$121k $121k
297k 297k
3.1% 3.1%
3.1/5 3.1/5
Masters Masters

Pharmacist Education Requirements

There are very specific academic requirements involved in becoming a pharmacist. Qualifications and specific training requirements vary from country to country. Generally, an undergraduate bachelor of science degree is required, followed by a postgraduate pharmacy course. In some countries (for example the UK) the courses may be linked and the full qualification MPharm (Master of Pharmacy) may be obtained after five years of studying pharmacy - four undergraduate years plus one masters year.

In other countries (for example, the USA and Australia) undergraduate studies, or an undergraduate degree in a science subject is required for entry into a postgraduate pharmacy course and then at least two years of postgraduate study are required. In the US this results in a PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacy) qualification.

After completion of the academic requirements, most countries then require newly qualified pharmacists to work a "pre-registration" year, or an internship, to gain the experience required for the job. The number of hours required varies by country, and even by state within the USA. After the work experience has been completed, there are usually more exams. These may take the form of a licensing exam, or a registration exam, depending on specific country requirements. Some countries also require that pharmacists participate in continuing professional development (CPD) programmes as they progress through their careers. This ensures that they stay up-to-date on all aspects of the job, including emerging research and new medicines.

Personal attributes that are useful for being a pharmacist are typical for those working in any area of health and nutrition. These include a caring personality and the genuine desire to help people in need. Other attributes useful for a career in pharmacy would be the ability to take on a lot of responsibility, work under pressure, have great organizational skills and people skills.

Education History of Pharmacists

The most common degree held by pharmacists is Pharmaceutical Administration. 3 percent of pharmacists had a degree in pharmaceutical administration before becoming pharmacists. That is over 148 times the average across all careers. Pharmacology graduates are the second most common among pharmacists, representing 3 percent of pharmacists in the Sokanu user base, which is 30.0 times the average.

Pharmacist Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Pharmacist, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of pharmacists % of population Multiple
Pharmaceutical Administration 3.4% 0.0% 148.2×
Pharmacology 2.7% 0.1% 30.0×
Biology 2.4% 2.6% 0.9×
Biochemical Sciences 1.4% 0.5% 2.9×
Chemistry 1.4% 0.8% 1.7×

Pharmacist Education Levels

42% of pharmacists have a master's degree. 37% of pharmacists have a doctorate degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 0%
Associate's degree 0%
Bachelor's degree 21%
Master's degree 42%
Doctorate degree 37%

How to Become a Pharmacist

Think you might be interested in becoming a Pharmacist? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good pharmacist? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get the Education

    • Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington | Wilmington, DE
      Offers: Associates
    • Delaware State University | Dover, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • University of Delaware | Newark, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Wesley College | Dover, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Wilmington University | New Castle, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
  3. Get Hired
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Further Reading

  • How Long Does It Take To Become A Pharmacist? www.access2knowledge.org

    How long does it take to become a pharmacist? Students considering a career in the pharmaceutical sciences must first complete an undergraduate education lasting 2 to 4 years...

  • How To Become A Pharmacist careerplanning.about.com

    When doctors and other healthcare professionals prescribe medication, pharmacists not only dispense it, but explain to their patients how to use the drugs properly.

Find your perfect career

Would you make a good pharmacist? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

80% Match?
Take the free career test

Recommended Books

  • Pharmacy: What It Is and How It Works www.amazon.com

    As the first baby boomers have reached 65, more prescriptions than ever are being dispensed, and the need for properly trained pharmacists is critical. Now in its third edition, Pharmacy: What It Is and How It Works continues to provide a comprehensive review of all aspects of pharmacy, from the various roles of pharmacists to particular health care-related events to career planning information.

  • Drug Information A Guide for Pharmacists www.amazon.com

    The goal of Drug Information: A Guide for Pharmacists is to teach students and practitioners how to effectively research, interpret, evaluate, collate, and disseminate drug information in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Updated throughout, the book also addresses important issues such as the legal and ethical considerations of providing drug information.

  • Communication Skills in Pharmacy Practice: A Practical Guide for Students and Practitioners www.amazon.com

    Communication Skills in Pharmacy Practice helps pharmacy and pharmacy technician students learn the principles, skills, and practices that are the foundation for clear communication and the essential development of trust with future patients.

  • Introduction to Hospital and Health-System Pharmacy Practice www.amazon.com

    Written by leaders and experts in hospital and health-system practices and published by ASHP, the voice of the health-system pharmacy profession, Introduction to Hospital and Health-System Pharmacy Practice is required reading for students and practitioners alike. It’s a comprehensive manual for institutional pharmacy: legal and regulatory issues, medication safety, informatics, and more.

  • Drug Information: A Guide for Pharmacists www.amazon.com

    Drug Information: A Guide for Pharmacists, Fourth Edition teaches students and professionals how to research, interpret, evaluate, collate, and disseminate drug information in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

  • Letters to a Young Pharmacist: Sage Advice on Life & Career from Extraordinary Pharmacists www.amazon.com

    In Letters to a Young Pharmacist: Sage Advice on Life & Career from Extraordinary Pharmacists, find expert advice and guidance for the choices and challenges you will face. Written by 35 leading pharmacists, these very personal letters offer sound advice and insight for seizing or creating opportunities, balancing career and family, avoiding mistakes, and overcoming setbacks.

Become a Pharmacist