The traditional image of a pharmacist is someone who dispenses medications from a prescription provided by a doctor, but in reality a pharmacists faces much more demanding and diverse tasks. Pharmacists often serve as a first point of contact for people with minor ailments, and can advise on appropriate drugs or other treatments, meaning that a visit to a doctor may not be necessary. The job also involves checking that prescriptions have been filled out properly and comply with the law. A pharmacist job is a good fit for people with a scientific and methodical turn of mind, yet who enjoy dealing with a wide variety of people on a daily basis.
Pharmacist Job Education Requirements
Although the amount of training required isn't as large as that needed for some other types of healthcare jobs, a pharmacist holds a position of high responsibility and must complete five years of training. This consists of a four-year Master of Pharmacy degree, followed by one year of training in a working environment. This needs to be rounded off with a final registration exam before independent working is allowed.
Pharmacist Jobs Market
As with many other medical jobs, positions can be found within the community or within a medical facility such as a hospital. There is also the possibility of setting up an independent pharmacy. NHS work offers a defined career structure, while a position in a private retail chain can open up possibilities for regional or national management work. Finally, with appropriate training, it is possible to move into educational work, possibly in a university setting.
Pharmacist Jobs Salary Information
Pharmacists working in a hospital setting can expect to earn from a starting salary of around £26,000 up to around £41,000. In a community position the rates of pay are broadly similar, although bonuses can often be earned in private pharmacy retail chains, which can increase income considerably.