What Do Pharmacists Do?
Pharmacists are licensed health care professionals who distribute prescription drugs. As specialists in the use and clinical effects of drugs, they also advise patients, as well as physicians and other health practitioners, on the selection, dosages, interactions, and side effects of medications. Pharmacists monitor the health and progress of patients to ensure the safe and effective use of medication. They are responsible for making sure medications are safely handled and properly prepared before dispensing them to patients. They also provide information and counseling on both prescribed medications and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
Pharmacists who work in hospitals or clinics may consult with medical staff on drug selections and effects and may make sterile solutions to be administered intravenously to patients in the hospital.
For more information about pharmacists, go to: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacists.htm
Where Do Pharmacists Work?
Most practicing pharmacists work in community pharmacies, including independent and chain drug stores, grocery stores, and department stores. They also work in hospitals, home care agencies, mail-order pharmacies, and in the pharmaceutical industry.
What Do Pharmacists Earn?
According to the 2018 BLS, the average salary for full time, pharmacists nationwide was $123,670, varying by specialty and geographic region. Average annual salary also varies greatly across New York State, depending on location. The NYSDOL reports that pharmacists in New York earned an average annual salary of $122,300, (entry level-$92,880, experienced- $137,010).
Supply and Demand
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that for the time period of 2014 to 2024, the number of pharmacist jobs will increase 3.1% nationally, and will increase 5.3% in New York during the same period.
Demand is projected to increase for pharmacists in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals and clinics. Employment of pharmacists in traditional retail settings is projected to decline slightly as mail order and online pharmacy sales increase. Any growth is attributable, in part, to the aging of the population: older adults use more prescription drugs than younger people do. Also, scientific advances will lead to new drug products.
For more information on employment projections for pharmacists by New York State labor regions, click here.
Educational Program Requirements
Pharmacists must have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from an accredited school.
Undergraduate coursework typically includes courses such as math and natural sciences, as well as chemistry, biology, and physics. For some Pharm.D. programs, applicants must already have a bachelor’s degree. For most graduate programs, applicants also must take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT).
Pharm.D. programs usually take four years to finish, beyond the bachelor’s, although some programs offer a three-year option. A Pharm.D. program includes courses in pharmacology and medical ethics, as well as supervised work experiences in different settings, such as hospitals and retail pharmacies.
New York Licensure Requirements
A license to practice pharmacy is required in all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories. The prospective pharmacist must graduate from a college of pharmacy accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE), complete an internship, and pass a series of examinations. For more information on New York licensure requirements for pharmacists, go to: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/pharm/.
The Web site for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores provides scholarships, loans, grants and other awards information for pharmacy students. For more information, go to: https://www.nacdsfoundation.org/priorities/apply-for-funding/.
The American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE) also offers a number of undergraduate and graduate scholarships to pharmacy students. For more information, go to: http://www.afpenet.org/.
Education Programs in New York
|Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
106 New Scotland Ave.
Albany, NY 12208
|Touro College of Pharmacy
230 West 125th Street
New York, NY 10027
|Long Island University
Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
75 Dekalb Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11201-8423
(718) 488-1234 or (718) 488-1004
|University at Buffalo, State University of New York
School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
285 Kapoor Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214-8033
|St. John’s University
College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences
8000 Utopia Parkway, St.
Queens, NY 11439
|St. John Fisher College
Wegmans School of Pharmacy
3690 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14618
School of Pharmacy
320 Porter Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14201
(716) 829-8000 or (800) 777-3921
Additional Web Links
For more information on pharmacists go to:
American Pharmacist Association: www.pharmacist.com
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists: www.ashp.org
American Society of Consultant Pharmacists: www.ascp.com
National Community Pharmacists Association: www.ncpanet.org
New York State Council for Health-system Pharmacists: www.nyschp.org
Pharmacists Society of the State of New York: www.pssny.org