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As a pharmacy graduate of 2012, I thought my 3 months of unemployment after graduating was tough. I spent my first 3 months after graduation folding t-shirts in a warehouse for $15 an hour. You do what you gotta do to make things work. A former co-worker said she was unemployed for a 1 year after graduating in 2015.

There are jobs out there, if you are willing to move to more rural areas. I had been trying for 5 years to get a government pharmacist job and finally got one in 2017. The benefits are pretty good and depending on whether you're working at a VA/IHS/DoD/DHA, you could be working in place where being overwhelmingly busy everyday at work isn't a bother any more. I have heard from employed military pharmacists that the benefit of getting a 120K stipend for working a few years is not worth, especially because 120K is heavily taxed and you'll receive about 60K after its all said and done.

As for all you guys with 100K in debt, you have it easier than a lot of us that went to more expensive schools. I graduated with 250K in debt and I have maybe paid 30K down so far. But I also felt like rather than being tied down to paying my student debt faster, I did want my own place and bought a house. I think many of my classmates did after graduation, mind you the cost of living in the South is much lower than the rest of the country. I've heard figures of student loan debt of greater than 300K! Now if you have 200-300K+ in student loans, I recommend finding work in a non-profit or government institution, this will qualify you for the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program, and your loans will be forgiven in 10 years.

People do ask if I would recommend pharmacy to someone interested in it. Honestly if you're in it for the money, there are more lucrative bachelors programs, like software engineering that will probably have you earning more than pharmacists now. I know that pharmacy was a good choice for me, some days are more rewarding than others. Otherwise, if you're in pre-pharmacy, I would seriously consider a different major if you can't get into a school where you would have less than 100K in student loans.
I'm a med student, but my friend is going to pharmacy school starting this year. Since her parents are completely funding her pharm degree, I guess she doesn't have too much to worry about? also because she plans to work in rural areas anyway. I'd definitely NEVER do pharmacy if I had to pay 200k in loan debt, but I was wondering if it's worth it since her degree is being completely paid for.
 

stoichiometrist

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I'm a med student, but my friend is going to pharmacy school starting this year. Since her parents are completely funding her pharm degree, I guess she doesn't have too much to worry about? also because she plans to work in rural areas anyway. I'd definitely NEVER do pharmacy if I had to pay 200k in loan debt, but I was wondering if it's worth it since her degree is being completely paid for.
At this point it might be more worth it to invest in a house or stocks over a PharmD. A coding bootcamp or extra degree in engineering or computer science would be more likely to pay off.
 
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At this point it might be more worth it to invest in a house or stocks over a PharmD. A coding bootcamp or extra degree in engineering or computer science would be more likely to pay off.
she genuinely has an interest in the field though and is definitely not doing it for the money. she could've easily went to med school with her grades-- trust me, i tried to talk her into doing med school like I did, purely from a earning power/employment perspective. But she said she just really wants to do pharmacy. her cousins are pharmacists and have great jobs and she's always kind of idolized them. One of them just opened a pharmacy as well.

If you can't tell, i'm a little out of my element here since I know next to nothing about the field. I appreciate everyone's input. Seeing threads like this just kinda scares me for her lol
 

BC_89

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I'm a med student, but my friend is going to pharmacy school starting this year. Since her parents are completely funding her pharm degree, I guess she doesn't have too much to worry about? also because she plans to work in rural areas anyway. I'd definitely NEVER do pharmacy if I had to pay 200k in loan debt, but I was wondering if it's worth it since her degree is being completely paid for.
With debt paid off and actively searching for a long career in rural areas (doubly so if also a 501(c)3 or federal job), your friend will be alright.... They fall as an outlier not the normal pharmacy student.
 
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With debt paid off and actively searching for a long career in rural areas (doubly so if also a 501(c)3 or federal job), your friend will be alright.... They fall as an outlier not the normal pharmacy student.
Thankfully, her pharmacy school (apart of the same university as my med school) is located adjacent to a VA hospital so a lot of the pharm folks rotate there and tend to go that route, as well.
 
