There has been a lot of feedback about my original article “Is Pharmacy School Worth it?” I decided to address all the complaints. Thus I will break down the math as simple as possible for those who got confused. Let’s do math together! Continue reading
Lately, I have been getting the question “is pharmacy school is worth it?” What does this exactly mean? There are two ways to look at this question. Either from a financial standpoint or career perspective. Personally, I tend to look at things at a financial perspective. I believe this has been ingrained into me growing up in a low-modest income family. We will examine both perspectives below in more detail:
Is Pharmacy School Worth it?
Financial Perspective: Going to college does not equal high paying job compared to the past. Today colleges are handing out diplomas for bachelors degrees as long as you pay your tuition. To be of any value to businesses you must have desirable skills or specialized knowledge. The major you choose will always have variable outcomes. However, some majors will give you a higher probability of employment, higher salaries, and career development opportunities.
First lets compare how long it would take before a pharmacist breaks even in net worth compared to a pharmacy technician. Continue reading
Many people strive to make a six figure salary. This obviously should not be your #1 reason for becoming a pharmacist. I believe you should be passionate about what you do, however, it should be something that pays well too. People will always tell you to “follow your passion” and not worry about the $$$ involved. “Money is not important, money does not buy happiness”. I think this is ideological advice that will bite you in the ass. Those who have an inheritance from their parents/family are the only ones that can afford to truly follow their passion without worrying about how much money they are going to make.
Growing up in a modest income family, I learned to work hard and be conscious about earning and spending money. I will not inherit any assets, in fact, I will be the provider for my family in the end. I have accepted the role of being financially responsible for my parents when they are not able to support themselves anymore. In addition, I will always be there if my brother needs financial help. Without proper management of my finances I would be unable to do this. Thus it was important to me to also consider salary when choosing a career to pursue.
As a high school student I never thought I would make a six figure salary. I grew up in a family of 4 with my parents only making about $40k per year. My goal in high school was to make at least $50,000 per year after college. I far exceeded this goal. Now I have new goals to be financially independent by the age of 40. If everything works out my goal is to scale back to 16-24 hours a week. I may have to work full time past my goal, as I suspect my parents will need my assistance in the future.
What is the Pharmacist Take Home Salary?
In recent years the topic of pharmacist salaries often comes up during conversations. They come up in the work environment, happy hour, family parties, and when I do volunteer work. Questions that come up include: “How much do pharmacist make?”, “How much do you make per hour?”, “What do pharmacist make per year?”. It is interesting because pharmacist salaries can vary widely depending on several factors. This can include:
- Type of pharmacy practice
- Pharmacist Experience
- Pharmacist credentials such as specializing and certifications
- Geographic Location
- Network can also play a role
I find people focus primarily on gross pay when it comes to compensation. The overall compensation can be significantly more depending on the BENEFITS package. Here are some examples: Continue reading
College is very expensive and the majority of us have to take out some sort of loan to cover the costs. Luckily, I was able to save up a decent amount of money working internship jobs and summer jobs. I had some scholarships and my parents helped me pay for housing. Once I hit graduate school I was on my own and was not able to finance it without taking out significant student loans.
After 3 years of undergraduate school and 4 years of pharmacy school I ended up with $85,000 in student loans to pay back. I paid off my student loans in less than 2 years after graduating. What I had not realized back then was that I could have refinanced my student loans at a lower interest rate. This would have ultimately saved me thousands of dollars in interest if I had paid off my student loans over 10 years instead. For the typical pharmacist or graduate coming out of school they will make monthly payments for 10 years depending on the timeline of the loans. Over that long time frame interest will pile up and in the end you will have paid much more than you had initially borrowed.
Lets look at the numbers for fun. I graduated with an interest rate of 6.8% on a $85,000 dollar student loan. Continue reading
2 years have past since I graduated Pharmacy School in June of 2012. It is quite astonishing how fast time has flown by. It feels as if my graduation was just last month. During my 4th year of rotations I feared it would be very difficult to find job opportunities in the Seattle metropolitan area. There were many jobs available in rural locations, however it has become more competitive in the big cities.
Luckily, my pharmacy internship turned into a per diem inpatient pharmacist job at a hospital. I also landed a per diem job as a long term care pharmacist shortly after becoming licensed. With both of these jobs I was averaging over 40 hours a week. I was very happy and grateful but still felt uneasy about not having a full time job with benefits. After 6 months, I was offered a full time position as a long term care pharmacist. This cemented all the hard work I had put in the past 7.5 years.
Pharmacist Reflection 2 Years after Graduating Pharmacy School
Fast forward and now its 2 years since graduating pharmacy school. I have progressed to become the main IV Pharmacist at the long term care pharmacy. There I manage the IV Continue reading