Becoming a Veterinary Pharmacist

Veterinary Pharmacists are specially trained health professionals who dispense veterinary drugs, to small, large and exotic animals that have been prescribed by a veterinarian. They also offer advice to the owners of animals for the safe use of prescribed drugs as well as other safety concerns of the animal patients and surroundings.  Their key responsibilities include providing consultations on dosage and side effects of medications, preparing sterile and non-sterile compounds, designing immunization routines, supervising pharmacy technicians or other support staff members, ensuring that all regulatory directives are properly maintained, Keeping records and doing other administrative tasks as directed.

Work Environment

Veterinary Pharmacists may work in different environment such as veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, clinical pharmacy, pharmaceutical companies, veterinary schools, and a variety of regulatory agencies. However, the duties of Veterinary Pharmacists may vary depending on the specific nature of their working environment. For instance, those working in regulatory roles may be involved with testing, research, education, and enforcement. On the other hand, those working in academic settings may be involved with teaching classes for veterinary students.

Most Veterinary Pharmacists work full time. They may have to work in the nights and weekends. In most settings, they spend much of the workday on their feet.

Educational Requirement

To become a Veterinary Pharmacist, the aspiring candidates have to obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree, which generally takes 4 years to complete.  The coursework includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical components.

Since the Veterinary Pharmacist must be licensed in the U.S., the prospective Veterinary Pharmacists have to pass the standardized North American Veterinary Licensing Exam. The candidates must be members of the Society of Veterinary Hospital Pharmacists (SVHP).

Job Outlook and Salary

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities for the Veterinary Pharmacist may rise 3 percent from 2012 to 2022. The average annual salary of a Veterinary Pharmacist was $121,500 in May 2015.

Penn Foster College
A.A.S. in Veterinary Technology
Penn Foster College - Distance Learning Program
Become a vet tech in as little as 1 year. The Penn Foster Veterinary Technician associate degree program is fully accredited by the AVMA.
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