With thousands of possible professions to choose from, deciding on a career path can be a daunting task. Adding to this pressure is the knowledge that making the right choice can have an impact on many aspects of your life for years to come. With the medical and healthcare industry becoming one of the fastest growing and highest paying fields in America, many young professionals are looking into a career as a pharmacist. Considering there will always be a need for pharmacists as long as drugs are being sold, and the fact that pharmacists have a higher median salary right out of college, the draw is understandable.
Opening Doors in Healthcare
The allure doesn’t end there. Pharmacists not only play a key role in their patients’ healthcare needs, which can make a positive difference in their lives, but becoming a pharmacist can open many doors for future career paths. If you’re interested in a healthcare career, but not sure what path to take, consider these reasons why choosing a career in the pharmacy profession might be the right fit for you.
Here are the Top 10 Reasons to Enter the Pharmacy Profession:
10. High Demand
With the healthcare industry experiencing a talent deficit, and the fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment of pharmacists is projected to grow by 6% over the next decade, pharmacists remain in high demand. This talent deficit could be attributed to the fact that there has been increases in not only demand for patient services, but also in the number of prescriptions being filled each year as well as in the number of new medications that are on the market. All of these factors keep the pharmacy profession in high demand.
9. Room to Grow
The pharmacy profession doesn’t have to remain static either, there are a lot of opportunities for growth and transition throughout a pharmacists’ career. The ceiling for this growth can be high and there are many avenues from which it can come about. Some of these include; helping to develop and engineer pharmaceutical drugs, finding work in academia, consulting, working in the public or private sectors, as well as finding work in the government or with the military. Deciding to enter the pharmacy profession could mean a career that offers many possibilities for growth without the fear of remaining stagnant.
8. Job Security
The healthcare industry tends to remain fairly stable, due largely to the fact that regardless of the current economic landscape people still get sick. With the increasing demand for prescription medications and since employment for pharmacists is projected to increase over the next decade, it stands to reason that job retention within the healthcare industry is also high. Pursuing a career in the pharmacy profession not only provides great job security, it also offers stability and growth.
As a pharmacist, providing mentorship allows the ability to give back to other healthcare professionals as well as help educate students and recent graduates. This can be done by sharing their expertise regarding best techniques, tips, and other information that might be valuable to future pharmacists considering the same career path. Not only is there an opportunity for those who choose to enter the pharmacy profession to receive mentorship, but pharmacists established in their career can decide to pay it forward by becoming mentors themselves.
Pharmacists have the flexibility to train for and pursue the area of interest, work preferences, and schedules that best suits them. The pharmacy profession offers diverse career opportunities such as working in research, clinical, or retail settings. And since pharmacists are in demand around the clock, they can choose to work non-traditional or part-time hours. The availability of these different shifts allows pharmacists to find the perfect schedule that fits their lifestyle. Not only can pharmacists work in numerous healthcare environments, but they have the freedom to live in every part of the country, since licensure is typically reciprocal between the states. Entering the pharmacy profession affords flexibility that might not be available with other occupations.
5. Career Path
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are over 300,000 potential jobs for pharmacists that exist in America. The statistics also show that pharmacy jobs are on a projected uptrend. Choosing a career in an industry that has great job potential can make finding a job right out of college all the easier. With pharmacists not only being in high demand, but also having great job security, the statistics for job potential for the profession is an added bonus.
Pharmacists tend to be compensated very well. The median wage for a pharmacist (May 2017) is $124,170 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which by comparison ranks higher than other health diagnosing and treating practitioners’ median wages ($79,480). This wage level is appreciated across the spectrum of possible industries that a pharmacist might choose to work in, with general merchandise stores offering the highest median wage for pharmacists at $128,610. Few professions offer starting salaries this high, and since most graduates are saddled with significant student loan debt right out of college, it’s definitely a factor that should be considered.
Pharmacists are one of the most trusted and respected professions in America. One of the reasons that pharmacists rank high in these two factors might be due to the fact that they are required to have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. Pharmacists who own their own pharmacy might also choose to get a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) in addition to their Pharm.D. degree. Because of these advanced degrees as well as the fact that they are experts in helping people stay healthy, pharmacists have earned a reputation of being trustworthy and well-respected not only with their patients but also amongst their colleagues in the healthcare community.
Most pharmacists are able to call the shots and be their own boss. This self-governing freedom allows pharmacists to take their business and career in the direction they want to go. Though not all pharmacists may get to enjoy this ‘be your own boss’ status, chances are they’re higher in the pecking order and therefore have more say in how they manage their work and time. This autonomy is a definite perk in choosing the pharmacy profession.
1. Helping Others
Pharmacists hold the unique distinction of being one of the few professions that enable you to directly benefit people’s wellbeing and lives. Through the many services that pharmacists provide such as; helping with medication adherence, drug interactions, offering extended services (asthma care, cholesterol screening, diabetes disease management, smoking cessation, bone density screening, immunizations, just to name a few), consultations, etc. they have the opportunity to have an impact on people’s lives or even save someone’s life. Helping people has immense “feel-good” benefits and is quite possibly the number one reason why most people choose to enter the pharmacy profession.