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  • is it worth being a pharmacist?

    hello.

    i am looking into studying pharmacy. i already have a another degree.

    the reason is because pharmacy has a reputation for being a well paid job that isnt too stressful and you can also work partime.

    however i am concerned about the possibility of the market being over saturated. (like optometry, too many being trained and comming from abroad). is this a current problem for pharmacists?

    what are the prospects of getting a full time job? is pharmacy a job that requires a lot of keeping up to date? ie if i took a few years off could i come back and apply for a job?

    pharmacy also seems to have a rep for being boring? is that true?

    how difficult is the uni course? i personally dont like courses that require a lot of coursework, i am more of an exam person.

    lastly i know some of you dont like your working enviroments, but i am a teacher and we do have a tough time with our students/parents/managers lol so i may find rude customers not so difficult to deal with.

  • #2
    Re: is it worth being a pharmacist?

    The reason is because pharmacy has a reputation for being a well paid job that isnt too stressful and you can also work partime.
    Well paid, not really - average salary 35 to 40k ish
    Not too stressful - you try handling 200 drug addicts in one day!
    Part-time - true

    however i am concerned about the possibility of the market being over saturated. (like optometry, too many being trained and comming from abroad). is this a current problem for pharmacists?
    Not a real problem at the moment, but could easily change

    what are the prospects of getting a full time job?
    Excellent, virtually 100%

    is pharmacy a job that requires a lot of keeping up to date?
    Very much so - thousands of drugs already, and new ones coming out all the time

    ie if i took a few years off could i come back and apply for a job?
    If you kept your education level topped up, and was prepared to either pay the annual Pharmaceutical Society fee, or pay to be put back on the register if you left it.

    pharmacy also seems to have a rep for being boring? is that true?
    Personally I'd say so, but that's working in retail. Other people love it.

    how difficult is the uni course? i personally dont like courses that require a lot of coursework, i am more of an exam person.
    Very difficult - four years of hard graft, then one year of training, then two more exams to pass. You have lots of lectures, practicals, tutorials etc etc

    lastly i know some of you dont like your working enviroments, but i am a teacher and we do have a tough time with our students/parents/managers lol so i may find rude customers not so difficult to deal with.
    Any good in a scrap? I've had two physical tussels myself, done quite a few citizens arrests, and been to court as a witness for the police three times.
    Lively debate is encouraged but please respect the opinions and feelings of others.
    Please help keep the forum vibrant by spreading the work to friends and colleagues via word of mouth or social media.
    Thank you for contributing to this site.

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    • #3
      Re: is it worth being a pharmacist?

      wow those were some answers. thanks no i have never been in a fight. i have annoying kids and young adults always being a pest. but one good thing about being a teacher is that it can be fun and quite sociable at times.

      the thing that draws me towards pharmacy is the ability to do part time and that i would get paid a lot more for the amount of work i do compared to teaching. most of the work in teaching goes into the preparation. a futher education teacher doesnt get good salary and i dont really want to work in schools.

      so it is possible to get part time permanent jobs as a pharmacist instead of being a locum? and the course is really that long? i thought lsop degrees let you go straight into work.

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      • #4
        Re: is it worth being a pharmacist?

        I think you'd get part time employed work quite comfortably. I think that saturation will happen in the next decade. You only need to look at the increase in number of schools of pharmacy to realise that and also as you have correctly pointed out more (and possibly cheaper) labour coming in from abroad.

        Salary is ok for when you first graduate but does not increase much unless you're hitting some quite high positions.

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        • #5
          Re: is it worth being a pharmacist?

          Originally posted by theunknown View Post
          wow those were some answers. thanks no i have never been in a fight. i have annoying kids and young adults always being a pest. but one good thing about being a teacher is that it can be fun and quite sociable at times.

          the thing that draws me towards pharmacy is the ability to do part time and that i would get paid a lot more for the amount of work i do compared to teaching. most of the work in teaching goes into the preparation. a futher education teacher doesnt get good salary and i dont really want to work in schools.

          so it is possible to get part time permanent jobs as a pharmacist instead of being a locum? and the course is really that long? i thought lsop degrees let you go straight into work.
          Ok, the fight was extreme - just bad luck on my part being in the wrong type of shops. It's not a usual part of the day, and it's happened twice in over 10 years as a pharmacist.

          I think you can easily get a part time salary position, and even do job shares etc with other pharmacists if you want to.

          The money may be more an hour then what you are getting, but the course is that long, and is hard. You'll also have a lot of fees to pay and will miss four years of salary - will you really catch all that up just because the hourly rate goes up a bit? I wouldn't change just for the money if I were you.

          I'm not sure what an ISOP degree is, but whatever your degree is in you won't be able to work until you have completed the full four year pharmacy degree. They won't give you any credit for the degree you have - you won't be able to miss any of the course.

          You will then be paid as a pre-registration pharmacist for a year, and finally get a proper pharmacist salary if you pass the two exams at the end of that year.

          My husband's sister is a teacher (young kids) and she seems much more respected and happy in her job then I am in mine to be honest.
          Lively debate is encouraged but please respect the opinions and feelings of others.
          Please help keep the forum vibrant by spreading the work to friends and colleagues via word of mouth or social media.
          Thank you for contributing to this site.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: is it worth being a pharmacist?

            Originally posted by ferretmanabu View Post
            I think you'd get part time employed work quite comfortably. I think that saturation will happen in the next decade. You only need to look at the increase in number of schools of pharmacy to realise that and also as you have correctly pointed out more (and possibly cheaper) labour coming in from abroad.

