What Degree Do You Need to Become a Pharmacist?

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What Degree Do You Need to Become a Pharmacist?

A pharmacy degree may not be difficult for individuals interested in many elements of science. Most pharmacy degree programs teach a wide range of topics, from pharmacology to pharmaceutical analysis to human anatomy. Completing a pharmacy degree necessitates hard work and devotion for a rewarding profession. Pharmacists are medical specialists who provide medications to patients and instruct them on using them. It might be a career for you if you enjoy working with people and want to help them maintain good health. Knowing what skills and qualifications you’ll need to enter this field and how much a pharmacist can earn will help you make an educated career choice.

A doctorate of pharmacy degree takes four years to complete after completing a bachelor’s degree. Once you graduate, you can work in a career that ensures the health and well-being of all types of patients. You’ll be part of healthcare delivery teams and be on the front lines of patient safety and healthcare. Before committing to a long-term career in the pharmaceutical care sector, think about the role(s) you could see yourself in after graduation. Because of the high level of academic rigor, having a definite career path might assist you in honing the exact abilities you’ll need to become a dedicated working professional. Whether you major in biology or chemistry, you’ll be well prepared for pharmacy school. Your knowledge and abilities will prepare you for a four-year doctor of pharmacy degree (PharmD) and a job in pharmaceutical care, public health, retail pharmacy employment, or other pharmaceutical fields as you finish your pharmacy education requirements. Your specialization choice aids in the development of your career. In addition, the MPharm program is a two-year program. The Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test is commonly used to get admission to this program (GPAT).

Possible Careers

Pharmacy Assistant

Working cash registers, keeping stock of items and supplies, and recording prescription deliveries are just a few of the responsibilities of pharmacy assistants, which vary depending on state regulations and work settings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for a pharmacy assistant in the United States is $30,490.

Pharmacy Technician:

A pharmacy technician is in charge of several important tasks in the pharmacy. Pharmacy tech is often the first person a doctor, patient, or other medical practitioner contacts about a prescription. Some of the responsibilities include collecting patient information for refills, measuring appropriate amounts of medication, packaging and labeling prescriptions, maintaining inventory, and processing insurance claims. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for a pharmacy technician in the United States is $35,950.


Pharmacists are responsible for more than just filling prescriptions. Whether you work in a hospital, a retail pharmacy, or another location, your responsibilities vary. Additionally, if a pharmacist is the owner of his drugstore, they may have additional responsibilities that necessitate business knowledge. Flu injections, investigating allergic issues for patients taking a new medication, instructing clients on how to take prescriptions, providing health and wellness exams, and other activities may be performed daily. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for a pharmacist in the United States is $128,090.

What Can You Expect to Earn as a Pharmacist?

Pharmacists earned an average of $126,120 in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The lowest ten percent of pharmacists earned an average of $87,420, while the top ten percent earned $159,410. While obtaining a PharmD requires a large amount of education, you will be prepared for a rewarding professional path after your studies.

What Is the Procedure for Becoming a Pharmacist?

First, enroll in a four-year college and major in biology or medicinal chemistry. After completing three years of undergraduate coursework, a pharmacy program may occasionally accept student pharmacists. Make sure you’ve completed all of the required undergraduate courses and prerequisites for pharmacy school.

  • Take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test to go to pharmacy school (PCAT).
  • To obtain a Ph.D. degree in pharmacy, apply to a pharmacy school (PHARM D). Check with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education to see if the pharmacy program is accredited.
  • You’ll need to finish a formal internship/residency program and get hands-on experience in a pharmacy setting; state licensing regulations will determine the number of hours required.

Undergraduate Research

If you look into the prerequisite coursework for pharmacy schools, you’ll see that they often differ in terms of grade point requirements and credits in specific fields. When considering pre-pharmacy professional courses, remember that practically every pharmacy school requires: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, Math, English/communications, and Economics. Studying biology or chemistry to prepare for pharmacy school may be the best option for you.

School of Pharmacy

You must first complete the prerequisite curriculum and then take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) to apply to pharmacy school. You should check with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education to see if the pharmacy program is accredited. Please make sure you’re familiar with all of the prerequisites for the various pharmacy programs, as they can vary. Some programs may recommend or require advanced pharmacy practice experience as a pharmacy assistant or technician. You’ll take classes in biochemistry, pharmacology, healthcare administration, chemotherapy, pharmaceutical measures, biostatistics, and pathology once you’ve been accepted into a pharmacy school or degree program.

Preparation for Postgraduate Studies

You’ll need to complete a formal internship/residency program and experiential learning in pharmaceutical practice settings before starting your pharmacy profession. The final step for aspiring pharmacists is to pass two license tests and meet the state’s licensure standards.

What Is the Role of a Pharmacist?

A pharmacist is a doctor who specializes in medicine and is in charge of filling and dispensing medications. They also assist patients in understanding how to administer their drugs properly. These experts are well-versed in the composition, usage, and side effects of both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The following are some of a pharmacist’s most common responsibilities:

Dispensing drugs to patients entails the following steps:

  • Prescriptions are reviewed for accuracy before being dispensed to patients.
  • Educating patients on how to take their meds and when to take them.
  • Discussing and elaborating on a medicine’s potential adverse effects is essential.
  • Flu shots and other immunizations are given to patients who request them.
  • Identifying whether a patient’s current drugs will interact with any additional medications is difficult.
  • Supervising the drug supply chain and ensuring that out-of-stock pharmaceuticals are refilled.
  • Other personnel and patients are being educated on various pharmacological regimens.
  • Ensuring that state and federal requirements are followed.

