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CVS, RiteAid, or Walgreens...

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by vanstudent1986, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. vanstudent1986

    vanstudent1986 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 8, 2007
    I was just wondering which company would be better to work for as a tech, an intern, and ultimately a pharmacist.
     
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  3. JamesL1585

    JamesL1585 TheAntiSavior? 10+ Year Member

    452
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    Feb 8, 2006
    Houstonlantavegas
    Definitely not CVS, Overworked, Underpaid. I have experience there as a manager and a Tech and both are the same, overworked underpaid. Im now working at Walgreens. Not too many complaints with them so far and as a pharmacist, life is good there! So Ive heard lol
     
  4. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 imagine sisyphus happy Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

    Depends on the individual store. It's like asking "Who is better to work for, McDonalds, Burger King, or Wendy's" it's all the same crap, different logo.
     
  5. acetyl

    acetyl 5+ Year Member

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    Mar 3, 2006
    6 times one way, half a dozen the other. I personally like Wag's, though.
     
  6. rxcrystal

    rxcrystal 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 21, 2007
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I have worked for Walgreens for over 5 years and I love it. Their benefits/401K, etc are unheard of. I am going to stay with them as a pharmacist if I decide on retail pharmacy.
     
  7. techcert

    techcert Banned Banned

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    Feb 28, 2007
    i work at Rite Aid so I don't know much about CVS or walgreens. But what I know is it sucks to work here because we are union. CVS and Rite Aid are union while Walgreens is not. I've heard Walgreens is the best place to work at.
     
  8. Leb

    Leb 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 27, 2007
    Would someone please explain to me the "Intern" concept once and for all?
    I know that to graduate with a PharmD from any school, you have to cover certain hours of internships. For example, in my school, they say you have to have at least 400 hours in order to graduate from the school, but you have to have at least 1500 hours in order to qualify for the board examination, but i think that rotation hours do count . am i right? and is this the case in every pharmacy schools?
    also i do not understand the difference between a pharmacy tech and a pharmacy intern, do they do the same job or not? and to be an intern, do you have to be a nationaly certified tech, or you do not need that?
    Another thing: If you, lets say, work at walgreens, and you got accepted into pharmacy school. Are you considered an intern after that? So would you get internship hours for doing the same job you have been doing before AND STILL GET PAID?? Or is it that you have to choose between either getting paid, or getting internship hours, but not both together?
    Also, Do rotation hours count as internship hours?
    I wish if somebody can clarify things for me.
     
  9. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 imagine sisyphus happy Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

    In most states rotation hours count as intern hours. To be an intern you need to be enrolled in a pharmacy school. Intern and technician are roughly the same job except interns can take verbal orders from physicians and they get paid twice as much.

    Also, paragraphs are your friend.....
     
  10. Leb

    Leb 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 27, 2007
    So can you still be paid for working in your pharmacy and get internship hours at the same time, or do you have to choose between the two?
     
  11. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 imagine sisyphus happy Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

    Note the part where I say you get paid twice as much.
     
  12. Leb

    Leb 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 27, 2007
    Yes i read what you wrote, and it did not answer my question, because what i wanted to know was whether you have to settle either for the money or the internship hours. All what you said was that they make twice as much as technicians, but i still did not know if they get internship credit for it as well. But now i know that you meant they do get both.
    The reason i asked this was because i asked the adcoms about internships and they told me that it had to be volunteer work and they were not talking about rotations, so no money, which was not what i have heard. Thus i wanted to see if that was the rule or not.
     
  13. MR. C

    MR. C 2+ Year Member

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    Dec 2, 2006
    you do an externship/clerkship during school.. usually like 4hrs or so per week. These hrs you dont get paid for, but I believe they do count toward your required hrs.

    you do rotations 4th year, again no pay but hrs

    you get an internship on your own, usually during the summer after P1. They usually allow you to work a few hours a week through school. You get paid, and these hours also count.
     
  14. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 imagine sisyphus happy Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

    Yeah, they count towards your hours. In my state. Every state is different.
     
