Pharmacist Job Outlook
Employment is expected to increase
faster than the average. As a
result of job growth, the need to replace workers who leave the occupation, and
the limited capacity of training programs, job prospects should be
Employment change. Employment of
pharmacists is expected to grow by 17 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is
faster than the average for all occupations. The increasing numbers of
middle-aged and elderly people—who use more prescription drugs than younger
people—will continue to spur demand for pharmacists throughout the projection
period. In addition, as scientific advances lead to new drug products, and as an
increasing number of people obtain prescription drug coverage, the need for
these workers will continue to expand.
Pharmacists also are becoming more involved in patient care. As prescription
drugs become more complex, and as the number of people taking multiple
medications increases, the potential for dangerous drug interactions will grow.
Pharmacists will be needed to counsel patients on the proper use of medication,
assist in drug selection and dosage, and monitor complex drug regimens. This
need will lead to rapid growth for pharmacists in medical care establishments,
such as doctors offices, outpatient care centers, and nursing care facilities.
Demand also will increase in mail-order pharmacies, which often are more
efficient than pharmacies in other practice settings. Employment also will
continue to grow in hospitals, drugstores, grocery stores, and mass retailers,
because pharmacies in these settings will continue to process the majority of
all prescriptions and increasingly will offer patient care services, such as the
administration of vaccines.
Job prospects. Job prospects are expected
to be excellent over the 2008-18 period. Employers in many parts of the country
report difficulty in attracting and retaining adequate numbers of
pharmacists—primarily the result of the limited training capacity of Pharm.D.
programs. In addition, as a larger percentage of pharmacists elects to work part
time, more individuals will be needed to fill the same number of prescriptions.
Job openings also will result from faster than average employment growth and
from the need to replace workers who retire or leave the occupation for other
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition
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Pharmacist Job Outlook