7 Reasons to Become a Pharmacist
December 29, 2015
With the medical industry being one of the fastest growing and highest paying fields, there’s no doubt, if you’re looking to go to college and are interested in biology, chemistry, and advanced mathematics, a pharmacy degree may for you. Here are 7 reasons to become a pharmacist.
Although new Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projections show a decrease in job growth into 2024, there are still hundreds of thousands of jobs available for pharmacists. More to the point, there will always be a need for pharmacists for as long as pharmaceuticals are being sold to the masses (which will be forever, probably).
In the following article, I will reveal the many reasons you should become a Pharmacist.
7 Reasons to Become a Pharmacist:
7. Career Options
If you’re like me, when you think of pharmacists, you mainly think of the people giving you prescriptions at Walgreens or the professionals that have their own practice. This thought is grossly naive, because there are a ton of career options many people don’t think about.
Pharmacists have the ability to choose a career path that is a good fit for them. They can work in research, work in clinics, be consultants, own their own practice, do retail sales, and many other options. As long as they train and get the proper credentials, they can land a career that fits their needs and wants.
A great thing about being a pharmacist is you have the ability to move around because your job is everywhere. You don’t have to do the same thing over and over if you don’t want to. You can move locations, work in a different environment, or transition into another field. Really, the sky is the limit.
Because of all your options, you have a ton of flexibility. You can more than likely find a job that fits your lifestyle and that will afford you the time you desire.
While some pharmacists need to work at night, others can work a normal 9-5, Monday-Friday shift. There is always a need for pharmacists at all times, so you can probably find a perfect schedule for you. If you have a family, you can fit your work schedule around that, or if you want to work all the time, I’m sure you can do that, too.
If you own your practice, you can call the shots. It is one of the best fields in which to be an entrepreneur. The need will always be there and if you own your practice, you can make more money, set your schedule, hire people you want to work with, and basically call all the shots–even though there will be some ownership headaches, being your own boss is always worth it.
5. Job Potential
Although the projected job growth isn’t looking so great (a new BLS poll put it at 3%), there are still a ton of jobs, and as long as legal drugs are sold, there will be pharmacists. Right now, about 300,000 Pharmacist jobs exist in America.
As hard as it is to predict the future of healthcare with Obamacare and changes in the medical and pharmaceutical industry, it is probably safe to say as long as there are sick people to help and money to be made, there will be pharmacists and pharmaceuticals.
I wouldn’t be too scared about the jobs going anywhere, and as far as other hospital jobs go, the medical industry is holding strong in America. As long as you are in the field, you should be okay. Look at it this way, getting your doctoral or professional degree in medicine is far better than getting a Ph.D. in almost every other field– besides, maybe, Engineering or Computer Sciences.
According to the BLS, the average salary for a pharmacist is $120,950 a year, which isn’t too shabby. Compared to other jobs in America, you would be among only 20% of households bringing in more than $100k a year.
Unfortunately, you will have to pay off a ton of student loan debts–unless you had school paid for–so luckily for you, many pharmacists start making at least $80,000 a year, which will help you pay those loans off pretty fast– a lot faster than the Ph.D. in Social Work could.
Though money shouldn’t be the main factor, this is America and it definitely helps. There are very few jobs around right now where the prospect of making over $100,000 a year is VERY tangible and basically guaranteed.
Any healthcare job demands respect, but as a pharmacist, you are well known in your community and have the respect of the people you help. Some healthcare professionals only work with some people in the community, whereas a pharmacist could be known by every person that gets their prescription filled by the place you work or own.
Many people respect the white coat, if not for what you do for people, then for the time and determination it takes to become a pharmacist. You have to get advanced degrees and jump through a ton of hoops to finally be able to call yourself a Pharmacist, so at the end of the day, people respect what pharmacists have to go through and the responsibility they take on to care for their patients.
Autonomy is one of the best benefits any job could have, and as a pharmacist, you have just that. You are able to call the shots and be your own boss. It’s a great field if you want to own your business and take your profession in the direction you want.
Even if you don’t own a practice, you still have a ton of freedom. As a pharmacist, you more than likely are one of the top dogs, so you have a good amount of power. Now, there will be crazy times where you will have to make sacrifices and do things you might not want to do (in terms of working weekends or something), but you will still have a lot more freedom than a pencil pusher at a big corporation.
You can decide what is best for your patients and the people working under you. It’s a pretty great thing in any job.
1. Helping Others
Helping people is the number one benefit of working in healthcare. I know for some it might be just an added perk, but others go into the field for the sole purpose of helping people. There aren’t many professions out there that enable you to directly benefit people’s wellbeing and lives.
Pharmacists use their knowledge and expertise to guide patients with medications, consult on what can harm or help, and, ultimately, assist people in regaining their health. If it weren’t for pharmacists, there would be a lot more stress on Physicians and, quite possibly, more sick people that would never get better.
If you have the drive, ambition, money, desire, and ability, you should consider becoming a pharmacist. If not, you should definitely consider going into something in the medical field as it is a booming industry with great paying careers and hundreds of thousands of positions available.
Remember that even though the job security and money is great, the ultimate goal of many medical professionals is to help people, so if you don’t have the desire to benefit the people around you, then no money in the world would make this job right for you.
As great as everything seems, take time to research and consider all your options before you go into any field. The medical field is rewarding, but demanding.