How Much Do Pharmacists Make: Is It Worth It to Become One?

Doctors are known for their interesting handwriting, and by interesting, I mean: not very legible. If you’re not trained to read the medications they prescribed, then it might be a little bit challenging. That’s one of the jobs of a pharmacist: to decipher doctors’ hieroglyphics-like handwriting and make sure we get the medicines we were prescribed. But how much do they get paid to do this: what is a pharmacist’s salary per hour? And while we’re at it, we can also talk about a director of a pharmacy’s salary.

When we think of pharmacists, we can imagine people dressed mostly in white behind the counter of a drugstore. They may not be as well represented as doctors in popular culture (e.g. Grey’s Anatomy), but that doesn’t mean their job is not important. And if you’ve ever wondered what happens behind a drugstore counter, then you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re interested in exploring other options, then this job is for you.

Pharmacists Are More Than The People Behind Drugstore Counters 

Pharmacists are professionals and their position in the medical field is very essential. Besides providing the medicines listed in the doctors’ prescriptions, here are just some of the other things they do:

A woman in white shirt
Behind the scenes and behind the drugstore counter. Source: flickr
  • They double-check the prescriptions. Doctors are humans, too, and they can make mistakes in prescribing medicines. This is unavoidable especially after taking care of so many patients. Pharmacists support doctors by checking for any errors before handing out any medications to patients.
  • They give more information about the medicines. It is part of their education and professional training to know the proper dosage of certain medicines. They advise what time of the day a medicine should be taken. Also, they would know the best way for it to be taken, whether as a tablet, through injection, etc.
  • They familiarize themselves with a patient’s record. To give the best treatment to patients, they should also know about certain problems that may arise. An example is when some patients have allergic reactions to some drugs. They would know how to work around these problems.
  • They ensure the proper storage and do an inventory of the medicines. Some medicines should be kept in a cool, dry place or away from sunlight. Some medicines also run out and stocks for it should be replenished. Pharmacists make sure that these are done accordingly.
  • They supervise clinical trials of new kinds of medicines. Their training allows them to make this process faster and safer.

Again, these are just some of the things that pharmacists do. In reality, they have a lot more on their (medical) plates.

WATCH VIDEO: A day in the life of a Pharmacist

Why You Should Consider Being A Pharmacist

Why You Should Consider Being A Pharmacist - director of pharmacy salary
Pharmacists helping you get the medicines you need. Source: flickr

There are many reasons why being a pharmacist is a good career move. One of those reasons is the salary which reaches a six-figure amount. According to data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of a pharmacist is $123,670. If you want to be more specific, a pharmacist’s salary per hour is $63. That income is higher than most jobs in the U.S.A.

Another important reason to consider this career is job security. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has also projected a small number of people losing their jobs as pharmacists: possibly only about 100 between 2018 to 2028. Even though the Bureau of Labor Statistics is not predicting huge growth in the industry, they know that it is stable and will remain that way.

Let’s not forget the director of a pharmacy’s salary which, goes without saying, is higher. Becoming a director may require a few years of working as a pharmacist and securing some additional coursework in pharmacy administration. After all these, you can make an average salary of $183,625.

An anesthesiologist is also another great choice in the medical field with great income. Read our article to know more about their salary and job outlook.

How To Become A Director of A Pharmacy

How To Become A Director of A Pharmacy
It’s not easy being a pharmacist, but it’s rewarding – Director of pharmacy’s salary.

The road to becoming a pharmacist is not a walk in the park. Of course, as a medical professional, you would need a degree and take post-secondary science classes. It doesn’t end there, because you would also need to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. Lastly, you need to apply for a license and complete training. Overall, it can take you a total of eight years to be a pharmacist, and more if you want to become a director of a pharmacy.

We have also created an educational requirement, with full instructions, and a step-to-step guide on how to become a clinical pharmacist

Health And Wealth

While the lives of pharmacists are a bit under-represented in popular culture, there is no denying that their role in the medical field is very essential. They’re not just the trained professionals reading a doctor’s prescriptions; they do so much more in saving people’s lives.

Even though you’re not yet going to be represented in a drama like Grey’s Anatomy if you work as a pharmacist, being one is still very rewarding. Mahatma Gandhi once said that “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”

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Leonard hails from the Philippines and works as a freelancer, author, poet, and visual artist. He discovered his passion for writing and painting at an early age, leading him to pursue a degree in Mass Communications. He worked at a few places after college before landing what he thought was a "life-changing" writing career. He was also the lead singer and songwriter for a band. His career as an English teacher, poet, and visual artist took him to Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2018. You can see more of his work on Instagram at @anumalei.