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How to Become a Pharmacist

Follow these steps to begin your new career as a health professional.


  • Step 1: Graduate from high school Graduate from high school with a curriculum focused on math and science.
  • Step 2: Earn a degree in pharmacy Graduate from a two- or four-year college, taking pre-pharmacy courses. Then, apply to an accredited pharmacy school, and graduate with a doctor of pharmacy degree.
  • TIP: Most pharmacy schools don't require applicants to have a four-year degree, but many prefer one.
  • Step 3: Pass the NAPLEX Pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
  • Step 4: Pass a state exam Pass the pharmacy laws examination in the state where you wish to practice.
  • Step 5: Apply for a pharmacy license Apply for and obtain a pharmacy license from the state in which you wish to practice.
  • Step 6: Apply for jobs Apply for pharmacy positions in hospitals, drug stores, or pharmacies.
  • FACT: There are 116 accredited colleges and schools of pharmacy in the U.S.

You Will Need

  • High school diploma
  • Doctor of pharmacy degree
  • Passing score on the NAPLEX
  • Passing score on the state pharmaceutical exam
  • Pharmacy license

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