Standard Occupational Classification #29-1051 Pharmacist
Standard Occupational Classification #29-2052 Pharmacy Technician
Standard Occupational Classification #31-9095 Pharmacy Aide
SOC Definition #29-1051-Pharmacist---Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications. Examples of other names in common use are apothecary; druggist; industrial pharmacist
SOC Definition #29-2052-Pharmacy Technicians---Prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. May measure, mix, count out, label, and record amounts and dosages of medications.
SOC Definition #31-9095-Pharmacy Aides---Record drugs delivered to the pharmacy, store incoming merchandise, and inform the supervisor of stock needs. May operate cash register and accept prescriptions for filling. Examples of other names in common use are dispensary attendant; prescription clerk
Both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are classified as health care occupations. Pharmacy aides are in health care support occupations. Pharmacists have two-thirds of their employment in retail trade, mostly at pharmacies and drug stores, but some also work in grocery stores and department stores. Another 25 percent work at hospitals and a few more at clinics and nursing homes. A small percent are scattered in industries unrelated to health care like education and employment services.
Pharmacy technicians and pharmacy aides can only work with pharmacists, but they are more closely connected to retail trade than pharmacists. Over 70 percent of pharmacy technicians and at least 85 percent of pharmacy aides work in retail with almost all the rest at hospitals. The difference suggests retail trade make more intensive use of their pharmacists while hospital pharmacists do more of their own support work.
National employment as pharmacists was 287,420 in 2013. Jobs are up from 212,660 since 2000 in a steady increase. Annual average job growth equals 5,751 per year since 2000 at a growth rate of 2.34 percent, higher than the average for all employment. National employment as pharmacy technicians was 362,690 in 2013. Jobs are up since 2000 when jobs were 190,940. The annual average job increase equals 13,212 per year since 2000 at a growth rate of 5.06 percent, more than double the national growth rate for jobs. National employment as pharmacy aides was 42,250 in 2013. Jobs are down since 2000 when jobs were 59,890. The annual average job decline equals 1,357 per year since 2000 at a growth rate of –2.65 percent.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is forecasting job growth for pharmacists at almost the same rate as the last 13 years at 12,330 per year through 2022. Because of anticipated turnover and retirements, openings, or growth plus replacement needs, are expected to be 29,640 a year. Forecast job growth for pharmacy technicians is 7,070 a year through 2022. Anticipated turnover and retirements are expected to create 10,590 openings a year. Forecast job growth for pharmacy aides is much smaller at 480 a year through 2022. Because of anticipated turnover and retirements, openings, or growth plus replacement needs, are expected to be 1,290 a year.
Pharmacists need a doctor of pharmacy degree from a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy education. There are 120 accredited programs and two programs on probation listed by the Accreditation Council. It was not always this way. Earlier pharmacy programs had specialty training at the BA degree level, but these programs have been phased out. Some of those working as pharmacists were trained under the old requirements, but new pharmacists must have the Pharm. D degree. Applicants should now expect seven years of study to finish the degree.
All pharmacists are required to pass state licensing exams before they can work as pharmacists. On-the-job training is not important in that pharmacists are expected to know the work before they can apply for a job or be a pharmacist. Work experience in a related occupation might help in some ways but is not necessary for entry.
High school degree skills are adequate for pharmacy technicians and aides, although Bureau of Labor Statistics survey data indicate over half working as pharmacy technicians have some college or a college degree. Experience in a related occupation is not necessary, but qualified candidates need some short term on-the-job training working in a pharmacy to be considered fully qualified.
The National Center for Education Statistics reports degree data for America’s colleges and universities that can be compared with job growth and openings. There were 12,943 doctor of pharmacy degrees granted in June 2012, the last year of complete degree data. They were granted as 36 percent to men and 64 percent to women.
Degrees are up in 2012 from previous years at annual growth rates around five percent, much faster than the MD degree or dentistry. The ratio of relevant BA degree to openings equals .44, or 12,943/29,640, suggesting a likely shortage of qualified candidates to fill job openings.
The basic wage data from the BLS occupational employment survey includes a wage distribution. Averages are seldom used in wage data. A few high wages pull up the average and make it unrepresentative. Instead a distribution range of wages is published with the 10th, 25th, median, 75th, and 90th percentiles of wages. A 10th percentile wage means 10 percent working in this job have wages equal to or less than the 10th percentile wage and so on. Annual wages are converted to hourly wages by dividing annual wages by 2080
The entry wage for the national market in the 10th percentile for Pharmacists is reported as $89,000 in 2013. The 25th percentile wage equals $104,100. The median wage is $119,280, the 75th percentile wage equals $136,360 and the 90th percentile wage is $147,350.
The wages of Pharmacists have kept up with inflation for the last decade. For example, to have the buying power of the 2006 median wage of $94,250 in 2013, the Pharmacist wage would need to be $109,221.70. In stead it was $119,280, a 9.21 percent increase in the real wage for those seven years. Other years also show an increase in real wages.
The entry wage for the national market in the 10th percentile for Pharmacy Technicians is reported as $20,040 in 2012. The 25th percentile wage equals $24,440. The median wage is $29,650, the 75th percentile wage equals $36,270 and the 90th percentile wage is $43,230.
The wages of Pharmacy Technicians have kept up with inflation for the last decade. For example, to have the buying power of the 2006 median wage of $25 630, in 2013, the pharmacy technician wage would need to be $29,616.50. Instead it was $29,650, a .11 percent increase in the real wage for those seven years. Other years also show increasing real wages.
The entry wage for the national market in the 10th percentile for Pharmacy Aides is reported as $17,160 in 2013. The 25th percentile wage equals $19,070. The median wage is $22,580, the 75th percentile wage equals $28,050 and the 90th percentile wage is $35,680.
The wages of Pharmacy Aides have kept up with inflation for the last decade. For example, to have the buying power of the 2006 median wage of $19,440, in 2013, the Pharmacy Aides wage would need to be $22,463.70. Instead it was $22,580, a .52 percent increase in the real wage for those seven years. Other years also show increasing real wages.