forever27

Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 4, 2005
55
1
Status
May have to relocate to Metro DC, Northern Virginia area from Midwest with family. What is the chance to find a decent pharmacist job there now? 7 years of hospital pharmacist experiences and 4 years focus on informatics.

Also, do people in Metro DC area usually have multiple state licenses, like Virginia, Maryland, DC...? Thanks a lot in advance.
 
  • Love
Reactions: Modest_anteater

giga

U.S. Public Health Service
10+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2005
768
1,268
On the land and the sea for humanity
Status
Pharmacist
If you don't mind the idea of doing non-clinical work, there are quite a few opportunities in government right now for folks with a pharmacy background, especially with FDA (located in Silver Spring, MD) and CMS (although CMS is based near Baltimore, which is a bit of a commute from the DMV area, but they are usually pretty good about letting people work from home most days of the week). Check out USAJobs.gov. Keep in mind that the hiring process with the feds can take several months, 6 months is fairly typical, so starting the process as soon as possible is key. NIH in Bethesda occasionally has openings for clinical pharmacists, but I don't see those opportunities pop up very often. Civilian pharmacist jobs with the Navy or Army at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center could be an option, too. And of course there are several VA hospitals in the area. The big plus of getting a federal job is you don't have to worry about getting another pharmacist license, you can just maintain the one you have from the Midwest. Again, USAJobs.gov is a good starting point for fed jobs. If you decide to apply to fed jobs, feel free to message me and I can give you some tips and tricks on applying through USAJobs.gov (it is essentially a black hole of job applications if you don't know what you're doing). I don't know much about the private sector market in the area, but I imagine it is quite saturated.

Regarding your second question, it's not uncommon for folks to have multiple licenses, but most are just licensed in one or two states. I would recommend focusing on Virginia first. Commuting into and out of DC can be really... awful. If you can avoid it by finding a position in Virginia, your mental health will thank you.
 

lord999

Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2002
2,736
2,819
DC
Status
Pharmacist, Academic Administration
Echo the above, but I actually had to commute from Maryland to NIH HQ so it wasn't that big a deal. The DC license forces you to get an FBI check which is trivial for most people, but is a bit more of a privacy invasion than other states. If you are not working in civil service, each jurisdiction (MD, DC, VA, PA) have different processes. The one I don't recommend is the DC one as it's such a niche employment market that it's particularly cozy to grads from one particular school to the exclusion of others (giga might know who I'm talking about). If you HAVE to live in Northern Virginia (as in you don't have the flexibility to live in the District itself), make sure you know which specific area you live in bounded by the beltway (The Arlington-Annandale, the Alexandrian, the McLean, the Fairfax, and the Vienna) as it really will affect your commuting. For pharmacy, most of the civil service positions are on the Northern side of DC in MD rather than South of the city in Northern Virginia.

If you're moving due to your spouse having a civil service position, most agencies will allow you to telework from either a telework center (which they are in the process of closing) or in an intragency office building to accomodate your spouse's hard office requirement (this works for both women and men and with gay/lesbian marriage or partnership).

And if you're informatics and are willing to commute to Hyattsville or Farragut, you'll be in good company with informatics knowledge jobs. VA, CMS, and CDC are hiring right now for civil service. If you happen to be from UMN, UIC, or Purdue, there's a strong support network in Northern Virginia for those graduates to plug into as it's a common area for them to relocate. FDA is always hiring pharmacists, but my warning to prospective applicants is that the FDA is a circumstantial place to work and there are cliques. Some offices there are really inspiring, others, not so much.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: forever27 and giga
OP
F

forever27

Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 4, 2005
55
1
Status
Thanks both giga and lord999, very helpful messages. I have a lot more confidence of moving now. giga, messaged you, please give me some tips on USAjobs.gov.