How to Become a Pharmacist in Florida

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Pharmacists are trained to mix and distribute medications. The training is very involved and takes years to complete. A pharmacist must have a high-level of math and science ability, as well as be able to counsel patients about drug interaction and therapies. If you want to become a pharmacist in Florida, you will need to get a degree and and pass several state licensing examinations.

  • Get a college degree. Study subjects like physics, chemistry, biology and math. Many pharmacists opt to attend a 4-year university before going to an accredited pharmacy school. Know that your degree does not need to necessarily be in pharmacy-related study. Keep your GPA at or above a 3.0.

  • Take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) and go to pharmacy school. Many people who want to become a pharmacist in Florida, opt to get either a Master's of Science or PhD from a pharmacy school. Students generally do this to become more competitive in the job market. You have to get a bachelor's degree from a 4-year pharmacy program before you can qualify to take licensing examinations later. You also need a bachelor's degree to study at the master's or post-graduate level.

  • Opt for a residency. Some employers require that you complete additional pharmacy training even after graduating from an accredited school. If you plan to work at a hospital pharmacy, know you will probably have to participate in on-the-job practicum.

  • Take the pharmacy exam. If you want to become a pharmacist in Florida, take either the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) or the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE). It take about 30 days to get these results back. If you fail the exam, you can take it again after 90 days.

  • Apply for a state license to the Florida Board of Pharmacy. In order to do this have your NAPLEX or MPJE scores sent directly to their offices in Tallahassee. You cannot apply unless you have already graduated from pharmacy school, as well. The Board will need transcripts, grade reports and between $130 and $175 for application fees.

Tips & Warnings

  • Licensed pharmacists can make approximately $100,000 a year.
  • Contact the Florida Board of Pharmacy at mqa_pharmacy@doh.state.fl.us or call (850) 245-4292.
  • Make sure your college or pharmacy schools are accredited.

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