Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. They also may conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, oversee the medications given to patients, and provide advice on healthy lifestyles.
Pharmacists work in pharmacies, including those in grocery and drug stores. They also work in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
How to Become a Pharmacist
Pharmacists must have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), a 4-year professional degree. They must also be licensed, which requires passing two exams.
Employment of pharmacists is projected to grow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Increased demand for prescription medications will lead to more demand for pharmaceutical services. Employment of pharmacists in traditional pharmacies is projected to decline slightly.
This occupation supported 286,400 jobs in 2012 and 297,100 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 3.7%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 14.5% in 2022 to 327,800 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 294,600, compared with an observed value of 297,100, 0.8% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 3.2% in 2024 to 306,200 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 336,000 jobs for 2024, 9.7% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.