15 Reasons to Become a Pharmacist
November 6, 2018
With the medical industry being one of the fastest growing and highest paying fields, pharmacy is becoming one of the most attractive fields for young professionals. If you’re looking to go to college and are interested in biology, chemistry, and advanced mathematics, a pharmacy degree may be the best option for you to consider.
If you’re interested in the potential benefits of becoming a Pharmacist, we have outlined some of the top reasons to become a Pharmacist, and why you should consider a career in Pharmacy.
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, we will reveal the many reasons you should become a Pharmacist.
Why You Should Consider a Career In Pharmacy
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a Pharmacist but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, then we’ve outlined why you should consider a career in Pharmacy.
1. You Desire Flexibility In Your Career
Now more than ever, job seekers and healthcare professionals are seeking jobs and careers that provide some sort of flexibility. Flexibility in your career means that you’re not going to be stationed in the same position for the span of your 30 or 40 year career. Instead, if you’d like the option to have a career as a Pharmacist for a large chunk of your career and then decide to transition into another role within the realm of Pharmacy, you can.
That flexibility is very attractive for healthcare professionals and healthcare students because they don’t feel confined to one thing for the rest of their career. For instance, Pharmacists now have the ability to transition into mentorship roles, managerial roles, executive roles, and different specialty roles.
Part of the reason that Pharmacy and a career as a Pharmacist in general has become so flexible is due to the fact that the world of Pharmacy is changing as well. It used to be that everyone would just be classified as a general Pharmacist with limited pathways. Now, Pharmacists have the capacity to specialize in more elaborate pharmacology pathways than ever before.
There are plenty of fantastic career pathways that you can pursue as a Pharmacist. These options make Pharmacology an attractive option for healthcare professionals, healthcare job seekers, or healthcare students who are considering a potential career as a Pharmacist.
Another reason why you should consider a career as a Pharmacist if you desire flexibility is that you have the ability to delay your decision timeline more than other healthcare professions or career choices. In other words, the field of Pharmacology and pathway to becoming a Pharmacist has so many potential career options that you can evaluate and determine what you want to do on your own pace. This provides you with more time to decide which pathway you want to follow or specialize in.
This opportunity to take your time in deciding what your heart’s desire is for your career is a substantial burden off your back because you don’t feel so pressured to make a decision quickly which will impact you for the rest of your career.
As a healthcare professional who is interested in potentially pursuing a career in Pharmacy, the good news is that you don’t have to know what you want to do from the start. You can take your time in evaluating all of the different career pathways that you’d like to pursue as a Pharmacist.
If you desire a career that provides you with flexibility in every stage of your career, then you should consider a career in Pharmacy.
2. You Enjoy Developing Connections
As a Pharmacist, you will be interacting with a multitude of patients. These patients will come from a variety of walks of life and you will meet a host of characters. While other healthcare roles might have a propensity to only work with a handful of individuals or be isolated, a career as a Pharmacist involves being very social and interactive with your patients and co-workers. If you’re seeking a healthcare job where you can interact with and develop meaningful connections and relationships with, then you should consider a career in Pharmacy.
A good way to think of a career in Pharmacy is that your potential career as a Pharmacist is centered around patients, and providing excellent care for those patients. Everything you do throughout your career in Pharmacy will revolve around caring for patients that suffer from a variety of medical conditions or ailments. If you’re not comfortable interacting with patients and developing connections with them, then it can be hard to provide the most efficient care possible and keep them safe.
For instance, when you’re interacting with your patients on a regular basis as they come to get their prescription drugs, you tend to form relationships with them and develop connections with them. As a result of these relationships and connections, you are then tasked with choosing the best medications for their ailments or conditions.
If you’re looking for a potential career in a patient-centered role where you can develop relationships and connections with the patients you will see on a recurring basis, then you should consider a career in Pharmacy.
3. You’re Have a Passion For Science and Math
Have you ever taken a career aptitude test in school to see what you might be interested in? Have you always been passionate about certain topics when you were in school like science, technology, engineering, or math? These tests and these interests are a great way for you to evaluate whether or not you would enjoy careers with those skills.
