The healthcare industry is booming these days and that fact offers a lot of opportunities for people looking for a recession-proof career. Not everybody wants to become a doctor or nurse, however. One of the best careers, in that case, is to become a pharmacist.
Being a pharmacist puts you in a very important role as somebody who is essential for a healthy community. If you think this is the role for you then it is time to learn about what it takes. In this article, we will go over several of the steps you should take to become a pharmacist.
1 – Get a bachelor’s degree
Before you can learn the science behind the pharmacy industry, you’ll need to understand the way to learn about science. Going to college and getting a bachelor’s degree in a science-based subject will give you the foundation required to be able to work within the pharmaceutical industry.
Many pharmacy programs require certain science-related degrees to be completed beforehand. Others may only require a two year undergraduate pre-pharmacy preparatory course, however, so it pays to check before you enroll.
The idea is that you need to learn about scientific principles so you understand many of the subjects that you are going to be taught. You’ll gain experience in how the scientific method works and what best practices are like. If you do the pharmacy preparatory route then you can learn how a lab works and will learn to use a free electronic lab notebook for students.
2 – Take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT)
Just as law school has the LSAT the pharmacy field requires its own test to understand your aptitude for the studies required. The PCAT is the test that you need to pass before you can be accepted into a pharmacy program.
Much of it is going to test your verbal ability, writing skills, and reading comprehension much like other exams. However, it will also try to deduce your abilities in chemistry, biology, and quantitative abilities.
This is why it’s important to have a background in a science-related degree so that this is the part of the exam that you should have no issues with.
3 – Go for the PharmD
To be a pharmacist you will need to be a Doctor of Pharmacy. This means that you now have to go to school to be a pharmacist so it is time to enroll in a pharmacy program. It should be an accredited school and will take four years to complete.
During this time you’re going to learn a lot about things such as infectious diseases, pharmaceuticals, and cell biology among a lot of other subjects. It is similar to going through medical school but with a different focus.
Once you have your PharmD degree, however, your work is not done. You are now required to pass your state’s licensing exam to be able to practice there. In addition, you will also need to pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX).