Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians play vital roles in the health care system. Both professions offer opportunities to work in different settings, such as community pharmacies, health-systems, educational institutions and the pharmaceutical industry.
Becoming a pharmacist requires specialized education at the graduate level. Potential pharmacists receive six years of education and graduate with a degree called a Doctor of Pharmacy, or Pharm.D.
There are three colleges of pharmacy in the state of Michigan:
View a list of U.S. colleges of pharmacy.
Pharmacy technicians provide valuable support to pharmacists. To practice in Michigan, pharmacy technicians must be licensed through the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). More information regarding licensure as a pharmacy technician, please visit the LARA Web site. Licensure through the state requires that applicants for a pharmacy technician license pass an examination approved by the Michigan Board of Pharmacy. National certification through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is one potential way that pharmacy technician applicants can meet the state requirements for licensure. For more information on training and certification for pharmacy technicians, visit the PTCB Web site or call PTCB at (800) 363-8012.
MPA also offers several resources to help pharmacy technicians prepare for and excel in their careers. The Pharmacy Certified Technician Training Manual seeks to address pharmacy technician practice and prepare technicians for everyday functions of their job in major practice settings. In addition, MPA offers a continuing education workbook, calculations workbook and various law resources. Visit the MPA Online Store for additional information.
Pharmacists are more than people behind the counter who fill prescriptions. Pharmacists are the medication experts, and their professional services ensure that patients receive the best health care outcomes and obtain the best results from their medications.
There are many different practice settings and professional paths available to those pursuing a career in pharmacy. Below are descriptions of several options available to people who choose pharmacy as their calling.
In addition, in 2014, MPA began publishing practice spotlights that focus on unique career opportunities in pharmacy in Michigan Pharmacist journal. Click on the links below to access these features. Additional spotlights will be published in the future.
This list doesn’t even begin to cover the endless possibilities available to those interested in a career in pharmacy. Pharmacists also hold positions in federal, state and professional organizations (including MPA!) Students who aren’t sure of the area of pharmacy they’d like to go into are encouraged to research different areas of practice, talk with current pharmacists practicing in those fields and utilize mentors to help guide them to the right career choice.
For more information about the career opportunities available in pharmacy, utilize these resources on the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Web site:
How much your education will cost depends on where you enroll, distance to your hometown and the extent to which public dollars are used to support the pharmacy institution. Whether you're researching pharmacy education, or already enrolled as a student, utilize the links below for information on ways to help fund your education.