You can’t ask your pharmacist to stock larger quantities of potassium nitrate because you want to make a bigger rocket.

Kary Mullis, Scientist

Pros and Cons of Working as a Pharmacist

advantages and disadvantages of being a pharmacist

Many people in our current state of the world think about becoming a pharmacist.

If you are one of them and want to get some additional information on this interesting career path, make sure to check out all the pros and cons of being a pharmacist in this article so that you can make a more profound career choice in this regard.

Pharmacist Job Profile

Job DescriptionPharmacists prepare and dispense medical drugs. They also make sure that clients don’t get serious complications from those drugs.
Salary$135,000 per year on average, most pharmacists make between $105,000 and $158,000 per year.
Job SecurityDecent since good pharmacists are in high demand right now.
Job SatisfactionGood if you like preparing drugs and doing an important job for society.
Work-Life BalanceDecent since you will often have free weekends and also don’t work much overtime.
Physically / Mentally Demanding?Working as a pharmacist can be mentally and emotionally demanding.
Future OutlookGood since people get older and the need for qualified pharmacists will therefore increase in the future.
RequirementsYou need a college degree and additional qualifications before you are allowed to work as a pharmacist.

Advantages of Being a Pharmacist

  1. Pharmacists can make good money
  2. You can work indoors as a pharmacist
  3. You can work with many different people
  4. Good balance between independent work and human interaction
  5. You don’t have to work with a computer all day long
  6. Druggists are important to keep our system running
  7. Pharmacists usually have free weekends and holidays
  8. You will not have to work much overtime as a pharmacist
  9. You will be able to afford good health insurance
  10. Druggists can save and invest enough money for retirement
  11. Pharmacists may be able to retire early
  12. You don’t have to work in a hard physical manner
  13. You know how to cure minor things on your own
  14. You can advise your family and friends
  15. Working as a pharmacist is not that stressful

Pharmacists can make good money

One important advantage of being a pharmacist is that you can make really good money from your job.

In fact, many pharmacists start with an above-average salary compared to the general public and with a few years of experience, almost every pharmacist will make a six-figure income.

Consequently, you will also be able to afford many nice things and if money and luxury are really important to you, becoming a pharmacist can definitely make quite a lot of sense, even though you might earn even more as a doctor, lawyer or also in the financial industry.

You can work indoors as a pharmacist

As a pharmacist, you will also have the privilege of working indoors. While this may not sound like much and you may just take it for granted, many people out there will still not have this luxury.

In fact, many people have to work under quite harsh conditions outdoors and have to go to work every day, whether it rains, snows or storms.

In contrast, you as a pharmacist can enjoy a nice cozy work environment indoors and can use our modern technologies to make your time at work as convenient and enjoyable as possible.

You can work with many different people

Another upside to a career as a pharmacist is that you will also get in touch with many different people.

Quite often, you have to consult people regarding which drug will be right for them and what complications those drugs might have.

In turn, you will often build deep connections with your clients who will trust you if you do a great job and will stay with you in the long run.

Over time, you will not only talk about medical things, but you can also discuss several issues that bother you right now and get a different view on those things so that you can get a different perspective on life in general and expand your knowledge.

Hence, becoming a pharmacist can also be great for you if you are a communicative and outgoing person who loves to talk to new people on a regular basis.

Good balance between independent work and human interaction

While you will have lots of human interaction at work, you will also have some time for yourself when you prepare drugs for your clients.

Hence, you will also have some quiet moments when you can unwind and relax a little bit before you get back to client work.

This can be quite helpful, especially when you have to deal with difficult clients and you get stressed by their absurd expectations.

Thus, pharmacists enjoy a good balance between social interaction and quiet moments when they can relax and reload their batteries a little bit.

You don’t have to work with a computer all day long

Another benefit of working as a pharmacist is that you don’t have to sit in front of a computer screen all day long. Instead, you will get lots of social interaction and will consult many clients.

In turn, you will likely be in a much better mood compared to someone who just stares at a computer screen all day long and will get tired of it pretty soon.

Consequently, chances are that you will stay happy with what you are doing for a living much longer compared to someone who works in a classical office job.

Druggists are important to keep our system running

You will also get a good feeling from working as a pharmacist since you know that you are important to keep our system running.

In fact, without pharmacists, people would have a hard time getting the drugs they need. Everything would be quite chaotic and our system would be much more inefficient.

Hence, as a pharmacist, you are important to maintain a stable supply of drugs for people who urgently need them while you keep away people who would just use those drugs for intoxication purposes.

Pharmacists usually have free weekends and holidays

As a chemist, you will also be able to enjoy free weekends most of the time.

Moreover, you will also not have to work on national holidays and this gives you the opportunity to spend plenty of leisure on the things you enjoy even more than working.

