Summary of profession

The pharmacist is an expert in the medicines. A pharmacist can be involved in any aspect of the preparation and use of medicines, from the discovery of their active ingredients to their use by patients. Pharmacists also monitor the effects of medicines, both for patient care and research purposes.

Working hours, patterns and environments

Pharmacists work in pharmacies, including those in drug, general merchandise, and grocery stores. They also work in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Those involved in patient care may work long or erratic hours. Others may work specific schedules, depending on their work site. 

Education and skills

Advanced level of chemistry is an essential entry requirement into a school of pharmacy along with other sciences e.g. biology, physics and math. Pharmacy programs currently offer the Bachelor of Science (BSc), the Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm.) degrees, the Master of Pharmacy (MPharm), Master of Science (MSc) and the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degrees.

Job growth and opportunities

Some pharmacists may choose to own their own pharmacy or seek an advanced position, such as a clinical pharmacy or research job.