Pharmacist training can open up for you one of the hottest opportunities in the medical profession at the current time, and one which is likely to become even more wide open in the coming years. The need for medical services of all kinds is constantly increasing due to the aging population and the need to manage long term illnesses, so pharmacists are going to be increasingly in demand. This is not an easy profession to qualify for, but the benefit you get from that is that once you have qualified, there will be far less competition for jobs.
The most common setting for a pharmacist is the retail store, and these pharmacists are experiencing a steady increase in business despite the harsh economic conditions. People can save on many luxuries and wants in their lives, but only in the most extreme of circumstances will anyone do without medical care simply to save money. The number of retirees with repeat prescriptions provides a steady level of income and work for the retail pharmacist, and the numbers of clients is steadily increasing. Many of these pharmacies are small independent concerns, although there are also large chains of pharmacies which employ thousands of people.
Training for a retail pharmacist is relatively light once the basic education has been achieved. Much of the work is routine, but it is this routine work which keeps the business ticking over from day to day. The most difficult part of the job is the advisory part, and this is something which you will soon get used to as long as you have even a basic ability to interact with other people. The pharmacist has typically taken on all advisory work themselves, but this is changing due to the shortage of trained pharmacists. Even this work will now often be delegated to a technician or assistant.
The pharmacist training you receive after university can also happen in a hospital setting, as pharmacists are becoming an increasingly important part of hospital care. Many hospitals have patients who are in for a long term illness, and these patients usually need constant medication. While it is necessary for a doctor to attend to the patients from time to time, the routine reissuing of established treatments can often be handled by a pharmacist. A good pharmacist can tell when a treatment needs to be changed in some way, either because symptoms are starting to appear again or because the treatment is producing some unexpected side effects.
There is one possibility of gaining entry to the profession in advance of qualifying with a degree, and that is to become a technician. Technicians do not need to have a university education, they just need to have completed high school. If you can work as a pharmacy technician while you complete a degree course studying online, you will gain the best of both worlds. You will be able to earn from the profession while you study and maintain your lifestyle, you will be able to gain some extremely useful insights into the workings of a pharmacy, and you will be building up a work record which will help you gain a job when you are qualified.
You need to start your formal pharmacist training by completing the pre-graduate course which will get you the chance to attend university for four years and qualify with a degree. This does not have to mean physical attendance at a college campus, as there are now so many online study options for people who need to be able to carry on working while they study. This four year course will put you in a position to begin applying for pharmacist positions, and while you are working you can continue pharmacist training.