A pharmacist has many roles.
If visiting a pharmacist in a grocery store or pharmacy, you may wonder what it is that they do all day.
Pharmacists store, prepare, and dispense medications for patients.
They also help patients understand how to take their medication and answer any questions that they have about it.
If you’re thinking about becoming a pharmacist, here are 10 reasons why you should consider pursuing it.
Is Being A Pharmacist Worth It? (10 Reasons It Is)
1. Fast-Paced Environment
One of the reasons being a pharmacist is worth it is because they work in a fast-paced environment.
While this isn’t ideal for everyone, it’s great for people who like to be busy during work.
As a pharmacist, you’ll have plenty of duties.
You’ll need to oversee the intake of medications as they arrive.
It will be down to you to ensure they’re stored properly.
Without proper storage, the medication could expire quickly.
That means a lot of patients might not get the medications that they need.
You’re also responsible for dispensing medications
When an order comes in from a doctor, you need to fill that bottle or vial with the correct amount of medication.
It’s an important task to get correct.
If you don’t, you could harm someone.
Depending on where you work, you could have orders constantly coming in.
As such, you’ll need to get them out as fast as you can to ensure everyone can get the medications they need to live a healthy life.
Finally, you’ll also have to speak with patients who come to collect their medications.
You’ll need to answer any questions they have about the medication and remind them of anything that they need to know.
While most pharmacists have pharmacy technicians to help them with some of these tasks, it’s down to the pharmacist to ensure everything is correct.
As the individual who went to school and practiced pharmacy, it’s the pharmacist who is responsible for ensuring the patients get the right medication.
You’ll find yourself performing one task, then the next, to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
If you like working in a fast-paced environment, then working as a pharmacist may be a great option for you.
Being a pharmacist is worth it if you enjoy working hard at your job.
2. Health Work Without The High Stakes
If you want to get involved in healthcare but don’t want to deal with high stakes, then being a pharmacist may be a great option.
As a pharmacist, you still play an important role in someone’s life.
They may rely on you for fast and accurate service to get their medication.
However, it’s not your job to determine if the medication is the correct choice for them.
That’s up to their doctor or specialist.
You’re just there to ensure they get the right medication.
As such, being a pharmacist is an important role, but you also don’t have anyone’s life or quality of life on your shoulders.
You don’t have to look into someone’s face and tell them that they only have a few months to live.
You don’t have to perform tests on a patient to determine the cause of illness.
Working as a pharmacist allows you to help people without the added stress of taking care of them.
That makes it a great option for people who want to work in healthcare without taking home the stress of having people’s lives depend on you.
Doctors and nurses are often quite stressed for this particular reason.
Whether it’s because they’re busy or because they had to deliver terrible news to someone, they don’t always have great days.
As a pharmacist, you don’t have to worry about having days like those.
You just prepare and give the patients their medications, then go home.
As such, working as a pharmacist is a great career for those who want to work in the medical industry without being a doctor or nurse.
Being a pharmacist is worth it because it lets you help people without the added stress of trying to keep them in good health or saving their lives.
3. Interaction With Patients
Being a pharmacist is an ideal career for people who want some interaction with patients but not too much.
As a doctor, you get a lot of interaction with patients.
You’re there with them for a few, or several, minutes to discuss their health and take tests.
Your job is to go from patient to patient until the work day ends.
As a nurse, you get even more interaction with patients.
You have to check them in, check them out, then perform some of the basic tests to save the doctor some time.
While the doctor sees a lot of interaction with patients, nurses see even more.
If you’re not much of a people person, that sort of interaction may sound exhausting.
As a pharmacist, you get just enough interaction to keep the job interesting.
You’re usually behind a counter which means there’s not that much interaction time.
At most, the patient gives you details, you find their medication, and then you deliver it to them.
They may have some questions that you need to answer, but that’s usually the most interaction you have.
Some extroverted pharmacists might engage with the patients a bit more, but it isn’t necessary.
Some may not even engage with the patients at all.
For example, some pharmacies also employ pharmacy technicians.
These technicians help the pharmacist fill and deliver medications to the patients.
It’s not uncommon for them to handle the counter while the pharmacist is in the back dispensing medications and filling orders.
Those who consider themselves introverts may love this particular arrangement.
It ensures that the only people you interact with are your employees or coworkers.
Being a pharmacist is worth it because you’re able to scale the level of interaction that you have with patients.
4. Little Secondary Education Required For Pharmacy Technicians
Speaking of pharmacy technicians, it’s worth mentioning that it’s relatively easy to become one.
If you want to be a full-fledged pharmacist, you can expect to spend quite a few years at school.
If you want to be a technician, on the other hand, sometimes you don’t even need a degree.
Pharmacy technicians usually only need a high school diploma or an Associate’s Degree depending on the pharmacy or state in question.
Some states also require technicians to pass an exam and receive a certificate to practice.
Other states simply require technicians to take an exam now and then and a few courses without needing a certificate.
A pharmacy technician doesn’t make quite as much as a pharmacist, but it’s a relatively easy job.
The pharmacist is the one who double-checks everything and fills more complex orders.
As a technician, you just handle the patients.
You get their medications for them, explain certain things about their insurance to them, and then answer any questions that they have.
If you’re not sure how to answer a question, you can always rely on the pharmacist for help.
Becoming a pharmacist technician is worth it because you can make a decent amount of money without having to go into too much debt for it.
Even if you only go for an Associate’s Degree to become a technician, you’re going to save a lot more money than if you’re studying to become a pharmacist.
Working as a technician also introduces the lifestyle to you.
You may find that the work of a pharmacist isn’t something you have an interest in.
