Many pharmacists are wondering: “Do I have to hang my pharmacist diploma behind the counter at my pharmacy?” As pharmacists continue to learn and advance their career in this increasingly competitive field, many are finding that they are answer to this question. For some it is no big deal, for others it may be a very important aspect of a good career move into the Pharma industry. And for others, well, they don’t really understand what the equation is, or why they are getting asked.
Many people know that pharmacists must have a specific set of education and training before they can get their retail career started. However, some employers are now going so far as to require that pharmacy technicians who wish to become sales staff have to take a pharmaceutical technology course, as well. So, what does all of this mean to pharmacy workers who are wondering about their options? And, if there are any good choices out there, where should they start?
In the world of health care, technology and education are of great importance. That’s why many pharmacists find themselves going straight into a career path that involves technology and education first, then onto the more traditional aspects of their career. Some call this a medical/pharmaceutical career path, and others prefer to call it a pharmacy tech career path. But either way, it’s a career path that can lead to other more rewarding career opportunities, especially if the student gets themselves into an accredited online pharmacy school. This allows them to get the education and experience they need to get into the job of their dreams without worrying about being certified, or otherwise needing to obtain their pharmacy technician license before they can start working in retail locations.
As a pharmacy tech, you’ll typically be doing clerical work, so your earning potential is limited. You may be able to qualify for lower pay than you would like, however. As a pharmacy technician, your income will probably be contingent on what kind of retail pharmacy you work at, how long you stay there, what type of employees work there and so forth. So you must consider this when deciding on your next career path, and plan ahead.
On the other hand, you might have the luck of landing an entry-level job in a large retail chain like CVS or Walgreens, which often allows its pharmacists the opportunity to go to college and earn a degree in pharmaceuticals. So you may want to pursue this option. Not only will you get paid more, but your employer will look highly upon you for it. Plus, you will be working with some of the most knowledgeable pharmacists in the country, working for a respected company. And not only will you have great benefits, but your salary will be competitive with those of other pharmacy workers.
Those who have decided to go on and earn a pharmaceutical degree may enjoy the flexibility and independence that comes from being self-employed, but others may prefer the stability of working for an established company. However, if you are interested in working as a pharmacist, you will need to meet state licensing requirements. In addition, you will also need to obtain certain job skills, such as keeping inventory of prescription medications, and knowledge of drug preparation processes. As well, in some areas of the US, you will be required to take written examinations on pharmaceutical subjects.
The truth is that there are great opportunities for pharmacy workers today. For example, many employers now prefer to hire individuals with an associate’s degree in nursing or a similar field, instead of someone with a four-year bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical engineering. It is certainly true that those individuals with degrees in various fields have better job skills, but they are often less likely to be hired, when compared to someone with a bachelor’s degree in engineering or business administration. This means that those who choose a career path involving medicine, will generally have better employment prospects than those who choose other career paths.
If you are considering a retail career, it may be beneficial for you to obtain formal education, as well. Even if your area of operation is changing, there may be a need for specialized employees in certain areas in the near future. For this reason, obtaining formal education may be a good decision. In fact, most employers these days to encourage this, as it will help build up your resume and enhance your skills in your field. So, does retail pharmacy employment requires you to hang your diploma on the wall just yet?