Pharmacists

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$132,750 Median Wage (2022)
13,400 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
2.60% Projected growth (2022-2032)

Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
  • Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
  • Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
  • Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Doctoral Degree

Related Work Experience: N.A.

On-Site or In-Plant Training: Up to and including 1 month

On-the-Job Training: Over 1 month, up to and including 3 months

Detailed Work Activities

  • Verify accuracy of patient information.
  • Communicate detailed medical information to patients or family members.
  • Advise patients on effects of health conditions or treatments.
  • Maintain inventory of medical supplies or equipment.
  • Order medical supplies or equipment.
  • Maintain medical facility records.
  • Treat chronic diseases or disorders.
  • Recommend types of assistive devices.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
  • Advise medical personnel regarding healthcare issues.
  • Prepare medications or medical solutions.
  • Refer patients to other healthcare practitioners or health resources.
  • Determine protocols for medical procedures.
  • Calculate numerical data for medical activities.
  • Merchandise healthcare products or services.
  • Manage healthcare operations.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Present medical research reports.
  • Instruct patients in the use of assistive equipment.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Review prescriptions to assure accuracy, to ascertain the needed ingredients, and to evaluate their suitability.
  • Assess the identity, strength, or purity of medications.
  • Provide information and advice regarding drug interactions, side effects, dosage, and proper medication storage.
  • Analyze prescribing trends to monitor patient compliance and to prevent excessive usage or harmful interactions.
  • Maintain records, such as pharmacy files, patient profiles, charge system files, inventories, control records for radioactive nuclei, or registries of poisons, narcotics, or controlled drugs.
  • Collaborate with other health care professionals to plan, monitor, review, or evaluate the quality or effectiveness of drugs or drug regimens, providing advice on drug applications or characteristics.
  • Plan, implement, or maintain procedures for mixing, packaging, or labeling pharmaceuticals, according to policy and legal requirements, to ensure quality, security, and proper disposal.
  • Order and purchase pharmaceutical supplies, medical supplies, or drugs, maintaining stock and storing and handling it properly.
  • Compound and dispense medications as prescribed by doctors and dentists, by calculating, weighing, measuring, and mixing ingredients, or oversee these activities.
  • Contact insurance companies to resolve billing issues.
  • Advise customers on the selection of medication brands, medical equipment, or healthcare supplies.
  • Teach pharmacy students serving as interns in preparation for their graduation or licensure.
  • Provide specialized services to help patients manage conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, smoking cessation, or high blood pressure.
  • Refer patients to other health professionals or agencies when appropriate.
  • Work in hospitals or clinics or for Health Management Organizations (HMOs), dispensing prescriptions, serving as a medical team consultant, or specializing in specific drug therapy areas, such as oncology or nuclear pharmacotherapy.
  • Update or troubleshoot pharmacy information databases.
  • Manage pharmacy operations, hiring or supervising staff, performing administrative duties, or buying or selling non-pharmaceutical merchandise.
  • Prepare sterile solutions or infusions for use in surgical procedures, emergency rooms, or patients' homes.
  • Offer health promotion or prevention activities, such as training people to use blood pressure devices or diabetes monitors.
  • Assay radiopharmaceuticals, verify rates of disintegration, and calculate the volume required to produce the desired results, to ensure proper dosages.
  • Publish educational information for other pharmacists, doctors, or patients.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.