As a Pharmacist, you will frequently be tasked with reading charts with extensive calculations. These charts and documents will help you evaluate whether or not you should intervene with prescription drugs or medication for various ailments. For instance, as a Pharmacist you will be tasked with evaluating the correct dosage, how to effectively use the medication, and how often the patient should use the method for.
All of this stems from doing calculations based on the patient’s numbers and conditions. The science and math part of working in the Pharmacy industry is that you have to understand how the human body responds to various forms of medication. All of these interactions are based on chemical compounds and chemical composition. As you pursue a potential career in Pharmacy, you have to be passionate about science and math to understand these interactions and calculations, otherwise you’ll struggle with this large part of your daily routine as a Pharmacist.
If you are interested in pursuing a career that deals with the interactions of the drugs from one to the other, or how they interact with other substances that the patient might be taking based upon math and science that you conduct — then you should consider a career in Pharmacy.
4. You Can Avoid The Gross Parts of Healthcare
A lot of healthcare professionals decide to start their career as a Pharmacist because they don’t like some of the other gross parts of healthcare like drawing blood. For those healthcare professionals that want to enter a healthcare field that doesn’t always directly involve some of the gross parts of the healthcare industry and care for patients in another direct way. While you will have to deal with some of the gross parts of healthcare, it isn’t the same as other things that a Physician might have to deal with.
As a Pharmacist the responsibilities you have are much more limited in scope than some of the other gross parts of the healthcare industry. If you’re looking for a career where you can directly impact patients in a positive way without having to deal with some of the gross things in the healthcare industry or individual patients, then you should consider a Pharmacy career.
15 Reasons to Become a Pharmacist:
Now that we’ve covered why you should potentially consider a career in Pharmacy, we’re going to highlight the top reasons you should become a Pharmacist.
15. High Demand For Pharmacists
The healthcare industry is currently experiencing one of the largest talent deficits in recent memory. That talent deficit in the healthcare industry isn’t limited to certain roles, it’s a massive talent draught everywhere — including Pharmacists. Pharmacists are currently experiencing a large uptick in demand for the foreseeable future in the healthcare industry. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics highlights, Pharmacists are expected to see a 6% rise in employment over the course of the next decade.
The employment projections for Pharmacists are expected to go from 297,000 in 2018 to 449,900 in 2032. This massive increase and demand for Pharmacists over the course of the next decade only highlights the fact that Pharmacists are needed at an alarming rate.
There has never been a better time to consider a career in Pharmacy as a Pharmacist than now.
The reason behind the massive talent deficit in the healthcare industry is due to the fact that there is an increase in patient services from recent legislation and an aging workforce. In addition, Pharmacist graduates are receiving enhanced training and skills which allow them to be more versatile and fill a variety of healthcare roles. Since Pharmacists are able to work in a variety of roles they are experiencing an increased demand because they can work in a larger number of healthcare settings as well.
Another reason that Pharmacists are experiencing such a high demand is because there has been an increase in the number of prescriptions or medical drugs that are in circulation. For instance, the total number of drugs on the market is upwards of 10,562 according to DrugBank. In the United States alone, more than 3.7 billion drugs are ordered or provide each year, according to the CDC.
With so many drugs on the market and in circulation, Pharmacists are needed to help deal with the increase in prescriptions. Pharmacists are needed to discern between all the different prescriptions, and then help provide that information to patients as they have questions or concerns regarding the medication they’ve been prescribed or provided with.
Part of the problem that the number of prescriptions on the market has gotten so out of hand is due to the number of potential medications for the same ailment or problem. For instance, with one disease, a multitude of different prescriptions can deal with it or cover up some of the symptoms. The reason for so many of the differences and multitude of the prescriptions has to do with technological advancements, more efficient recovery results, manufacturing improvements, allergic conditions, etc.
The aging workforce is going to be a major obstacle in the healthcare industry moving forward. Pharmacists will be in high demand moving forward to help educate and inform the aging patients who don’t fully understand the medication, or understand the most cost-effective medication they should be on.
If you’re looking for a job that is going to be in demand for the foreseeable future as the healthcare industry continually changes, and the aging workforce increasingly needs educated professionals who can help take care of that demographic, then you should become a Pharmacist.
