Pharmacist at a Glance

Projected Job Growth

  • +0% Job Growth for

  • 2013
  • 2023

Average Salary for Pharmacist

  • $0 Annual Pay
    National Average
  • $0 Hourly Pay
    National Average

Best States for Pharmacist

in 2011
Annual Salary
Hourly Pay
Alabama 5,050 $120,130 $58
South Carolina 5,020 $114,900 $55
West Virginia 2,030 $117,320 $56

Becoming a Pharmacist

Pharmacists must hold a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree and be licensed. A typical Pharm.D. program will take four years to complete and includes supervised field work in a hospital, retail pharmacy, or other healthcare setting. For some Pharm.D programs, applicants do not need a bachelor's degree, although all programs will require two to three years of undergraduate study. Most programs require applicants to take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT).

Most Pharm.D programs will include courses in pharmacology and medical ethics. Pharmacists may choose to complete a one to two-year residency after earning their Pharm.D in order to advance to a clinical or research pharmacy position. A sampling of classes you may date in a Pharm.D program, drawn from course listings for University of Southern California's doctor of pharmacy program, including the following:

  • Pharmaceutics
  • Therapeutics
  • Public Health & Epidemiology
  • Pharmacy Law & Ethics

After completing a Pharm.D, pharmacists must complete two separate exams to become licensed. The North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) is used by state boards of pharmacy to test prospective pharmacists on their pharmacy skills and knowledge. The second is an exam covering pharmacy law in the state issuing the license.