CPA VS Pharmacy

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by ztn6485, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. ztn6485

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    Hey everyone, so I'm going through a career dilemma here. I've been out of school for 2 years and working as an accountant. I've been having a hard time securing my first big job. Most accounting firms hire on campus and it's very competitive. I feel like the market is overly saturated. There are to many accountants. I worked for small firms these past few years and didn't like it since there is no room for advancement for these firms. My options is either study for cpa and Hope I could get a good job or jump ship and Pursue A new career in pharmacy.

    if i do pharmacy, Id be done in 5 years making 120K vs CPA making 75k in 5 years?
     
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  3. BidingMyTime

    BidingMyTime Lost Shaker Of Salt

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    Um, you do realize that pharmacy is every bit as saturated as accountant? I take it you aren't a CPA? My advise would be to pass the CPA exam to increase your hiring prospects. I see no reason why you would want to jump from one saturated career into another saturated career (especially since you've given no indication that you would be good at the science needed to become a pharmacist, much less that you have any idea what the actual job entails and if you could do it.)
     
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  4. msweph

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    Why 5 years to CPA if you're already a bachelor degree holder and working as an accountant???

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
     
  5. BidingMyTime

    BidingMyTime Lost Shaker Of Salt

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    Maybe he meant it would take him 5 years to study up and pass the CPA exam? (it is notoriously hard to pass, most accountants don't pass it.) Or maybe he meant the field is so saturated it will take him 5 years to actually find a job as a CPA?
     
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  6. ztn6485

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    Cpa is a hard exam that would take some time to complete. I'm not doubting my ability to pass such an exam. It's just that is it worth it? So far, accounting hasn't been worth it. Working at small accounting firms don't pay well and it's hard to get into a large firm when you are outside of school.
     
  7. ztn6485

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    I'd like to add a pharmacist could work at a local pharmacy and get a decent salary. With accounting, it's either you get into a large cpa firm as a student or you get lucked out and staff off making 40k at small firms
     
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  8. CaNvWa farm

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    To me, pharmacy is still better than accounting in term of job.
    It's also better than programming, becoming a doctor in term of studying and working.
    It's much easier to get in than PA.
    I don't know much about nursing in term of job.
     
  9. ztn6485

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    I agree! I'm looking at it long term. In 5 years I could be making 6 figures as oppose to working crazy hours for 75k. That's if I get that in 5 years.
     
  10. pencilandpen

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    Ahhh grass is always greener on the other side
     
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  11. mentos

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    You could also be making $0 with 150-300k in student loans...
     
  12. CaNvWa farm

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    Yes, it is gambling.
    Don't expect to be free of debt or to live where you want unless you're very lucky.
     
  13. Momus

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    A couple of my friends with bachelor of accounting work for AMEX, Visa, and the Big 4, they are currently making 100-160k+, and on track making 200-300k+ with a few promotions. Accounting degree is versatile. If you switch to pharmacy, 5 years later, you probably won't have a job with 250k debt. Field is incredibly saturated.
     
  14. HandsomeVampire

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    i wish it was as simple as that
    There's quite a bit more risk you should weigh out vs rewards to consider.
     
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  15. ztn6485

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    You do understand big 4 is extermely competitive to get in and you work crazy hours. once you factor in the hours and wage its not worth it! corporate accounting work less than big 4 but still you wont have a 40 hour work schedule. oh and forgot to mention, in accounting your salary is fixed so no overtime
     
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  17. ztn6485

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    my undergrad loans are payed off. the risk would be 150k in student loans which i could pay off after 2 years of graduation. my cousin owns tons of pharmacy in my area, so i'm not to concerned about finding employment
     
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  18. ranger99rx

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    If you think you can handle it, then go for it. Since your cousin owns many pharmacies, you probably can get a job from him easily compare to others. Just try to get a degree with the least debt and live a frugal life until then. Even as a part-time pharmacist, if you work hard, do plenty of shots, your DM will offer a full time job when it's available. I just trained a part-time pharmacist recently and I know he will get more hours compare to other part-time pharmacist because he is eager learn, willing to do things, and available anytime. Good luck!
     
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  19. DIPEA

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    Why only CPA and Pharmacy?
    There are many other good careers out there making 6 figures. For example, why not CS? If you are so determined to believe pharmacy is a viable career switch option and its potential crushing student loan debt still doesn't deter you from considering it, why not spending half that tuition loan debt and going back to your alma mater to do a bachelor of CS in 2-3 years or maybe just 1.5 year if your school offers accelerated cs program for post-graduates?
    If you are interested in web or mobile development, going to a coding bootcamp is also a good option. Dedicate like 6 months and pay 10k lump sum cash to a coding bootcamp like Hack Reactor, finish the bootcamp, relocate to big coastal cities like NYC, Seattle or SF, get a web or mobile developer job, then you are done.
     
