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Career and Education Opportunities for Pharmacists in Columbia, Missouri

If you want to be a pharmacist, the Columbia, Missouri area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 4,860 working pharmacists in Missouri; this should grow 22% to 5,910 working pharmacists in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for pharmacists, which sees this job pool growing by about 17.0% over the next eight years. Pharmacists generally compound and dispense medications following prescriptions issued by physicians, dentists, or other authorized medical practitioners.

Pharmacists earn about $50 per hour or $105,930 yearly on average in Missouri and about $51 hourly or $106,410 per year on average nationally. Earnings for pharmacists are better than earnings in the general category of Pharmacy in Missouri and better than general Pharmacy category earnings nationally. People working as pharmacists can fill a number of jobs, such as: outpatient pharmacy manager, staff pharmacist, and industrial pharmacist.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a pharmacist. The most common level of education for pharmacists is a first professional degree. You can expect to spend two years training to become a pharmacist if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or about six years starting with a high school diploma.


Pharmacist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, pharmacists compound and dispense medications following prescriptions issued by physicians, dentists, or other authorized medical practitioners.

Pharmacists furnish data and advice regarding drug interactions, side effects, dosage and proper medication storage. They also maintain records, such as pharmacy files, patient profiles, charge system files, inventories, control records for radioactive nuclei, and registries of poisons and controlled drugs. Equally important, pharmacists have to inspect prescriptions to assure accuracy, to ascertain the needed ingredients, and to review their suitability. They are often called upon to order and purchase pharmaceutical supplies and drugs, maintaining stock and storing and handling it properly. They are expected to dispense medications as prescribed by doctors and dentists. Finally, pharmacists offer health promotion and prevention efforts, for example, training people to use devices such as blood pressure or diabetes monitors.

Every day, pharmacists are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for pharmacists to formulate and maintain processes for mixing and labeling pharmaceuticals, in line with policy and legal requirements, to insure quality and proper disposal. They are often called upon to analyze prescribing trends to track patient compliance and to inhibit excessive usage or harmful interactions. They also collaborate with other health care professionals to develop and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of drugs and drug regimens, providing advice on drug applications and characteristics. They are sometimes expected to assess the identity, strength and purity of medications. Somewhat less frequently, pharmacists are also expected to teach pharmacy students serving as interns in preparation for their graduation or licensure.

and work in hospitals or for Health Management Organizations (HMOs), dispensing prescriptions, serving as a medical team consultants, or specializing in specific drug therapy areas such as oncology or nuclear pharmacotherapy. And finally, they sometimes have to publish educational data for other pharmacists or patients.

Like many other jobs, pharmacists must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Medical Laboratory Technologist. Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.
  • Respiratory Therapist. Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, and operate equipment.


University of Missouri-Columbia - Columbia, MO

University of Missouri-Columbia, 105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. University of Missouri-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,130 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Missouri-Columbia has a doctor's degree program in Pharmaceutics and Drug Design which graduated one student in 2008.



Columbia, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri photo by Grey_Wanderer

Columbia is situated in Boone County, Missouri. It has a population of over 100,733, which has grown by 19.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia are valued at $171,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Columbia, down from six hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 15 minutes. More than 50.5% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 6.8%, which is less than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Sugar Grove Church, Fairview Church and Emmanuel Church are among the churches located in Columbia. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia is home to the Columbia Country Club and the Columbia Plaza as well as Nickell Park and Stephens Park. Shopping centers in the area include Whitegate Shopping Center, North County Shopping Center and Biscayne Mall. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Churchill's, Columbia Super 8 Motel and Arrow Head Motel LLC for temporary stays in the area.