Education Required

All states require pharmacists to be licensed, although licensure requirements vary. After completing their degree, prospective pharmacists typically must pass two exams to get a license. The North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) tests pharmacy skills and knowledge and is required in all states. The Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE) or state-specific test on pharmacy law is also required. Applicants also must complete a state-specified number of hours as an intern. To maintain licensure, pharmacists must complete continuing education. In most states, pharmacists must be certified to administer vaccinations. For information about certification, see the American Pharmacists Association Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery program. Pharmacists may choose to earn a certification to show advanced knowledge in a specific field. For example, a pharmacist may become a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, a credential offered by the Certification Board for Diabetes Care and Education, or earn certification in a specialty area, such as emergency care or oncology, from the Board of Pharmacy Specialties. Certifications from both organizations generally require applicants to have work experience and pass an exam.

Career Setting

What is this job like?

A pharmacist is a licensed healthcare professional who specializes in the safe and effective use of medications. They work in various settings, including retail pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and research institutions. Click to explore more occupational details: