Pharmacy is a dynamic health profession full of opportunities and challenges. Evolving from the days of the corner drugstore proprietor magically compounding “cures,” today’s pharmacist is a highly educated professional serving as a vital link between prescribers and patients.
Pharmacists are highly respected by the general public and are recognized for their years of education and specialized training as the drug experts among members of the health care team. For several consecutive years, the Gallup poll, rating several professions in terms of honesty and ethical standards, has placed pharmacists number one in the eyes of the public, ahead of dentists, clergy, and medical doctors.
Diversity of opportunity is one of the profession’s greatest strengths. Innovative practices have developed in community pharmacy as practitioners provide drug information and educational services within their communities as well as perform drug therapy monitoring for patients. Pharmacists practicing in the hospital environment are also involved in all aspects of drug therapy monitoring, and also consult with physicians and nurses as part of the facility’s health care team.
Pharmaceutical services to long-term care facilities have evolved into sophisticated, specialized areas of practice which offer today’s consultant pharmacist an opportunity to provide comprehensive pharmaceutical services ranging from drug distribution to direct patient care. The pharmaceutical industry offers diverse career opportunities in sales, marketing, basic science and clinical research, and professional services. Nuclear pharmacy offers the practitioner the opportunity to develop and dispense radioactive isotopes as diagnostic agents.
Postgraduate residencies, fellowships, and graduate programs offer advanced education and specialization in many areas of pharmacy practice.
Opportunities exist for pharmacists in virtually all geographic areas in the state of Texas. This fact, combined with an increasing demand for pharmacists in virtually all areas of pharmacy practice, points to a wealth of opportunities in terms of numbers and types of careers available.
Based on figures obtained from employers participating in the College of Pharmacy 1997-98 Senior Interview Day, the average entry-level salary for pharmacy graduates entering the community pharmacy environment in Texas was $58,500 year. For those graduates entering the hospital pharmacy environment, the average annual salary offered was $43,800. Other entry-level practice positions ranged from $42,000-72,000. In general, advanced degrees such as the Pharm.D. and Ph.D. offer higher salaries and increased career opportunities beyond the two traditional practice environments mentioned above. Geographic differences were also noted.
Employers of pharmacists also offer fringe benefits plans that may include: vacation and holiday plans, health and dental insurance, discounts on medication, retirement benefits, tuition reimbursements, license fees and professional association membership dues, and continuing education opportunities.
All indicators forecast exciting prospects for future pharmacy graduates well into the next century.
“University of Texas – College of Pharmacy – College Resources.” Home. Web. 30 Apr. 2012.