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  20. Momus

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    If you look at the negative on accounting, I can list 100+ reason why pharmacy sucks more than what you have right now. Looks like you are looking the easy way out. Pharmacy ain't it.
     
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  21. ztn6485

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    Any possibility that the pharmacy market could improve by 2023?
     
  22. johnpharm01

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    Ha. I can help you with this one. I am a pharmacist, my sibling is an accountant (CPA) with a major firm and had a friend who was an accountant (non cpa). My sibling makes the most $ in the family (see momus post), has marketable job skills, and could easily land another job. My friend made complaints like you when he graduated that pharmacist make more money right out of school. He would work at H&R cranking out tax returns for $50 a piece. My sibling's annual bonus makes the braggards on this forum look like chump change.

    No judgement, but it seems like you are looking for a low risk way to get into 6 figure territory. Pharmacy use to be, not anymore. If I were you I would fight my way to the top in accounting/finance.
     
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  23. dblock05

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    Sounds like you are very lazy.....and your lack of effort has cost you substantially at this point. You want things handed to you instead of working for it like some of your classmates did.
     
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  24. CaNvWa farm

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    Lots of effort doesn't guarantee success. Preparation and esp. luck decide !
     
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  25. ztn6485

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    Very lazy huh. Sounds like you are an irritant fool that thinks he knows it all. How is it very lazy if I'm concidering to do 2 years of science prerequisites and 3 year of grad school. if anything I'm maximizing my earning potential and playing it safe. Pharmacy I could have a guaranteed job making 6 figures in 5 years vs 75K as a cpa. Shut your mouth next time and think before you talk.
     
  26. ztn6485

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    Idk it's worth the fight.... I'd rather fight 5 years to get a 6 figure salary than get my cpa and struggle. Not all cpas make good money...but all pharmacist are in the 6 figure zone.
     
  27. johnpharm01

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    I wouldn't say all pharmacists make six figures and it might be a struggle just to get a job.
     
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  28. John Detter

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    I would like to add that you really only should go into pharmacy if you have an interest, and even then, consider many of the caveats that others have discussed before. Essentially everyone I know who went into pharmacy or other health professions just for the salary did not make it.

    To give you some numbers, I went to a large state school and everyone coming out of high school wanted to be a doctor/pharmacist/dentist/etc. Some were genuinely interested while others just wanted the lucrative salary. There were 1200 people on the pre-health track during freshman year (curriculum was the same regardless of profession for the first 2 years). After the first semester half of those people switched majors. By graduation, I would say only 50 people made it to graduate school. In my pharmacy school class, 2 pharmacists who weren't that enthusiastic about the profession got in but one ended up quitting in her 3rd year and the other struggled to graduate at the bottom of the class and is no longer in the profession because he never could pass his boards.

    The poor success rate of those chasing money is because the training to become a pharmacist is extremely rigorous and is downright brutal if you are not a science-type person. Undergraduate programs tend to be designed to weed-out people. Once you get to the graduate level, all the information you learn is extremely detailed and would drive most people crazy. Talk to any healthcare professional, and they will tell you one of the worst courses they had in school was pharmacology because they simply don't care for that level of detail. You know how some old people will talk and talk and go on and on about the unnecessary details of their day and you just want to tell them to shut up? That's how school's going to feel if you are not truly interested in the profession beyond the salary.

    And if you think your problems are going to end when school is over, think again. It sounds like job security is something you're interested in. While I hope your cousin continues to do well, the reality is that it is harder for smaller pharmacies and chains to stay in business due to current reimbursement models. Many are being acquired by the big pharmacies. Heck, even the big pharmacies are acquiring each other. There's no guarantee that you will have a job at your cousin's chain forever. At some point, you may have to work elsewhere, and you'll face the saturation issues that others have already mentioned. Quite frankly, the number of pharmacy schools have doubled in the past decade, while the number of jobs haven't. A good portion of my graduation class have either left the profession due to lack of work or are stuck with per-diem positions and we graduated 3 years ago.

    Finally, we haven't even discussed the all the BS that comes with retail pharmacy. If you're interested, search more on these forums. If you're still interested after reading the posts, consider getting a technician job a pharmacy to get an idea of everything that happens in a pharmacy before you dump 200-300K and half a decade on your education.
     
