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Is Pharmacy saturated? And should I still pursue Pharmacy as a career?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by futuremedicalsavior, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. futuremedicalsavior

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    Hi,

    I am a high school freshman who is concerned about my career in the future. I know it may seem crazy to be so concerned about the future at this age, but I was just curious so I started doing research. A pharmaceutical career has always interested me and I've done hours of research on it in the past. I've come across a pharmacy "saturation" issue a couple times that has persuaded me to reconsider pursuing a pharmacist career. My second option is an anesthesiologist assistant, but I truly love the idea of becoming a pharmacist and I think I have my heart and mind set to it. Should I still pursue pharmacy even though it seems as it is a "dying" profession and many people are pursuing it as well???
     
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  3. pjm9706

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    You won't be a pharmacist for at least another 9-10 years. Right now things aren't looking good, but if the diploma mills begin to shut down (wishful thinking) it can get better. If you're willing to move there are still jobs, but big cities are very saturated at the moment.
     
  4. stoichiometrist

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    You would need to work in a pharmacy to help you decide whether pharmacy really is for you, especially in a busy retail pharmacy. There are other professions, i.e. computer programming, finance, accounting, engineering, etc. that offer better job prospects and better quality of life without you having to take out $200k+ in loans and spend an additional 2-4 years in school.

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    #3 stoichiometrist, Apr 12, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
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  5. Apples2Oranges

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    You have time. Think about this VERY carefully. I would explore other options before settling into pharmacy. If you love the field and are willing to do anything and go anywhere for it, by all means pursue it! But heed the warnings of the doom and gloom. No one knows what can happen 10 years from now. It may get better, but it most likely will worsen if schools keep being built or if the pharmacy profession doesn't advance very far.

    You will see the same people here talking about the saturation. It is true and very obvious. People still get jobs, but it might not be where you want at all.
     
    parjn and futuremedicalsavior like this.
  6. edmgirl69

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    I think you should go into cardiothoracic surgery or even critical care pulmonology. those are the fields that really NEED people like you!
     
  7. rawlithium

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    I think it's a great idea to be thinking about your future this early! I agree with stochiometrist; work in a retail or hospital setting as a tech and ask a lot of questions about what the pharmacists do and how they like it, and then you can see if it's really for you!
     
  8. UGAZ

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    I only have 2 words for you , especially if you're in California: NO JOBS
     
  9. Neurotonin

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    Pharmacy is saturated, Dentistry is saturated, Optometry is saturated, Nursing is saturated, everyone is pretty much saying that the health professions is getting saturated, but I don't think that is the full truth at all. If anything, do not attend a private institution that will land you $200,000 of unsubsidized loans. Furthermore, make sure you look at a school's graduation rate, NAPLEX pass rate, and job placement rate to evaluate the quality of their education and students. If a school doesn't post their job placement rate, than that is a bad sign....
     
  10. Tempuz

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    Some states have more jobs than others, but I don't think pharmacy is saturated. However, the profession is getting very competitive, and in order to stay ahead one has to specialize by doing residencies and other certifications.

    I recommend you to shallow a pharmacist first, or work as a pharmacy technician as I did. That experience will tell you if you really want to do that for the rest of your life.
     
    Pharmacy Princess likes this.
  11. UGAZ

    UGAZ SDN Gold Donor
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    are you a working pharmacist? If you are and you said pharmacy isn't saturated then you must be out of touch with reality.
     
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  12. Tempuz

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    I'm a working pharmacy technician and a PharmD admission candidate. I did a lot of research before going into this profession, and as I said, some states have more job opportunities than others, but it's not as saturated as people says. Obviously, it will be more difficult to find a job if you just focus on retail pharmacy; the real jobs now are in the hospital setting, which often requires residency training.
     
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  13. UGAZ

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    This statement alone shows how out of touch you are. The majority jobs are in retail. I would say 70-80% people end up in retail setting. The rest will be hospitals and other fields. The level of difficulty to get in hospital is at least 3x-4x harder than retail, even 10x at some desired locations. Even people with residency nowsaway are underemployed.
     
  14. Tempuz

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    I know a lot of actual pharmacists that can tell you otherwise, and I myself can give you data-based evidence that pharmacy is not saturated. Just go to Indeed.com and search for pharmacy jobs in any state, and then tell me if the profession is saturated. I don't know a single pharmacist that is unemployed.

    I think people in this forum like to say that pharmacy is saturated to make others loose their interest in the profession, so it doesn't truly become saturated :laugh:
     
  15. Apples2Oranges

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    What will it take for some people to realize that Indeed/Monster/SnagaJob/etc. says NOTHING about the job prospects of a career? While I agree, all the pharmacists I know are employed because I work and go to school at a place where everyone I'm surrounded must be employed. Of course a PharmD candidate would be around pharmacists with a job! Why would they bring out an unemployed one, and what are the chances you will see it during your rotations? They need your tuition money and your hope!
    Be educated through the numbers, not through experience because that is severely narrow-minded. Pharmacy is not what it used to be with sign-on bonuses and immediate jobs, but there are jobs available. People with residencies who couldn't find a job either must really suck at doing what they do, limited in geography, or chose a bad speciality.
     