14. Room To Grow
As we’ve covered earlier, Pharmacists have the ability to grow and transition throughout their career as a Pharmacist. The common line of thinking is that Pharmacists only work in prescription centers throughout their entire career. The reality of the situation is that as Pharmacists are increasingly tasked with new jobs or responsibilities as part of their training and skill development, Pharmacists are no longer locked into one position for the duration of their career.
Pharmacists can now hold a variety of positions that range from the development and engineering of pharmaceutical drugs, academia, consulting, private or public practices, and federal pharmacy.
Because the healthcare industry is constantly changing and the responsibilities and roles of Pharmacists are also changing gradually, there is also room for the role as a Pharmacist to change moving forward. For those healthcare professionals who want to be in a role that evolves and adapts and doesn’t remain stagnant should become a Pharmacist.
13. Work With Patients
Another fantastic reason that you should become a Pharmacist is because you have the opportunity to work with patients directly. There are plenty of healthcare roles where you can impact patients indirectly, but being a Pharmacist isn’t one of them. As a Pharmacist, you work directly with patients on a daily basis in a variety of settings. If you’re looking for a healthcare role where you can directly work with patients on a daily basis, then you should become a Pharmacist.
12. Collaboration Is Key
The healthcare industry is unique in the sense that every element from beginning to end requires collaboration. While some other industries require collaboration and teamwork, few industries have collaboration as extensive as the healthcare industry. If you’re passionate about working with others and working as part of a team, and a larger healthcare organization — then you should become a Pharmacist.
As a Pharmacist, part of the effective care that we’ve been highlighting only happens when you and your other healthcare professionals work together to solve and aid your patients with some of the diseases or ailments that they are afflicted with. The healthcare industry has seen the benefits of working as a team when treating patients, and that is only compounded by the fact that Pharmacists are taking on an increased role in the collaboration of those efforts on teams.
As we mentioned earlier, the healthcare industry is increasingly using Pharmacists in new roles and new responsibilities. Part of those responsibilities include clinical rotations or consultation with other healthcare professionals when they are a part of the rotating teams that visit patients.
Pharmacists are collaborating with medical teams with greater frequency as the healthcare industry makes a push towards a more collaborative environment and team-based care. If you’re passionate about working with others by collectively solving problems, and helping patients collectively as part of a team.
11. Fantastic Job Security
As we’ve mentioned above, Pharmacists are currently experiencing some of the highest demand in recent history. Because the demand is so high, the job security for Pharmacists is also extremely high. Healthcare professionals who pursue a career as a Pharmacist can expect good job prospects for the foreseeable future as healthcare organizations and hospitals try to find the best talent and keep them onboard for a long time.
Part of the reason that Pharmacists have such fantastic job security is that the healthcare industry is relatively stable through any economic scenario. Whether the economy is thriving or declining, people still get sick. When those people get sick, they still need pharmaceutical prescription drugs or medicine that can help them get better quicker.
In addition, as Pharmacists continually learn new skills or receive new training that helps them provide better care for patients, healthcare facilities want to attract and retain those experienced professionals instead of constantly trying to train and evaluate new talent.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career that is relatively stable and provides fantastic job security, and is expected to grow over the next decade, then you should become a Pharmacist.
10. Mentorship of Other Pharmacists
Another fantastic reason to become a Pharmacist is the ability to give back to other healthcare professionals and educate the upcoming talent that is less experienced. Because the healthcare industry relies on experience, the ability to mentor others and educate them on the best techniques, tips, and tools of the trade is a unique opportunity that isn’t available in other healthcare roles.
As a Pharmacist, you have the ability to educate future Pharmacists on some of the best methods to use, answer questions that they might have regarding Pharmacy specializations, Pharmacy career paths, and more.
If you’re seeking a career where you have the ability to provide aid, mentor, and educate your co-workers, then you should consider the career and become a Pharmacist.
9. Work In A Reliable Profession
The great thing about working as a Pharmacist in the healthcare industry is that it is a reliable and trustworthy profession. The healthcare industry relies on one thing: trust. Patients have to trust that their healthcare providers are providing them with the most up to date information, they are using the most up to date care techniques, and the healthcare provider is certified and educated. In contrast, healthcare providers have to trust that the education they are obtaining is the most up to date information so they can effectively treat patients.
The good news, is that the healthcare industry is backed by thousands of medical researchers and technology advancements that make healthcare one of the most reliable and trustworthy industries. As a Pharmacist, you can rest assured knowing that everything you are doing or every bit of care that you’re providing to your patients is the most efficient and reliable information that you can provide.
For those individuals who are seeking a profession or a career where they can trust that the information they are working with is the most reliable information, and provide reliable care to patients then you should consider a career as a Pharmacist.
8. Work With New Technology
The healthcare industry is always on the leading and cutting edge when it comes to new technology. New technology is critical to ensuring that patients receive the best care possible, which allows them to get better quicker. In the Pharmaceutical industry specifically, there are plenty of innovations that are changing the way Pharmacists interact with patients, develop prescriptions, or prescribe medication to patients in new ways. For instance, the healthcare industry is undergoing a digital transformation through various innovations that make caring for patients much easier, more efficient, and at a more affordable rate.
Pharmacists can now interact with their patients from a distance instead of requiring them to visit them or interact with them on a recurring basis. In addition, Pharmacists have greater access to new technology that improves the way pharmaceutical drugs are being developed. More reliable technology means that Pharmacists can more accurately predict things like side effects, reactions to the medicine, and more.
In addition, Pharmacists now have greater access to technology that helps them stay up to date on some of the new research that is being conducted, leading theories, and management of the extensive library of prescription drugs on the market that we’ve mentioned earlier.
Pharmacists can now use leading technology to seek consultation from independent sources and leading experts to receive some advice on how to proceed with a particular patient or some of the ailments that they are dealing with. This technology didn’t exist nearly a decade ago, which highlights once again how Pharmacists have the opportunity to work with new technology and how that technology is evolving the Pharmacy career pathway continually.
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. This means that Pharmacists aren’t locked down to one career pathway.
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. As we mentioned earlier, Pharmacists can pursue a variety of career pathways. For instance, Pharmacists can pursue 15 different career pathways. These 15 different career pathways are broken down into Government, Consulting, Hospitals, Academia, Research, Development, Private Practice, and Public Practice.
There is no shortage of career options for Pharmacists, and with the changes to the pharmaceutical jobs moving forward, those career options are only going to continually expand.
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.
As we’ve mentioned earlier with the advancements in the new technology, Pharmacists are also being used in a variety of new roles like telemedicine. Pharmacists can now interact with their patients on their own schedule, which provides more flexibility within their career. Pharmacists can now communicate with patients from a distance and provide education to them, instead of having to be face to face with their patients.
If you want a job that has flexibility as one of the core components, then you should look no further than becoming a Pharmacist.
5. Job Potential
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 we’ve covered.
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. The good news, luckily for you, many pharmacists start making at least $80,000 a year entry-level, 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.
As a Pharmacist, you can expect to be compensated very well, with those numbers only expected to rise as you gain new training, experience, skills, and the demand continues to rise. The great thing about working in the healthcare industry as it continually faces growing demand, is that you have fantastic job security and access to a well paid position.
In addition, as a Pharmacist part of your salary will include extensive benefits. As we’ve mentioned earlier, the healthcare industry is constantly trying to find ways to retain the existing talent and prevent them from moving onto new opportunities. Part of the way that healthcare organizations and hospitals are attempting to curtail the rate at which Pharmacists leave for other opportunities is by offering extensive and comprehensive benefits.
As a Pharmacist, you can expect comprehensive benefits and competitive benefits that other industries or other careers can’t offer or don’t offer. In other words, if you’re interested in a career that has fantastic benefits and fantastic salary compensation, then you should consider becoming a Pharmacist.
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. While working as a Pharmacist doesn’t always mean that you’re going to have autonomy in every situation. As the healthcare industry is evolving and Pharmacists have an opportunity to work with new technology that allows them to have a more autonomous role through telemedicine and other advancements.
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.
(Article / Content Updated 2018)