What kind of career and salary can I expect with an online Doctor of Pharmacy degree?

One of the most popular work environments for those who have completed their PharmD program is that of the retail store pharmacy. We have all been in a big box store doing our grocery shopping and needed to pick up a prescription as well. Consumers who do business with a big box store chain pharmacy typically do so for the convenience factor. In addition, the bulk stores may offer better prices or discounts on their drugs.

If you choose to work as a retail pharmacist, you can earn upwards of $124,000 or more annually, depending on your experience and job location. Pharmacists typically are hired to fill prescriptions, instruct users on side effects or drug interactions and educate the consumer about disease or illness. They often give flu shots or other vaccinations, as well as, oversee other employees who are responsible for insurance, inventory and recordkeeping. The retail field may include the small neighborhood drug store, large chain stores or grocery store pharmacies. A pharmacist in this capacity should expect to work evening hours and weekends.

The consultant pharmacist offers advice about the proper medication to use. They work closely with insurance providers and healthcare facilities. Their salary is comparable with that of the retail pharmacist at approximately $120,656 per year, depending on experience and job location. Consultant pharmacists provide pharmaceutical services to patients, clinics and hospitals and may also directly assist elderly patients in managing their medications.

The nuclear pharmacist measures and distributes radioactive substances used for the purpose of MRI or CT scans. Great care must be taken in handling these types of drugs.  They earn between $112,483 to $121,500 annually.

Upon graduating from your online Doctor of Pharmacy degree program, you may choose to work in a hospital or other healthcare facilities’ pharmacy. Positions in this work environment may be the most sought after for a pharmacist. Although the job description is basically the same as the retail pharmacist, hospitals and the like often provide their employees with better benefits such as, healthcare insurance, sick days and vacation pay. The salary is considered comparable, if not the same, to the retail pharmacist, however, with benefits, you may come out ahead. The hospital pharmacist works closely with physicians and nurses to provide medications to their patients. Furthermore, as hospitals are constantly admitting new patients or sometimes filled to capacity, you can also expect a more demanding work load than that of the average chain retail store, along with, working overnight shifts and weekends, since hospitals are in operation 24/7.

Although a PhD may be required for some positions, perhaps your interest in medical research can be utilized, as well. Many graduates pursue a career as a pharmaceutical industry pharmacist, especially if standing behind a prescription counter does not appeal to them. In this position, you can become a critical part of developing important clinical trial medications for future use. They conduct research and analyze new medications and medical equipment. A pharmaceutical industry pharmacist can expect an average paycheck of $128,720 annually, depending on experience, educational degree and job location.

The elderly often depend on long-term care facilities such as, nursing homes, rehab centers and assisted living centers. As medications must be administered two to three times per day, these facilities require full-time, in-house pharmacists to provide medications to their residents. The long-term care pharmacist earns between $80,000 – $100,000 annually.

In today’s cancer-stricken world, more and more pharmacist who specialize in medications used for cancer patients are needed. The oncology pharmacist mixes chemotherapy drugs for patients. In addition, special knowledge and care is needed to assure that these important medications are handled properly and safely. An oncology pharmacist’s salary averages approximately $116,498 per year.

A managed care pharmacist works on the public’s behalf to negotiate drug prices between pharmaceutical companies and health insurance companies.  They work tirelessly to assure each consumer can obtain their needed medication at an affordable price. They generally earn between $80,000 to $100,000 annually.

Non-clinical positions can also be obtained if you do not wish to work directly with patients. Such positions may include pharmaceutical sales or medical journal writing, both of which can earn $75,000 annually.

If you are interested in a pharmaceutical career, please see our choices for the Best Online Schools for Doctor of Pharmacy degree programs.