University of Wisconsin–Madison

Pharmacist (RPh/Pharm.D)

Specializations

  • Radiopharmacist – dispenses radioactive drugs used for patient diagnosis and therapy.
  • Pharmacotherapist – specializes in drug therapy.
  • Nutrition support pharmacist – specializes in preparing drugs needed for nutrition.

Work Activities/Work Locations

  • Pharmacists mix and dispense drugs that are prescribed by physicians or other health practitioners.
  • They are trained in the proper use of medications and advise patients and physicians about selection, proper dosages, side effects and possible interactions with other medications as well as ensuring that their customers are using their medicine appropriately.
  • They constantly read about new medicines and how they are used to control specific diseases as well as reading the conclusions drawn from studies on the effects of drugs that have been prescribed for many years.
  • Pharmacists currently earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.) degree.
  • Pharmacists work in hospitals, retail store pharmacies, health maintenance organizations (HMO’s), and home healthcare agencies.
  • Pharmacists who work in retail stores may order supplies, buy and sell non-health related items, and may supervise staff.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Pharmacists like counseling and educating people in their community.
  • Most do not like working nights, weekends, and holidays.

 Education: 6 years

 Patient Interaction: High

 Physical Activity: High

 Salary: $126,966

 Job Growth: Low

Getting Started

Career Outlook

Number Employed in 2012 (Wisconsin): 5,600
Number Employed in 2014 (U.S.): 297,100
Expected Employment in 2024 (U.S.): 306,200
Percent Employment Growth (2014-2024): 3%
Expected Annual Openings: 7,840
Median Salary in 2014 (Wisconsin): $126,966

Salary information is located at Career One Stop

Wisconsin AHEC Health Careers Information Center provides the most current salary information available from CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop will have a lapse between when the information is gathered and when it is released.

  • Pharmacists usually work 40-50 hours a week,
  • Their hours can include evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Pharmacist may work full-time or part-time.
  • After graduation an increasing number of graduates seek Residency training in pharmacy practice. Pharmacy Residences(ies) are postgraduate training programs lasting 1 or 2 years and usually require the completion of a research study. There are over 300 Pharmacy Residency programs across the nation offered in hospitals, community pharmacies, and specialized pharmacies that prepare participants to work in a specialized area of pharmacy.
  • Some pharmacists who run their own shop obtain a Master’s Degree in business administration (MBA). Others may obtain a degree in public administration or public health.
  • Some become managers of pharmacies in hospitals or clinics.
  • Others become sales representatives for pharmaceutical companies.