Pharmacy educational requirements vary by country, but typically involve completion of an accredited degree program followed by a licensing exam. To learn more about specific requirements for your area, please contact your local pharmacy board or regulatory body.
We all like to think that we have control of our destinies. We determine our own career paths and plan the best way to get ahead while following our own dreams and ambitions. However, when it comes to establishing a solid and fulfilling career in the healthcare industry, some individuals may find that all the possibilities are overwhelming. To help make the decision-making process a little easier, we’ll take a look at why getting a Pharmacy education can be a truly life-changing experience packed with opportunities. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better grasp on the skills and knowledge necessary to unlock your future and become a Pharmacy professional!
Pharmacy Education Overview
Pharmacy education is a crucial part of the healthcare field. As a pharmacist, you will use your skills and knowledge to ensure that patients receive high-quality medications and treatments. Becoming a pharmacist requires extensive academic training and experience, but the rewards are high – both in terms of job security and satisfaction.
Pharmacy degrees can be earned through on-campus colleges or universities, online universities, and pharmacy technician schools. The vast majority of programs require at least two years of coursework before the student becomes eligible to sit for their licensing exam. The length of time required will vary depending on the program chosen and its curriculum. Pharmacists typically need to complete a five-year Bachelor’s degree with one year of postgraduate study before they are granted entrance into an accredited pharmacy school. However, for those who do not wish to pursue a full four-year degree program, it is possible to earn credentials through an accelerated two-year program consisting of coursework from an accredited college or university as well as a modified pharmacy tech course.
Obtaining a pharmacy degree is not without debate. On one hand, many employers view graduates from traditional brick-and-mortar universities as having more desirable qualifications than those from online or non-accredited programs. On the other hand, information from sponsored pharmacy technician schools often demonstrate the advantages of their curriculum and theoretical base rooted in clinical practice, beyond what is provided by traditional university courses.
Regardless of which route is taken, it’s important to weigh all aspects carefully when considering any degree program. Ultimately, consider your career ambitions, personal preferences, and financial circumstances when making your decision. With that said, let’s take a closer look at “The Different Degrees of Pharmacy Education” in the following section.
Most Important Points to Remember
Becoming a pharmacist requires significant academic training and experience, and there are different paths that can be taken to obtain the necessary credentials. Most programs require at least two years of coursework, but those who don’t want to pursue a Bachelor’s degree can opt for an accelerated two-year program. There is debate around which degree program offers the best qualifications for employers, but it is important to weigh all details carefully when deciding which route to take.
The Different Degrees of Pharmacy Education
In order to become a pharmacist in the United States, an individual must first complete the appropriate educational program from an accredited school. There are multiple levels of pharmacy education, each with its own unique program requirements and objectives. These programs include Associate of Science (AS), Bachelor of Science (BS), and Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD).
An Associate of Science degree typically takes two years to complete, and leads to a degree as a registered pharmacy technician. Pharm techs perform administrative tasks in a pharmacy setting, such as preparing prescription labels and counting medications. This degree is not required to be licensed as a pharmacist but can serve as a stepping stone into furthering one’s pharmacy education.
The most common form of pharmacy education is the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, which takes four years to complete. This degree prepares students for entry-level work and specializes in medication management within healthcare settings. A BS in Pharmacy provides graduates with an understanding of key pharmaceutical principles, drug laboratory techniques, as well as pharmacology basics.
Finally, there is the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree, which requires at least six years of study. Earning a PharmD provides students with specialized knowledge necessary for in-depth patient care. It further educates students on research and diagnosis related topics such as immunology, nutrition, clinical toxicology and pharmacotherapeutics. With this degree comes added responsibilities such as prescribing medications, managing drug therapy plans, providing wellness consultations and working collaboratively with other healthcare providers to provide safe drug use and disease prevention methods for patients.
With three distinct pathways available for students interested in pharmacy education, it’s important to understand each program thoroughly before committing to an advanced degree program. Each path offers unique skillsets that can add value when looking to gain employment or pursue continuing studies upon completion. Now that we have discussed the different degrees available for pharmacy education let us take a closer look at what exactly this type of higher education entails in our next section: “What Pharmacy Education Entails”.
- According to 2019 estimates, pharmacy technicians have experienced 8.4% job growth in the United States.
- The majority of states require pharmacy technicians to undergo a formal training program and pass an exam before becoming certified.
- In 2018, the median annual salary for a Pharmacy Technician in the United States was $33,950.
What Pharmacy Education Entails
With a pharmacy education, you can unlock the door to a career in a dynamic and ever-evolving field. It is important to understand what a pharmacy education will entail so that you can decide if it’s the right fit for you.
The cornerstone of any pharmacy education is the core curriculum defined by established accreditation standards from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Most pharmacists attend an undergraduate program that includes instruction in biology, biochemistry, anatomy, and physiology; other pre-pharmacy courses include chemistry, physics, microbiology, genetics, medical terminology and drug nomenclature. Once these courses are completed, students can apply to pharmacy school.
At a professional pharmacy school, students will complete four years of coursework. During the first two years, they learn more about medicinal chemistry and pharmacology while continuing their studies in human anatomy and physiology. The second two years focus on developing clinical skills in disease states such as diabetes and infectious diseases as well as understanding how to advise patients on their medications. Pharmacy school curriculums vary but generally include instruction in practice management, health policy and pharmaceutical law.
In addition to formal classroom instruction, most pharmacy schools provide student opportunities for experiential learning with internships and externships under the supervision of licensed pharmacists. Depending on the individual’s educational program or training objectives, some programs may require rotations at hospitals or community pharmacies as part of their requirement for graduation.
Overall, those who pursue a pharmacy education should be prepared to commit to four years of rigorous academic study followed by hands-on experience under the guidance of practicing professionals. With hard work and dedication, completion of this rigorous curriculum will prepare graduates for an array of rewarding careers within an essential healthcare profession.
Having discussed what pharmacy education entails, we turn next to dive into the specific requirements for entering a program: “Pharmacy Education Requirements”