Retail Pharmacist: Employment Info & Requirements

Retail pharmacists dispense medications in independent and chain drug stores, grocery stores, department stores and other general merchandise retail stores. Read the following information to learn about the education requirements, necessary skills, salary and employment outlook for this career.

View Popular Schools »

Career Definition

Retail pharmacists receive orders for medication, dispense prescriptions and advise patients on the proper use of medication. Retail pharmacists are responsible for measuring and providing the proper dosages and types of medicine to patients according to their prescriptions. The American Pharmacists' Association, www.pharmacist.com, estimates that retail pharmacists spend about five percent of their time stocking shelves, ordering supplies and completing other office management tasks.

How to Become a Retail Pharmacist

Required Education

Retail pharmacists have completed at least two to three years of college coursework in biology, chemistry and related topics before entering Pharm.D. degree programs. Retail pharmacists have then earned licenses and Pharm.D. degrees through accredited programs. Some retail pharmacists have master's or doctorate degrees in specific fields of pharmacy, such as pharmacology, pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical chemistry or pharmacy administration. All retail pharmacists are licensed, requiring passing a series of exams after finishing their educations.

Skills Required

Retail pharmacists work with the general public, and they must have good customer service skills. In order to properly assess drug effects and interactions, retail pharmacists are analytical and scientific in their thinking. The confidential nature of retail pharmacy requires discretion and respect for patients' privacy.

Career and Economic Outlook

As the number of prescription drugs and their use increase, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, expects that jobs for retail pharmacists will increase quickly. The mean annual wage for retail pharmacists working in grocery stores was $111,040, pharmacists in department stores earned $113,290 and retail pharmacists working in other general merchandise stores made $122,810 on average in 2012, www.bls.gov.

Alternate Career Options

Pharmacy Technician

For those who are interested in pharmacy careers but wish to enter the workforce more quickly, this career might be a good fit. In some states, high school graduates can learn the needed skills while supervised by a pharmacist. In other locations, a formal training program and qualifying exam will be required. These technicians who help to dispense prescriptions in both hospitals and retail pharmacies earned a mean annual salary of $30,430 in 2012, according to the BLS. From 2010-2020, the BLS projected much faster than average employment growth of 32% for pharmacy technicians.

Medical Scientist

A Ph.D. in a life science, a medical degree, or both are often held by these scientists who conduct research to improve the state of human health. In 2010, the BLS predicted much faster than average job expansion of 36% for these professionals, through 2020. Medical scientists, not including epidemiologists, earned an average of $87,830 in 2012, per the BLS.

Show me popular schools

Related to Retail Pharmacist: Employment Info & Requirements

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
How to Become a Retail Pharmacist

Learn how to become a retail pharmacist. Research the job description and the education and licensing requirements and find out...

Talking Shop: A Retail Store Transforms a College Curriculum

Growing Vermont is a student-operated retail store at the University of Vermont. Far from being just another place to grab a...

Associate of Retail Management: Degree Overview

Explore an overview of an associate degree program in retail management. Browse a list of courses that may be included in the...

Career Information for a Degree in Retail Management and Merchandising

Retail management and merchandising is generally a major that discusses the management and marketing strategies for the retail...

Top College in Pittsburgh for Learning Retail Management

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Pharmacy
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Georgia include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Pharmacy
        • Pharmacy Administration and Regulation
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Iowa (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Iowa include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Clinical and Hospital Pharmacy
        • Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
        • Pharmacy
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Temple University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Clinical and Industrial Drug Development
        • Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
        • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
        • Pharmacy
      • Podiatry - DPM
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at The University of Tennessee include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
        • Pharmacy
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Connecticut (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Connecticut include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
        • Pharmacy
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Utah (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Utah include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
        • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
        • Pharmacy
        • Pharmacy Administration and Regulation
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Wyoming (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Wyoming include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Nursing Professions
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Pharmacy
  • School locations:
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Arizona include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
        • Pharmacy
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Kentucky include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
        • Pharmacy
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics