As a pharmacist, you will dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. You also may provide advice on how to lead a healthy lifestyle, conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, and oversee the medications given to patients.
To become a pharmacist you must have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), a four-year professional degree, and you must also pass two licensing exams. The job market for pharmacist is project to grow 14 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Increased demand for prescription medications will lead to more demand for pharmaceutical services. The median annual wage for pharmacists was $116,670 in May 2012.
As a pharmacy technician, you will help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals. Becoming a pharmacy technician usually requires earning a high school diploma or the equivalent. Pharmacy technicians typically learn through on-the-job training, or they may complete a postsecondary education program. Most states regulate pharmacy technicians, which is a process that may require passing an exam or completing a formal education or training program.
Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Several factors will lead to increased demand for prescription medications. The median annual salary for pharmacy technicians was $29, 320 in May 2012.
Pharmacy assistants are responsible for assisting licensed pharmacists with various administrative duties within pharmacies. Generally, assistants work hours that correspond with the hours of the pharmacy, which may include overnight or weekend shifts on occasion. Although they work with pharmacists, and other technicians and assistants, formal education is not generally required. However, some employers may prefer pharmacy assistants with training and prior experience within a pharmacy.
Average salaries for pharmacy assistants with little experience average out to around $25K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $33K.
Pharmacist in Charge
Pharmacist in Charge (PIC), under general direction, ensures compliance with all applicable laws and regulations for a single pharmacy. The pharmacist-in-charge is responsible for assuring that all personnel are properly registered or licensed with the Board and, that all pharmacy permits are current and appropriate for the type of pharmacy operation being conducted. A pharmacist shall not be the PIC at more than one Community Pharmacy or Institutional I Pharmacy and shall not be the pharmacist-in-charge or have personal supervision of more than one facility, which is open to the general public on a full-time basis.
The average pay for a Pharmacist in Charge is $119K per year. Experience does not have a big impact on this job’s pay.
A Pharmacy Director is in charge of all drug-dispensing operations for a pharmacy. These positions often are found in hospitals or medical clinics. A Pharmacy Director's scope of responsibility may include personnel administration, adherence to policies and procedures and customer service. This position also normally plans and administers the budget and initiates and actively participates in interdepartmental communications.
In a hospital, the pharmacy is often considered a hospital department; it is commonly viewed as a revenue producing entity more than a division of hospital services. The pharmacy director is expected to have the expertise to apply strategic planning and ensure the pharmacy is profitable. It is expected to be highly competitive with local independent pharmacies in the community.
The average Pharmacy Director’s salary is $134,983.
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