Congratulations to the thousands of students who have just graduated from the 100-plus pharmacy schools across the nation
Now it's time to get to work.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
(AACP), as of January 2010 there were 112 U.S.-based colleges and schools of pharmacy with accredited professional degree programs. That number will increase to 118 in the fall of 2010. This represents a nearly 25% increase in the number of new colleges of pharmacy over the past 5 years. The AACP reported that in the fall of 2009 a total of 54,700 students were enrolled in a program where pharmacy was their first degree. This represents an average increase in student enrollment of about 5.6% over the past 9 years.
With health care reform taking center stage, today’s new breed of pharmacy graduates may finally be able to utilize their educational talents more in front of the counter than behind it. Portions of the new health care reform bill stress the value of the pharmacist in medication therapy management. The theory is that the pharmacist is the most available health care professional and is in the best position to effectively keep patients in compliance with their medications, which will lead to fewer hospital and doctor visits and thus result in lower health care costs to the U.S. health care system.
With the pharmacy job market becoming increasingly more competitive, retail pharmacists need to differentiate themselves. Now is the time for them to reinvent their careers and exhibit their true value, not only to their employer, but to the health care marketplace they serve.
But why do it alone? If you are a recent graduate looking to secure a pharmacy position in the U.S., chances are you may need a little help. Even though there is an increase in demand, some areas are saturated therefore you may have to relocate. A professional pharmacy staffing firm
will have a list of pharmacy jobs that fit your needs and desires.
Careers in health care continue to be in demand, creating opportunities for many new graduates. In particular, demand for trained pharmacists is projected to grow and salary outlook remains high. For those who are interested in starting a pharmacy or pre-pharmacy training program, or for those who are about to graduate from such a program, here is some more detailed information about projected growth to understand career and salary outlook for the field in 2012:
According to Pharmapplicants.com
, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that demand for trained pharmacists is expected to rise 17 percent between 2008 and 2018, creating approximately 45,900 new jobs. The projected growth is faster than average for other careers. Many factors contribute to the increasing demand for pharmacists:
- Increasing numbers of middle-aged and elderly people, who have more need for prescription drugs
- Growing involvement of pharmacists in patient care, including the need to counsel patients on drug use and interactions
- Growth of pharmaceutical industry and creation of new therapeutic drugs
- Expanded access to insurance coverage under health-care reform
A shortage of trained pharmacists is also projected, contributing to greater demand. A conference sponsored by the Pharmacy Manpower Project predicted that there will be a shortfall of as many as 157,000 pharmacists by 2020 because the number of graduates is not keeping pace with the demand. Another report conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Depart of Health and Human Services reached similar conclusions about a projected shortage of pharmacists.
Because of the ongoing demand, 2012 pharmacy graduates should have no trouble finding immediate employment. (This is assuming that graduates are willing to relocate if their geographic areas are saturated such as in large metropolitan areas, e.g.: Los Angeles).
Pharmacists have traditionally enjoyed an above average salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that median annual wages were $106,410 in May 2008, and that the middle 50 percent of pharmacists earned between $92,670 and $121,310 a year. The highest 10 percent earned more than $131,440 a year.
The good news is that salaries are expected to remain high. The bad news is that salaries for pharmacists have traditionally remained stagnant over the course of a career, with small adjustments for inflation or experience earned. Some experience little to no salary growth over the course of their careers, limiting the potential for upward mobility.
However, many pharmacists can find advancement through research or managerial positions, which offer potential for salary increases. Because of the projected expansion of pharmaceutical services, many pharmacists are likely to find greater opportunities for mobility within the profession in the coming years.
Becoming a pharmacist takes many years of training – as much as six to eight years, depending on your program and your background – but there are many opportunities for those wishing to begin their careers in the field, either in hospitals, clinics, community centers, or retail pharmacists. Demand will continue to grow, expanding opportunities across sectors, and salaries will continue to remain high.
AHS PharmStat is one of the fastest growing pharmacy staffing firms in the United States. We have been providing both temporary and permanent placement services since 2001. Our leadership team has more than fifty years of experience in the healthcare staffing industry. That experience equates to an unequalled understanding of the challenges in matching candidates with job opportunities.
For more information, contact:
A Leading Healthcare Staffing Firm
To complete an online application, go to:
AHS PharmStat Quick Apply
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