Pharmacists

(NOC 3131)

in All Health

Pharmacists compound and dispense prescribed medications. They support caregivers and other health care professionals and help patients manage their medications. Pharmacists work in retail and hospital pharmacies, or they may be self-employed. Industrial pharmacists participate in the research, development, promotion, and manufacture of pharmaceutical products. They work for pharmaceutical companies and government departments and agencies.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 175 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Health

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 3180 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow slightly over the next few years, which should provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Pharmacists most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 64% of Pharmacists who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $93,446. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

$64,830

Minimum

$93,743

Median

$123,079

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.38

Minimum

$30.45

Median

$41.35

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,740

Minimum

$43,853

Median

$88,944

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Pharmacists compound and dispense prescribed medications. They support caregivers and other health care professionals and help patients manage their medications. Pharmacists work in retail and hospital pharmacies, or they may be self-employed. Industrial pharmacists participate in the research, development, promotion, and manufacture of pharmaceutical products. They work for pharmaceutical companies and government departments and agencies.

Job duties

Community pharmacists and hospital pharmacists:

  • Check prescriptions for proper dosage.
  • Compound prescribed medications by calculating, measuring, and mixing the quantities of drugs and other ingredients required and filling appropriate containers with correct quantity.
  • Dispense prescribed medications to customers or to other health care professionals and advise them on dosage and signs of adverse effects and drug interactions.
  • Maintain medication profiles of customers including registry of poisons and narcotic and controlled drugs.
  • Make sure vaccines, serums, biologicals, and other drugs are prepared, packaged, distributed, and stored properly.
  • Order and maintain stock of pharmaceutical supplies.
  • Advise customers on selection and use of non-prescription medication.
  • May supervise and coordinate the activities of other pharmacists, pharmacy assistants, pharmacy technicians, and other staff.

Industrial pharmacists:

  • Participate in research for the development of new drugs.
  • Make new drug products developed by medical researchers.
  • Test new drug products for stability and to determine absorption and elimination patterns.
  • Coordinate clinical investigations of new drugs.
  • Control the quality of drug products during production to ensure that they meet standards of potency, purity, uniformity, stability, and safety.
  • Develop information materials concerning the uses, properties, and risks of drugs.
  • Evaluate labelling, packaging, and advertising of drug products.
  • Promote pharmaceutical products to health professionals.

Sample job titles

  • clinical pharmacist
  • dispensary department supervisor - hospital
  • hospital pharmacist
  • pharmacist
  • pharmacist consultant
  • retail pharmacist

Skills

You should have an interest in helping people in a healthcare environment. You should have an interest in chemistry and an aptitude for detail, precision, and accuracy. Effective communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills are essential. You must be patient and able to deal with people in a mature, tactful, and empathetic way.

Job requirements

  • A Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy is required.
  • Pharmacists also require practical training under the supervision of a pharmacist.
  • Licensure is required in Nova Scotia for community and hospital pharmacists.

Other considerations

Pharmacists often work rotating shifts that include evenings and holidays.

By the numbers

Quick look

1,405

employed in 2016

80.4%

employed full-time

6.4%

self employed

71.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
28.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
39.9

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

75.7%

employed full-time

9.6%

self employed

83.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
16.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

53.9%

Halifax

14.5%

North Shore

14.5%

Cape Breton

9.6%

Southern

7.4%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

85.3%

Retail trade

12.4%

Health care and social assistance

0.8%

Public administration

0.8%

Manufacturing

0.8%

Wholesale trade

What is the age of Employment?

30.0%

25-34

23.0%

35-44

21.0%

45-54

17.0%

55-64

7.0%

15-24

2.0%

65+

Compared to: All Health

24.0%

25-34

23.9%

45-54

21.9%

35-44

18.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

81.4%

Bachelor's degree

$85,807 median annual income
8.9%

University advanced certificate or diploma

$82,401 median annual income
3.6%

Master's degree

$59,832 median annual income
2.1%

Doctorate

$89,535 median annual income
1.1%

College certificate or diploma

N/A

Compared to: All Health

38.4%

College certificate or diploma

$40,033 median annual income
27.1%

Bachelor's degree

$61,668 median annual income
8.7%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

$81,191 median annual income
6.8%

High school

$24,829 median annual income
5.1%

Master's degree

$69,296 median annual income

Education & training

Medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry (MSc, PhD)

This program is typically offered at the university graduate level (Masters, PhD)

This instructional program class includes any program that focuses on the application of chemistry to the study of biologically and clinically active substances, biological and pharmacological interactions, and the development of associated research methods, techniques, and clinical trial procedures. These programs include courses in organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular graphics, rational drug design, toxicology, molecular biology, pharmacology, enzyme mechanisms, receptor theory, neurochemistry, drug metabolism, drug synthesis, biological mechanisms of drug action, research tools and techniques, and laboratory safety.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Pharmacy (PharmD [USA], PharmD or BSc/BPharm [Canada])

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class includes any program that prepares individuals for the independent or employed practice of preparing and dispensing drugs and medications in consultation with prescribing physicians and other health care professionals, and for managing pharmacy practices and counselling patients. These programs include courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacognosy, pharmacy practice, pharmacy administration, applicable regulations, and professional standards and ethics.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Pharmacist

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated, and the job title is protected in Nova Scotia (you may not use this job title without holding a provincial licence). A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists
1559 Brunswick Street, Suite 200
Halifax, NS B3J 2G1
(902) 422-8528
(902) 422-0885

Contacts

Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists, Nova Scotia Branch
Halifax, NS
Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia
170 Cromarty Drive, Suite 225
Dartmouth, NS B3B 0G1
Tel: (902) 422-9583
Fax: (902) 422-2619
Health Care Human Resource Sector Council
380 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2L4
Tel: (902) 461-0871
Fax: (902) 461-9572
Canadian Pharmacists Association
1785 Alta Vista Drive
Ottawa, ON K1G 3Y6
Tel: (800) 917-9489
Fax: (613) 523-0445

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