            Salary is ok for when you first graduate but does not increase much unless you're hitting some quite high positions.
            Pharmacy does have one advantage...
            Work in your locality -- for example...
            Mrs Pharmanaut works in our suburbs pharmacy. Her commute is less than 5 minutes. At a push can walk there in 10 minutes. Walking back is longer (up hill all the way!)

            The pharmacy course is 'full timetable' with lots of laboratory work and tutorials. You will need to apply yourself to it and also be good in exams. It is also a full time commitment for 4 years plus your pre-reg year. The work is stressful with your employer wanting to wring every minute of work out of you that they possibly can and the responsibility is sometimes crushing. The profession needs people who have different life experience, just as teaching does!
            47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
            2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
            How times change.

            If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

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            • #7
              Re: is it worth being a pharmacist?

              Originally posted by theunknown View Post
              a futher education teacher doesnt get good salary.
              I am just being nosy, how much does a teacher get per hour teaching adults in a college (for example teaching a foreign language)?

              Thanks.

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              • #8
                Re: is it worth being a pharmacist?

                It's 50 years ago this week that I started in pharmacy (one could then do one's practical training, as the pre-reg time was then called before college) and I don't think it's ever been boring. Frustrating admittedly, on occasion. Undervalued too, sometimes.
                But always interesting. Always challenging; there was always some problem (or someone's problem) which needed solving. I've been in several sorts of pharmacy related jobs over the years, including running my own pharmacy and they've all had their good & less good points.

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                • #9
                  Re: is it worth being a pharmacist?

                  Originally posted by the old merlin View Post
                  It's 50 years ago this week that I started in pharmacy (one could then do one's practical training, as the pre-reg time was then called before college) and I don't think it's ever been boring. Frustrating admittedly, on occasion. Undervalued too, sometimes.
                  But always interesting. Always challenging; there was always some problem (or someone's problem) which needed solving. I've been in several sorts of pharmacy related jobs over the years, including running my own pharmacy and they've all had their good & less good points.
                  I'm glad you've been happy in your job. I worked with another pharmacist yesterday and we did over 1200 items. I'd say it was challenging.
                  Lively debate is encouraged but please respect the opinions and feelings of others.
                  Please help keep the forum vibrant by spreading the work to friends and colleagues via word of mouth or social media.
                  Thank you for contributing to this site.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: is it worth being a pharmacist?

                    When I was made redundant in 1986, I returned to supply teaching and was paid about double what I could earn as a locum. However, by and large customers are better behaved than children and I decided to return to community.

                    had enjoyed teaching in the sixties.
                    johnep

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                    • #11
                      Re: is it worth being a pharmacist?

                      Originally posted by johnep View Post
                      When I was made redundant in 1986, I returned to supply teaching and was paid about double what I could earn as a locum. However, by and large customers are better behaved than children and I decided to return to community.

                      had enjoyed teaching in the sixties.
                      johnep
                      What is 'supply teaching'? Is it the teachers equivalent of locuming or am I way off?

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                      • #12
                        Re: is it worth being a pharmacist?

                        Supply teaching is indeed acting as a locum. You are only paid for each day you work. No pay during holidays.

                        Temporary teaching is like a long term locum and you do get paid during holidays, when of course you can also do locums. I did.
                        johnep

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                        • #13
                          Re: is it worth being a pharmacist?

                          A different point of view. I work in a hospital as a pharmacist, I never wanted to be one and sort of fell into it.

                          The pay is a lot less than in community can be less than 25K for a good few years.

                          Academically the challenge is great, but..... you still have issues that your position on the ward is rarely understood. You are always to blame when the hospital is overfull because pharmacy cannot get the meds out quick enough. And in the same day I can end up supervising the making of chemotherapy, radiopharmaceuticals, answering patients and health professionals medication queries and seeing goodness know how many patients. Not to mention dealing with the patients or their families with terrible conditions, who are very upset or with mental health problems.

                          My advice would be go spend time in a pharmacy (hospital, community, whatever) if you don't LOVE it after that consider accountancy (everyone I know might be a little bored but well compensated).

                          For the record I would never let my kids be pharmacist ( but I still do it).

                          Sarah J

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                          • #14
                            Re: is it worth being a pharmacist?

                            I love my work (as a locum community pharmacist). I enjoy the variety the job presents - from answering questions on the relative merits of different sanitary towels to stock management to answering complex medical questions. What does get to me is the lack of appreciation (both verbal and monetary!), the long hours, the short holidays (only 20 days annual leave on top of bank hols), not being able to eat lunch in one go without being interrupted, crap matenity pay (only stat.!). The first few days of standing on your feet all day are torture - nobody warns you about that! The working hours, holidays & maternity pay didn't bother me when I was young, free & single, but are more of an issue now. On the plus side, job sharing and part time work are easy enough to come by & locuming is great as you have complete deniability - it's like looking after other people's kids - all the fun, but less responsibility! Also, as hubby gets home from work earlier, I get dinner cooked for me. I guess it's swings and roundabouts. My sister's a teacher and I really envy her school holidays! My advice would be to try working in a pharmacy to get a feel for it.

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                            • #15
                              Re: is it worth being a pharmacist?

                              Originally posted by Raju View Post
                              What is 'supply teaching'? Is it the teachers equivalent of locuming or am I way off?
                              But supply teachers get approx £100 per day after tax. I wouldn't stop doing that to have nearly no income for 5 years while training and then only to get a bit more than that once locuming.

                              Don't do it. See some of my other posts for rants and raves about why not.

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