The future of healthcare is here: 7 cutting-edge CAreers in the Field of pharmacy to consider

If you are currently on the search for employment in the medical field, a career as health-care professional could sound attractive.

As health-care professionals, many decide to work in the pharmaceutical industry, either directly with pharmaceutical companies or as pharmacists.

The pharmacy field offers a wide variety of job opportunities and settings, including online, sometimes with very different responsibilities and educational paths. It can feel somewhat daunting if you are currently trying to decide on a career path in the pharmaceutical industry.

In this article, we will walk you through various employment options and career opportunities within the field of pharmacy. This way, you can make an informed decision on which path you will choose as a future pharmacist.

Academic Pharmacy

The field of health care and drug discovery is a fast-paced and ever-evolving industry. As an academic researcher for the pharmaceutical industry, you will be at the forefront of this evolution.

You will play a key role in researching drug trials or educating other pharmacists. This will come with a relatively flexible schedule. On top of that, you will have lots of interactions with other pharmacists, health-care professionals, and students.

National Average Salary: $145,944 per year

Retail Pharmacy

If you decide to work in retail pharmacies you have several employment options to choose from:

Pharmacy dispenser

As a pharmacy dispenser, you will be responsible for selecting the medical drugs and putting them in labeled containers, as per the patient’s prescription order. Other duties include:

  • Updating patient’s personal and insurance information
  • Managing inventory
  • Placing wholesale orders
  • Arranging merchandise
  • Processing paperwork
  • Screening telephone calls
  • Communicating with insurance companies

National Average Salary: $13.04 per hour

Pharmacy Assistant

As a pharmacy assistant, you will work closely with the management. Your primary responsibilities will be of an administrative nature and revolve around tasks such as:

  • Storing prescription records
  • Maintaining inventory
  • Preparing audits and invoices
  • Ordering office supplies
  • Keeping the pharmacy area and equipment clean

National Average Salary: $14.28 per hour

Pharmacy clerk

As a pharmacy clerk you will mainly work on:

  • Filing prescriptions
  • Completing the cash register transactions
  • Updating patient information records
  • Cleaning and arranging the pharmacy area
  • Assisting with stock orders and inventory matters

National Average Salary: $12.39 per hour

Community Pharmacy

Community pharmacists are probably the type of pharmacists that work the closest with patients. You will be assisting them with maintaining or improving their health through medical consulting and prescription drugs. Here are the duties of community pharmacists:

  • Filling prescriptions
  • Explain proper medication use
  • Providing clinical services
  • Identifying drug interactions

Community pharmacists mainly work in chain community pharmacy management, in an independent community pharmacy, a compounding pharmacy, or in a community health center.

National Average Salary: $116,043 per year

Hospital Pharmacy

There are several tiers of being a pharmacist in a hospital. There are hospital pharmacists, hospital pharmacist managers, ambulatory care pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. In any case, you will be working on treating patients with complicated medical conditions. This job also spreads across a variety of specialties, based on the hospital you are working for.

You can either work with:

  • Oncology
  • IV medication therapy
  • Pain management
  • Geriatric
  • Neonatal care

You will also be working closely with doctors, nurses, and physicians. Both of these jobs are working closely with the patient, therefore it makes sense that the three disciplines interact with each other.

This is a good job opportunity for someone seeking an interprofessional setting that is focused directly on the patient.

Average National Salary: $52.45 per hour

Hospital pharmacist manager

In this position, you will oversee the different departments’ components. Your main duties will be:

  • Facilitating workflow
  • Acquisition of equipment
  • Cost management
  • Managing departments

You will work with nurses, other pharmacists, physicians, and patients.

National Average Salary: $74.00 per hour

Hospital pharmacy technician

Pharmacy technicians work under clinical pharmacists in a hospital or clinic. The main duties of this role are:

  • Managing pharmacy workstations
  • Ordering medications
  • Keeping inventory
  • Fill patient prescriptions
  • Dispense medications and prescription drugs in containers
  • Take care of patient safety by testing for allergies or food and medicine interactions

National Average Salary: $16.27

Cardiology pharmacist

When working as hospital pharmacists, many decide to receive specialized training to become pharmacists specific to a field; cardiology for instance.

This is a highly sought-after career path, as cardiology is an ever-evolving and extremely progressive field. This will keep you on your toes as a pharmacist and will definitely be nothing like just filling prescriptions every day.

If you start out as a hospital pharmacist the best is to use experience and interdisciplinary knowledge to your advantage. Cardiology pharmacists take a similar educational path as a physician.

After receiving several years of schooling, you will have to do a residency, followed by practice. Then you specialize in cardiology.

Your role will be working closely with other health-care professionals and patients. You will be researching a lot of drug development and the interaction of drugs with other medication therapy.

You will be involved in a lot of patient care and patient counseling, while also focusing on the research side of the pharmacy industry.

National Average Salary: $129,687

Homecare And Hospice Pharmacy

When working as a homecare or hospice pharmacist, your work will be specialized in treating patients who are more or less homebound or living in residential facilities, such as hospices.

