The question, “Is Pharmacy a good career?” has been a wind ravaging through the forest of minds.
At an alarming rate, the number of pharmacy graduates is increasing significantly making people wonder how pharmacy as a career will be in the nearest future.
“At this alarming rate at which pharmacists are being produced, I think the future of this career will soon be in a lion’s mouth”, many people wondered and lamented continuously.
Considering the economic and political situation of countries, professional and lucrative jobs are being sought by the majority with the hope of building a better future.
However, as the number of graduates increases, unemployment is gradually and obviously becoming the order of the day.
The need for pharmacists has been increasing substantially as health needs increase thereby molding the future of pharmacy as a better career choice if not the best.
Pharmacy as a medical career is becoming more significant, prosperous, and respected than you have ever imagined.
Pharmacy according to Wikipedia is the clinical health science that links medical science with chemistry and it’s charged with the discovery, production, disposal, safe and effective use, and control of medications and drugs.
Simply, Pharmacy is a career that brings about scientific research, innovation, and prescription of drugs for a better healthy nation.
It’s one of the most highly respected and trusted medical careers.
Pursuing Pharmacy As A Career
Pursuing pharmacy as a career means aiming to be a pharmacist.
Research says, “As of 2016, eighty-five percent of all pharmacy programs require students to successfully pass the Pharmacy College Admission Test”.
Pharmacy is one of the medical careers that require students to read tirelessly, research, and develop good communication skills.
To become a pharmacist, taking pre-pharmacy courses is a very important step to take.
This is always about a two, to three to a four-year program with classes related to pharmaceutical topics.
These courses include the likes of Chemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, and Biochemistry to mention but a few.
Then, getting admitted to pharmacy school is the next step a pharmacy aspirant is expected to take.
This always requires students to meet all the admission requirements.
A doctor of pharmacy usually takes about four years to complete.
Gaining of license to become a licensed pharmacist which is about three parts; the North Pharmacist Licensing Examination, the Multi-State Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination, and the Written and Practical Examination.
After earning a license, Post-Doctoral Training is to be completed where pharmacy graduates are required to work in any specialized field of pharmaceuticals for the residency program.
This is about two to three years. This training helps pharmacists to acquire enough specialized knowledge to sail successfully through the ocean of pharmacy as their chosen career. In a nutshell, anybody interested in pursuing Pharmacy will have to;
- Take pre-pharmacy courses
- Get admitted into pharmacy school
- Gain a license and become a licensed pharmacist
- Complete post-doctoral training.
These four crucial steps are essential in pursuing pharmacy as a career and it’s a journey worth embarking on!
Roles of Pharmacists
People who pursued pharmacy are called pharmacists and their roles in every nation are surprisingly not dispensable.
Firstly, they improve the health status of our communities by helping people to get well as quickly as possible as a medical practitioner.
They work either directly or indirectly with patients. They aren’t doctors of course!
Their roles when working directly with patients are cholesterol screening, monitoring of patients’ blood pressure, management of diabetes diseases, caring for asthma patients, smoking cessation consultation, scanning of bone density for osteoporosis screening, anticoagulation management clinics, and others while those not working directly with patients help in manufacture, prescription, disposal, sale, safe and effective use of drugs.
Scientific research and innovation, and counseling of patients on the use of prescribed drugs are also their roles.
They work at hospitals, nursing homes, managed care organizations, pharmaceutical industries, colleges, and schools.
Some work with the federal government in the aspect of the health sector.
They also work with other health practitioners to prevent medication errors and reduce costs.
Best Careers In Pharmacy
One of the reasons pharmacy has been concluded a good career is the wide variety of career opportunities exposed and available to all pharmacists.
Obtaining a degree in pharmacy means paving numerous and bright ways to a better future.
Careers in pharmacy include;
- Community Pharmacy
- Hospital Pharmacy
- Primary Care Pharmacy
- Research Pharmacists
- Industrial and Clinical Pharmacists
- Military Pharmacists
- Locum Pharmacists
- Mental Health Pharmacists, etc.
Community Pharmacists: These pharmacists relate more with patients and the community at large and both good communication skills and tolerance are highly needed. These pharmacists are the most seen and often pursued by people who love young people!
Hospital Pharmacists: work hand in hand with doctors and nurses, checking on patients, helping with prescription and use of drugs, and preventing medication errors as mentioned earlier.
Primary Care Pharmacists: These are also called practice pharmacists. They work with medical staff in improving patients’ health and well being of the community. They don’t dispense drugs and they work directly with patients in a nonhospital place offering services like smoking cessation consultation.
Researchers: These are pharmacists interested in working in an academic field, reading books, and unraveling new things. They work in Colleges and schools too.
Industrial and Clinical Pharmacists: These are pharmacists that work in the pharmaceutical industry. They help in manufacturing drugs, studying the effects of drugs, and improving their effectiveness.
Military Pharmacists: These are employed by the Department of National Defense to work with the army, navy, or air force. They work with other medical personnel by providing quality health services. They work in places like navy board ships. This type of pharmacy career is not really obvious to people.
