Career Development

What Does a Community Pharmacist Do?

Find out what a community pharmacist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a community pharmacist.

Pharmacists are medical professionals who play an important role in the healthcare system. They work primarily with patients to ensure they have access to safe and effective medications. Pharmacists also provide advice on how to properly use these drugs, as well as general health information.

In addition to providing this type of clinical service, pharmacists may also be involved in other aspects of the healthcare industry. For example, many pharmacists help manage inventory or assist with billing and insurance claims.

Community Pharmacist Job Duties

Community pharmacists have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Discussing medication instructions with patients, including proper storage and disposal procedures
  • Explaining the use of over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, and other treatment options to patients
  • Providing information about disease prevention, drug interactions, side effects, new medications on the market, and any other pertinent health information to patients as requested by a physician or nurse practitioner
  • Dispensing medications prescribed by physicians to patients according to Federal Drug Administration guidelines
  • Counseling patients on how to manage their medications properly by identifying possible side effects or interactions with other drugs or foods
  • Recommending alternatives to medications that may be cheaper or more effective for certain conditions
  • Maintaining accurate records of all medication orders, refills, and inventories on hand in order to ensure that patients are able to receive the medications they need
  • Examining new drugs to assess safety and effectiveness before they are made available to the public
  • Providing advice about health maintenance topics such as diet, exercise, and stress management techniques

Community Pharmacist Salary & Outlook

Community pharmacists’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the size of the community they work in, and the company for which they work.

  • Median Annual Salary: $105,000 ($50.48/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $375,000 ($180.29/hour)

The employment of community pharmacists is expected to decline over the next decade.

The growth in retail pharmacies, which provide a large number of services, has reduced the need for pharmacists in some areas. Pharmacists may be less needed to oversee these services because they can be provided by pharmacy technicians and other workers. In addition, some states have passed laws that allow pharmacists to delegate some tasks to pharmacy technicians or other workers.

Related: Community Pharmacist Interview Questions and Answers

Community Pharmacist Job Requirements

A pharmacist in a community setting typically needs the following:

Education: Pharmacists need to complete a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy or a related field, such as chemistry or biology. These programs take four years to complete and include courses in pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry and mathematics.

After completing their undergraduate degree, pharmacists need to complete a Pharm.D. program. These two-year programs are offered by colleges and universities and include classroom and laboratory instruction.

Training & Experience: Pharmacists receive most of their training through their education and internship programs. Once they have completed their education, they must complete a one-year residency program to become licensed. During this time, they work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist to gain practical experience in the field.

Certifications & Licenses: Most states require pharmacists to apply for and obtain a license to practice. The type of license required varies from state to state, so it is important to check the requirements in your area.

Community Pharmacist Skills

Community pharmacists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Pharmacists use communication skills to interact with patients, colleagues and other medical professionals. They use these skills to explain treatment options, answer patient questions and provide information about medication. Pharmacists also use communication skills to collaborate with other medical professionals to ensure patients receive the care they need.

Customer service: Customer service skills allow pharmacists to interact with patients and customers in a friendly and helpful manner. Pharmacists use these skills to explain treatment options, answer questions and provide information about medications. Customer service skills can also help pharmacists build positive relationships with patients, which can help them build trust and encourage patients to take their medications as directed.

Medical knowledge: Pharmacists need to stay up-to-date on medical information to help patients make informed decisions about their health. They need to know the latest treatments for various conditions and how medications interact with each other. They also need to know the side effects of medications and how to treat them. This information can help them make recommendations to patients about their health.

Technological skills: Pharmacists use computers and other technology to enter patient information, track inventory and order supplies. They also use technology to communicate with other medical professionals and patients. Technological skills can include computer literacy, software skills and the ability to troubleshoot technical issues.

Business acumen: Pharmacists use business acumen to understand the financial aspects of running a pharmacy. They may need to manage budgets, order supplies and hire staff. Pharmacists may also use business acumen to understand the legal aspects of operating a pharmacy, such as complying with regulations.