You usually have fewer patients and work closely with hospice organizations.

If you work as a short-term or long-term care pharmacist you will oversee and manage the pharmaceutical services for patients in their own homes or a care facility. You will work with nurses, medical staff, and physicians in home care and hospice pharmacy. The main duties related to this role will be:

  • Liaise with other staff to evaluate patient’s health
  • Dispense medications
  • Resolve pharmacy-related concerns
  • Updating patient medication information
  • Monitoring patient safety and records
  • Prepare reports of prescription drugs utilization

Working in a patient care pharmacy can be a very rewarding career as it offers the opportunity to work directly with a patient and improve patient outcomes.

National average salary: $54.63 per hour

Pharmacy Informatics

As an informatics pharmacist, you will be working closely with data to analyze and evaluate human health. Therefore, a profession in data sciences, computer science, and data management with a mix of medicine or advanced public health are required.

It is a growing industry and a lot more pharmacy school programs have been offering this program recently.

As an informatics pharmacist, you will work together with other health-care professionals such as:

  • Clinical pharmacists
  • Hospital staff
  • The quality control department of hospitals

Your responsibilities in this job are:

  • Research and promote safe optimal use of medications
  • Use systems and implement these for monitoring patient safety and the success of medicine and drug treatments
  • Establish pharmacy-related metrics
  • Analyze and present data sets to improve pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences

A lot of people enjoy this career path as it offers flexibility and a space where you can be creative and independent. You get to use your problem-solving skills and assist with developing clinical programs or analyzing their success.

National Average Salary: $120,209 per year

Nuclear Pharmacist

Nuclear pharmacists have specialized in radioactive drugs, specifically for cancer or similar diseases.

Nuclear pharmacists fill prescriptions just like community pharmacists or hospital pharmacists. The only difference is that the drugs they are prescribing are radioactive.

They usually work in a hospital pharmacy or will prepare the drugs off-site and distribute them to hospitals or clinics. Responsibilities in this field include:

  • Preparation of radiopharmaceuticals
  • Filling prescriptions
  • Handling of radiopharmaceuticals and chemicals
  • Patient care and consultation
  • Laboratory testing
  • Stock inventory
  • Research

National Average Salary: $145,513 per year

Veterinary Pharmacist

A veterinary pharmacist has specialized in the medication and treatment of animals.

To become a veterinary pharmacist you need to be certified in veterinary pharmacology and therapeutics. Then you will work closely with pets and their owners.

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Filling prescriptions depending on the weight and size of the animal
  • Prescribing pain management treatments
  • Owner consultation
  • Distribution of drugs to the animals
  • Preparation of medication specific to the animal

As a vet pharmacist, your job will likely be quite flexible. You will have to have very good knowledge of medications and drugs as many times you will have to hand-make prescription drugs.

And, of course, you need to have a special desire to work with animals.

National Average Salary: $75,410 per year

Also consider: Pharmacy Benefit Manager

FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions that might be useful should you think about pursuing a pharmacy career.

What are the requirements for a pharmacy career?

As this is a broad industry, you can work in pharmacy with almost any kind of educational background. You will not be able to work as a hospital pharmacist and deal with patients and prescription drugs with only a high school diploma; however, completing high school allows you to become a pharmacy clerk.

Any more advanced position will require either professional or doctoral degrees.

This is an incredibly important field to work in. You are dealing with people’s health and lives, so it requires meticulous work ethics and attention to detail. You will need to form a strong understanding of the effects pharmaceuticals can have.

A lot of these jobs also require extremely good social and communication skills. You will be working closely with patients or their families and will have to show compassion. On top of that, liaising with other health professionals will require an understanding of the industry’s jargon and behavioral rules.

What is the best field in pharmacy?

If you wish to pursue a pharmacy career it is highly dependent on your personality and skill level which field will be the best. Some people are looking for personal fulfillment while others prefer the best remuneration possible.

If the latter is your motivation then working as a pharmacist in clinical trials and as a researcher for the pharmaceutical industry will be most beneficial.

What is the highest degree in pharmacy?

There are two degrees that are regarded as the highest in a pharmacy career. Both are doctoral degrees, naturally. The one is a more research-focused Ph.D., which is ideal for working on clinical trials and as an academic pharmacist.

The other is a Pharm. D. This is used as a professional doctoral degree when working actively in pharmacy; in a hospital, for instance, or in-home patient care.

Final Thoughts

Pharmacy careers can lead in many different directions. You can decide to keep it simple and become a general pharmacist or specialize in a medical field such as cardiology.

Regardless of which road you decide to go down, it is important to check state and federal laws in your home state in order to understand which requirements you will need to have in order to pursue the job you are interested in.

No matter which career path you decide to pursue, there are ample opportunities in the pharmacy field. Should you wish to look at one specific profession more in-depth, visit our website and read up on which states provide the best average salary and more!

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