  15. rxlynn

    rxlynn Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Nov 16, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Perhaps this will help clarify.
    You will have some experiences required for pharmacy school - both early and your 4th year rotations. You will not be paid for these - instead, you will be paying tuition to your school. All of these experiences together will give you a certain amount of hours towards your required total internship numbers before you sit for the board exam in your state - your school will tell you how many you get.

    Then, you will more than likely also need some balance of intern hours to get to the total number you need to sit for the boards - in my state (GA) you have to get 500 hours independent of what you got from school experiences. These can have different requirements depending on the state - in GA they have to be from weeks where you worked between 20 and 50 hours per week, and they cannot be accrued while school is in session. For these, you should certainly get paid, and as earlier posters pointed out, it may be at a higher pay rate than the techs (maybe not, depending on how experienced the techs are at the store). Note that any work I do during school is nice experience, I get paid for it, but I don't get intern hours.

    You do not have to be nationally tech certified to be an intern, but you will have to be licensed by your state pharmacy board as an intern - again, the rules on when you can do that, etc. vary by state.

    You will do a lot of the same things as the techs, especially at first. However, legally you can do some things the techs can't, such as counsel patients, take verbal Rxs on phone or voice mail, etc. How much you do may depend a lot on the pharmacists you are working with - I had been working as a tech for 6 years with basically the same two pharmacists, so they have a certain level of trust with me to go ahead and counsel, etc. in situations I feel comfortable with, even though I'm just a P1 (well, for one more week anyway :)
     
  16. texasSOP

    texasSOP Dr. Zoidberg 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 4, 2007
    I currently work for CVS as a tech they work you like a dog with minimal staff. In our store we do over 450 scripts a day with only 1 pharmacist and 2-3 techs and if your lucky a register person. Trying to handle rejects and the dare I say "DRIVE THROUGH" while counting every stinking pill.... thats right we don't even have a counter! I can honestly say that I would never work for CVS as a pharmacist!!!

    One more thing they sent a memo to the pharmacy manager stating that they wanted to increase production by 15% while reducing staffing by 20%
    don't ask me how we are supposed to do that.
     
  17. PharmDY

    PharmDY Reach for the Stars 5+ Year Member

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Moreno Valley, CA
    Personally I would rather work in a hospital than in retail setting. I think assessing patients lab and determining a plan of action to help them get better for discharge is more fulfilling than receiving the orders and prescribing. Just my preference though :oops:
     
  18. twester

    twester Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Aug 3, 2004
    Denver, CO
    Your question was answered in a subsequent thread. Keep in mind that, in order to get internship hour credit, you need to do that paid internship with a licensed preceptor (I think that's the case in most states). For most places that just requires that the pharmacist you work with is registered with the state Board as a preceptor. In Colorado, that requires that the pharmacist is not under any kind of disciplinary restriction.
     
  19. mis8104

    mis8104 2+ Year Member

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    Apr 27, 2007
    I would'nt recommend CVS either. I worked there for 2 months. I was new to the pharmacy field and had never worked before as a tech and they put me alone with a rotating pharmacist who didnt know the rules either. We had a drive thru too and it was horrible!!! I managed to learn a lot though, but I wouldnt want to work there again. I think it depends on the store too.
     
  20. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 28, 2005
    You need to tell us what state you're in. The experiences that posters from CO & GA mentioned are different from CA.

    As WVU said - each state has its own rules. Tell us your state & someone from that state will give you the rules.
     
  21. fiorio

    fiorio 10+ Year Member

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    Sep 18, 2007
    I'm in Indiana, working in a ghetto CVS for 1.5 years, stupid management, tech hours budget cut short recently, and we have some really useless stupid techs barely contribute anything.
    everyone I know at CVS are unhappy, and people at Walgreen I know are happy.
    so I am thinking Walgreen for internship.
     
