Going to a pharmacy school is a difficult decision to make. You have to weigh out the career opportunities with the money you’re investing into this degree. When it’s all said and done, you’ll have to go to pharmacy school for 6 to 8 years.
Is Pharmacy School Worth It?
Before going, you’ll have to consider numerous things. Some of these are highlighted in this article. Let’s get right to it!
The Life of a Pharmacist
A pharmacist exits high school and starts his college journey at the age of 18 years old. The college itself isn’t cheap. An aspiring pharmacist has to follow an undergraduate degree of 4 years. After that, he has to attend another four years of agonizing pharmacy school.
By the time you start earning a significant income as a pharmacist, you will be at least 26 years old.
Another scenario is the one of a pharmacy technician. He will graduate high school and not go to college. Pharmacy technicians have the option of working at a retail pharmacy full time. They can easily get the job of a pharmacy assistant.
After a year of this, he becomes a technician and will also start earning a technician wage. They can then choose if they want to switch to a hospital pharmacy. An incentive to do this is the better pay attached to the job.
Financial Returns of this Field
To be of value, you have to possess the necessary skill set, not the degree. These days you can easily get a diploma if you pay the tuition fee at a college. That doesn’t mean that you can get a high-paying job.
College is around $9,000 per year (without accommodation). After graduating, you’re 26 and will earn insignificant wages for at least a few years, after which your salary will start snowballing.
From a purely financial perspective, pharmacy school is not worth it. The financial returns of the job aren’t that high, and you might be left disappointed with the money you’re making.
This is even more true when you compare it to other professions. For example, programmers can earn significantly higher pay without attending any school. Moreover, engineers can also earn more money while investing less time in their degrees.
This does however not take your passion into account. If you are in a pharmacy program because you’re genuinely interested, you’ll be willing to look over these setbacks and go straight into the field.
Is Pharmacy School Really Worth It?
Yes, according to a lot of people, pharmacy school is definitely worth it. People who say that it’s not, are purely looking at the limited traditional pharmacy jobs. In these traditional jobs, you will indeed most likely feel trapped.
However, with time, the profession of pharmacy has evolved. Decades ago, pharmacists had to enter everything manually and couldn’t even counsel their patients on the medicines they were giving.
But nowadays, patients come to clinical pharmacists to see whether or not the medicines they’re given are right for them or not. Moreover, most jobs start at six figures per year, if not more.
Pharmacy as a Passion
If it is your passion to help people by providing medication, pharmacy school might be the best fit for you. It is, however, not recommended that you go through your college life without also getting any certifications which you can use later.
In school, take as many electives as possible and try to learn more about alternative medicine.
If you’re passionate about the profession, here are some things you can do to make your position as a pharmacist even stronger:
While studying, you should make sure that you’re not wasting your time and that you’re working on some sort of task at all times. Make sure that you get a lot of certifications as this will help you when it comes to consultation services.
Go To As Many Conferences As You Can
Go to state and local conferences and see what other pharmacists have to say about the profession and how it is progressing. Make sure you value their insight and make your decision based on this. No one knows an industry better than someone who is actively working in it.
Enter Counseling Contests
Another way to make more money as a pharmacist is by providing counseling. To polish that skill, make sure you attend conferences and enter counseling contests to get better at it. Volunteer for health school to teach high school kids as well, as it helps in bettering your future prospects and gives you a firm grip over your subject.
Long story short, pharmacy is a worthwhile profession only if you have a passion for it. This goes for all the other professions as well. Do what you love and excel at it; the opportunities will follow.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Pharmacy A Good Career?
Pharmacy is actually an amazing career for anyone who wants to help the masses without being involved in any “dirty” practices. With the proper license to practice, pharmacists all over the globe earn substantial financial rewards, even without any prior experience.
Is Pharmacy A Dying Profession?
According to some sources, university applications to pharmacy schools have fallen by a staggering 15%. This may look bad, but this means additional opportunities for the pharmacists already practicing or those who plan to practice.
This decrease in university applications also means that it will now be easier to get into pharmacy school.
Is Pharmacy School Harder Than Nursing School?
Neither pharmacy nor nursing come easy. The only difference is in the time period required to acquire a certification. With pharmacy, it is around six years, while for nursing, you can potentially already become an LPN before the four years of nursing school.
Nothing in life comes easy; it all depends on the motivation you have to perform a specific task. If you excel at what you do, there will be nothing stopping you from getting into any field you like.