Community Pharmacist Work Environment

Community pharmacists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, retail pharmacies, and other health care facilities. They typically work 40 hours per week, although some may work evenings, weekends, or holidays. Many community pharmacists are self-employed and set their own hours. Some pharmacists may travel to visit patients in their homes or to attend continuing education seminars. The work environment is usually clean and well-lit, and the work is generally not physically demanding. However, pharmacists may be exposed to infectious diseases and hazardous drugs. They may also be exposed to potential violence from disgruntled patients or customers.

Community Pharmacist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how community pharmacists work. Community pharmacists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Role of the Community Pharmacist Will Change

The role of the community pharmacist is changing as health care moves towards a more patient-centered model. This shift is leading to an increased demand for community pharmacists who can provide patient care services that go beyond dispensing medication.

Community pharmacists will need to be able to communicate effectively with patients and understand their needs in order to provide the best possible care. They will also need to be familiar with new technologies that can help them manage patient data more efficiently.

Pharmacists Are Becoming More Like Healthcare Providers

Pharmacists are becoming more like healthcare providers as they are increasingly responsible for managing patient care. This trend is being driven by the increasing complexity of pharmaceutical products, which requires pharmacists to have a deeper understanding of how to use them safely and effectively.

As pharmacists become more like healthcare providers, they will need to develop skills in areas such as patient communication, counseling, and disease management. In addition, pharmacists will need to be able to work collaboratively with other members of the healthcare team in order to provide the best possible care for patients.

More Collaboration Between Pharmacists and Other Health Professionals

Pharmacists are increasingly collaborating with other health professionals in order to provide better care for patients. This trend is most evident in hospitals, where pharmacists are working with doctors and nurses to ensure that patients receive the right medications at the right time.

In the future, pharmacists will likely continue to collaborate with other health professionals in order to provide better care for patients. This collaboration will require pharmacists to be well-versed in other areas of medicine, such as nursing and medical technology.

How to Become a Community Pharmacist

A career as a community pharmacist can be rewarding in many ways. You’ll have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives, help them stay healthy, and provide advice on how to manage their medications.

You’ll also have the chance to develop strong relationships with your patients, which can lead to referrals and additional business. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about new medications and treatments that are available, so you can keep up with the latest developments in pharmacy practice.

Advancement Prospects

After completing an accredited pharmacy program and passing state and national exams, pharmacists typically begin their careers working in a community pharmacy setting. They may advance to positions such as pharmacy manager, staff pharmacist, or clinical pharmacist.

Pharmacists with advanced degrees may move into research, teaching, or hospital administration. Some pharmacists open their own pharmacies. Pharmacists with entrepreneurial skills may be interested in starting a pharmaceutical company or other business related to the pharmacy field.

Community Pharmacist Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are passionate about providing excellent patient care and being a trusted resource in the community. We are looking for a community pharmacist to join our team and help us achieve our goals. The ideal candidate will have a strong interest in patient care and be able to build relationships with patients and other healthcare providers. He or she will be responsible for dispensing medications, providing patient education, and participating in community outreach programs. The community pharmacist will also be responsible for maintaining inventory and ordering supplies.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Provide professional pharmacy services to patients in a community setting
  • Dispense medications and counsel patients on the use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbals, and dietary supplements
  • Perform health screenings, provide immunizations, and offer other wellness services
  • Maintain patient confidentiality and adhere to all HIPAA regulations
  • Keep abreast of new developments in the field of pharmacy and participate in continuing education opportunities
  • Stay up-to-date on changes in insurance coverage and reimbursement policies
  • Supervise pharmacy technicians and support staff
  • Manage inventory, place orders for medications and supplies, and oversee the budget for the pharmacy
  • Resolve customer complaints in a timely and professional manner
  • Participate in community outreach programs to promote the pharmacy and its services
  • Serve on committees and work groups at the local, state, and national level
  • Advocate for the profession of pharmacy and the role of the pharmacist in the healthcare system

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in pharmacy or related field
  • Pharmacy license in good standing
  • 2+ years experience as a pharmacist
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Strong organizational, time-management, and multitasking skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • 4+ years experience as a pharmacist
  • Experience working in a community pharmacy setting
  • Experience with electronic health records
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish)


What Does a Daycare Director Do?

Back to Career Development

What Does an IT Delivery Manager Do?