Becoming a Pharmacist in Maine

A career as a Pharmacist promises rewarding career results and substantial financial gains. If you are interested in medicine and helping people lead healthy and safe lifestyles, then becoming a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) may be the perfect career choice.

A PharmD degree opens up windows to several career options in the health field, not just working in a pharmacy setting. Other options include research and development, inpatient and outpatient care, biotech and academic work. It is a degree with the utmost stability, options and satisfaction.

Requirements to Receive Your PharmD

The requirements to become a Pharmacist in Maine are fairly standard. First, you will need a license to practice. To get licensed, you need to cross each of the following requirements off your list:

  • Possess a degree from an accredited Pharmacy Program
  • Pass the North American Pharmacy Licensure Exam (NAPLEX)
  • Pass the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE)
  • Complete 1500 hours of internship
  • No criminal record
  • Have a good moral character
  • Be over the age of 21 years old
  • Submit an application to Maine’s Board of Pharmacy

It is important to know that even after you have accomplished your Doctorate, passed your exams and completed your internship hours, your state requirements remain unmet. In Maine, all practicing Pharmacists must complete 15 Continuing Education credits every year to renew their pharmacy license.

Salary of Maine Pharmacist

Salary amounts can range for a variety of reasons like education, skills, location and the number of years you have spent practicing in your career. The salary range in Maine is $130,016 to $146,978. This comes in at an average of $137,993. With the national average of a Pharmacist coming in around $128,570, Maine offers highly competitive wages and stability to all pharmacists.

Accredited Campus Pharmacy Programs

Maine has three in-person campuses that offer a Pharmacy Program. Two of those campuses belong to the same university but in different locations throughout the state.

University of New England

The University of New England (UNE) is the most sizable private university in Maine. It also happens to provide the state with the most healthcare professionals than any other institution in Maine. With a campus in Portland and Biddeford, you have the opportunity to pick which campus will suit your needs the best.

UNE offers undergraduate courses to all prospective students. This allows you to accomplish all of your university needs in one setting. If you happen to complete your undergraduate work at another institution, you can simply apply to the four-year Pharmacy Program.

The University of New England provides a 48,000-square-foot facility for its Pharmacy Program. With top-of-the-line equipment and faculty at your fingertips, you will be able to get experiential learning and complete the rigorous curriculum to prepare you for your future career.

Requirements to apply to the Pharmacy Program at the University of New England:

  • If transferring from a University other than UNE, you will need to complete 58-semester credits of particular undergraduate courses. If you receive your undergraduate courses at UNE, 63 pre-pharmacy credits will be required.
  • Submit an application through Pharmacy College Centralized Application Services (PharmCAS) by the appropriate date
  • Complete an interview with a faculty member
  • Submit official transcripts from any institution you have attended
  • Must possess a GPA of 2.75 or higher for all courses as well as prerequisite courses
  • The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is not a requirement, but students who need an extra boost due to a lower GPA should consider submitting the test
  • Letters of Recommendation. Two letters are required, and no more than four will be accepted. One of those letters should be from a preview professor or a pharmacist.
  • Submit information about any experience work you have completed. This is not a requirement but will help your application.
  • Submit a personal statement along with your application through PharmCAS
  • Complete a physical exam
  • Submit proof of immunizations
  •  Pass a background check
  • Pass a drug test. Drug tests will also need to be submitted throughout the program.

Husson University

Husson University is able to offer some unique advantages to its students. Not only does the program have a national board certification in pharmacotherapy, but it also prides itself in offering renowned educators. Those educators are also able to give each student a personalized education with the standard of only twenty students per class.

Another unique advantage the program offers its students is its pro-bono clinic. This allows all attendees to take advantage of experimental learning to forward their education and prepare themselves for real-world careers right on campus.

If scholarships or grants are something that you need, Husson awards over $400,000 annually to their pharmacy students. The university also happens to offer the lowest net price for tuition. Worrying about a smaller financial burden is an enticing option for those looking to pursue a Doctorate in Pharmacy.

Admission requirements to consider for the Husson Pharmacy Program:

  • Submit an application. You may submit an application through the university’s application process or complete an application through Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS).
  • Complete at least two years’ worth of pre-pharmacy course
  • Must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • Complete an interview with a faculty member
  • Pass a background check
  • Turn in immunization records
  • Submit to a drug test. The cost of the test will be your responsibility
  • Submit all official transcripts from any previously attended institutions

Husson University offers a Guaranteed Admission to Pharmacy students who have:

  • Completed pre-pharmacy math with a GPA of 3.3 or higher
  • Completed pre-pharmacy science with a GPA of 3.3 or higher
  • PCAT score in the 20th percentile or higher
  • Completed a successful interview with a faculty member

Accredited Online Pharmacy Programs

When your location and life get in the way of the on-campus environment, online schooling may be your perfect option. Online pharmacy programs offer flexibility in your schedule which allows you to take control of your schooling pace.

St John Fisher College

St John Fisher College is a college based in New York and is ranked #187 (out of 939) in national universities. This makes it in the top 20% of the United States. It offers a four-year program almost inclusively online, offering utmost flexibility as you never have to step on campus. Though keep in mind even though it is an online school, 2,000 hours of clinical rotations is a requirement. This will give you the opportunity needed for hands-on experience to advance in your career.

Do not let the lack of campus life lead you to believe that your online experience will be subpar to in-person campus life. St John Fisher College has been offering engaging courses and has had the community’s support since it opened through their Wegmans School of Pharmacy in 2006.

Admission Requirements for St John Fisher College Pharmacy Program:

  • General Course prerequisites need to total 24 semester hours with a C grade or higher. Science and Math requirements must meet 38 semester hours also with a grade of a C or higher. Your cumulative GPA needs to be 2.75 or higher to be considered a competitive GPA.
  • PCAT (Pharmacy College Admissions Test) is recommended though not a requirement.
  • Fill out an online application to PharmCAS (a centralized service that allows you to fill out one application for multiple PharmD programs). Pay the PharmCAS fee.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Pass a criminal background check

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) is another great online option for completing your pharmacy program. It is located in the heart of Erie, Pennsylvania, and began the four-year Distant Education pathway leading to a PharmD degree back in 2014. Though things like orientation and laboratory sessions will require you to leave your home, the majority of your work can be completed online. Like most pharmacy programs, expect to do your share of clinical hours at pharmacies, hospitals and wellness centers. 6 rotations in 6 week periods in community and clinical settings are all that is needed.

Admissions Requirements for LECOM’s PharmD Program:

  • Show proof of U.S. Citizenship, Permanent USA residency, or an F-1 Visa.
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Complete 54 hours of pre-professional courses with an accredited college.
  • Though LECOM does not require a specific GPA, a 2.7 or higher is preferred.
  • A short writing assessment will be required at the time of your interview.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation. One of those letters must be from a Science Professor.
  • Fill out and send in your application by the appropriate date.

Job Prospects

After enduring the intense road of becoming a certified Pharmacist, you will find yourself ready to start your own pharmacy practice or find a company that will provide you with what you need for a satisfying career. Let’s take a look at some of the top picks for pharmacy positions in Maine:

  • MaineHealth- Corporate
  • Walgreens
  • CompHealth
  • Soliant
  • RPh on the Go
  • Hannaford
  • PharM Erica
  • Walmart
  • Northern Health Light
  • Option Health Care
  • Albertsons Companies

With an abundance of pharmacy positions open every year, becoming a Pharmacist in Maine will guarantee you endless options and the stability you worked so hard to achieve.