Locum Pharmacists: They are pharmacists who are available for relief situations. They are usually called in pharmacists who are available when during maternity leave or any situation that brings about an absence of pharmacists. This career is usually pursued by people who are adventurous in nature. They travel around and work diligently.
Mental Health Pharmacists: They are pharmacists with high knowledge of psychotropic drugs who have good relating skills with their team. They work with mental health patients and are usually found in psychiatric units. This career in pharmacy is a special one that requires rendering pharmaceutical services to mental health inpatient wards.
Other careers in pharmacy include those working with medical practitioners for improved health of women and newborns, working with non-governmental organizations and the federal government, and working as a pain educator, consultant, or drug officer.
Is Pharmacy A Good Career?
There are four important reasons a pharmacy aspirant should know that make pharmacy a good career choice.
It’s not a gainsaying stating the fact that pharmacy as a career is notable and respected so far.
In every nation, pharmacists have always been respected and there is no research pointing to them being not respected or dispensable in the future.
This first reason is enough to convince the fact that pharmacy is a good career to pursue now and ever!
Furthermore, considering the economic situation of Nigeria, unemployment has been a cankerworm eating into the fabrics of many countries.
This is making youths dabble more and more in professional careers.
Although there exists no one hundred percent guarantee of employment for these professional career pursuers, the rate of employment is greatly different and better when compared to other careers. Pharmacy is one of the professional jobs sought.
Aside from the encouraging employment rate, the pay scale is more encouraging than the employment rate.
Pharmacists are handsomely paid considering their level of experience ranging from entry-level Pharmacists to chief pharmacists.
Regardless, pharmacists are highly paid, though, they work diligently worthy of their salaries.
Another reason pharmacy is a good career to pursue is the wide variety of career opportunities.
Pharmacists are able to consider their interests and passion when choosing their specialized field.
For instance, if you are interested in relating with young people and working for the well-being of people, then, a community pharmacist is the right choice and if you are the type that loves traveling, a locum pharmacist is better!
Do you want to choose pharmacy as your career choice? Then, move on!
Another significant reason you are doing the right thing is the opportunity to work with other medical practitioners.
As a pharmacist, you work with doctors, nurses, and other medical staff.
If interested, you can even work directly with patients!
This is making pharmacists more skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable in the medical world.
So, just keep up the up-the aim of becoming a pharmacist, it’s the right pathway!
Salary Scales of Pharmacists
Yes! Pharmacy is one of the highest-paid careers even in Nigeria.
Though, the salaries of pharmacists in Nigeria cannot be compared to other developed countries, yet, they are highly paid.
Below are the salary Scales of Pharmacists in Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.
How Much Are Nigerian Pharmacists Paid?
Pharmacists in Nigeria are paid according to their level of experience.
Entry-level pharmacists with 0 to 2 years of experience are paid ranging from N70,000 to N160,000 when working with private hospitals, N170,000 to N220,000 when working with government or teaching hospitals, and N80,000 to N100,000 when working with government agencies like National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies.
Mid-level pharmacists with 2 to 5 years of experience get N60,000 to N280,000 when working with private hospitals, N250,000 to N450,000 when working with government hospitals, and N120,000 to N160,000 when working with government agencies.
Experienced pharmacists with 5 years and above experience salaries scale exist between N250,000 to N450,000 when working with private hospitals, N450,000 to N800,000 when working with government hospitals, and N230,000 to N280,000 when working with government agencies.
How Much Is A Pharmacist Paid in the US?
According to research, as of May 2022, pharmacists’ salaries range from $135,226 to $152,886 with an average salary of $143,520.
What Is A Pharmacist’s Salary in the UK?
In the United Kingdom, Pharmacists are paid an average salary of £49,050 with a range of £47,390 to £53,111.
How Much Is A Pharmacist Paid In Canada?
In Canada, the salary scale of pharmacists ranges from C$80k to C$116k.
How Much Is A Pharmacist Paid In Australia?
In Australia, Pharmacists are paid an average salary of about AUD$94,940 with entry-level to experienced ranging from AUD$82,199 to AUD $120,045.
Other Jobs That Can Be Done With Pharmacy Degree
Leaving apart all the numerous and wonderful careers in pharmacy, as a pharmacy graduate, there are other jobs that can be done with a pharmacy degree.
- Clinical research associate
- Higher education lecturer
- Medical sales representative
- Medical science liaison
- Physician associate
- Product development scientist
- Regulatory affairs officer
The above jobs are available for a pharmacy degree holder to dabble into. What a wonderful career to choose!
Hope we have answered the question; Is Pharmacy a good career choice?
Pharmacy, one of the medical careers, is a worthy career to choose and aim for tirelessly.
The respect accompanied by the career cannot be overlooked including the career opportunities available and e high salary scale.
It’s no news saying Pharmacists are among the top earners in the country with good and orderly working hours.
Moreover, considering the fact that pharmacists also have a great role to play in improving the health and well-being of the people, they are indispensable!
Pursuing pharmacy can be time taking, difficult, and intelligence-consuming, it’s worthy of it all.
After all, Pharmacists are the first aid of society.
Even though technology is growing wildly and robots are taking most of all tasks, the future of pharmacy as a course and career will still be human-based!