Step By Step Pharmacist Career Plan Example

A career in pharmacy requires a doctoral level degree, but with advance preparation, you may have your doctorate as little as six years after you earn your high school diploma.

Become a Pharmacist

Pharmacist Resources…

  1. Take advanced math and science courses and keep your GPA up.

  2. Participate in career exploration activities during high school. Walgreens offers job shadow opportunities. CVS Caremark Pathways to Pharmacy is a paid summer internship program for high school students. There are also pharmacy camps at universities around the nation.

  3. Research pharmacy programs. The program must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Also consider the school’s reputation, how long it will take you to get the degree, and any special features.

  4. Apply to a school, and begin taking prerequisites. These will include general studies and basic science courses. (You may enroll in pre-pharmacy at your chosen school or transfer to another school later.)

    It is not necessary to complete an undergraduate degree to enter a pharmacy program, but at least two years of pre-pharmacy coursework will be necessary. In some cases, it is three or more.

    If you are not certain of your career choice, or just want to move through your studies more slowly, there are post-BS Pharm-D programs. (There are also some programs that combine the Pharm-D with an MBA, MPH or other degree.)

  5. While taking prerequisites, continue to participate in pharmacy-related enrichment activities.

    Take the PCAT if required. Gather professional references and make your application.

  6. Complete pharmacy coursework and participate in the match to find a residency. You will go to interviews, and both you and the organizations will rank order your preferences.

  7. After you complete your residency, it’s time to find a permanent position. The good news is you’ve already made a lot of contacts out in the field. Professional organizations are another way of networking and making connections within the field.

Personality Traits: The following are cited by employers as important for success: independent judgment, dependability, good customer service and communicative abilities.