Working as a Pharmacist can be a very rewarding career as well as high paying one. There is great responsibility in seeing to it that prescriptions are filled properly and that patients receive the proper doses of the proper medicines. You can finish each day knowing that you have helped many people that day who need medications for their health and well being. A Pharmacist is a very highly valued and regarded member of the community.
Extensive training and education is required for most of these positions. In the past some pharmacist positions only required a Bachelors degree to be qualified. But since 1992 many schools have changed their programs to require a Doctors degree requiring six years of post secondary education. That may seem like a lot of school, but this is the formula for a successful professional career. Many friendships and associations will be developed along the way that may become lifelong friendships. These associations also become networking sources that help the professional advance their career.
The education consists of a general Bachelor of Science degree, followed by the specialized training. The Bachelor of Science typically receives two years of general education, with the other two geared more toward math, and science. They include courses in Chemistry and Physics, and math all the way into advanced Calculus. The specialized training includes advanced Chemistry. They need to have a solid understanding of nomenclature. Most drugs have a scientific name that is different from the brand name or commercial name given to it by the drug company. The scientific name follows rules prescribed in chemical nomenclature, such that the name of the chemicals actually describes the molecular bonding and structure of the chemicals which make up the drug. The pharmacist actually knows thousands of terms and chemicals and drugs. He or she is familiar with what they are used for, and in what doses. They are aware of different interactions between different drugs. They are sometimes the last line of defense in preventing harmful combinations of different drugs. A patient, who has seen different doctors for different ailments, may unknowingly be prescribed different drugs from the different doctors that can be harmful when taken together. A pharmacist is on the lookout for this and would contact the doctors for clarification. They are also on the watch for prescription drug abusers, who are trying to manipulate medical personnel into providing them access to drugs for purposes other than health. They are not responsible for arresting these individuals, but may refuse to provide the medications to them, and they can alert the doctors who have been scammed, as well as law enforcement authorities.
You can see how this is an extremely important profession. Human life and health is at stake. Most doctors rely on prescriptions to cure most ailments. They pharmacist is a very highly educated and very highly paid professional.
You can search online to find a college that suits your circumstances. They are located throughout the country. The University of California has several options throughout the state of California. For example, UC San Diego has a satellite pharmacy education program. For students interested in working as a pharmacist in the San Diego area, they could go to school and then work in the same area they spent all those years receiving their education. After 10 years of college, many students have already started a family and settled down, so it is very convenient to not have to be uprooted, and be able to work in that same community.
Salaries are typically very high. There are high paying positions at large established discount department stores, such as Wal-Mart and Rite-Aid, as well as at smaller drug stores. Some pharmacists find that they can make a higher income if they strike out on their own and start their own drug store. If they are successful there is no limit to the earnings potential. Many professional office buildings that house several doctors and dentists have their own contract pharmaceutical services located right in the building. Or this might be a small store independently owned by a pharmacist, who has located his pharmacy in the professional office building. Patients have the convenience of visiting their doctor or dentist and then immediately filling their prescriptions down the hall. The doctor's instructions are still fresh in their mind, and they haven't had to drive somewhere and make another stop on the way home. The pharmacist probably is familiar with the medical professionals in his building and if he has any questions, he can quickly and easily contact them.
In San Diego, among other places, there is currently a shortage of pharmacists. While they are able to meet the needs now, because of the extensive education required, looking down the road it appears there are not enough graduates in the pipeline to meet future demand. While this is not good news for the city, it can be good news for the pharmacist who wants to work and live in San Diego. They will be in a very strong bargaining position when it comes time to negotiate a contract for employment. The laws of supply and demand dictate that when demand is high and supply is low, the price goes up. This means that as high paying as pharmacist jobs are now, the pay is likely to go even higher. The future is bright for the students are now receiving their education to become a pharmacist.
A pharmaceutical career can be very rewarding. But it's not just all about the money. They go to work each day knowing that people's lives and health is dependant upon them. They go home from work, knowing they have probably saved lives that day. They are part of a professional medical system that has made America one of the healthiest nations on earth. They are part of the reason that a person living today can expect on average to live into their eighties, compared to living only into their forties and fifties just a few generations ago. They provide a very valuable service to humanity, and they are justifiably very highly rewarded for it.