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Career and Education Opportunities for Pharmacists in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for pharmacists. About 12,200 people are currently employed as pharmacists in Pennsylvania. By 2016, this is expected to grow 16% to about 14,050 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for pharmacists are expected to grow by about 17.0%. Pharmacists generally compound and dispense medications following prescriptions issued by physicians, dentists, or other authorized medical practitioners.

Income for pharmacists is about $46 per hour or $96,020 per year on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally, their income is about $51 per hour or $106,410 per year. Earnings for pharmacists are better than earnings in the general category of Pharmacy in Pennsylvania and better than general Pharmacy category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: pharmacist apprentice, pharmacy consultant, and hospital pharmacist.

The Pittsburgh area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree as a pharmacist. Given that the most common education level for pharmacists is a first professional degree, it will take two years to learn to be 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 Pittsburgh include:

  • Medical Laboratory Technician. Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist. Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.
  • Nuclear Medical Technologist. Prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies utilizing a variety of radioisotope equipment. Prepare stock solutions of radioactive materials and calculate doses to be administered by radiologists. Subject patients to radiation. Execute blood volume, red cell survival, and fat absorption studies following standard laboratory techniques.
  • Pharmacist Technician. Prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. May measure, mix, and record amounts and dosages of medications.
  • Physician Assistant. Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.
  • 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.


Duquesne University - Pittsburgh, PA

Duquesne University, Administration Bldg 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15282. Duquesne University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,106 students and an admission rate of 76%. Duquesne University has 6 areas of study related to Pharmacist. They are:

  • Pharmacy, professional degree which graduated 151 students in 2008.
  • Pharmacy Administration & Pharmacy Policy & Regulatory Affairs, master's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated three and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Industrial & Physical Pharmacy & Cosmetic Sciences, master's degree.
  • Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Administration, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Pittsburgh, PA

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus, 4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,562 students and an admission rate of 56%. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus has 2 areas of study related to Pharmacist. They are:

  • Pharmacy, doctor's degree which graduated 96 students in 2008.
  • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design, doctor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.


Pharmacist License

Licensing agency: Department of State
Address: Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, Pharmacy Board, 116 Pine Street, PO Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649

Phone: (717) 783-7157
Website: Department of State Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs Pharmacy Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.