Explore Pharmacy Careers
Can You Get In?
Getting a Job
93% Placement Rate
56% Beginning Employment
37% Beginning Residency
Completing the Program
Graduates have a median starting salary of $120,000 a year
Average $150,000 in undergraduate/professional student loans
Citizens & residents may qualify for federal aid that covers cost of attendance
- Job Outlook & Trends
- Career Options
- Pharmacy Technician
- Conduct an Informational Interview
- Find a Mentor
- Complete a Job Shadow or Internship
Job Outlook & Trends
There are hundreds of different kinds of positions you could have as a pharmacist! Start exploring all your career options, and then make an effort to get in-person experience in those areas by job shadowing, volunteering or working in a pharmacy. There are pharmacy career options in academia, community pharmacy, consulting, industry, hospital, regulatory and more!
The most common way to gain direct pharmacy experience is to work as a pharmacy technician. Through this role, you will have the opportunity to learn about medications, build professional relationships with pharmacists, and work on a healthcare team.
Most states regulate pharmacy technicians in some way. Consult your state’s Board of Pharmacy for its particular regulations. Requirements for pharmacy technicians in the states that regulate them typically include some or all of the following:
- High school diploma or GED
- Criminal background check
- Formal education or training program
- Continuing education
Conduct an Informational Interview
If you are unable to obtain a job shadow or internship experience in pharmacy, you can still conduct an informational interview with a pharmacist.
Informational interviews allow you the opportunity to meet a practicing pharmacist, ask career specific questions, and discover ways to become a stronger candidate for a PharmD program.
Find a Mentor
Having an amazing mentor in your life will not only provide career support, but it can also contribute in developing self-motivation and confidence. Your mentor could be a pharmacist, teacher, career counselor, or work supervisor.
Here are some steps to help you find a mentor:
- Step 1: Research your ideal career field and learn about the professionals who work in these areas.
- Step 2: Create a list of people that you know or would like to create a connection with. This list could include your chemistry instructor, volunteer supervisor, or a friend's relative who happens to be a pharmacist.
- Step 3: Contact your list of potential mentors. You can send formal emails or meet in person to discuss your goals in becoming a pharmacist.
- Step 4: Select your mentor. As you meet with people, you will discover who would be the right mentor for you!
Complete a Job Shadow or Internship
A job shadow is a hands-on experience that provides career understanding, awareness of work settings, and development of leadership skills. It's an excellent way to meet a pharmacist, gain understanding of the day-to-day responsibilities, and develop a career plan to reach your professional and personal goals.
The College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota currently does not offer a job shadow or internship experience program. We advise prospective students to share their interest in a pharmacy job shadow or internship experience with family members, friends, instructors, supervisors, co-workers, and career counselors who may know a pharmacist that would be willing to be a mentor and provide this opportunity.
Walgreens offers a job shadow experience for high school students interested in learning more about the day-to-day operations of a pharmacy. Check out this link for more information.