HELP- California pharmacists and students, I need your advice!

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by dhermens, Feb 24, 2012.

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  1. dhermens


    Dec 17, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I live in norther CA and decided to apply out of state for pharmacy schools since I didn't think my application was competitive enough for many CA schools and sure enough it wasn't. However I have been accepted to Albany College of Pharmacy and was planning on going there until I started researching the job outlook and from what I've gathered up California is becoming over-saturated with pharmacist and I hear it's only going to get worse. My question is how hard is it to find a job currently in Northern California and how hard do you think it will be to find a job 4 years from now?

    Since I would be going to school on the east coast, once I finish I would plan to come back to CA and be competing with UOP, UCSF, Touro and Northstate graduates for jobs, students who already have connections through internships and IPPEs. I have come to conclusion that going out of state for school and planning on coming back to CA may not be the best choice thus my future in pharmacy is up the air right now.

    any advice would be wonderful, statistics would be great too. I would be interested in the unemployment rate for current Pharm D graduates in CA.
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  3. dhermens


    Dec 17, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    also I have already seen the pharmacy job/outlook thread and couldn't find much information about California, mostly the east coast and the south...
  4. BMBiology

    BMBiology temporarily banned~! 10+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 2003
    short answer: no one can predict the future. I can tell you that talented and hard working pharmacists will always be in the demand, even when it's a surplus of pharmacists.
  5. dhermens


    Dec 17, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    very true.. however I would still be interested to hear from recent graduates of Northern CA schools and hear if it was hard for them to find jobs and if they had to relocate, where did they relocate to?
  6. BrightLight

    BrightLight 2+ Year Member

    Based on what I've observed, I am afraid having talent and dedication to work will not be sufficient to get you a nice position. It depends more on how you whore out yourself to the right persons...especially in your case since you were not even competitive enough for any schools in California to start with.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  7. lisinopril

    lisinopril Account on Hold Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

    Feb 16, 2012
    I live in Southern California and I can ensure you that the job market here overall is super-sarturated. I don't know how the future holds, but for now and the next couple years, new grads will struggle to get jobs. Now, even per-diem/part-time positions are hard to find and I've known quite a few unemployed pharmacists. Even at hard-to-staff areas, such as Fresno and San Bernadino areas are now flooded with new grads.
    So good luck and make sure you are in pharmacy with a passion, not just for money.
  8. fiorio

    fiorio 7+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2007
    California is super saturated. If you want to land a job after 4 years in a big city you really want to live, the chance is minimal. Unless you are OK with some less desired area in CA.
    same applied to everywhere, you need to go wherever the job is.
  9. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Did you just say something? 10+ Year Member

    while not a walk in the park, finding a job back home is doable. schedule rotations back in california and maintain your network. most useful connections are those who are 2-3 years ahead of you in their pharmacy careers and work back in CA.

    i too went out of state and have two verbal offers + two residency interviews w/ match day pending. everyone i know that wants to come back to CA either has a solid job offer, verbal offer, secured/completed a residency interview, or has very strong leads. the key is maintaining your network.

    while i buy the general doom and gloom, i don't buy into it completely. friends are getting jobs in CA at about the same rate/with the same friction as my other non-pharmacy/non-health field friends. Therein lies the problem, i think people aren't expecting to work so hard and/or don't know how to job hunt. and these are jobs in major metro areas (san diego, LA, SF bay area) not just the boonies (IE, fresno, etc...)

    happy trails. buy a thick jacket.
  10. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Did you just say something? 10+ Year Member

    if he got into ACP he would be a shoe-in at CNCP...but i would pick any other school to go to until it gets regional accreditation and proves itself in 10 years like USN.
  11. lisinopril

    lisinopril Account on Hold Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

    Feb 16, 2012
    Confettiflyer, can you PM me where to find a job? It doesn't matter retail or hospital...One of my best friend is looking for a job now and she couldn't find one at all, even at less desired areas. She's willing to pay her own money as a bonus for whoever can find her a job....
  12. dhermens


    Dec 17, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    thank you for the advice, if I end up going to the east coast I'll definitely try to schedule rotations back in CA. Also I did work as a pharmacy assistant for a couple years and got to know my pharmacy manager and some intern pharmacist pretty well so I'll try to continue to stay in contact with them.
  13. Shnurek

    Shnurek Banned 2+ Year Member

    Apr 10, 2010
    Let me just inform you. Albany is about 3 hours from any coast and it is cold up there. If you can handle the weather then you'll do fine but you'll be studying most of the time anyway so might not influence you as much. Also, all professionals are saturated in areas like NYC and Cali. Its just how things are.
  14. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Did you just say something? 10+ Year Member

    Quick note: to Californians, anything east of Chicago is considered "east coast." Hell, I thought Boston was like an hour from Washington, DC...hahah
  15. PharmboyinNC

    PharmboyinNC 2+ Year Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Sandy Ego
    California pharmacy employment is definitely saturated in the metro areas.