  16. stoichiometrist

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    Meanwhile, there is plenty of data-based evidence that pharmacy is indeed saturated.

    It's simple math. The BLS projects growth at 3% over the next 10 years, or roughly 910 jobs per year. The number of pharmacy school graduates has doubled in the last 10-15 years to 15,000 per year.
     
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  17. LoveWillSaveTheDay

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    Every job is saturated or will be saturated at some point. It all depends on where you COULD live and what you bring to the table. For example, there are no jobs in Cali, but can you move? There are a lot of places where you can get a job and make decent money but you have to be willing to move. I live in KY where there was only one pharmacy school up until 2010 so the job market is ok for now in areas outside of Louisville and Lexington. My second point is what makes you stand out above everyone else? What will you do to put yourself above the others? You'll have a PharmD along with 15,000 other people. What separates you from the others? Basic questions that you'll have in any medical profession to be honest...
     
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  18. UGAZ

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    Most of these positions are already filled...My hospital has 2 per diem openings last year. We already had 2 people that we wanted to offer the jobs to. But by law, we still had to post them up for public fairness. Btw, we had nearly 120 applications for these 2 spots.
     
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  19. impatientcollegestudent

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    Damn.....


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  20. aar44

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    If I were anyone I would pursue an additional degree, can't hurt can it? It will make you look good along with your PharmD degree but it depends where you live as well. I know California, Boston, New York, New Jersey is saturated right now but I know there are states out there that will have jobs.


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  21. F1rstGen

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    If you can get into a US medical school and can see yourself doing what a physician does for the rest of your life, even with the debt associated w/medical school it's hard to make a good argument why you would do something different. At least as far as future job prospects are concerned.
     
  22. impatientcollegestudent

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    The very fact that you're asking this question...says a lot about it already


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  23. AHossain

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    It is insanely saturated.. in considering dropping out of it


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  24. quickpic007

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    are you in RX or still pre pharmacy
     
  25. RandomDuck

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    If you're a pre-pharm....seriously consider another route. I am in my fourth year of medical school right now in New York and three of my closest friends(a year older than me though) who went to undergrad with me had really low and poor marks in school, so they couldn't get into med school with me. They decided to take the bait and go for pharmacy school and low and behold here they are without a job, still hunting for jobs a year after graduation.
     
  26. AHossain

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    Prepharm but...I've seen it with my own eyes now...


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  27. impatientcollegestudent

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    I am pre/pharm too, were in the same boat man. But I spoken to many people one one one and on the phone. Everything they say about the field is true. There really are no jobs available unless you move to a completely barren town.
     
  28. AHossain

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    The pharmacist I spoke to, told me I'll find jobs if I move out of state to towns and other locations that don't have many pharmacy schools. He said east coast is completely downhill now in quality and standards. He also mentioned that he received about 70-90 applications from new fresh graduates for a part time pharmacy gig while he was away....WTF!? I can't believe people are considering this career as an option anymore...he ended up choosing one dude and didn't even look at the rest of the pile...


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  29. LoveWillSaveTheDay

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    Maybe they don't live on the east coast or are willing to move
     
  30. impatientcollegestudent

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    I mean of course!
     
  31. quickpic007

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    Oh then its a really easy answer, I would pass. I mean in my area (500 mile radius) travel RN with bachelors earn just as much as rph. 130K with bachelors and small debt.
    also see unbury.me
    debt calculator
     
  32. PhoenixFire

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    ,
     
    #31 PhoenixFire, Jun 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  33. El Trombopag

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    Take the saturation comments seriously, it is a significant issue that will be affecting this field for a long time. However;

    My advice is more direct - Do whatever it takes to get some time and exposure to the field. Get a pharmacy assistant license if nothing else. Spend a summer working a busy retail setting. You may find you indeed do love it. You may find yourself ready to slit your wrists. Learn this before getting on the 'on ramp' to the pharmacy phreeway. Simple advice, applicable to any field really. But it seems to get lost in all the discussions about saturation, debt, and job market.

    Even if you were guaranteed a full time 6 figure job after graduating, it will feel like a prison if you absolutely hate your workday. Maybe not the first week or even the first month, but after years of doing something you hate...Let's just say there are a lot of pharmacists who were better people before they became pharmacists.



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  34. Neurotonin

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    This is the same situation at my college. Most of the graduated students have already landed jobs and some are going the residency route. These aren't even extra-ordinary, well-connected students. They're just the typical pharmacy graduate. I guess perception of saturation is relative, especially if you are in California with an insane number of pharmacy colleges.
     
  35.  
  36. 2018 Grad

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    Do not go into the pharmacy profession. It is not financially worth it anymore. Go into something that actually has a need. Like nursing. I am graduating soon and most of my classmates cannot find jobs
     
  37. anaeem07

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    What state are you looking to find a job?
     
  38. CaNvWa farm

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    Maybe in a year after graduation, all of your classmates will get jobs (?)
     
