What is it like to be a pharmacist?
How do I become a pharmacist?
“For risks and side effects, read the package insert or ask your doctor or pharmacist” - everyone is probably familiar with this from advertising. Would you like to become a pharmacist and deal professionally with medications and pharmaceuticals? To achieve your goal, you start with a pharmacy degree. You finish this after 8 to 9 semesters with the 2nd state examination. You will then complete a practical year, which you will conclude with the 3rd state examination. You then apply for a license to practice as a pharmacist. Your path will then lead you either to a public, private or your own pharmacy. However, it is also possible to work in research or in a pharmaceutical company.
What does everyday work look like?
As a pharmacist, you do not only work in a pharmacy, but the majority of your colleagues work there. Your day-to-day work could look like this:
8:00 a.m.You arrive at the pharmacy. Your employees prepare the cash register while you sort the medication that has been delivered.
8:15 a.m.The branch opens and the first customer is already there. Mrs. Kelber tells about her grandson, who couldn't sleep all night and who has a high fever. You advise her to go to the doctor with him first.
09:00 a.m.Mr. Rödel will show you his prescription, which he has just received from his doctor. He is no longer sure when and how often to take the tablets. You look in the computer and explain to him how to take it.
11:30 a.m.Ms. Lukas received an ointment from her dermatologist. Since these are not available in the composition, you produce them for the customer according to an individual recipe.
13:00 'O clockThe pharmacy closes for an hour and a half. For you, this means that you have time to eat something and switch off a little.
2:30 p.m.Mrs. Lukas is there to pick up her ointment. You describe the correct storage and use to her. Then she gives you a new recipe for another cream. You also touch these yourself.
3:45 p.m.Mr. Lamertz would like to redeem his prescription for medication. However, the medicine is out of stock. So you order it for tomorrow.
6:30 p.m.The pharmacy closes. Together with your colleagues, you do the accounting and then also go into the evening.
- General or subject-specific higher education entrance qualification
- Sense of responsibility
- Enjoying advice and working in a team
- Interest in the latest developments in the pharmaceutical industry
- Skill and sensitivity for the manufacture of medicines
What does a pharmacist do?
What are the job prospects?
As a pharmacist, you can expect medium career prospects. Because a pharmacy is only allowed to open its doors and dispense medication with a licensed specialist. Employers are also looking for pharmaceutically trained personnel in industry, the public service and science.
What qualities should I have?
- Scientific understanding
What specializations are there?
- Approval as a pharmacist is only possible if all three sections of the pharmaceutical examination have been passed and the practical year and the 8-week clinical internship have been completed
- Access to the profession is regulated by the license to practice medicine for pharmacists
Did you already know, that ...
- ... of around 63,000 working pharmacists, around 50,000 work in a public pharmacy?
- ... around 20,000 public pharmacies supply the population in Germany with medicines?
- ... the pharmacist John Pemberton invented the recipe for Coca-Cola in 1886?
This celebrity is also a pharmacist
Theodor Fontane - writer
Theodor Fontane began his apprenticeship as a pharmacist in 1836. In 1839, one year after the publication of his first novella “Geschwisterliebe”, he took up a position as a pharmacist's assistant. Within 7 years he developed into a “first class pharmacist”. For this, Fontane had to prove a scientific training as a pharmacist in addition to the manual skills. (Image: Carl Breitbach)
What speaks for the job
- Partly collectively regulated payment
- Responsible activities
- Daily interaction with people
- Self-employment possible
What speaks against the job
- Few opportunities for advancement
- Emergency, weekend and night services
Starting salary as a pharmacist
After completing your academic training as a pharmacist, you will first complete your practical year. During this time you work as a trainee or intern in a pharmacy and receive an average of € 890 ¹ gross per month. As a licensed pharmacist, your income at the start of your career is around € 3,350 ¹.
Rural pharmacies, by the way, sometimes pay more than the collective agreement dictates, as their location often makes them less attractive to employees. Otherwise, however, the amount of your income is not significantly related to the location of the pharmacy.
Salary based on work experience
Salary based on work experience
Salary by state
Your payment is usually regulated by collective bargaining agreements and the same in every federal state. It is € 3,650 ¹ gross per month. Exceptions to this rule are North Rhine-Westphalia with a monthly salary of € 3,550 ¹ and Saxony with € 3,400 ¹. While Saxony does not participate in the general collective agreement, NRW has its own. In addition to the salary, there is also remuneration for emergency services, which is not included in the diagram.
With these 30 courses you can become a pharmacist
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