In fact, during those days, you can make nice short trips to different cities or you can just relax in your garden and reload your batteries so that you are prepared for the stressful things in life that might still lie ahead of you.

You will not have to work much overtime as a pharmacist

Many pharmacists also come home from work quite early. In fact, most pharmacists only work 40 hours and some of them even work significantly less.

You may even be able to work part-time as a druggist if you don’t need the money and just want to have more leisure instead.

Consequently, you will have lots of time to meet up with your favorite people after work while many other people have to work in the evening or at nighttime and will just not have the luxury of quitting work rather early.

You will be able to afford good health insurance

Thanks to your good salary, you will also be able to enjoy pretty good medical treatment in case you get sick.

While most other people will only have basic health insurance plans, you will be able to get premium plans and to get the best medical treatment possible.

Therefore, chances are that you will also stay healthier in the long run and that also your life expectancy will be higher compared to the general public.

Druggists can save and invest enough money for retirement

You will also have the opportunity to save and invest enough money for retirement so that you have enough money once you get older and can’t work anymore in your job.

Sure, this is not true for all druggists since some of them will just waste all their money on unnecessary things.

However, you will still have the opportunity to invest your money wisely and to benefit from it later in your life while many other people who work in low-wage jobs will not have the option to save any money at all since they have to spend it all on basic things of daily life.

Pharmacists may be able to retire early

Another advantage of working as a druggist is that you will also be able to retire early. Since you will make a lot of money during your active career, you can also save lots of money in the long run.

Hence, if you don’t spend this money but rather live a simple life instead, you may have saved enough money in your 50s or even already in your 40s to quit your job and to enjoy your life without having to work anymore.

You don’t have to work in a hard physical manner

While pharmacist work can be demanding from a mental and emotional standpoint, you will still not have to work in a hard physical manner.

Consequently, you will also have more power when you come back home from work compared to someone who works in construction or as a welder and has to lift heavy stuff all day long.

Moreover, you will also be less vulnerable to serious spinal health issues and may be able to work in your job for many decades while other people who work in those physically stressful jobs will often have to quit their jobs sooner than they might have wished.

You know how to cure minor things on your own

Since you will have decent medical knowledge as a pharmacist, you will also be able to prescribe you certain drugs that can cure minor diseases.

For instance, if you catch the flu, you don’t necessarily have to see a doctor.

Instead, you can use natural drugs to cure your disease or rely on other things that might help.

Therefore, you also don’t have to wait at a doctor’s office in line for quite a long time and can get appropriate treatment immediately when you need it.

You can advise your family and friends

Not only will you be able to get proper treatment for yourself, but you will also be able to consult your family and friends in case they experience minor health issues and want to get relief quickly in a simple but yet effective manner.

Sure, you will not be able to cure serious diseases and in such a case, your loved ones should see a doctor soon.

However, for minor things, your knowledge as a pharmacist will often be more than enough to tackle those issues in a pragmatic manner.

Working as a pharmacist is not that stressful

As a pharmacist, you will also not have that much stress at work. Sure, from time to time, you may have to deal with difficult clients who just can’t be happy in life.

However, most of the time, clients will be grateful for your support and you will also not have as much time pressure compared to someone who works in a demanding office job in a leading position in the corporate world.

Hence, becoming a pharmacist can make quite a lot of sense for you in case you search for a job that is not that stressful but still want to make good money from what you are doing for a living.

Now that you know all the advantages of a pharmacist career, you might think that it sounds like a dream job.

However, it is still not all upside and we also have to talk about all the negative things that come along with such a career so that you get a profound picture of what working as a pharmacist really looks like in real life.

Disadvantages of Working as a Pharmacist

  1. Working from home is not possible for pharmacists
  2. Hard to start your own business in this field
  3. You will need a degree for working as a druggist
  4. You have to get additional qualifications
  5. Student loan debt can be enormous
  6. You will not have the same high social standing as doctors
  7. Doctors will still make more money than you
  8. Easy access to drugs may become an issue
  9. You will not learn many digital skills as a pharmacist
  10. Hard to get out of the medical industry
  11. Rather limited promotion opportunities for pharmacists
  12. People may sue you
  13. You may regret that you have not become a real doctor

Working from home is not possible for pharmacists

One disadvantage of being a pharmacist is that you will not be able to work remotely.

While many other people who work in classical office jobs will be able to work from home many days per week, you will have to be present at work in person.

Consequently, you will just not have as much freedom and you will also not be able to do private things during your workday. In turn, you will have to do more of your private things after work.

Moreover, you will also have to spend lots of money and time on commuting and you may also get stuck in traffic jams frequently.

Hard to start your own business in this field

Since the medical industry is quite regulated, it will also be pretty hard for you to start your own pharmacy business. Sure, it will still be possible.

However, you will have to deal with many rules and regulations and mistakes on your side can get pretty costly, especially in case official authorities are not happy with how you have set up your pharmacy.