  39. BC_89

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    Here comes my lecture

    Echoing what others have stated: work in a pharmacy (not just shadow). Pay for basic licensure and see / feel the tempo. This is one of those few jobs you have an opportunity to do more than just shadow right after high school.

    Secondly: take a broad range of classes in undergrad that covers pre-reqs for pharmacy / PA / AA / MD-DO etc. See if you find your niche.

    Lastly: Job Opportunity vs Opportunity cost. These are NOT interchangeable as past high schoolers have thought on here. Jobs will / are competitive due to saturation. Don’t plan on working close to home. Now opportunity cost: you are sacrificing potential income for more years of student loans that, in the long run, will drain your paycheck and comfort of living if you allow it too. Let’s do basic numbers::: why go 200k+ in debt for a minimum 100k+ salary job (take out ~33% of your paycheck for tax bracket , SS , Medicare etc etc plus any investing and tithe you will want to contribute too such as a 401k and mutual fund). Now consider your take home pay and throw 1500 - 3k to student debt depending how aggressive you are. Now don’t forget that mortgage and car payment plus that health insurance you gotta have.

    Point is, if you can prepare yourself with merits of scholarship(s) with minimal to no debt as well as having the desire to live in any state necessary to compete, you WILL find a job. Stay in-state and if this is something after 4 years of working in undergrad that you enjoy, then BUDGET and SACRIFICE. When the time comes you’ll beat out every other pre-pharmer and future colleague financially and spiritually if you crunch the NUMBERS. Not everyone can make it, but some will. Just have a plan when choosing this field.
     
  40. headortail

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    LOL this is so true... this is something as a pre-pharm I never thought about. AND my debt wasn't even that high (~150k, went to an affordable public school with in-state tuition after year 1). After all of the taxes and my 401k, I allocate $1500 towards loans ($2k if I can afford it that month in case of OT / holidays pay), then there's car payment/insurance (if you drive an old car, don't forget savings for maintenance), saving for a house, rent, food, I feel like my lifestyle has not been too different from school life / resident life. Sure, after my loans is paid off (when I'll be in my mid-30s), the $1500 - $2k will be freed up, but there will likely be expenses towards kids & their 529 (if you're a pharmacist, chances are your kids will get $0 financial aid for college). It's not like I'll be using that money to buy a bigger house / going on luxury vacations once the loans are paid off either. I'm not a big spender, but I gotta admit I'm surprised that my budget is tight even when I'm earning (6 figure).

    Think about those expenses, don't be like how I was - ignorance is not bliss. The opportunity cost (4 years in pharmacy school) + at least 100k of loans is no small matter. I don't regret my decision because I like my job, but if you've never set foot in a pharmacy, do not throw away the amount of money equal to a mortgage (in a lot of places) into the black hole.
     
    #39 headortail, Feb 18, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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  41. Pharmaaa

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    It's saturated. Interns currently working at my pharmacy have already been told they will not be offered a pharmacist position after graduation and to apply to other pharmacies.
     
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  42. TegaO

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    Saturated. Licensed in 3 states in the southeast and no job.
     
  43. UGAZ

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    Super saturated in Southern California and overall California.
     
  44. CaNvWa farm

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    No hiring in Las Vegas now!
     
  45. PharmacistFl12

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    I work for one of the big 3 retail chain and my company is cutting hours to all the store here in Florida. Most stores are being converted to 9am-9pm with only staff and pharmacy manager. No more floaters. There are lines of floater waiting for hours available. I feel so bad and new grads.
     
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  46. Pharm0112

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    There are still A LOT of jobs out there if you are willing to relocate.
    A lot of comments on here are very discouraging.
    I work in Houston TX, and there are always job openings in surrounding areas. Make yourself more available and willing to relocate.
     
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  47. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    ask yourself, are you willing to work as a pharmacist for 20 USD / hour and have debt for the rest of your life (even after you die) if you are okay with a life style of poverty then pharmacy will be fine for you. Pharmacy is no longer the road to riches it once was. Technicians out earn many pharmacists in some parts of the country once productivity cost, debt, interest and income tax are factored in.
     
  48. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    This is only the beginning of saturation. Stores will cut to 9am-5pm. Benefits will be cut if you are not working 40 hours. The good thing is you can always get a job working fast food and do PAYE. Not the end of the world. You paid for an education not for a job.
     
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  49. CaNvWa farm

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    Instead of working fast food, can we, licensed pharmacists, work as a pharm tech?
     
  50. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    It's possible but you would need to leave your PharmD off your resume. If it's on your resume you will not get hired as a tech.
     
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  51. Secret_Informant

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    So, if you are a pharmacist and you do not have a pharmacist job that requires licensure, what else can you do with the PharmD degree besides picking non-ideal (fast-food) jobs? Some suggestions I list here.

    Plenty of colleagues that graduated from my school in Florida have found jobs as a Pharmacy Reporting Analyst, and as a Medical Writer. There are options, even if they are not as a practicing pharmacist.

    As far as gaining pharmacy experience for a pharmacist job post-licensure without a job, I am not sure what to say about that.

    The same goes for MDs who failed to land a residency, but that is a topic for another thread.
     
    #50 Secret_Informant, May 18, 2018
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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