  22. RAA4PharmD

    RAA4PharmD 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Walgreens is the place to be! :)
    I've worked there for 4 years this month and I'm applying to Pharmacy Schools right now. If you have any questions about applying as a tech, intern or pharmacist, you can send me a message. Walgreens pays for tech training and certification. Ask me more about internships and as far as being a Pharmacist, Walgreens offers the best benifits. I have one of the BEST pharmacy managers that inspired me to pursue pharmacy as a profession. I also encouraged my sister to pursue pharmacy and now she's finishing up her 3rd year at Ohio State ... and she works at CVS. So I see it from both sides. We always joke about CVS vs Walgreens.
     
  23. Klemmentine

    Klemmentine Accepted Pharmacy Student 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 24, 2006
    Cali
    Walgreens = Longs > CVS > Rite Aid


    In my opinion.
     
  24. UncertainRx

    UncertainRx 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 14, 2008
    I applied for Walgreens and went in to one to finish up the application but they never got back to me. /sadface
     
  25. RAA4PharmD

    RAA4PharmD 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Where are you from? Be persistent. Its the begining of the year & a busy time so its probably the last thing on their mind. Call & ask to speak to the Pharmacy Manager. If their not there, ask when to call back. Once you get a hold of the PharmManager tell them that you filled out the application on (mm/dd/yy) and you were unsure of the next step in the application/hiring process. They should let you know if they've looked at you application yet & if they have any openings. If they do not currently have an open position, ask if they know a nearby Walgreens that does. **This is where its key to speak with the PharmMrg...If you talked to anyone else you might end up on hold..being re-directed...then before you know it working in photo or cosmetics waiting for "an opening in the Pharmacy" that they said would be availible in late spring... right --This can happen anywhere (CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid)
    Every store (in a district I believe) can pull up your application for review. Make sure you let them know your Pre-pharm and u would love an opportunity to be work there. :)
    Try calling between 9:30 to 10:30am or 1 to 2:30pm
     
  26. RAA4PharmD

    RAA4PharmD 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 16, 2008
    I know I'm all about Walgreens, but for those of you that are doing internships- try to get one at Kroger Pharmacy. For a retail setting Kroger pays the most (for techs and interns) over Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aide, etc.
    I don't know if their just located in the south but its a grocery store that has a pharmacy in it.
     
  27. sosokk

    sosokk 7+ Year Member

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    Feb 27, 2004
    Since you mentioned Longs..Do u know anything about longs?Have you worked for them...Their computer system??..
     
  28. aLex yO

    aLex yO

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    I worked at CVS over the summer for about 2 months and their staff wasn't really that great. They would schedule too many techs for one day (some of the techs didn't even know what they were doing, I ended up helping them out) so they would end up working at the registers and one day they would have too many clerks so we ended up standing around. I didn't mind that though =) I liked my Pharmacy Manager though, he was a great guy.

    I just got my pharm tech license recently and probably gonna look for a position at a nearby Wal-Greens this summer.
     
  29. TheXc

    TheXc 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 13, 2008
    I know this wasn't in you list of choices but I work in a Target Pharmacy. Overall it is a good company and pays well.
     
  30. andy861203

    andy861203 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 10, 2007
    well, i worked for rite aid (eckerd) for 1 year and half.. until recently i decide to swtich to cvs b/c everyting was out of order in rite aid due to the recent merging thing. so basically everyone thinks eckerd is closing, so they all transfer their prescriptions out to other pharmacies.. the last few month i worked there, the store was DEAD.. and we were standing there and doing nothing (nothing means gossiping with pharmcists!) now i've worked in CVS for 3 days.. and it's going ok so far. their computer system is better than rite aid. but i've been stucked at the registers all day long since im new.. hopefully i'll move up the ladder after i become an intern.. the pay was ok, much better than rite aid at least.
     
  31. SuperDeezy

    SuperDeezy 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 20, 2008
    San Diego
    Dont forget Longs! Its not too bad.
     
  32. Allright

    Allright 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 1, 2008
    which place is flexible with hours..
    do any of these places allow you to volunteer with some work
     
  33. Klemmentine

    Klemmentine Accepted Pharmacy Student 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 24, 2006
    Cali
    We call it "ADX". I have no clue what it stands for, lol. I don't have any complaints about the system. I know Rite Aid uses something totally different. I'm not sure what other retailers use.

