Pharmacists sell medicine to people who are sick
when a doctor says that they need it. They tell
people how to use the medicine correctly. They warn
doctors if the doctors have asked their patients to
take any medicine that might hurt them. Sometimes,
pharmacists mix the medicine themselves. Most often,
though, they sell medicines that have been made for
Pharmacists most often work in drug stores. These
stores are clean and have a lot of light. Many
pharmacists must stand most of the time while they
work. Pharmacists must wear gloves and masks when
they work with things that could hurt them. Some
pharmacists work at night or on weekends. This is
because sick people may need medicine at any time.
Most pharmacists work about 40 hours a week, but
some work longer hours.
Pharmacists must have a license from the State in
which they work. To get a license, a person must
have gone to college to study pharmacy. (It usually
takes at least 6 years of study, including college
and pharmacy school, to become a pharmacist.) The
person must pass a test given by the State
government. The person must also work with a
licensed pharmacist for a period of time to get
on-the-job training. People who want to be
pharmacists should be good at science and math. They
should be good at dealing with people. They should
also be able to work carefully, because they often
deal with strong drugs.
The middle half of all pharmacists made between
$66,210 and $87,250 a year in 2002. The lowest-paid
10 percent made less than $54,110. The highest-paid
10 percent earned more than $94,570 a year.
There were about 230,000 pharmacists in 2002.
Most of them worked in drug stores. Some worked in
hospitals and other places.
Employment of pharmacists is expected to grow
faster than the average for all occupations through
the year 2012. The reason is that there will be more
elderly people in the future, and they will probably
need medicines to deal with the problems of getting
old. More pharmacists also will be needed as more
new medicines are developed in the future.
Very good employment opportunities are expected
for pharmacists. This is because not enough
qualified people will be available to fill all the