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BC_89

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Thankfully, her pharmacy school (apart of the same university as my med school) is located adjacent to a VA hospital so a lot of the pharm folks rotate there and tend to go that route, as well.
Id say without a veteran-status background, some bigger VA's (ie trauma 5 hospitals such as the one in San Antonio) may be more difficult to get put on without a one year residency (at that some areas are competitive). In the end, having debt with high tuition standards in this field is not advisable for many people. I hope she networks well
 
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Modest_anteater

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I'm a med student, but my friend is going to pharmacy school starting this year. Since her parents are completely funding her pharm degree, I guess she doesn't have too much to worry about? also because she plans to work in rural areas anyway. I'd definitely NEVER do pharmacy if I had to pay 200k in loan debt, but I was wondering if it's worth it since her degree is being completely paid for.
My prediction is some chain will reduce all pharmacists hourly rate to ~$40/hr across the board and say take it or leave it. Since there aren’t many jobs most will take it, then other chains will follow and do the same. They won’t have to fire any old staff to hire new grads...they can keep all the experience just pay them a lot less. Just a fear I have, and it doesn’t seem too far fetched
 

Sine Cura

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Watch productivity plummet. Sure go ahead and fire everyone
 

firework

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I genuinely hope $40/hr comes sooner. Doctor’s training with $80k earning and very little room for growth, I am pretty sure this is the most undesirable doctor’s degree, not to say the $150k+ loan. Zero program enrollment, practicing pharmacists with heavy loans will be forced out to seek better paid careers. Pretty soon, there will be shortage again. Whoever stays wins. Yeah!

To make $40/hr a norm, here is how they have to do it: offer a four year undergraduate degree that trains certified dispensers. Like the old bachelor‘s degree of pharmacy. Or certify dispensing technicians. Then, real pharmacists will be paid for clinical services. Separating pharmacists from dispensing role is the way to go, everyone wins.

My prediction is some chain will reduce all pharmacists hourly rate to ~$40/hr across the board and say take it or leave it. Since there aren’t many jobs most will take it, then other chains will follow and do the same. They won’t have to fire any old staff to hire new grads...they can keep all the experience just pay them a lot less. Just a fear I have, and it doesn’t seem too far fetched
 

mentos

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I genuinely hope $40/hr comes sooner. Doctor’s training with $80k earning and very little room for growth, I am pretty sure this is the most undesirable doctor’s degree, not to say the $150k+ loan. Zero program enrollment, practicing pharmacists with heavy loans will be forced out to seek better paid careers. Pretty soon, there will be shortage again. Whoever stays wins. Yeah!

To make $40/hr a norm, here is how they have to do it: offer a four year undergraduate degree that trains certified dispensers. Like the old bachelor‘s degree of pharmacy. Or certify dispensing technicians. Then, real pharmacists will be paid for clinical services. Separating pharmacists from dispensing role is the way to go, everyone wins.
"Real pharmacists" were making $15/hr before the chains came. The only reason they make good money now is to compete with the chains. Now that pay is going down for retail, all other sectors will follow.
 
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Sine Cura

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What "clinical services" will chains pay a premium for above $40/hr?

None

And no, WM isn't going to hire a bunch of PCSMs for each and every store.
 

lionheart555

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Love the posts I’m seeing on here. Unlike the trash about how great pharmacy is. I got lucky to get into a company and then move into sales right after residency. In a few years clinical and pharmacy will be a thing of the past for me. Good luck to everyone trying to get out. Good luck if you’re trying to grab a job. I can echo the majority in that no matter where you are trying to go the jobs are just not there for your skill set and knowledge base
 

mentos

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Love the posts I’m seeing on here. Unlike the trash about how great pharmacy is. I got lucky to get into a company and then move into sales right after residency. In a few years clinical and pharmacy will be a thing of the past for me. Good luck to everyone trying to get out. Good luck if you’re trying to grab a job. I can echo the majority in that no matter where you are trying to go the jobs are just not there for your skill set and knowledge base
These are the kind of posts that should be in the prepharm forums but they made this separate forum to hide the truth.
 

