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What kind of jobs are available to someone with a pharmacy degree?

Before you commit to pharmacy school, I would recommend shadowing a pharmacist to make sure you like what you would be doing.  Pharmacy school and training is a big commitment and investment.  I initially shadowed someone in physical therapy (what I THOUGHT) I wanted to do.  Through school and talking to people, pharmacy was recommended to me.  I had a good idea of what a retail pharmacist did (or so I thought) so I did a little shadowing in a hospital and talked to a pharmacy director to learn about the role of a hospital pharmacist.  Wow, were my eyes opened!  One of the main reasons I chose pharmacy was because there are so many options.  I tend to get bored rather easily and I was intrigued by all the different roles and responsibilities a pharmacist could do and have.

Just a few:



  • Retail pharmacist/pharmacy manager: these are the pharmacists you see at Walgreens, CVS, etc...

  • Clinical hospital pharmacist (This category is the broadest – there are general pharmacists and then there are pharmacists that have specialties (oncology, anticoagulation, cardiology, renal, transplant, emergency department, psychiatry, critical care, antimicrobial stewardship, etc….

  • IV room pharmacist verifying sterile preparations at a hospital

  • Investigational Drug pharmacist

  • Oncology pharmacist (clinical specialist or working in an oncology infusion clinic)

  • Ambulatory care (clinic) pharmacist

  • Pharmacist who works for a home health infusion company

  • Drug utilization pharmacist

  • Informatics pharmacist

  • Operating room pharmacist

  • Pediatric pharmacist

  • Medication safety pharmacist

  • Compounding pharmacy

  • Pharmaceutical company: Medical science liaison, medical information scientist, sales representative and many more depending on experience

  • FDA

  • Research

  • Professor in a pharmacy school

If you work in a smaller hospital, you may fill more than one of these roles.  Larger health systems tend to have different pharmacists dedicated to each part of the drug distribution process.

So I went to pharmacy school thinking I would work for the FDA or a pharmaceutical company; through different twists and turns, I work in hospital administration at a large hospital and love it! There are so many different avenues available to you and it’s a great career path to take.     

PracticeJoanna Simmon