How long does it take to become a pharmacist?

Pharmacists, also known as druggists in North American English and chemists in Commonwealth English, are healthcare professionals who practice in pharmacy, the field of health sciences focusing on safe and effective medication use ( Definition from Wikipedia). In 2012, the mean annual pharmacist salary  was $114,950 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The statistics bureau also predicts that jobs availability for the profession should grow faster than average, about 25 percent, between 2010 and 2020. If you are interested to become a pharmacist, you might want to know: how long does it take to become a pharmacist? Keep reading and find out.

How long does it take to become a pharmacist

Pharmacists are employed in retail pharmacies, doctor’s offices and hospitals. They dispense medications that require a prescription. They also help patients to understand the instructions for taking their medication. A pharmacist will look at the medical history of a patient to see if they might have any interactions with drugs they are already taking. They will keep records for the pharmacy, give advice to patients on general health issues and make patients aware of any potential side effects of the medications they are taking.


In order to meet the entry requirements for a college of pharmacy, a person may study a pre-pharmacy curriculum in a university bachelor’s degree program. Classes in humanities, economics, microbiology, advanced mathematics, biology, physiology, anatomy, physics, chemistry and English composition are required in a doctor of pharmacy degree program. So, How long does it take to finish the prerequisite Courses ?

How long it takes to qualify the prerequisites may vary.  Some schools require two or three years of study to gain entry, while others require a four-year bachelor’s degree.

In order to gain entry into a pharmacy college, the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) must be passed by an undergraduate student. The student’s quantitative skills, reading comprehension, verbal ability and knowledge of chemistry and biology will be tested in this exam. A written essay is also part of the exam.

So, How long does it take to finish the prerequisite Courses ? usually take two to four years to complete.

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree

The PharmD degree is the only professional degree in pharmacy accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the national pharmacy accrediting agency.Applicants for a pharmacist’s license need to have a doctor of pharmacy degree by state boards. How long does it take to complete the PharmD and what is included in the study?

A graduate degree study will include courses in pharmacotherapy, health policy, pharmaceutical calculations, drug dosages,  biochemistry, patient counselling, practice management,  laws and drug dosages, etc. Disease management course are also required in a doctor of pharmacy program.

These classes focus on infectious diseases, oncology, haematology, the central nervous system, pain management and disease management.

Professional practice experience or internships are also provided  to give students work experience in different locations such as hospitals and community pharmacies.

The PharmD  will usually take four years to complete.


Additional training in a specialty can be obtained by pharmacists through a residency. They give a person training in areas such as community practice, geriatrics pharmacology or biomedical research. Pharmacists can experience interacting with the public in a residency program. A research project may be required to be completed during the residency program.

How long does it take to complete this training?

Residency programs usually last one or two years.


All pharmacists in the United States must be licensed. Two exams must be passed and all of the education requirements of the state must be met before a license will be issued. Every state requires a doctor of pharmacy degree and completion of an internship for a person to be licensed. However, states have different requirements for internships. A person must also pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination. Licensing only involves taking licensing exam, which can be completed in a few hours. Finally, an exam on  practice laws must also be passed. Licensing only involves taking the two exams, which both can be completed in a few hours.

Below is a good video that share about  how long does it take to become a pharmacist.
How long does it take to become a pharmacist?

It will take a total of six to eight years to earn a doctor degree and become a pharmacist. I hope that I have answered the question “How long does it take to become a pharmacist‘ in this article.Yes,   It is a long time for studying, but if you like the profession and got the licence, there are tremendous payoffs for your efforts – as pharmacists tend to be both well-paid and well-respected, which is a rare combination for a career.


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