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Career Paths in Pharmacy

Choosing a career in pharmacy is saying yes to a dynamic, challenging and rewarding career full of opportunity. Whether you are fueled by patient interaction, educating the pharmacists of tomorrow, developing more effective and safe pain medications or want to put your love of animals into practice, St. Louis College of Pharmacy at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis will prepare you for an inspired career in pharmacy.

A few popular career paths include:


Academic pharmacists play a key role in educating the pharmacists of tomorrow, including training future pharmacists and conducting research.

A few benefits of pursuing a career in academia is a more flexible schedule, interaction with students and opportunities for advancement.

Areas of academic pharmacy include:

Clinical Specialties

Specializing in specific pharmacy practice areas allows you to improve patient care with board-certified expertise.

Learn more about a career in clinical specialties pharmacy.

Community Pharmacy

Community pharmacists are a patient’s most accessible health care provider, and as medication experts, they are critical to maintaining and improving patients’ health.

As a community pharmacist you will work with customers to fill their prescriptions, explain proper medication use, and provide clinical services. Community pharmacists also work with doctors to identify possible drug interactions.

Community pharmacy careers include:

Government Pharmacy

A career in government pharmacy offers a wide variety of opportunities, including clinical, research and administrative roles at the local, state and federal agency levels.

Learn more about a career in government pharmacy.

Hospital Pharmacy

Hospital pharmacists work directly with doctors and nurses to ensure patients receive the correct medication in the right dosage and at the right time. They also may work directly with patients to educate them on medications before being discharged.

This is a great opportunity for students looking for a strong interprofessional, patient care setting.

Careers in hospital pharmacy include:

Long-Term Care Pharmacy

Long-term care pharmacy provides pharmacists with the opportunity to work mostly with the elderly and their families.

They provide medicine and drug treatments for long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, group homes and rehabilitation facilities. Long-term care pharmacists also serve patients with HIV, multiple sclerosis or developmental challenges.

Learn more about a career in long-term care pharmacy.

Managed Care and Pharmacy Benefit Management

Pharmacists that work in managed care have a variety of responsibilities including dispensing drugs, monitoring patient safety, developing clinical programs and managing costs. Many pharmacists that work in managed care work for health plans and pharmacy benefit management companies.

Pharmacists in these roles are key in ensuring patients get the appropriate medications in a cost-effective way.

Careers in managed care and pharmacy benefit management include:

Medical Communications

A career in medical communications embodies the spirit of educating others to improve patient care. Pharmacists who specialize in medical communications educate health care professionals, consumers and other pharmacists about pharmaceutical products, including prescription drugs.

Work settings may include medical communications and medical education agencies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, schools, managed care organizations, poison control centers or hospitals.

Careers in medial communications may include:

Nuclear Pharmacy

Nuclear pharmacists specialize in radioactive drugs and treatments for diseases such as cancer. They fill prescriptions, similar to community or hospital pharmacists, only these drugs are radioactive. Nuclear pharmacists may work in larger hospitals or at commercial nuclear pharmacies where radioactive drugs are prepared and delivered to smaller hospitals.

Learn more about a career in nuclear pharmacy.

Patient Care

A career in pharmacy offers a variety of opportunities to improve patient outcomes through direct patient care. Ambulatory care, home health care and office-based medication management all offer ways to be involved in direct patient care in a variety of settings.

Learn more about working in patient care pharmacy:

Pharmaceutical Industry

Pharmaceutical researchers develop new medications, test new substances, evaluate existing products and create new dosage forms. They also ensure that drug labeling is accurate and meets the requirements of state and federal laws.

A career in research and development can include a high degree of pressure, but it is often matched by the satisfaction in helping discover and develop innovative and new treatments for better patient care.

Careers in the pharmaceutical industry include:

Specialty Pharmacy

Specialty pharmacists focus on appropriate drug utilization in conjunction with ongoing monitoring of patient care. As a specialty pharmacist, you dispense medication in certain chronic and life-threatening disease states. 

Learn more about a career in specialty pharmacy.

Veterinary Pharmacy

One of the key roles of a veterinary pharmacist is compounding medications to meet the specific needs of pets, their owners and veterinarians. Depending on the weight and size of the animal, prescriptions can vary and therefore need to be handmade.

To become a veterinary pharmacist, you must complete specialized training in veterinary pharmacology and therapeutics.

Learn more about a career in veterinary pharmacy.

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