What Steps Need to Be Taken to Become a Pharmacist?

Follow these steps to learn how to become a pharmacist

Finish Your Higher Secondary Education

To enroll in a pharmacy undergraduate degree, you must have completed your higher secondary education in the science stream. To complete the admission requirements of most undergraduate programs, you can choose from various science topics such as physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics.

Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree

A diploma or a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy is required to work as a pharmacist. More information on their qualifying requirements, admissions process, course structure, and duration can be found here:

The Diploma in Pharmacy (PharmD)

PharmD is a two-year diploma program that requires a minimum grade of 10+2 in science. You should have a diploma at the very least if you want to open a pharmacy or medicine store. Students studying a diploma program may also be eligible for direct admission to the second year of a Bachelor of Pharmacy program, depending on merit. Numerous universities offer diploma programs, each with its own admissions process. Some employers will merely conduct an interview, while others require you to complete an entrance exam.

Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm)

A bachelor’s degree is required to work for the leading pharmaceutical corporations, and it’s a four-year program that requires a least of 10+2 in science as a prerequisite. You may need to pass different entrance tests depending on the college or university you are applying to be admitted to colleges that offer the BPharm degree. The course format is frequently a blend of academic and practical training in the pharmaceutical sector.

Earn a Post-Baccalaureate Degree

Following your graduation, you can enroll in one of the following two post-graduate courses:

Master’s Degree in Pharmacy (MPharm)

An MPharm is available to those who have completed a BPharm degree. A master’s degree will assist you in entering the field of research and development. Furthermore, this degree necessitates specialization in a particular area of pharmacy. Pharmaceutics, pharmacology, pharmaceutical biotechnology, pharmaceutical analysis, pharmacy practice, industrial pharmacy, pharmacognosy, pharmaceutical chemistry, and quality assurance are among the specializations available.

Pharmacist-Doctor (Post-Baccalaureate)

This course is open to candidates who have earned a BPharm degree from a PCI-approved institution. You will be able to enhance your professional skills and enter clinical practice and research after completing the post-baccalaureate course. It’s a three-year program that includes two years of classroom instruction and one year of internship. To get into a college of your choice, you must pass various entrance examinations.

Pursue a Doctorate in Pharmacy

While earning a Ph.D. is an optional step, it is a good choice for people who have a strong desire to work in the field of research. A master’s degree in pharmacy is the minimal requirement for entrance to the Ph.D. program. Most doctoral programs use an integrated learning approach and are three years long. Entrance tests are held by individual colleges and must be passed to get admission.

Obtain a State-Issued License

A pharmacist must also obtain a state license before working and the qualifications listed above. To become a registered pharmacist, you must apply for a license with your state’s pharmacy council. State-by-state eligibility requirements and procedures differ. Most jurisdictions, for example, require candidates to acquire a specified number of hours of practical experience before applying for a license. You can only apply for one state license at a time, though.

You’ll Need to Be Knowledgeable in Three Different Pharmaceutical Sub-Disciplines in Particular


The study of how medications influence the human body is known as pharmacology. As a pharmacist, you’ll need to know how common pharmaceutical medications interact with the myriad finely tuned systems that influence human biology and behavior.


It is a term that refers to the study of drugs. Pharmacognosy is the study of natural medications produced from plant or animal sources. While many elements of pharmacology are focused on synthetic drugs, pharmacognosy is the study of natural drugs derived from plant or animal sources.

Pharmaceutical Chemistry

To be a successful pharmacist, you’ll need to know a lot about chemistry. Pharmaceutical chemistry is the application of chemistry to develop new medications and evaluate their effects on the human body.

General Prospects

Pharmacists must have a PharmD and pass two licensure examinations, the NCLEX and the MPJE, and have a PharmD. You’ll need a Ph.D. or a graduate degree in a relevant subject to work as a pharmacist. If you’re thinking about a career in health care, you may learn more about it by enrolling in a free online health science degree. To work as a pharmacist, you’ll need a thorough understanding of drugs, science, and math. It would be best if you were educated in the field and had strong communication skills to be considered. This is the vocation for you if you enjoy assisting others. To work as a pharmacist in the United States, you must first receive a license. To be eligible, you must submit documentation of completion of an accredited PharmD school and pass both the Multi-State Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE) and the North American Pharmacist Licensing Exam to be eligible (NAPLEX). Once you’ve acquired your license, you’ll be able to work as a pharmacist anywhere in the United States.


Pharmacists will be in greater demand in various healthcare settings, including hospitals and clinics. This is due to the increased complexity of pharmacological therapy and the necessity for optimal drug selection, dosing, monitoring, and management throughout the drug use process. Pharmacists are still in high demand in the institutional sector, including long-term care and home care. After graduating from pharmacy school, most prospective pharmacists begin their careers in pharmacies or drug shops, hospitals and medical centers, other retail pharmacies (grocery stores and mass merchandisers), and institutional settings such as long-term care facilities. Pharmaceutical companies managed care, and health insurance plans, consulting firms, home health care, prescription fulfillment centers, veteran’s hospitals, rural pharmacy teams, and universities employ fewer pharmacists.

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