Pharmacy
Pharmacist

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Salary: $78,983 - $104,945
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Hourly: $42.7 - $58.16
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Outlook: 4 Stars
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Length of Training: 6-8 years
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Career Explorer
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Roadmap
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Pharmacists dispense medications prescribed by physicians, dentists, and other authorized medical practitioners. They have special knowledge of the use, composition, therapeutic and adverse effects of medications, as well as the laws that regulate the making and selling of drugs. They review patient medications for interactions with other drugs, food and diseases to help ensure optimal medication regimens with minimal complications or side-effects. They meet with pharmaceutical sales representatives, consult with and counsel their customers on prescription and over-the-counter medications, keep abreast of new developments in the healthcare field, and combine professional and business skills to manage the daily operations of the pharmacy. For these reasons, the pharmacist is now considered an active member of the primary healthcare team. They play a vital role in patient education and must be able to communicate effectively with individuals from all social and economic backgrounds.

Areas of Specialization
Pharmacists can specialize in critical care, nuclear pharmacy, nutrition support, primary care therapeutic management, and community pharmacy practice. Pharmacists can also specialize in product development and research. Some pharmacists specialize based on their employment choice: military service, Centers for Disease Control, Federal Drug Administration, HMO’s and academia.

Work Environment

Opportunities for pharmacists to work in a variety of settings have greatly expanded in the last several years. Pharmacists can work in retail settings, such as private or chain drug stores, or in hospital-based settings where they can be more involved in direct patient care. They may also choose to work in pharmaceutical manufacturing in sales, marketing, research, and product development. Pharmacists consult with and counsel customers on the use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, keep abreast of new developments in the healthcare field, and combine professional and business skills in the running of the pharmacy, including the supervision/direction of the pharmacy technicians employed at their location.