This lets you re-examine your career without having invested a lot of money or time into it.
Being a pharmacy technician is worth it because it lets you see if you want to commit and become an actual pharmacist or not.
5. Doctorate Degree
To become a pharmacist, you’re going to need a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree.
This type of degree is similar to what a medical doctor needs to practice.
You can expect to attend school for at least eight years.
Like any other degree, it has several prerequisite classes that you need to pass before you can start getting into the nitty-gritty pharmacy classes.
Those prerequisite classes alone could take you four years to complete.
Once they’re done, you can start taking classes that directly relate to the pharmacy field.
Not everyone may see this as worthwhile, but it’s actually a good thing.
Getting your doctorate means you have the highest degree that a university can offer.
Not only does it make you look respectable, but you’re also considered an expert in your field.
Even better, a doctorate essentially means you can work where you want and do what you want to do.
If you eventually find that working as a pharmacist isn’t quite right for you, then you have the credentials to easily change into another career.
Without a doctorate, the transition may be a bit harder.
Certain fields may want you to get your degree before you start working with them.
Since you already handled that when pursuing your Degree of Pharmacy, you’re able to skip that step and immediately get hired.
Being a doctor means you’re a bit more distinguishable than others.
You put in the hard work to advance your education.
People tend to trust doctors and heed their advice.
Since few people go on to get doctorates, you’re also part of a small, educated, minority.
Being a pharmacist is worth it because it makes you earn a doctorate which can be useful both in your private life and in your career.
6. Life-Saving Work
While you may not be the one prescribing medications to save someone’s life, you are the one ensuring that they’re able to take them.
As a pharmacist, you’re doing life-saving work.
You’re the one who delivers the medication that can alleviate someone’s symptoms of a severe cold.
You’re the one who ensures that people can breathe easier.
For people who suffer from diseases like diabetes, you’re the one who ensures they’re able to continue to live a high-quality life.
Without you, getting medications could be difficult.
There may be a long wait which could prove disastrous for people with certain conditions or diseases.
As a pharmacist, you work hard to ensure people get the medication that they need.
If you didn’t work as hard as you did, patients may not be able to get their medications in time.
Thanks to you, they’re able to live their lives to the best ability.
You may not be in charge of choosing the right medication for them, but you are the one who ensures they get the right medication that helps them improve their health.
7. High Income
A lot of people tend to think of their job in terms of pay.
A job that doesn’t pay well, for example, may not be worth it.
Considering the number of years that you need to study to become a pharmacist, pay does matter.
If you’re not paid enough, it can be difficult to pay off the student loans that you accumulated.
You also perform important work.
Getting someone’s medications wrong could prove disastrous for them if not lethal.
Because of the amount of focus and attention to detail you need as a pharmacist, it only makes sense that you should receive ample compensation for it.
The average salary for a pharmacist is $128,570.
This represents the income in the middle of the pay scale that most pharmacists make.
Some make a bit less and some make a bit more.
The longer you work as a pharmacist, the more you’re likely to earn.
Your pay may also differ based on where you decide to work.
Working in a retail store, for example, may offer one salary while working in a hospital might offer another.
You can even start your own business which might allow you to make even more.
$128,570 is a decent salary for a career in which you’re not directly responsible for someone’s health.
All you’re doing is filling and delivering prescriptions to patients.
It’s a sizable income for a relatively low-stress job.
As such, you’ll find that being a pharmacist is worth it because of its average salary.
8. Positive Job Outlook
One of the most important aspects of choosing a career is its job outlook.
The last thing you want to do is become part of a career that’s dying out.
Considering the amount of money you likely spent going to college, you want to ensure that you’re able to continue to work to pay off those loans.
The great thing about working as a pharmacist is that there is a positive job outlook.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics looked at pharmacists and estimated a 2% growth between the years 2021 and 2031.
This means that the demand for pharmacists will grow by 2%.
While that percentage is small, it’s also worth remembering that not that many people become pharmacists.
Due to how many years of school the degree requires, not everyone has the funds to support that sort of education.
Others may not be able to pass the required classes.
Fewer still will pass the exams needed to get certification as a pharmacist.
As such, while there’s likely going to be some competition for the new jobs opening throughout the years, it isn’t as bad as competition for other careers.
If you want to work as a pharmacist, you can be sure that you can likely find an opening.
As more retail chains also start opening up pharmacies of their own, the job outlook may increase, too.
Being a pharmacist is worth it because it has a positive job outlook.
9. You Can Choose Where You Want To Work
Another great aspect of being a pharmacist is that you can choose the type of environment in which you want to work.
If you want something fast-paced, you may consider working at a retail pharmacy.
If you want something a little slower-paced, you might want to set up shop in a hospital or medical center.
You can even start your own business.
If you don’t like the idea of having a boss or want to provide a service that doesn’t exist yet in your community, you can start your own business to fill that need.
Starting your own pharmacy is a bit more work, but you’ll have direct control over everything.
This sort of luxury of choosing where you want to work isn’t always available for all careers.
A final reason being a pharmacist is worth it is because it’s a stable job.
There will always be a need for pharmacists.
Whether it’s in the hospital or a retail store, people need pharmacists to dispense medications.
Even outside of hospitals and retail stores, communities need a pharmacist to get their medications.
As long as you do your job well, you can be sure that people are always going to need your services.
When other positions start to disappear, you can rest assured knowing you have job security.
Being a pharmacist is worth it because it offers stability and job security.
Working as a pharmacist requires you to get a doctorate which takes time and money.
However, the salary and job security both make the job worth considering.
You can also choose where you want to work and even start your own business.