What degree is required to be a Pharmacist? Most states require a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from an accredited college or university. Students should also complete the Pharmacy Technician (PTP) examination given by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTB) to become a Pharmacist. The PTC is nationally recognized as the standard examination given for certification by pharmacists. This exam measures knowledge, skills, and ability in the areas of pharmaceuticals terminology and design. It also tests the understanding of pharmacy law and compliance with State laws and regulations.
Pharmacy Technicians are employed in hospitals, nursing facilities, private practices, and the pharmaceutical industry. Individuals who wish to pursue careers as Pharmaceutical sales representatives will have to complete a four-year degree from an accredited program at an approved college or university. Students interested in this type of employment are encouraged to become financially independent as soon as they begin their careers. Pharmacy graduates are not eligible for coverage under Medicare.
Students interested in pursing a career path in the healthcare field will need an undergraduate degree. What degree should you choose? Depending on your interests and goals, a number of academic options are available. Students can choose a two-year associate’s degree, a four-year bachelor’s degree, or a six-year certificate program. An average GPA is 3.5 in all coursework taken in order to graduate with a four-year degree in an area of study that is related to pharmaceuticals.
Many graduates with PharmD programs choose to become an ERP or clinical pharmacist. An ERP describes a pharmacist who also works as a pharmacist technician. This combination allows the pharmacist to focus on two complementary roles. A pharmacist can diagnose a patient’s condition and provide treatment as needed, while the technician provides hands-on therapies to relieve patients of their symptoms. Both professionals must have completed an eight-hour pre-requisite course in pharmacology, human body processes, diagnostic pharmacology, and professional education before entering into this career path.
Some pharmacists also decide to earn a Bachelor’s degree in healthcare. What degree is required depends on the specific coursework taken and the campus-based program chosen. A typical curriculum for those pursuing a Bachelor’s of Arts in Healthcare (BHAG) is a three-year program. A typical curriculum for those pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Healthcare (BSGH) is a six-year program.
Pharmacy technicians will typically need more training and certification than bachelor’s and two years of pharmacy experience. Pharmacy technicians complete an eight-hour prerequisites course in human anatomy and physiology. In addition, pharmacists complete a two-year course in basic chemistry, pharmacology, diagnostic procedures, pharmacy terminology, pharmacodynamics, pharmaceutical calculations, and business management. Then, pharmacists complete a one or two-year internship at a community college that is accredited by The National Board of Pharmacy Examiners (NBPE). Pharmacy technicians who complete these courses and internship are required to pass a written examination and meet other requirements based on their state.
Aspiring students interested in what degree is needed to become a pharmacist should take a close look at what is required of them for their degree. For most states, a student must pass the examinations required for licensure, including the NCLEX-PN, or the Pharmacy Technician National Examination. In addition, in order to work as a pharmacist in the United States, students need to obtain either a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree from an accredited university or college. These degrees typically take two years, though they may be completed in shorter periods of time depending on the student’s schedule and the pharmacy school’s requirements. Finally, students must pass the state exam for licensure once they have received all of their education and certificates.
Becoming a pharmacist can be a rewarding career. With the availability of jobs in many areas throughout the country, the need for qualified professionals is strong. If a student is interested in becoming a pharmacist, it is beneficial to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to pass the national, state, and local pharmacy exam, obtain a bachelor’s degree, and complete a successful pharmacy residency program.