    PM me if you have any questions about Longs.
     
  34. SuperDeezy

    SuperDeezy 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 20, 2008
    San Diego

    I think flexibility with hours really depends on the type of manager you have and the type of employees at the work place. For instance where I work (Longs) most of the clerks and some techs are students so there is some flexibility there since there are a lot of us. Not sure what you mean about the volunteer though...would you really want to volunteer at a retail pharmacy when you can get paid for it? You can however volunteer at a hospital
     
  35. Krazypuck9

    Krazypuck9

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    I've been working at Longs for a little over 2 years and I love it. I have worked at two stores and both had wonderful staff and a great working environment. Someone else earlier said that working at Longs is flexible because most of the clerks and techs are students, so it's easy to switch days/hours around and work as little or as much as you want. I don't know how how our pay is in relation to other retail stores, so i can't comment on that. As far as the computer system goes, I don't have much to compare it to, except that it can be confusing, especially for someone just starting out. In fact, after two years, there are still a few things I'm trying to figure out, lol. But that's what the pharmacists are there for. =)

    Also, I know family members/friends/acquaintances who've worked at other stores. As far as i know, Walgreens is awesome, CVS is okay but the environment is crappy, and Rite Aid is ....well...try to avoid it as much as possible. =)

    Does anyone have any feedback on Costco or Wal-Mart?
     
  36. etherealx85

    etherealx85 5+ Year Member

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    Jul 24, 2007
    i too am currently working at Longs...great environment to work in...however at times can get overwhelming w/ the plethora of rx's and customers who want their meds...but the system we have set up is very organized...the computer system was a little confusing in the beginning but...thank goodness for the Look-Up screen haha (although it could be faster in checking)...again as reiterated before the pharmacy doesn't really hire volunteers because it is a retail company and i think they want to save their ends if something legal happens that's why they hire...most of the part-timers including myself are or were (in my case) students because we are expendable slaves (haha jk) scheduling is pretty flexible but that depends on the pharmacist manager...
     
  37. UncertainRx

    UncertainRx 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Im in southern CA but this was months ago last fall. Meh.
     
  38. RAA4PharmD

    RAA4PharmD 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Well your application should still be in the system. I would call if i was bored... I don't know anyone out there or how there district is. oh well
     
  39. enchanted

    enchanted Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    May 22, 2006
    haha. I work for the same company and hated it. The only thing I can get from that are learned how to multitask and be fast. My store doesn't have a register person and during rush hours its just me and the pharmacist. I wanted to cry sometimes.
     
  40. jolie122

    jolie122 Member 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 25, 2005
    which pharmacy is best for intern and why?
    thanks
     
  41. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Pharmacist Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    Mar 25, 2008
    New York, New York
    Well, I work for CVS right now. I've heard that Rite Aid just sucks and Walgreens is the best out of these three. However, Walgreens probably has the strictest dress code.

    I mean, there are days at CVS when I show up in jeans, t-shirt and my trusty white coat, and I am good to go, so I like that. CVS is flexible in the hours you can work. If you can only work 4 hours a week, no problem. Want to skip work and go paintballing? No problem, just find a living person working for CVS Pharmacy who can cover your hours and you're fine.

    I've heard great stories about Wegman's and Target, so those are my "target" stores. Target closes for an hour every day for lunch break, no picking up, and no dropping off.

    Overall, I still think I will never work retail pharmacy as a pharmacist. There is no way that I can work 8AM-10PM, 3 days in a row, and not even being allowed to leave the pharmacy for more than 10 minutes. There was a pharmacist working for CVS in my area who had to pick up her kids from pre-school because the buses went on strike or something, so she left the technicians in charge for about 30 minutes, told them not to verify any medications, just keep doing drop off and production and allow the verify pile to grow.

    Needless to say, some retard told the store manager that the pharmacist left the pharmacy, then he fires off an e-mail to the district manager, and the pharmacist is fired.

