Becoming a Pharmacist in New Mexico
A career as a pharmacist guarantees that you will achieve rewarding work and have substantial financial gains. If you are interested in pharmaceuticals and helping people lead healthy and safe lifestyles, then becoming a Doctor of Pharmacy may just be the perfect fit for you.
Doctors of Pharmacy play an essential role in our communities and have been doing so for thousands of years. With the PharmD title comes the responsibility of filling prescriptions with the correct drugs and dosages, ensuring that there are no unsafe drug interactions for patients, providing consultations to patients to advise them on general health topics and prescription safety, giving immunizations and overseeing pharmacy staff.
Amongst the history and beauty New Mexico offers, it is a great place with excellent opportunities to achieve your goal of becoming a Pharmacist (PharmD). New Mexico has more PhDs per capita than any other state and offers competitive pay, great benefits and job environment variety.
New Mexico Requirements for Becoming a Pharmacist
A license to practice PharmD is required in the state of New Mexico. Luckily the requirements to practice are pretty standard. Let us take a look at what is needed:
- Pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX)
- Pass the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE)
- 2150 hours of internship
- A degree from an accredited College of Pharmacy
- A clean criminal record
There is, however, one unique requirement that New Mexico requires their licensed Pharmacists to have:
- Every two years, a licensed Pharmacist must complete 30 Continuing Education credits (two of which must be law credits)
On average, achieving a PharmD degree can take up to eight years. Prerequisite courses alone can take half that time, while another four years are needed for the Pharmacy Program.
Salaries of a New Mexico PharmD
An annual salary a person brings home can vary depending on many factors, such as location, years of experience, education, and additional skills. On average, a New Mexico Pharmacist brings home around $130,494 with the opportunity to advance. Some NM pharmacists make up to $139,900 annually. With 100+ PharmD positions available every year in the state of New Mexico, you will have the reassurance of options and stability readily available to you.
Accredited In-Person PharmD Programs
Currently, there is only one accredited in-person Pharmacy Program in the whole state of New Mexico. It is nestled right in the bustle of Albuquerque. An ideal area to settle into as you complete your Pharmacy Program.
The University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy (UNM) has been educating pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists for over 75 years. To date, UNM has rewarded an impressive $240k+ to its pharmacy students for those needing a scholarship. The University is also recorded as 28th in research funding. UNM received $12.2+ million in 2019 alone. This has allowed more opportunities for their students to further their learning experiences. With a faculty-to-student ratio of 7:1, you will be sure to receive a closer mentorship throughout your advanced research practices.
Admission Requirements for UNM Pharmacy Program:
- Complete all prerequisite coursework by the appropriate dates
- Have a 2.5 GPA or higher. The average GPA for incoming students has been 3.3. To keep up with the competitive applicants, it is recommended to maintain a higher GPA than the admission requirement.
- Submit official transcripts from all accredited institutions you have completed prerequisites at
- Fill out and submit the application by the appropriate date. Keep in mind that applications are accepted roughly a year in advance for the start of each fall program. Pay close attention to dates.
- Submit Letters of Recommendation
- Complete admission interviews
Annual tuition and fees to consider at the University of New Mexico:
- Tuition- $21,331
- Books and Supplies- $ 2,070
- Computer – $2,200
- Transportation- $3,466
- Miscellaneous- $3,510
- HSC Library Fee- $262
- Loan Fee- $298
- DOH Background Check- $73
Accredited Online PharmD Programs
When geographics and home life keep you from moving to the big city of Albuquerque, rest assured that you have online Pharmacy Programs at your fingertips. Online schooling allows more flexibility in your schedule in the comfort of your own home.
St John Fisher College opened its Wegmans School of Pharmacy in 2006. This Pharmacy Program has allowed students to choose between campus life and online learning. This online program will enable you to complete your four years of their Pharmacy Program in any state almost exclusively online. With the ease of completing the curriculum at home and clinical hours in your own community, you will get the knowledge needed for your PharmD career and the field experience. All class sizes are also intentionally kept small to ensure a personalized learning experience. This assures you that your pharmacy education will give you everything you need to jump-start your career.
Admission requirements for Fisher PharmD Online Program:
- Complete the application and submit it to the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS)
- Official transcripts from all institutions you have attended
- Two or more Letters of Recommendation
- Complete an admissions interview. This can be done in-person or virtually
- Complete 62 semester hours of prerequisite credits. All science lab-based courses must have all been completed in the past five years
- Have a 2.75 GPA or higher in both science and cumulative courses. This is the minimum GPA. Most students admitted to the program are accepted with a much higher GPA.
- Pass a background check
Scholarships and grants are available at St John Fisher College. All freshman applicants are automatically considered for a scholarship no matter their financial eligibility. Most scholarships range between $7,500 to $18,000 a year.
Pharmacy online students are billed per credit hour instead of an annual lump sum. Here are some tuition and fees to consider at St John Fisher College:
- Pharmacy fee per credit- $1,175
- Comprehensive fee- $15
- Online Pathway fee- $15
Another online option for a four-year pharmacy program is Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM). Though this program is located in Erie, Pennsylvania, its online program can be taken from any state from the comfort of your couch. Something to consider with this online program is that you will be required to travel to Bradenton, Florida, each summer for one to three weeks at a time. During those visits to Florida, you will fulfill laboratory, presentation and casework portions of your curriculum. A trip each summer to complete this part of the program may be something a lot of students look forward to. This obligation may be more than many can commit to so consider that when choosing your online school options.
- Show proof of United State Citizenship, Permanent USA residency, or a F-1 Visa
- Pass a criminal background check
- Complete 54 semester hours of prerequisite courses with an accredited institution. You will need to provide transcripts
- A GPA of 2.7 or higher
- Complete an interview
- Write a short assessment to be handed in at your interview
- Two Letters of Recommendation. One of those letters must be written by a Science Professor
- Fill out and complete the application by the appropriate date
LECOM offers scholarships every year to its students. The scholarship funds vary every year depending on fundraising. The amount that is raised is then matched by the Board of Directors, annually.
For those that are not eligible to get scholarships, here are tuition and fees to consider:
- Tuition cost for year one- $29,315
- Tuition cost for year two- $29,315
- Tuition cost for year three- $28,885
- Tuition cost for year four- $28,605
- Curriculum fee- $350
- Technology fee- $1,300
- Graduation fee- $300
- Book fee- $100
- Late tuition fees- $50 per week
- Transcript fee- $10
- Student Government fee- $50
- Student Health Insurance fee- varies
With so many different pharmaceutical environments to choose from (drug stores, hospitals, private offices, mail-order facilities), you have various options to find your best job fit. Some of New Mexico’s prospects are places like Walgreens, U.S. Veterans Health Administration, Albertsons, UNM Hospitals, Dignity Health and Costco Wholesale. All offer excellent benefits and competitive salaries to set you on the right path in your new career. Though more heavily populated areas tend to have more job opportunities, New Mexico offers an array of locations and environments to suit your desires and needs.
Beginning Your Pharmacy Career
It takes much time to study and train to become a pharmacist, but the result is well worth the effort. Now that you know what it takes, the certifications and education needed, and the internship hours required, you’re well on your way to taking your first step to becoming a pharmacist. Although this role isn’t for everyone, it allows you to practice in New Mexico and virtually any U.S. state. The pharmacy career is unlikely to become obsolete and enable you to live a comfortable and rewarding life.