    #26 John Detter, Jun 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  29. redfish955

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    The CPA is becoming very popular for corporate finance. I would look up fortune 500 companies in cities that aren't as competitive such as Omaha, Indianapolis, and ect. A lot of these companies will hire an accountant working towards a CPA. Another thing to take into consideration is the cost of living in the area. It is more about how much you can save while happily living than how much you actually earn. 140k a year at Visa goes about as far as 70k a year at Indianapolis does.
     
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  30. grizzlesgrizzlies

    grizzlesgrizzlies scrounging for scraps
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    -pharmacist
    -guaranteed job

    Pick one
     
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  31. stoichiometrist

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    Pharmacists are already in the 5 figure zone when you factor in student loans and taxes. Let's say you make $100k/year. Take out $33k, that leaves you with $67k. Take out another $25k in student loans and that leaves you with net $43k/year for the next 10-20 years.

    And that is if salaries stay at $100k and do not fall below due to unemployment, underemployment, and/or lower hourly pay.
     
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  32. mentos

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    Not sure how your cousin would pay you, but in general independent pharmacies don't offer the salary, vacation time, sick time, 401k, health/dental insurance, etc that a chain does. Plus longevity, independents get bought at by chains all the time. Look at the stock prices for all the major chains in the last 5 years. The trend is down down down even during the crazy bull run where other sectors went up and up. Pharmacy is a dying profession.

    You also have to consider quality of life.

    Accounting:
    -Sit in a nice quiet office/cube in a nice comfy chair
    -Go to the bathroom, grab a coffee or chat in the break room whenever you want
    -Lunch break that you can enjoy with colleagues if you wish with no work interruptions, can leave the office for lunch too
    -Minimal interaction with people, maybe some phone calls during the day?
    -Minimal interruptions

    Pharmacy:
    -Stand/walk on your feet for the whole shift
    -If you're lucky you have time to pee
    -Get interupted every 10 seconds by customers, techs, phone calls, etc
    -Get yelled at by angry customers, argue with doctors/nurses/insurance
    -Have to deal with drug addicts
    -Potential for robberies
    -If your coworkers (rph or tech) annoy you, you still have to deal with them the entire shift
    -Minimal time to eat (unless you get a lunch break but most people outside of CA don't)
     
    #30 mentos, Jun 27, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
  33. APN-59 rph

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    I've known a few guys who started out in accounting..and scurried right back out as soon as they could....constant travel.....long hours....have to make partner etc....The electrical biz from electrician to Hi-lines is screaming for help..heard a radio ad today..they will pay for training..and if you eventually get your masters license..you can make some coin...THEY have a lot to say about what they do and how it is done..They actually GET inspected...not like these paid off "boards" who hop to the chains..AND..best of all..you will not go begging for a job....All I have ever seen of pharmacy is high speed boredom...This is just one example of a real job esp. for a young man.....Pharmacy is wimpsville...I heard a guy the other day apologize like three times for something that wasn't his fault..not exactly an alpha type...Ahhh! it's red basket...drop everything...hurry...forget it...
     
  34. redfish955

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  35. FinallyOnTrack

    FinallyOnTrack Pharm.D Candidate

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    What are you going to do, or your cousin, when reimbursements go down the drain even more and you’re barely staying afloat?

    Better yet, what if he sells out to CVS and CVS offers you a job at $80,000/year because it’s part time?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  36. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    If you do pharmacy you would be done in 5 years but you would be unable to find work or be making 60,000 USD part time as a floater for a chain. 120,000 USD is no longer a realistic salary for pharmacist in 2023.
     
  37. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    I would say less than a 1% chance. By my predictions the market should get better by 2055. This will be after the great Bezo slaughter of pharmacists' salaries (2025). Saturation is just beginning. In 2023 new grads will have a 30-60% unemployment rate.
     
  38. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    You are severely under estimating the success rate of new pharmacists.

    If you are so sure of yourself find an error in this calculation I have made. If you are unable to find an error you must admit to the truth. That going into pharmacy school is not playing it safe but is actually financial suicide for those with loans and if you co-sign a loan with your parents you could bring them down with you.

    17,4001/10 = 1,740 new jobs made a year () roughly 3,000 pharmacists retiring/dying a year 140872 - 4,740 = 9,347 new grads unemployed a year This is 9,347 students that will never have a pharmacy job each year... in 10 years that is 93,000 unemployed pharmacists...


    Ref 1 from government bls.gov which pulls data directly from IRS data

    Ref 2 from NAPLEX first time test takers in 2017
     
  39. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    "the number of pharmacy schools have doubled in the past decade, while the number of jobs haven't"

    Love this qoute
     
  40. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    The only guaranteed 3 figures in pharmacy is three figures of debt.
     

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