Retail Pharmacist: Employment Info & Requirements
Retail pharmacists dispense medications in independent and chain drug stores, grocery stores, department stores and other general merchandise retail stores. Read the following information to learn about the education requirements, necessary skills, salary and employment outlook for this career.
Career Definition for a Retail Pharmacist
Retail pharmacists receive orders for medication, dispense prescriptions and advise patients on the proper use of medication. Retail pharmacists are responsible for measuring and providing the proper dosages and types of medicine to patients according to their prescriptions. The American Pharmacists' Association estimates that retail pharmacists spend about five percent of their time stocking shelves, ordering supplies and completing other office management tasks.
|Education||Two to three years of undergraduate courses before entering a Pharm.D. program|
|Job Skills||Customer service, analytical and scientific thinking, discretion|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$121,630 (in grocery stores), $121,310 (in pharmacies/drugstores), $125,500 (in department stores)|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)*||3% for pharmacists|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Retail pharmacists have completed at least two to three years of college coursework in biology, chemistry and related topics before entering Pharm.D. degree programs. Retail pharmacists have then earned licenses and Pharm.D. degrees through accredited programs. Some retail pharmacists have master's or doctorate degrees in specific fields of pharmacy, such as pharmacology, pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical chemistry or pharmacy administration. All retail pharmacists are licensed, requiring passing a series of exams after finishing their educations.
Retail pharmacists work with the general public, and they must have good customer service skills. In order to properly assess drug effects and interactions, retail pharmacists are analytical and scientific in their thinking. The confidential nature of retail pharmacy requires discretion and respect for patients' privacy.
Career and Economic Outlook
Job growth for pharmacists is expected to be slower than average at 3% for the 2014-2024 decade, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Pharmacy graduates should expect to face competition for job positions. The median annual wage for retail pharmacists working in grocery stores was $121,630, while pharmacists in department stores earned $125,500 and retail pharmacists working in dedicated pharmacies and drugstores made $121,310 in 2015.
Alternate Career Options
You might want to look into these alternative career options related to healthcare and medicine:
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