Prepping to become a pharmacist? From knowing what a circulation booster is to getting your license, there are a lot of steps to take. Since you’ll be working directly with medication and advising patients on health issues, pharmacists have very specialized backgrounds. Here are a few requirements you’ll need before you land a job.
Depending on where you live, the requirements for becoming a pharmacist may differ. However, most of the time, requirements include education, work experience, and a license. Passing graduate-level college courses and taking regional and national licensing exams are typically part of the process. In the end, the preparation is usually worth it, because pharmacists can work in a variety of settings, including research, health policy, and manufacturing.
Pharmacists have specialized college degrees, often at the doctorate level. Pharmacy programs are highly competitive and they demand a specific number of courses as well as expertise in scientific fields. If you know early on that you want to pursue a career as a pharmacist, take as many math and science classes as you can in high school. Overall, pharmacists spend eight or more years in college to earn the right degree for the position.
Licensing and Work Experience
You’ll likely take your first licensing exam shortly after completing your education. Then, licensing exams have to be taken every few years, even after you become a pharmacist – the tests ensure that you have the most up to date knowledge of the industry. These exams are comprehensive, lengthy, and can take part over several days. Work experience can come from an internship or from working part-time in a pharmacy for a few years while completing your education. Sometimes, both licensing and college completion require the student to also complete a certain amount of work experience.
Fulfilling the requirements to be a pharmacist in one area of the world doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be qualified to work as a pharmacist in another area. If you plan on moving after college, make sure you’re getting the right education, licensing, and work experience for wherever it is you’ll be living.