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I genuinely hope $40/hr comes sooner. Doctor’s training with $80k earning and very little room for growth, I am pretty sure this is the most undesirable doctor’s degree, not to say the $150k+ loan. Zero program enrollment, practicing pharmacists with heavy loans will be forced out to seek better paid careers. Pretty soon, there will be shortage again. Whoever stays wins. Yeah!

To make $40/hr a norm, here is how they have to do it: offer a four year undergraduate degree that trains certified dispensers. Like the old bachelor‘s degree of pharmacy. Or certify dispensing technicians. Then, real pharmacists will be paid for clinical services. Separating pharmacists from dispensing role is the way to go, everyone wins.
"Pretty soon, there will be shortage again "

nahh bro. 15,000 NEW GRADS A YEAR FOR AT LEAST 20 YEARS. only a 3,000 new jobs a year. do the math.
 
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APN-59 rph

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When I started the only ones making real coin were the owners of stores...THAT touched off a shortage of grads...WHICH touched off a pay run-up..until we now have a flood of desperate grads...by the time this cycle has started to repeat..the pharmacy biz will be completely different...You newbies are 180 out from where I got in....good luck..
 

BidingMyTime

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Then, real pharmacists will be paid for clinical services. Separating pharmacists from dispensing role is the way to go, everyone wins.
Nobody is going to pay pharmacists for clinical services (Ok, Ok, I know there are a few purely clinical service jobs, so obviously someone body will pay for a clinical pharmacist, but these are the outliers.

Separate pharmacists from the dispensing role, and that will completely kill the pharmacy profession.
 
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SoylentGreen

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My prediction is some chain will reduce all pharmacists hourly rate to ~$40/hr across the board and say take it or leave it. Since there aren’t many jobs most will take it, then other chains will follow and do the same. They won’t have to fire any old staff to hire new grads...they can keep all the experience just pay them a lot less. Just a fear I have, and it doesn’t seem too far fetched
Keep a bunch of people who will be bitter about their pay cuts? I've worked with people who've had pay cuts before and it's like working with a saboteur. More likely they will find reasons to fire higher paid staff and replace them with fresh-faced new grads.

Experience has some value but don't overestimate it.
 
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Pharmacy as a profession is very much like Blockbusters. Back in the good old days it was all about video/DVD rentals and being a shopkeeper was a thing that you did. Then technology came in and boom, the industry changed completely. Who wants to go to the neighborhood Blockbusters anymore when you can stream movies on Netflix from the comfort of your home? Or if you prefer getting out of your home, how about Redbox at the nearest supermarket? The result: the shutting down of the entire video rental industry.

Same goes with pharmacy. Once Amazon or one of the chains figure out mail order/home delivery/telepharmacy, all the brick and mortar stores are going to be shutting down. If there is any innovation in pharmacy it is done at an individual level and not scalable, which is why this profession is doomed. There simply isn’t any way to move hundreds of thousands of retail pharmacists into a different line of work once technology takes its toll. Seriously, what does a skill set of being able to count by 5’s translate to? Nothing.
 
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pharmBear

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Pharmacy is a niche profession. I doubt it will ever disappear.

Now, to improve our profession, I urge we each fight for the profession at a political level. For goodness sake let pharmacist switch between caps and tabs, switch between 2 of the 5mg qd to 10mg qd. If we are not even allow to do a tiny thing like that then how can we move forward?

Are there any future politician in here? Please help the pharmacy profession!
 
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Sine Cura

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You can do that in California but ignorami who purportedly went to school in CA don't even know BPC 4052.5

There are also unintended consequences like clinics' emr systems not recognizing 1x10mg changed to 2x5mg so the ma will toss a refill request
 

Modest_anteater

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Pharmacy is a niche profession. I doubt it will ever disappear.

