Outlook for Pharmacist Jobs and 3 Related Career Paths

Published on 2022-12-11 20:27:54

If you're deciding whether to pursue a career as a pharmacist, there are many factors to consider. Along with ensuring you enjoy the duties associated with the role, it's important to consider the career outlook for professionals in the pharmaceutical industry. With an understanding of the job outlook for pharmacists, you can plan your career path and consider your options for careers within the medical field.

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In this article, we assess the job outlook for pharmacists, consider the career paths and outlooks for related professions in pharmaceuticals and analyze some common skills that pharmacists need to succeed in the field.

What is job outlook?

Job outlook is a prediction of how much a profession is likely to grow or decline within a set period of time. Many factors can affect the job outlook for a career, including economic factors, recent events, cultural preferences and the number of professionals in the field. For example, the demand for health care professionals may increase due to an aging population. As the population ages, there's likely to be more need for health care professionals to provide for the specific health needs of elderly patients.


Although there may be an overall increase in demand, there may be more need for professionals in some specialties than others. There may be more need for professionals who specialize in caring for elderly patients or treating conditions that are more common in aging individuals, like strokes. By comparison, there may be less demand for other medical professionals due to changes in how patients access health care. For example, there may be a greater need for nurse practitioners and less need for family medicine doctors as nurse practitioners become more common.

What is the job outlook for pharmacist jobs?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 2% decline in the job outlook for pharmacists by 2030. This decline may result from patients using online services to order and access their medications. As patients use more online services for their pharmaceuticals, there may be a decrease in the overall demand for retail pharmacists. In non-retail settings, the demand for pharmacists may increase or remain the same. For example, the need for pharmacists in hospital and clinical settings may increase due to the increased demand for health care for elderly patients.

3 related pharmacy jobs

The following list of jobs offers an overview for positions related to pharmacy work, with details regarding their primary duties, average salaries and job outlook. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click the salary links.

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1. Pharmacy technician

Nationals average salary: $36,990 per year

Primary duties: A pharmacy technician works under the guidance of a licensed pharmacist in various settings, such as drug stores, hospitals and clinics. It's their responsibility to keep the pharmacy station in working order by taking inventory, cleaning their work area and stocking shelves. They also assist patients by filling their orders, answering their questions and suggesting over-the-counter medications. The BLS projects a 4% increase in the job outlook for pharmacy technicians by 2030.


2. Biomedical engineer

National average salary: $81,421 per year

Primary duties: A biomedical engineer is a professional who specializes in the development of new medicines and technologies that improve the health of individuals. These engineers can work in various specialties within medical engineering, such as designing software to model new technologies or creating pharmaceuticals that safely and effectively treat health conditions. Biomedical engineers who develop new drug therapies may use their knowledge of pharmaceuticals to create medications that help patients manage or overcome medical conditions. The BLS projects a 6% increase in the job outlook for bioengineers and biomedical engineers by 2030.

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3. Pharmacy manager

National average salary: $118,056 per year

Primary duties: A pharmacy manager is a pharmacist who is in charge of their pharmacy's daily operations. They fulfill the duties of both a manager and a pharmacist. Along with helping patients with their prescriptions, they oversee scheduling, hiring and training for their staff. They work closely with pharmacy technicians to ensure they are doing their jobs correctly. The BLS predicts a 32% increase in the job outlook for medical and health service managers by 2030.


What skills do you need for pharmacist jobs?

If you want to be a successful pharmacist, it's helpful to develop the following skills:



Pharmacy jobs require a high level of attention to detail as they require professionals to work with medications where dosages and proper handling are of the utmost importance. Being attentive ensures you administer the correct doses and are only releasing prescription drugs to the right people. Reviewing prescriptions for accuracy is also an important part of the job.


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As a pharmacist, you need to be able to convey directions to your staff and colleagues. Likewise, when assisting patients, verbal communication is important for instructing patients on how to use their medications. Written communication is also an important part of the job when writing orders or sending emails.


Computer knowledge

Like many other health care jobs, pharmacists rely on many types of computer programs to do their jobs effectively. When working in this role, you need some computer skills to fill orders, manage customer data, input insurance information and maintain inventory. As this field becomes more digital, you may even be able to work for an online pharmacy, filling patients' orders digitally.


Customer service

You're likely to interact with many people when working behind a pharmacy counter. By having good customer service skills, you can help patients feel confident about following their prescription instructions. Along with assisting people in person, you may receive phone calls from patients who have questions about their prescriptions. Responding effectively to the needs of customers helps pharmacists build meaningful relationships. This can help them develop patient loyalty and ensure patients feel comfortable asking questions about their prescriptions.


Desire to learn

Pharmacists often need to continue their education after completing their degrees. Since new medical research can provide different insights into professional best practices, pharmacists should remain updated on recent findings. As a pharmacist, you may benefit from joining a professional organization that provides access to publications, conferences and professional development opportunities to stay knowledgeable about industry changes.



As your career progresses, you may decide to take on a management role in your pharmacy. In addition to providing pharmaceutical services, you may manage a team of other pharmacists, technicians and retail associates. Practical management skills can help you balance clinical work with leadership duties. Management skills can include proper communication, teamwork, decision-making, problem-solving and budgeting abilities.


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Time management

Effective time management skills can help pharmacists balance their caseloads. Pharmacists often have many patients, so they must manage time well to meet the needs and expectations of all patients with whom they work. For example, a pharmacist may need to manage their time around meeting with patients, filing insurance information and collaborating with health care professionals to develop prescription plans for new patients.


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