Job Search

Becoming A Pharmacist: Time Required

Pharmacy Technician Training Infographic

Becoming a Pharmacist: Time Required

Are you considering a career in pharmacy? Becoming a pharmacist is a rewarding and fulfilling profession that requires dedication and commitment. If you’re wondering about the time required to become a pharmacist, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to know.

1. Educational Requirements

Before embarking on your journey to become a pharmacist, you must complete the necessary educational requirements. Here’s what you need:

Undergraduate Studies

The first step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as chemistry or biology. This typically takes four years to complete.

Pharmacy School

After completing your undergraduate studies, you’ll need to enroll in a pharmacy school. Pharmacy school typically takes four years to complete.

2. Licensing and Certification

Once you have completed your education, you’ll need to obtain a license to practice pharmacy. Here’s what you need to do:


The North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) is a standardized exam that all aspiring pharmacists must pass in order to obtain their license.


In addition to the NAPLEX, you’ll also need to pass the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE), which tests your knowledge of pharmacy law and regulations.

3. Residency

While not mandatory, completing a residency program after graduating from pharmacy school can provide you with valuable experience and enhance your skills. Residency programs typically last for one to two years.

4. Specialization

If you wish to specialize in a specific area of pharmacy, such as pediatrics or oncology, you may need to complete additional training or certification. This can take anywhere from one to three years, depending on the specialization.

5. Continuing Education

As a pharmacist, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and developments in the field. Continuing education courses are required to maintain your license and keep your knowledge current. These courses can be completed online or in-person and typically require a certain number of hours of study each year.

6. Career Advancement

Once you have become a licensed pharmacist, there are various opportunities for career advancement. You can pursue roles such as pharmacy manager, clinical pharmacist, or even open your own pharmacy. Advancement in the field may require additional education, certifications, or experience.


Becoming a pharmacist is a journey that requires several years of education, licensing, and specialization. It is a rewarding profession that offers numerous opportunities for career growth and advancement. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can embark on a successful career in pharmacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does it take to become a pharmacist?

The time required to become a pharmacist can vary depending on the individual’s educational path and specialization. In general, it takes around six to eight years to complete the necessary education and obtain a license to practice pharmacy.

2. Can I become a pharmacist with a bachelor’s degree?

No, a bachelor’s degree is not sufficient to become a pharmacist. In order to become a licensed pharmacist, you must complete a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program, which typically takes four years to complete after completing an undergraduate degree.

3. Do I need to complete a residency program to become a pharmacist?

While not mandatory, completing a residency program can be beneficial for gaining practical experience and enhancing your skills as a pharmacist. It can also be advantageous if you wish to specialize in a specific area of pharmacy.

4. Is continuing education required for pharmacists?

Yes, pharmacists are required to complete continuing education courses to maintain their license and stay updated on the latest developments in the field. The specific number of hours required may vary depending on the state or country in which you are licensed.

5. What are the career opportunities for pharmacists?

Pharmacists can work in various settings, including retail pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and pharmaceutical companies. There are also opportunities for career advancement, such as becoming a pharmacy manager or pursuing a specialization in a specific area of pharmacy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *