How Long Does It Take To Become A Pharmacist after High School

Last Updated on January 17, 2023

If you’re interested in becoming a pharmacist then you want to read this article because we’ll give you the information that we’ve learned from our years of working in the pharmaceutical industry. We’ll try to answer some common questions like “How long does it take to become a pharmacist” and “How much does it cost to become a pharmacist” and will also provide you with some really useful information about this job.

To become a pharmacist in Texas you first need to meet certain requirements, there are lot of requirements for becoming a pharmacist in the United States. You will find top–notch information on what subjects are needed to become a pharmacist & how to become a pharmacist without going to school, how long does it take to become a pharmacist in Canada, how long does it take to become a pharmacist technician and so much more in the article below.

You will also discover related posts on how much does it cost to become a pharmacist on Collegelearners.

what do pharmacists do

What is a pharmacist?

A question we hear a lot is, “How long does it take to become a pharmacist?” To practice pharmacy in the U.S., you must earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from an accredited pharmacy institution and pass a state pharmacy licensure exam. U.S. pharmacy institutions are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). A degree in pharmaceutical science or related discipline will not prepare or permit you to practice pharmacy in the U.S.

Pharmacists provide both prescribed medications and over-the-counter medications that don’t require a prescription to patients. For prescription medications, a pharmacist receives the prescription from the physician, then prepares and packages the appropriate medications. They give these medications to patients with an explanation of their purpose, dosing information and advice on using them safely and effectively. With over-the-counter medications, the pharmacist may sometimes be the first point of contact for the patient. Pharmacists can advise patients on minor ailments and suggest a suitable medication to buy or refer them to a physician if the condition warrants a medical consultation.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Pharmacist?

The role of a pharmacist may also involve the following:

  • Preparing and dispensing medications based on a physician orders
  • Advising patients on the use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs
  • Completing insurance forms and information paperwork
  • Administering vaccinations
  • Providing screenings for health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma or high blood pressure
  • Informing clients about products they may need, including medical equipment or home healthcare supplies such as blood-pressure monitors
  • Advising patients on general health issues including diet, exercise, smoking cessation or stress management
  • Performing administration tasks, such as updating records and databases, filing documents or restocking shelves

How long does it take to earn a PharmD degree?

The Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree program requires at least two years of specific undergraduate college study followed by four academic years (or three calendar years) of professional pharmacy study. Most students enter a pharmacy degree program after completion of three or more years of college.

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How Long Does It Take To Become A Pharmacist After High School

How long does it take to become a pharmacist?

The time it takes to become a pharmacist can depend on the level of education you receive. It is possible to qualify as an entry-level pharmacist following six years of education after finishing high school. This includes at least two years of undergraduate study followed by the completion of a four-year pharmacist degree.

How Long Does it Take to Become Pharmacist After Prerequisite Classes? |  Work -

Are there any accelerated Doctor of Pharmacy degree programs?

Institutions offering a three-calendar year PharmD degree program to students who have completed all college-level prerequisites for admission are listed in Table 1 of the Pharmacy School Admissions Requirements (PSAR). The information is noted by a Program Length of 2-3 and/or an Enrollment Option of Year-Round. Please contact the institutions directly for more information.

pharmacist education requirements high school

Educational requirements for pharmacists

Pharmacists are medical professionals who require specialized training and licensure. Here are the educational requirements and steps for becoming a pharmacist:

  1. Obtain a degree in an appropriate subject. There is no specific degree for pharmacists. Students must have at least a two-year degree to get into pharmacy school but may benefit from obtaining a bachelor’s degree that focuses on related coursework. Students should choose an undergraduate degree with a strong emphasis on math, physics, chemistry, biology and anatomy. A pre-medicine degree is also a good option for students interested in this career path.
  2. Complete pharmacy school. After obtaining an undergraduate degree, students must complete a four-year pharmacy school program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Upon successful completion of the program, students will earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree (Pharm. D.). This postgraduate degree focuses on the underlying science of drugs and medications and covers subjects such as the absorption rates of drugs, medical chemistry, toxicology, how drugs work in the body, biopharmaceuticals, public health concepts, ethics and laws and aspects of prescription management. Students may also receive practical training with licensed pharmacists in a range of pharmacy settings
  3. Undertake a residency or internship. After pharmacy school, many students choose to complete additional training through a residency program or internship. Pharmacists who want to work in a clinical setting may be required to complete a residency. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists is the accrediting body for residency placements. Students who are interested in completing a residency program will need to apply through the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service, which can match them with a suitable placement.
  4. Obtain a state license. In addition to the above educational requirements, pharmacists must obtain a state license to practice before they can start working as a pharmacist. This requires passing the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX), which is administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). Some states also require the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE), which tests pharmacists’ knowledge on pharmacy law. All states require a specified number of hours of practical experience before pharmacists can apply for a license and some may also require a criminal background check.

how long does it take to become a pharmacist in texas

The TTUHSC School of Pharmacy in Texas is proud to offer the distinguished Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program as its single professional degree. The Pharm.D. is an innovative, cutting-edge four-year professional program designed to provide all the knowledge and skills required in this ever-changing field. The Doctor of Pharmacy program requires at least two years of pre-professional studies that may be completed at any accredited college or university. For those seeking a career in pharmaceutical sciences, this path leads to a professional, adaptable skill-set, allowing for bountiful future opportunities. 

Since students within the program spend the majority of each weekday mastering their craft in classes, laboratories, and clinical experiences, studies must be on a full time basis. Students are admitted once each year for enrollment in the fall semester.

The goal and vision of the program is to prepare entry-level pharmacy practitioners, eligible for licensure to become a pharmacist in any state, with a wide range of capabilities. These skills include practice knowledge and skills in drug distribution and control, practice management, and direct patient skills to manage drug therapy and provide therapeutic management of patients as recently authorized by the 1995 Texas State Legislature.

Featuring campuses in Abilene, Amarillo, Dallas, and Lubbock, this outstanding School of Pharmacy in Texas will utilize community pharmacies, clinics, hospitals and nursing homes throughout Texas for clinical instruction. These experiences are invaluable to becoming a pharmacist and navigating the landscape of the pharmaceutical industry.

Doctor of Pharmacy Program Purposes and Functions

The purpose of the program is to prepare entry-level pharmacy practitioners with competencies in:

  • Collecting and interpreting relevant patient data as a basis for therapeutic decision making.
  • Prospectively reviewing medication orders and the patient’s database to evaluate efficacy, appropriateness, potential toxicity, and cost effectiveness of prescribed drug regimens.
  • Counseling patients, caregivers, and other health professionals on the rational, safe, and effective use of medications.
  • Counseling patients and caregivers on the rational, safe, and effective use of non prescription medication.
  • Developing therapeutic care plans.
  • Assessing and therapeutically managing patients according to a written protocol in partnership with a physician, including prescribing legend medications under protocol.
  • Monitoring a patient’s therapeutic outcomes according to his/her therapeutic care plan and intervene as appropriate.
  • Preparing medication as appropriate to meet patients’ needs according to Texas and Federal laws, rules and regulations, including the compounding and dispensing of dosage forms.
  • Administering medications.
  • Supervising pharmacy personnel.
  • Interpreting financial information relevant to a pharmacy practice environment.
  • Practicing in an ethical manner.

PharmD Program of Study

Year 1

In this first year in the School of Pharmacy, students will be taught basic biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences in focused, informative courses. Pharmaceutical sciences include the study of physical, chemical and biological aspects of drug dosage forms; drug action; and pharmacotherapy. The first year will also introduce clinical practices to students by initiating drug and poison information telephone calls, patient counseling on non-prescription drug products, and working with patient care support services. These activities prepare students for the groundwork necessary to deliver the best quality care in the field. 

Year 2

Within the second year of the Doctor of Pharmacy program, students will spend time in specialized courses and laboratories, focusing on the study of disease states and pharmacotherapy. Our students will learn special skills in therapeutically dosing and monitoring patients with potentially toxic therapeutic agents. As clinical experience is equally important to the quality of coursework provided, students will develop practice knowledge and skills through studying the use and potential problems with commonly prescribed medications. Additionally, the basics of physical assessment skills for therapeutic drug monitoring will be introduced. Within this year, students begin clerkships in community pharmacy practice, affording the real-time practice that will certainly be utilized in their future careers. 

