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Rapid growth in the healthcare industry due to an aging population of Americans has lead to rapid growth in pharmaceutical industries. Additionally, more pharmacists are becoming involved in direct patient care as it relates to new types of drug therapies. The job outlook is bright for pharmacy professionals in all sectors of healthcare. However, pharmacists with advanced degrees and/or residency experience will experience the greatest upward mobility as they'll qualify for career opportunities in research, administration and business.

Today, more than ever, there is demand for pharmacists to fill a growing number of roles in diverse work settings, including hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry, community pharmacies, long-term care centers, managed care organizations, mail order pharmacy, research organizations, and government agencies. Pharmacists with advance training can easily move from one career area to another. A "traditional" career in pharmacy no longer means working a 9 to 5 job in your local retail pharmacy center. Pharmacy offers a wide array of interesting opportunities throughout your entire career.

The following are some career opportunities in pharmacy:

  • Retail pharmacy
    Retail pharmacy is where the majority of pharmacists work. Job duties in this segment of the industry include dispensing medications, recommending over-the-counter products, and counseling customers on general medical usage. Retail pharmacists often manage small teams of pharmacy technicians. Retail pharmacists work in local pharmacies at drug stores and retail outlets (Walmart, Walgreens, etc.)

  • Independent pharmacy
    As with retail pharmacy, independent pharmacists work in retail locations. However, independent pharmacists may also compound medications and have more involvement in day to day management of business operations, including finances, inventory, payroll, and personnel management.

  • Hospital pharmacy
    Many hospitals have full-time pharmacists and pharmacy technicians on staff. The most common duties of a hospital pharmacist include selecting, compounding, dispensing and storing medications. They may also consult and advise hospital staff and patients on proper medication usage, monitor use of medication, implement policy, and fulfill various administrative tasks.

  • Clinical pharmacy
    If you're interested in working in a direct patient care environment then you may be interested in a career in clinical pharmacy. Clinical pharmacists work with doctors and medical teams to prescribe custom medication regimens designed for optimal patient health outcomes. They also counsel patients and attend patient rounds in hospitals. Clinical pharmacists work in health clinics, nursing care facilities, residential treatment centers, insurance companies, and hospitals.

  • Managed care
    Pharmacists who work in managed care develop medication therapies with the assistance of other healthcare professionals. They also monitor patient safety and recovery, educate patients, and manage formularies. Managed care pharmacists often work for pharmacy benefit management companies and health plan providers.

  • Consultant pharmacy
    The primary duties of a pharmacy consultant include reviewing drug regimens, counseling patients, providing pharmacokinetic dosing services, and monitoring drug therapies. They work in rehabilitation centers, mental health institutions, nursing homes, correctional institutions, hospice care centers, and residential care centers.

  • Nuclear Pharmacy
    Nuclear pharmacy is a specialized field of healthcare practice. Nuclear pharmacists compound and dispense radiopharmaceutical medications that are used in specialized medical treatments and procedures. A career in this field requires a doctorate degree in pharmacy and completion of a residency program in the field of nuclear pharmacy.
Below we'll explore the most come job positions and career opportunities in pharmacy.

Pharmacy careers:
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