    Other things, there is a floater pharmacist I know who was pregnant. She had a miscarriage and CVS had the nerve to call her up like 3 hours later and ask her to work in some store.
     
  42. PharmDnewb

    PharmDnewb 5+ Year Member

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    Mar 23, 2008
    I was offered a job at CVS and Walgreens but I took the Walgreens job since it was closer to my house. I'm so glad I chose Walgreens. As a pharm tech, I get paid more (my friend is working at CVS and started at 8.75 while I started at 9.75) The computer system is pretty advanced. At one point we were allowed to use the balances to count pills for us (we have to hand count them now due to accuracy).

    All the pharm interns I've worked with also said that they liked Walgreens the best too.
     
  43. landakerjenna

    landakerjenna 2+ Year Member

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    Nov 25, 2007

    hehehe true i beleive that
     
  44. RNtoPharmD

    RNtoPharmD Love 5+ Year Member

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    Jun 22, 2007
    I don't like the fact that pharmacists (at least where I shadowed) at Walgreen are salaried. It's ok as long as they don't have to work over time.
    I like hourly pay more because it's fair and maybe you can get weekend/night differential.. Are pharmacy jobs salaried now?
     
  45. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Pharmacist Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    I'm pretty sure that CVS is salaried as well.
     
  46. uncinmyheart

    uncinmyheart 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 5, 2007
    I work for Rite-Aid, which is probably by far the worst company to work for. They've been bought out several times over the years, and I really doubt they're gonna stay open much longer. CVS is better, but Walgreens is by far the best place to work/intern (if you're looking for a retail setting). Right now, they are the retail giant. They have a great program for interns, and they have so many benefits and opportunities for techs as well who are pursuing a Pharmd. You won't go wrong with Walgreens; they take good care of their employees.
     
  47. RNtoPharmD

    RNtoPharmD Love 5+ Year Member

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    Jun 22, 2007
    That's so sad .. are pharmacists all salaried now? I would love work 3 day (12 hr shift) or 2 day (16 hr shift) and get pay per hour when I graduate. I don't know if that's still possible if the trend continue.. How about hospital setting?
     
  48. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Pharmacist Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    New York, New York
    I'm pretty sure that if you get paid per hour, then you cannot just randomly call in sick one day to go to baseball games. If you're salaried, you can, you are allowed certain sick days and you get paid for them.
     
  49. inquirer89

    inquirer89 5+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2008
    I'm also interested in Costco...anyone have any feedback?

    I will be applying to Costco, Kroger, Rite Aid and CVS for a clerk position for summer. Costco and Kroger are my first choices. From the advice I've read, people say that talking with the manager in-person is the best way to get hired. Anyone else have some tips? I will be visiting Costco and Kroger this weekend. I was think about wearing a polo shirt tucked in, khakis pants, and Sperry shoes. Sound good...or should I wear a tie?
     
  50. Hels2007

    Hels2007 I bite Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 30, 2007
    Central New Jersey
    I've been with Walgreen's through all the steps, scary as it is, and like them. What I heard about Rite-Aid and CVS is rather discouraging in general... though grocery stores tend to be slower, if you don't like/can't handle stress. Target also pays their interns better and has much better tuition reimbursement, but Walgreen's pay for pharmacists is better. And at Walgreen's (don't know about other places) even if you work very part-time, you accumulate vacation and seniority, so if you start in pre-pharm, by the time you graduate you have three weeks of vacation and can be placed into your own store quickly.
     
  51. rxchrissarasota

    rxchrissarasota accepted 2+ Year Member

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    Nov 21, 2007
    Pharmacists at WAG are salaried, but thats based on 40 hrs and you still get paid time and a half for any OT you work. i know some pharmacists who half consistantly doubled their salary (that means making 200+:D, my fiance made an extra 40 last year) for the past 5-6 years. Unfortunately with the economy sucking and sales being unspectacular right now, they are cracking down on the OT. But have no worries, you will get paid for what you work at WAG.
     

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