The Pharmacist Job Outlook has been miscommunicated, to say the least. When prospective pharmacy students search for descriptions of a pharmacist job, they often find outdated and misleading information.
To add to that, there are many online sources citing a “bleak” outlook.
The complications occur when you begin to rely on statistics and numbers and not experienced people working in the field to advance the practice.
The Pharmacist job outlook is more hopeful and exciting than ever, and here is why:
The Bad News
The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports pharmacist job loss over the next 10 years for a particular sector: retail, mail, and specialty pharmacies. Here is the link to those stats
The Good News
While pharmacist jobs are decreasing in retail, mail, and specialty pharmacies jobs will be increasing in almost every other field of pharmacy, particularly those jobs which are more clinically advanced.
The Opportunity for New Pharmacists
Why is the pharmacist job outlook so great? Well, there are a few key things to highlight:
1. The practice of pharmacy is always changing
Pharmacists are not doing the same things they did decades ago. “Pharmacist” no longer only means the person who mixes your drugs behind a counter. Now, to be a pharmacist can mean anything from mixing life-saving IV nutrition to electronic prescription checking to critical care response to savvy businessperson all the way to prescription writing and disease management.
Anywhere medications are involved a pharmacist is needed, and leaders in pharmacy organizations are helping to pave the way to a new practice definition for “pharmacist”.
2. Diverse Job Opportunities
The pharmacist job outlook is boosted by the diversity offered within the field. The opportunities are limitless. With jobs predicted to decline in one area of pharmacy, this message is essential. While it would be nearly impossible to list all of the potential pharmacist jobs, here are some areas of pharmacy you may not have heard of:
- Academia (educator type of role)
- Veterinary pharmacy
- Nuclear pharmacy
- Industry (clinical trials, prescriber education, drug sales)
- Independent pharmacy
- Consultant pharmacy
- Pharmacy informatics
- Managed care (health plan or insurance company)
- Geriatric specialist
- Long-term care
- Palliative care and Hospice
- Drug Information
These are just some examples, Check out more options on the Pharmacy Times website:
3. Location, location, location
Location has a huge impact on the pharmacist job predictions. People live everywhere throughout the United States, but they do not always have access to medical care where they are.
Larger metropolitan areas may have different job outlooks depending on the type of pharmacist position, but in general rural areas have fewer pharmacists to fill the current needs, not to mention growing needs.
As the profession advances and pharmacist roles expand, smaller clinics, hospitals, and community pharmacies will want to also expand the presence and capabilities of pharmacists. These jobs are available now and will continue to be available even throughout the next ten years.
These jobs are available now and will continue to be available even throughout the next ten years.
4. People will always need medication
The most important thing about the pharmacist job future is that people will always need medication. Even as medicine advances, medications are central to treatment and management of almost every disease or condition.
Even as medicine advances, medications are central to treatment and management of almost every disease or condition.
With medication comes responsibility of use.
Pharmacists are the most highly trained medical professionals with regards to medications, and countless studies have demonstrated the utility of pharmacist involvement wherever medications are used.
Pharmacists will continue to be needed to ensure safe and effective medication use for years and years to come. In summary, the pharmacist job outlook is bright as pharmacists move forward in the advancement of the profession.
No longer limited to one kind of practice, but asked to join other medical professionals in patient care.
These kinds of jobs may require some extra training beyond school, but they provide pharmacists the opportunity to have real impact with patient care every day.
If being a pharmacist doesn’t seem to fit, try looking at pharmacy technician schools! Pharmacy technicians are the backbone of community pharmacies and are essential to the pharmacy team.
If being a pharmacist doesn’t seem to fit, try looking at pharmacy technician schools! Pharmacy technicians are the backbone of community pharmacies and are essential to the pharmacy team. Here is some more information on pharmacy technician schools:
Here is some more information on pharmacy technician schools: http://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/vocational-trade-school/pharmacy-technician/