Jayy17

2+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2016
5
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hi I'm going to be a rising freshman in college in the fall of 2017 & lately I've had pharmacy heavily on my head as a thought of the career I want to pursue. I'm kind of skeptic tough because of all the rumors I hear so I just have a few questions and concerns so hopefully you guy can help me sdn.



How is the life style, do they get good vacation time?

Starting Salaries for retail & clinical?

I'm really trying to find myself a stable career that can provide me with a 6-figure income so that I can live comfortably.

I don't really like messy atmospheres that's why I chose pharmacy over md I'm attracted to clean environments.

Pharmacy school, is it very rigorous?

Are there any ways that you can actually complete the coursework earlier than 8 years?

How would it look if I chose to get a degree in something else, but take the pre reqs and go to pharmacy?

I'm also attracted to the title "Dr.".

Is the industry really saturated?

Clinical vs. retail?

if you know of any other 6 figure careers that i should check out please let me know even if it's outside of the health care field. I really need you help



Do you think it'll be okay if I chose another major, but went to the career field just to be prepared In case anything happens I'll have that flexible degree to fall back on plus I'm also having a conflict of interest & don't know what route to take.



Feel free to leave me you thoughts and intake on the career. Any suggestions as well.
 
Last edited:
Jul 26, 2016
18
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Oh jeez. If your going into pharmacy for 6 figure salary, please realize that their are other careers that require less student loan debt and are higher marginal return in revenue like IT. If you go into this for the wrong reasons, you will just be one of many graduates that flood the workplace with 150-200k in debt. Vacation time is adequate, pay will allows you to make ends meet after 5-10 years of paying off loans IF pay doesn't decrease due to saturation. Pharmacy school can be extremely rigorous depending on the school that you attend. Attending the school isn't the problem however; it's passing the NAPLEX and getting a stable job. Your looking at 2 years to complete pre reqs, 4 years in Pharm school, 2 years in residency, and additional training to get a clinical job that hundreds are competing for. EVERYONE wants clinical jobs right now because retail is ridiculous in most settings. The industry will be extremely saturated by the time you would graduate. Again, going into it because of the salary is crazy. Look into other fields like Physical Therapy etc..Find something that you can stand doing for 20-30+ years
 

stoichiometrist

7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2011
2,192
2,185
IT / software development / computer science would be a much better return on investment for your education. You can earn a six figure salary within a few years, if not straight out of undergrad, without having to take out $200k+ in loans and lose 4 years of earning potential by staying in school. Your take-home pay as a pharmacist will be lower than that of a software developer, engineer, investment banker, or accountant when you factor in $25k+/year payments toward your student loans and being in a higher tax bracket as a pharmacist. For example, if you live in a high tax state, *$120k in gross pay will leave you with around $50k after taxes and student loans.

Job prospects for software engineers are actually better than for pharmacists right now. Even a graduate from a 12-week coding bootcamp can land a job that pays over $70k. Pharmacy is saturated and getting worse each year as more new schools graduate their first class.

Your work conditions will be better if you go into clinical or industry vs retail, but everyone wants these cushy jobs, so good luck landing these positions unless if you have 1-2 years of residency or fellowship. About 70% of the jobs are in retail. If you like clean environments, you might as well go into software engineering. Many software companies will shower you with perks, i.e. catered gourmet meals, shuttle service, on-site gyms, etc, whereas retail pharmacists are sometimes lucky to even get a lunch break.

*May be much, much lower in some regions and settings, and assuming that salaries do not drop in the future
 
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Jbrl

2+ Year Member
May 7, 2015
334
283
IT / software development / computer science would be a much better return on investment for your education. You can earn a six figure salary within a few years, if not straight out of undergrad, without having to take out $200k+ in loans and lose 4 years of earning potential by staying in school. Your take-home pay as a pharmacist will be lower than that of a software developer, engineer, investment banker, or accountant when you factor in $25k+/year payments toward your student loans and being in a higher tax bracket as a pharmacist. For example, if you live in a high tax state, *$120k in gross pay will leave you with around $50k after taxes and student loans.

Job prospects for software engineers are actually better than for pharmacists right now. Even a graduate from a 12-week coding bootcamp can land a job that pays over $70k. Pharmacy is saturated and getting worse each year as more new schools graduate their first class.