Year 3

The third year on the road to becoming a pharmacist continues studies of disease states and pharmacotherapy. In the experiences provided in clerkships, students will largely focus on drug distribution and control within institutional practice skills. Our accomplished instructors will help provide students with the tools needed for managing drug therapy and providing case management. These learning experiences are offered in patient care facilities. 

Year 4

The final year in this program devotes 48 weeks to full-time clinical pharmacy participation in various patient care sites, allowing for the maximum level of quality experiences. These clinical pharmacy trainings involve eight rotations, each of which last six weeks, filling the whole year of study with fully immersive learning opportunities. 

The third and fourth year of study may be based at any of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center campuses at Amarillo, Dallas, or Lubbock. Our multitude of campuses provide a uniquely flexible opportunity for those looking for a school of pharmacy in Texas. The student will be asked to give his/her location preference at the time application for admission is made, but the assignment of sites can not be guaranteed. Relocation expenses are the student’s responsibility.

how much does it cost to become a pharmacist

how Much Does Pharmacy School Cost?

$ $ Medium: Public Pharmacy School Programs Average $14,800-$82,000 In-State$ $ $ High: Private Pharmacy Programs Run $74,800-$160,000 Over Four Years

All prospective pharmacy school students should first complete 2-3 years of college-level pre-pharmacy studies in math and science.

The competition for admission is serious, and thus approx. half of the applicants already have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The Pharmacy College Application Service provides a centralized application service for those students who are interested in pharmacy studies.

Typical Costs

The pharmacy school tuition through a public university comes at a price of around $3,000-$20,500 annually for in-state residents and approx. $14,800-$82,000 for the four-year program.

For example, Florida A&M University’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences provides one of the most affordable programs at around $3,700 per year, while the University of San Diego in California is at the top of the scale.

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On average, the complete cost of a pharmacy school program can range from $65,000 to up to $200,000. Despite the costs, a pharmacy degree is generally viewed as having one of the most promising ROIs within the healthcare field.

ABC News cited pharmacists in fifth place out of 20 jobs that offer the best return on an investment in college. The piece stated that it would take 10.83 years for a graduate to repay student debt if the cost of their degree was roughly $90,000 and they earned the median pay of $116,670 with annual repayment terms equaling 10 percent of his or her salary ($11,667).

According to the 2014 National Pharmacist Workforce Survey, conducted by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), pharmacists with five years or less of experience reported having repaid 30 percent of the debt incurred by student loans. The Workforce Survey also reported that these pharmacy school graduates had an average current student loan debt of $76,791 in 2014 – compared to the $108,407 average they had upon graduation. These numbers reflect a great change from 2009 figures which showed the average current debt as $61,667 versus $79,895 worth of total student loan debt, for new graduates.

The Workforce Survey also highlighted the fact that 11 percent of respondents with five years or less in practice had zero student debt upon graduation, while 32 percent reportedly erased their debt by 2014.

The average salary for pharmacists has increased, just as the cost of pharmacy education also continues to rise. According to the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education’s piece on Pharmacy Student Debt and Return on Investment of a Pharmacy Education, numbers show that the average tuition cost for pharmacy school has risen 54 percent in the last decade with the combined average yearly tuition rates to obtain training at a public or private school are roughly $25,000.

In the end, the total cost and ROI for a pharmacy school education differs for each student, as various factors come into play that either increase or decrease the overall outcome, such as:

  • The reputation of a university – more reputable institutions tend to have a higher ‘sticker price.’
  • Whether a student is a resident of a school’s state – out-of-state candidates typically pay a higher tuition than in-state candidates.
  • The amount of student loan needed after assessing available resources for financing a pharmacy degree, such as a savings account, parent contribution, scholarships, grants, and other forms of aid.
  • The cost of books, lab fees, and paying for exams.
  • Expenses outside of paying for school tuition, such as the cost of living and transportation costs (when living off-campus).

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