Hence, there are just industries in which working self-employed will be much easier and where you would also not have that much upfront costs.

You will need a degree for working as a druggist

Before you can work as a pharmacist, you will also need to spend many years on education.

In fact, pharmacists often have to get a college degree before they are allowed to work in this field and this means that you will have to spend lots of time and money on your pharmacist education.

Consequently, you should really make sure that a pharmacist job is really what you want to do for quite a long time to make it worth the initial investment in terms of both money and time.

You have to get additional qualifications

In many countries, you will not only have to get a college degree for becoming a druggist. You will also have to get additional qualifications for working in this field.

Hence, while many of your friends will make good money after finishing a bachelor’s degree, it can take you up to 8 years until you will be ready to work as a druggist and you should make sure that you really have a strong motivation to go this educational path since you would likely quit otherwise.

Student loan debt can be enormous

Since you will have to spend many years on education for becoming a pharmacist, chances are that you will also have to take on significant amounts of student loan debt.

In turn, this means that you will also have to pay back those loans sooner or later and this can really financially constrain you and prevent you from getting a mortgage to buy a home.

You will not have the same high social standing as doctors

While people will appreciate your work, most people will still not consider you equal to a normal doctor.

Hence, while doctors will be admired in society all day long, you will have to deal with snarky comments in this regard and may have to justify yourself why you haven’t had the motivation to become a “real” doctor.

Thus, also make sure that comments in this regard don’t bother you and that you have a strong mindset so that you can just belittle those people.

Doctors will still make more money than you

While you will have to spend almost as long as doctors have to do for their education, you will still make significantly less money as a pharmacist on average.

Don’t get me wrong. You will still make a decent income. However, compared to doctors, you will often only make a fraction of what they are making and this can become really frustrating over time.

Hence, if money is really important to you, you might rather want to go for a career as a doctor instead of becoming a pharmacist.

Easy access to drugs may become an issue

Another downside of working as a pharmacist is that you will also have pretty easy access to many different drugs as a pharmacist.

While this can be beneficial since you can cure your own health issues quickly, it also implies the downside that you may get addicted to certain substances and that you will not be able to overcome your addiction since you will always know how to get the substance of your choice.

You will not learn many digital skills as a pharmacist

While you will get really good in medical treatment, you will still not learn many other hard skills as a pharmacist.

In fact, many pharmacists struggle with digital skills that are really important in the job market right now.

Hard to get out of the medical industry

Due to your lack of digital skills, you may also have quite a hard time getting out of the medical industry.

In fact, once you work in the pharma industry, you will likely work in this field for quite a long time since it will be hard for you to find a different job that pays similar amounts of money and many companies will also not want to employ you in different fields since you will just lack certain qualifications necessary for those jobs.

Rather limited promotion opportunities for pharmacists

While you will make good money as a pharmacist right from the beginning, you will still not have that many promotion options.

Quite often, you will work in the same field for decades or even for a lifetime and this lack of promotion opportunities may become really frustrating in the long run.

People may sue you

Another problem with being a pharmacist is that people may also sue you in case you make mistakes and give them drugs that will hurt their health.

Hence, if you work as a pharmacist, make sure that you get proper insurance to be covered in case of emergency.

You may regret that you have not become a real doctor

Many pharmacists also regret that they had not become real doctors. In fact, many pharmacists feel like they don’t do important work since they will not be able to save as many lives as doctors.

Thus, make sure that you really want to work as a pharmacist and don’t want to become a doctor before you decide for going this career path.

Top 10 Being a Pharmacist Pros & Cons – Summary List

Being a Pharmacist ProsBeing a Pharmacist Cons
Pharmacists can make good moneyYou will not make as much as doctors
You will be able to afford some luxuryClients can be difficult
Druggists can afford good insuranceMany years of education needed
You can save and invest enough moneyStudent loans may become an issue
Being a pharmacist is rather relaxedPharmacists can’t work from home
You can help many peopleHard to start your own business
You are crucial to keep our system runningYou will not learn many digital skills
Decent work-life balance for druggistsHard to get out of this industry
You can avoid physical workPeople may sue you if you make mistakes
You may be able to retire earlyLimited promotions options for druggists

Should You Become A Pharmacist?

As you can see, becoming a pharmacist can definitely be a solid career choice.

However, before making your final decision, you should carefully evaluate all the advantages and disadvantages of being a pharmacist in this article to make a profound career choice that can greatly benefit your future life.

Also make sure to check out the following articles to get more information on other job options:

Advantages and disadvantages of being a chiropractor

Advantages and disadvantages of being a jeweler

Advantages and disadvantages of being a politician

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmacist

https://www.statista.com/statistics/185723/number-of-pharmacists-in-the-us-since-2001/

Own research and interviews.

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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