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How to Become a Pharmacist

by Steven Brown
Become a Pharmacist

IntroductionWith the increasing need for health services increasing numbers of students are contemplating the possibility of becoming a pharmacist. Before making a decision you must be aware of the qualifications and career opportunities for pharmacists. Nearest Walmart As a pharmacy student I have not just had the opportunity to apply, but also studied many aspects of the profession of pharmacy.

According to the May 2008 BLS report the number of pharmacists is 266,410 working in the United States who earn an average of $50.13/hour ($104,620 annually). The salaries vary depending on geographic location, the employer and other aspects.

Contrary to popular opinion that a pharmacist’s work is not the counting of pills between 9 and 5. Nearest Walmart The majority of pharmacists have traditional pharmacy positions in the community (retail) pharmacist positions (BLS). Other rewarding careers for pharmacists include roles in the clinical setting (administering medications as part of medical teams) or a research lab as well as a government organization In contrast to other professions in medicine that require a degree, pharmacy offers a broad selection of career options. Additionally, pharmacists don’t require residency experience for the majority of jobs (you must have a minimum of two years of residency for becoming a pharmacist who is clinical).

The Increasing Demand for Pharmacists

The profession of pharmacy is expected to see a staggering 22% increase in the number of jobs that are available between 2006 and the year 2016 (May 2008 . report). While job opportunities vary according to locations, pharmacists will face no problem finding work.

Pharm.D. degree

The Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (Pharm.D.) requires at least 2 years of undergraduate study (most students are awarded an undergraduate degree prior to enrolled in pharmacy school) then three to four years of pharmacy school. After High School, pupils are able to apply to schools of Pharmacy which offer an bachelor’s and Pharm.D. program, which runs between 5 and seven years. These programs are also referred to by the name of “0-6 programs” or “early assurance programs.” It is vital to understand that the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree is different from getting an Ph.D. or M.S. in Pharmacy.

Pharmacists are doctors technically (Dr.) However, they often choose to put an ‘Pharm.D.’ title next to their names.

Undergraduate Majors

There isn’t any requirement or limit on the undergraduate majors in pharmacy school. Students can also choose to pursue a range of subjects (business art, psychology engineering, economics and more.) prior to pursuing a career in pharmacy.

The final goal is the being able to meet the requirements is all that matters but choosing a science or Chemistry (or similar fields) can provide


PharmCAS (Pharmacy College Application Services) serves as an “centralized application service for applicants.” Although the majority of pharmacies use this application service but there are a handful of pharmacy schools that opt not to utilize PharmCAS. Students utilize PharmCAS to send Letter of Recommendations (done via online or paper) and transcripts, as well as personal statements, as well as other information for application. It is crucial to remember that certain pharmacy schools require that you send some of the applications directly to them instead of sending the application to PharmCAS.

Supplemental Application

A lot of schools require an additional application and an additional fee to be added of the PharmCAS application. The supplemental application typically contains essays, which provide a better image of the applicant and their compatibility to a school of pharmacy.

PharmCAS offers an information page for pharmacy schools that lists all the schools that offer pharmacy and the specific requirements for applying to them.


Each pharmacy school has the famous interview process to determine your suitability for their curriculum. While the weight given to the interview is different from school to school the performance of an applicant is an important factor in determining whether you be admitted to pharmacy schools.


The prerequisites for school differ greatly from school to school. You can also look through the list of schools provided by PharmCAS for more details about the prerequisites. You can apply for programs in pharmacy prior to having completed all your prerequisites, however you must finish them prior to entering into matriculation. To find exact course equivalents (exact number of courses from your school) You should check whether the school you’re applying to has a website which allows you for exact course numbers for various schools. I am aware there is a possibility that USC and UOP offer this for students.

If you already hold the bachelor’s degree, it’s cheaper to go to at a community college in order to complete all of your requirements.


The PCAT is the “Pharmacy College Admissions Test.” The majority of pharmacy schools do not need the PCAT (14 pharmacies which use PharmCAS are not required to take it, and my article provides the schools that do not).

When you are working on each section, it might find it beneficial to begin by answering questions that are straightforward for you, then skip the ones to which you’ll need to revisit to review your answers. The PCAT tests six areas of content assessed in PCAT in seven subtests: PCAT across seven (7) distinct subtests:

O A. The Verbal Ability section

The Biology section

O It is the Reading Comprehension section

the Quantitative Ability section

The Chemistry section

The essays written (2)


The GPA of your student (overall as well as science) will be the single most crucial part of your profile. Every school has its own requirements for GPA. By browsing on the PharmCAS pharmacy schools section, you will be able to understand what the different pharmacy schools require. Schools will differ in the way they score classes you take again So, you must make contact with the admission offices for your pharmacy school for more details.

Letter of Recommendations

Schools vary on the sources they take letters of recommendation from, and it’s essential to determine what is acceptable when you look at the profiles of the schools on PharmCAS.

Financing Pharmacy School

As with other professional degrees, getting the Pharm.D. is much more expensive than undergraduate degrees. Grants from the government that you may have received during your undergraduate degree are typically not available anymore, and the cost of your tuition will be primarily based on loans for students. You must submit your FAFSA prior to the deadline to be eligible to be eligible for a few loans from the government.

It’s also a good idea to apply for school, national corporate, online or local, scholarships. Any money you are able to receive to help pay for your tuition costs will save you cost on interest over the course that the loan. Even a $1,000 scholarship can reduce the amount of your loan by $1000, not including the interest that you’d paid over the duration of your loan. I will give you an inventory of scholarships available soon.

Pharmacy Experience

While pharmacy experience isn’t required for admission to the pharmacy school, working in pharmacies is an excellent method to boost your resume. It also gives you familiar with the work environment in pharmacies.

Dual Degrees

Alongside being able to earn the Pharm.D., some students may also pursue additional degrees (MBA, JD, PhD, MPH, etc.) to fill more specific needs in the field of pharmacy. There is a way to find out which schools in the pharmacy industry offer dual degree courses on PharmApplicants.com (Useful Links Dual Degree chart).In some schools, these dual degree programs can cut off the summer break or make you withdraw a year from the pharmacy course when you finish your additional degree prior to returning to the pharmacy program Read more

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