Now, to improve our profession, I urge we each fight for the profession at a political level. For goodness sake let pharmacist switch between caps and tabs, switch between 2 of the 5mg qd to 10mg qd. If we are not even allow to do a tiny thing like that then how can we move forward?

Are there any future politician in here? Please help the pharmacy profession!
No one is saying it will dissapear. It will become a lot like law. I know many many lawyers that are working part time for peanuts or not working at all. Yes. There will always be lawyers earning a lot, however this minority of lawyers will continue to shrink. The same with pharmacy. Hopefully once I graduate i am going to email Jeff Bezos my resume and ask him if I can be the lead on the Whole Foods --> pharmacy --> sell pills on amazon via tele pharmacist initiative .

If you can't beat them join them! If anyone from Amazon.com is reading this please DM me. I'm willing to work for your company for free for the first couple of years. I'm highly motivated!!!!
 

BidingMyTime

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There simply isn’t any way to move hundreds of thousands of retail pharmacists into a different line of work once technology takes its toll. Seriously, what does a skill set of being able to count by 5’s translate to? Nothing.
Well, one thing retail pharmacists have that is transferable to other jobs, is customer service. Places are always looking to hire someone with good customer service skills (albeit minimum wage or going starting wage in the area.) A really good pharmacist could probably even succeed at a sales job selling cars or something.
 

mentos

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Well, one thing retail pharmacists have that is transferable to other jobs, is customer service. Places are always looking to hire someone with good customer service skills (albeit minimum wage or going starting wage in the area.) A really good pharmacist could probably even succeed at a sales job selling cars or something.
Are we talking about the same profession here? The average retail pharmacist hides in the back behind the computer screen and interacts with as few customers as possible, and only picks up the phone when absolutely necessary. Interacting with a human is the last thing they want to do, they'd rather play on their phone. If pharmacists were salesmen, they would embrace selling as many flu shots as possible - but we know that is the opposite of what they want to do.
 

BidingMyTime

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Are we talking about the same profession here? The average retail pharmacist hides in the back behind the computer screen and interacts with as few customers as possible, and only picks up the phone when absolutely necessary. Interacting with a human is the last thing they want to do, they'd rather play on their phone. If pharmacists were salesmen, they would embrace selling as many flu shots as possible - but we know that is the opposite of what they want to do.
Oh, I think that would be the ideal retail pharmacists dream job, but that is not at all how pharmacies operate (well, outside some independent ones like Sparda manages.) Certainly at a chain, the pharmacist in either answering the phones and/or ringing up customers, because either they are the only person in the pharmacy, or if they are lucky enough to have a tech, they only have 1 tech to help (and that tech will be stuck at drive-through their whole shift.) More and more states are mandating counseling, not to mention all the people who call in and who insist they must talk to the pharmacist, even though they just want to give their refill #'s. When I work retail, a good portion of my day is spent talking, either on the phone while I'm checking prescriptions, or face-to-face with customers. As for upselling flu shots, most pharmacists are too busy filling prescription to have any extra time to for upselling. Unlike a traditional salesman, where the entire job is about selling, pharmacists job's are about filling prescription, and usually there is no extra time budgeted for upselling. There is certainly no time for playing on phones, not in hospitals either.
 

Rx1992

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2018 grad here, can confirm.
Salaries going down, new offers past September from big chains are down to $50 an hour from $60 an hour last year. Hours cut across big chains. No way to predict what the bottom will be.

Edit: I should say, you will only have to worry about that if you actually have a job offer. A lot of people have 150k in debt, without a job.

As for clinical/residency... As of 2018, there are enough residency positions to match about 54% of residency applicants. And I want to emphasize that residency applicants are usually the best students anyway. It's a madhouse out there. Out of every class, a small percentage ends up matching. The rest are left to fend for the scraps in the "job market."