Your work conditions will be better if you go into clinical or industry vs retail, but everyone wants these cushy jobs, so good luck landing these positions unless if you have 1-2 years of residency or fellowship. About 70% of the jobs are in retail. If you like clean environments, you might as well go into software engineering. Many software companies will shower you with perks, i.e. catered gourmet meals, shuttle service, on-site gyms, etc, whereas retail pharmacists are sometimes lucky to even get a lunch break.

*May be much, much lower in some regions and settings, and assuming that salaries do not drop in the future
Have you considered creating a template? Easy copy paste for all these threads.

To OP: total pharmacist job growth is expected to be ~3% in the next TEN years, with job contraction in the retail sector due to expected automation. This is based on current BLS estimates. Average student debt for those who borrow is 150k and rising based on 2016 nationwide AACP survey, while wages are flat or decreasing if inflation-adjusted. More schools coming out every year = more competition and less hours. Retail pharmacies already instating less hours for new pharmacists (Walmart = 32??). Post-graduate residencies becoming the norm for hospitals.

Basically, unless you come out with little to no debt or love pharmacy for whatever reason -- think it over. Not just twice or thrice.

I'd sooner go with a tech, engineering or business degree if money, comfort and futureproofing are the goals.
 
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stoichiometrist

7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2011
2,192
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KidPharmD

Pediatric ER Pharmacist
5+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2014
414
264
Status
Pharmacist
Going to reply inline and then summarize at the end. My answers are in bold
Hi I'm going to be a rising freshman in college in the fall of 2017 & lately I've had pharmacy heavily on my head as a thought of the career I want to pursue. I'm kind of skeptic tough because of all the rumors I hear so I just have a few questions and concerns so hopefully you guy can help me sdn.



How is the life style, do they get good vacation time?
That depends, hours very from the very cushy to the really crappy and vacation time is either really bad or really good. Pharmacy is really diverse when it comes to this.
Starting Salaries for retail & clinical?
This varies from place to place. In my local area (low cost of living) starting salaries for retail are around 110k-125k and for "clinical" are 90-120k. You also need to realize that there are alot of jobs that don't fall into either of these categories.
I'm really trying to find myself a stable career that can provide me with a 6-figure income so that I can live comfortably.
You... should probably look elsewhere.
I don't really like messy atmospheres that's why I chose pharmacy over md I'm attracted to clean environments.
I haven't had a job yet that was a clean environment. I worked as an intern in speciality pharmacy in what was essentially a cubical farm (probably the cleanest), retail in CVS that isn't as clean as you would think (have you ever handled money from people in the summer?), and in several hospitals. I am bedside clinical now and have had most bodily fluids on my shoes.
Pharmacy school, is it very rigorous?
Most of the time the answer to this is yes. If you are currently studying at MIT, you might find a pharmacy school that was less rigorous. Otherwise expect to work anywhere from a little bit harder to "what is sleep" harder.
Are there any ways that you can actually complete the coursework earlier than 8 years?
There are several options depending on your track in undergraduate. Prereqs can take 2-4 years so you are looking at a 6-8 year track in total.
How would it look if I chose to get a degree in something else, but take the pre reqs and go to pharmacy?
Depends on how related your degree is. I have a professional chemistry degree and took the extra Bio courses to get into pharmacy school. I also have co-workers who have degrees in English, History, and Computer science.
I'm also attracted to the title "Dr.".
Just don't. Most of the time it is confusing to use the term Dr. (except when reserving a hotel or something). The only people who call me Doctor are my students.
Is the industry really saturated?
Pretty much.
Clinical vs. retail?
I would tell you that you should do what most interests you, but it sounds like you aren't really interested in the practice of Pharmacy.
if you know of any other 6 figure careers that i should check out please let me know even if it's outside of the health care field. I really need you help



Do you think it'll be okay if I chose another major, but went to the career field just to be prepared In case anything happens I'll have that flexible degree to fall back on plus I'm also having a conflict of interest & don't know what route to take.



Feel free to leave me you thoughts and intake on the career. Any suggestions as well.

Now for my thoughts on your post. Get out... just get out... leave and I hope the door hits you on the way out! No one currently in the field wants you to pursue pharmacy. We have had too many who got into this just for the security and the money. I love what I do and would absolutely continue to do it for a 5 figure salary. Find something else to spend your life doing. You will not enjoy this if this is why you take this path. If you decide you want to apply to pharmacy school anyway, I wish you the worst of luck.