    The biggest shortage of pharmacists are in the rural parts of CA and the rest of the country.

    Yes there are too many schools opening up in CA. It is a profitable business for private schools (there are only two public pharmacy schools in the state) and they don't have a direct connection/responsibility to the profession.

    The CA board of pharmacy is run by politicians. They are more of a burden to pharmacists, do not often represent our best interests, and do not proactively get involved or are a unified vioce for the profession. Try calling them (automated) and see if they call you back.

    There are too many splintered CA organizations and not one consiolidated strong voice to progress the profession. Granted, this is a national problem too.

    P-schools need to integrate or at least offer leadership/professional development classes/opportunities instead of churning out retail pharmacists and "clinical" pharmacists. Heck, clinical pharmacists don't get reimbursed higher than level 1 services, if that at all. This is because pharmacists are just another employee to corporations. Take a look at the number of private practice dentists and doctors, who professionally represent themselves and have a stronger voice. Heck the nursing organizations has stronger political power than pharmacists.

    I challenge all new pharmacists and students to get involved professionally and strengthen our voice, because if you don't contribute, the overall profession will devolve and all out salaries stagnate with worse hours and no breaks. It will take a fire-sale of pharmacists for these schools to close, so we might as well take full advantage of our growing numbers and leverage that.
  16. Got Em

    Got Em ... 10+ Year Member

    May 4, 2005
    I would definitely go to Albany. When I applied in the early 2000s, it was actually one of the hardest programs to get into "statistically", since it was a 3 year program and I believe they took 80 out of 2000 applicants. Tuition back then was "only" $17,000 per year for 3 years, which was GREAT for an OOS program. Anyway, almost every sector is saturated right now, but you have a lot more options in pharmacy than other professions. Definitely go. What else are you going to do now?
  17. dhermens


    Dec 17, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    well if I don't do pharmacy, I have been looking into physical therapy which I have pretty much all the prerequisites for.. unfortunately I would need to take the GRE.. very VERY different career paths though
  18. B Wong

    B Wong 5+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    I'm currently working in Southern CA and I can attest that it's saturated. I've dabble in moving back up north to the bay area and let me tell you it's a full time job looking for work there. Everything I find is either someone advertising a job in the middle of nowhere and using a San jose/SF zip code to get more views or is temp work/per diem. It's a challenge for sure and I realize that it's not getting any better. I have friends working at the major chains getting their hours cut right now.

    Like someone above me said, there is always a demand for highly skilled pharmacists. Finding a job to match those skills is a whole different game.
  19. rexiSH

    rexiSH 2+ Year Member

    May 5, 2010
    I didn't grow up in CA, so I'm biased... I did undergrad in CA and loved it, but went to pharmacy school on the east coast and stayed out there. CA is great, but I feel people always consider it "endgame." Try broadening your horizons and try something new. And ACPHS is a great school, congrats.
  20. dhermens


    Dec 17, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    thanks for all the advice guys.. I have decided to go to ACPHS. first time to leave California for longer than a vacation, I'm excited.
  21. moolman

    moolman 7+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2007
    The real jury is out until CNCP graduates their first class. It was tough finding jobs last year for a lot of people. Add 80+ more grads this year and let's see what happens. If not this year, the next and next as there are extra pharmacists consistently from the new school. It's only going to get worse for those who can't interview well.
  22. ACE Rx

    ACE Rx Super Senior Member 2+ Year Member

    Nov 19, 2011
    Best advice I have heard in a awhile. :)
  23. Parklife


    Mar 25, 2012
  24. PharmDTop5


    Jan 22, 2012
    See my California pharmacists job thread on the 2nd page if you want my opinion. There is jobs out the future unless we have legislative change I'm not too sure on the salarys. The jobs will be there...but I really think we are headed for a supply demand pharmacy salary of around 80k and thats pretty much the standard that our businesses use for hiring at this point. Again lots of new graduates coming out, and since my last post we have even got some people willing to work for 80-90k range per year that have done a PGY1 community setting. So we are actually happy with the talent we're getting. As long as everyone tempers their expectations I think it should be fine.

    My comments again are only for community setting.

    But you never know if hospitals and ACOs keep incorporating pharmacy into the mix there could be more opportunity for job growth. If you go out of state just network and you should be fine but be prepared to do a little groundwork, knocking on some doors etc. Best of luck to you.

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