This is the outlook in 2018. It's already way worse than it was two years ago. With more and more pharmacy schools, I can't even imagine what it's going to be like in 2022.
Yep, Residency is crazy competitive. and Yes only 60% match into pharmacy residency. there is no demand to open more positions. What makes the quality of the residency worse, is you have pharmacists that just completed a residency who have not practiced independently teaching current residents or even teach current students. Other than that, residency requirements, you essentially have to be in RhoChi as a minimum, plus projects and work experience, unless you have done two rotations at your local hospital. and Phase 2 is a waste of time, since they only take local applicants.
 
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Rx1992

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I don't think it matters what you say to the pre-pharmacy students, the people applying now have very few options. They simply aren't at the same level as most us that were in school in the early to mid 2000s.
There are other options. I would rather do an SMP to boost my GPA and try DO school. then do a PharmD.
 

Rx1992

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There are other options. I would rather do an SMP to boost my GPA and try DO school. then do a PharmD.
and thats only two years of grad plus loans instead of four years. an SMP connected with a Med school.
 

lollygagger

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That's great bud but did you survey your entire class? It is not CERTAIN you get jobs upon graduation. Sure you say everyone in your class who works retail positions as interns got a job after... But there are many who did not work at all during school.
I didn't survey the entire class but the school did after we graduated. I didn't see the survey results. All I saying is I was friendly with a good majority of folks from my class and those who worked retail at chain stores such as Rite Aid (like me), CVS, Walgreens were all given a position. I cannot say the same for those who worked at a hospital throughout pharmacy school though. Anecdotal yes, it's an obviously an observation, but I'm happy for my classmates on securing jobs months before we even graduated considering I live in the top 5 most populated cities in the US.

How much are they paying when you graduate?
I was offered $57/hr at Rite Aid but I turned it down after landing a residency.

Yep, Residency is crazy competitive. and Yes only 60% match into pharmacy residency. there is no demand to open more positions. What makes the quality of the residency worse, is you have pharmacists that just completed a residency who have not practiced independently teaching current residents or even teach current students. Other than that, residency requirements, you essentially have to be in RhoChi as a minimum, plus projects and work experience, unless you have done two rotations at your local hospital. and Phase 2 is a waste of time, since they only take local applicants.
Simply not true. I was no where near Rho Chi, I have absolutely zero research background, I was not involved in any organization, and I graduated with a straight 3.0 GPA and landed a residency this year. Do well on your rotations, show you want this to your preceptors and your letters of recommendations will be strong. I know other folks who had stats similar to mine, including one who matched with a 2.9 GPA. Obviously these are not hospitals like Johns Hopkins, but to say Rho Chi at minimum to land a residency is just not true.
 
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mentos

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I didn't survey the entire class but the school did after we graduated. I didn't see the survey results. All I saying is I was friendly with a good majority of folks from my class and those who worked retail at chain stores such as Rite Aid (like me), CVS, Walgreens were all given a position. I cannot say the same for those who worked at a hospital throughout pharmacy school though. Anecdotal yes, it's an obviously an observation, but I'm happy for my classmates on securing jobs months before we even graduated considering I live in the top 5 most populated cities in the US.


I was offered $57/hr at Rite Aid but I turned it down after landing a residency.


Simply not true. I was no where near Rho Chi, I have absolutely zero research background, I was not involved in any organization, and I graduated with a straight 3.0 GPA and landed a residency this year. Do well on your rotations, show you want this to your preceptors and your letters of recommendations will be strong. I know other folks who had stats similar to mine, including one who matched with a 2.9 GPA. Obviously these are not hospitals like Johns Hopkins, but to say Rho Chi at minimum to land a residency is just not true.
Bold move turning down $57/hr to do a residency, hopefully you don't have many loans. That position will probably pay $50/hr by the time you finish your residency, and who knows if the residency helps you get a job. You got bigger balls than me.
 
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sozetone

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Bold move turning down $57/hr to do a residency, hopefully you don't have many loans. That position will probably pay $50/hr by the time you finish your residency, and who knows if the residency helps you get a job. You got bigger balls than me.
Solid steel balls in this work environment. lol.