Pharmacy Schools in Illinois
If you'd like to work in health care and enjoy the science behind medications, becoming a pharmacist may be the right path for you. Pharmacists undergo rigorous training to learn about a wide range of medications as well as critical information like side effects and interactions between drugs. If you have what it takes to succeed in this dynamic field, pharmacy schools in Illinois can help you get trained.
As a pharmacist, you could specialize in:
- Intravenous nutrition support
- Oncology (Cancer)
- Nuclear pharmacy (for chemotherapy)
- Geriatric pharmacy
- Psychiatric pharmacy
In 2009, Illinois pharmacists earned a mean annual salary of $103,590, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That's slightly less than the national average of $106,630. However, the cost of living in Illinois is below the national average as well, according to 2010 data from the Missouri Economic and Research Information Center.
Pharmacy Careers Expected to Experience Major Growth
As of May 2009, 267,860 pharmacists worked in the U.S., and 9,910 worked in Illinois, according to the BLS. The pharmacy field is expected to grow by 17 percent nationally between 2008 and 2018, which is faster than average for all occupations. However, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, that rate is only 11.25 percent in Illinois. Still, the growth rate for pharmacists exceeds the state's overall job growth rate of 8.66 percent.
Pharmacy Schools in Illinois Open Opportunities
Pharmacy schools in Illinois offer a PharmD degree. According to the BLS, the state no longer offers a bachelor's of pharmacy degree. You must have at least two years of professional or college-level study for admittance into a PharmD program. It's also advised you take natural science and mathematics courses like:
Most applicants must complete three years of study before entering Illinois pharmacy schools. Hands-on experience is a large part of the curriculum, and students at pharmacy schools in Illinois usually work under licensed pharmacists to gain the skills they need to enter the marketplace.
Once you earn your PharmD degree, you must pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX), which tests pharmacy skills and knowledge. Graduates of pharmacy schools in Illinois (and students in 43 other states) must also take an extra test,The Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE), which tests your knowledge about pharmacy law.
Pharmacy is one part science, one part medicine, and one part communication. If you'd like to join the ranks of pharmacists in The Prairie State, consider pharmacy schools in Illinois.
Also try online schools for pharmacy, for more choices and flexibility.