Pharmacist; Pharmacist in Charge (PIC); Pharmacist in Charge, Owner (PIC, Owner); Pharmacy Informaticist; Registered Pharmacist; Staff Pharmacist; Staff Pharmacist

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Conventional
  • Social
Pay Range
$85,210 - $164,980 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
Knowledge Areas
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Review prescriptions to assure accuracy, to ascertain the needed ingredients, and to evaluate their suitability.
  • Provide information and advice regarding drug interactions, side effects, dosage, and proper medication storage.
  • Maintain records, such as pharmacy files, patient profiles, charge system files, inventories, control records for radioactive nuclei, or registries of poisons, narcotics, or controlled drugs.
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What does a Pharmacist do?

Pharmacists dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use.

In addition, Pharmacists may advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.

What kind of tasks does a Pharmacist perform regularly?

Pharmacists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Review prescriptions to assure accuracy, to ascertain the needed ingredients, and to evaluate their suitability.
  • Provide information and advice regarding drug interactions, side effects, dosage, and proper medication storage.
  • Maintain records, such as pharmacy files, patient profiles, charge system files, inventories, control records for radioactive nuclei, or registries of poisons, narcotics, or controlled drugs.
  • Plan, implement, or maintain procedures for mixing, packaging, or labeling pharmaceuticals, according to policy and legal requirements, to ensure quality, security, and proper disposal.
  • Assess the identity, strength, or purity of medications.
  • Collaborate with other health care professionals to plan, monitor, review, or evaluate the quality or effectiveness of drugs or drug regimens, providing advice on drug applications or characteristics.
  • Order and purchase pharmaceutical supplies, medical supplies, or drugs, maintaining stock and storing and handling it properly.
  • Analyze prescribing trends to monitor patient compliance and to prevent excessive usage or harmful interactions.
  • Advise customers on the selection of medication brands, medical equipment, or healthcare supplies.
  • Compound and dispense medications as prescribed by doctors and dentists, by calculating, weighing, measuring, and mixing ingredients, or oversee these activities.
  • Manage pharmacy operations, hiring or supervising staff, performing administrative duties, or buying or selling non-pharmaceutical merchandise.
  • Provide specialized services to help patients manage conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, smoking cessation, or high blood pressure.
  • Offer health promotion or prevention activities, such as training people to use blood pressure devices or diabetes monitors.
  • Contact insurance companies to resolve billing issues.
  • Teach pharmacy students serving as interns in preparation for their graduation or licensure.
  • Refer patients to other health professionals or agencies when appropriate.

The above responsibilities are specific to Pharmacists. More generally, Pharmacists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

What is a Pharmacist salary?

The median salary for a Pharmacist is $128,710, and the average salary is $125,460. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Pharmacist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Pharmacists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Pharmacists earn less than $85,210 per year, 25% earn less than $112,690, 75% earn less than $147,690, and 90% earn less than $164,980.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Pharmacists is expected to change by -2.1%, and there should be roughly 11,300 open positions for Pharmacists every year.

Median annual salary
$128,710
Typical salary range
$85,210 - $164,980
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-2.1%

What personality traits are common among Pharmacists?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Pharmacist are usually higher in their Investigative, Conventional, and Social interests.

Pharmacists typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Also, Pharmacists typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Lastly, Pharmacists typically have moderate Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Pharmacist tend to value Recognition, Support, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Pharmacists strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Second, Pharmacists strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Pharmacists strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Pharmacists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Pharmacists, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

What education and training do Pharmacists need?

Many Pharmacists have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Pharmacists may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Pharmacists

  • 1.6% completed some college coursework
  • 0.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 27.4% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 5.9% earned a Master's degree
  • 64.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Pharmacists

Pharmacists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as medicine and dentistry, customer and personal service, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Pharmacists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Chemistry
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Important Abilities needed by Pharmacists

Pharmacists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Pharmacists need abilities such as oral comprehension, written comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Pharmacists, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Critical Skills needed by Pharmacists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Pharmacists frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and writing to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Pharmacists, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.