Try to imagine a pharmacist. Your first thought might be someone in a white coat dispensing medication at your local Walgreens. Although the majority of pharmacists do work in local pharmacies and drug stores, pharmacy is an incredibly versatile career that offers many work opportunities. As someone interested in pursuing a career in pharmacy, it’s important to know the various positions available to you after graduation.
There are several reasons that a versatile career path is good news for pharmacy students. For one, there are many industries that prospective pharmacists can enter into (both traditional and nontraditional). For example, there are several nontraditional pathways that pharmacists can pursue including regulatory careers, research roles, and even animal treatment. Another is the flexibility to change fields. As in many professions, your first job in pharmacy will likely not be your last. You can start your pharmacy career in retail and still have the ability to work in a hospital, or even the pharmaceutical industry.
Here are some of the top industries pharmacists serve, specifically in the state of Massachusetts.
1. Pharmacies and Drug Stores
In Massachusetts, 42.7 percent of pharmacists work in community pharmacies and drug stores. This work setting is ideal for candidates interested in community pharmacy, although clinical pharmacists may also find work here. Pharmacists in drug stores dispense medication to patients over the counter and educate them on the health risks and proper administration. Community pharmacists also handle additional patient care duties such as administering vaccinations and diagnostic testing (i.e., COVID 19).
Pharmacists across the board are more commonly found in the Greater Boston area, but other cities have a need for these healthcare professionals as well. Here are the most common cities in Massachusetts that pharmacists in this industry work in:
There is an abundance of local, family-owned pharmacies that are looking to hire pharmacists. However, the majority of jobs in Massachusetts come from larger drug stores operating in the retail space. The top 5 pharmacy and drug store companies hiring in MA are:
If you’re interested in starting your pharmacy career distributing over-the-counter medications in a retail location, the pharmacy and drugstore industry is an excellent choice. In addition to offering the majority of pharmacy-related jobs, it’s a great place to begin a pharmacy career since it can often lead to a management position as well.
2. General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
Another common industry pharmacists find themselves in is the hospital setting—specifically general medical and surgical hospitals. Approximately 21 percent of pharmacists in Massachusetts work in this field.
The majority of pharmacists working in a hospital setting are clinical pharmacists. They provide support and treatment to patients in collaboration with other healthcare professionals. This position involves direct patient care and intervention. Clinical pharmacists evaluate patient prescriptions, prescribe new or recommend ending existing medications, order labs to evaluate treatment, and more. If you’re looking for work that involves interaction with a variety of patients as well as other healthcare professionals, pursuing a pharmacy job in a hospital is the perfect choice.
Working as a clinical pharmacist in Massachusetts provides you with a variety of locations to choose from. The 5 most common cities in Massachusetts that are hiring pharmacists in the medical and surgical hospital space are:
Any medical center that has a hospital pharmacy likely hires clinical pharmacists. The top hospitals hiring pharmacists in the state of Massachusetts are:
- Massachusetts General Hospital
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
- UMASS Memorial Medical Center
- Cambridge Health Alliance
Consider reaching out to these organizations and network when possible if you are interested in becoming a clinical pharmacist. This can be a great way to get your foot in the door.
3. Supermarkets and Grocery Stores
Supermarkets and grocery stores are another industry that hire community pharmacists. Similarly to the drug store industry, there are opportunities for staff pharmacists as well as clinical pharmacists. Approximately 7.2 percent of pharmacists in Massachusetts work in a supermarket or grocery store setting.
While most towns and cities in Massachusetts have a supermarket or grocery store, here are the top 5 cities in this industry hiring pharmacists:
Even though the majority of supermarket customers may not visit the store for medication needs, grocery stores are still a highly convenient location for a pharmacy. Here are some of the most common supermarket and grocery store pharmacies hiring in Massachusetts:
4. Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters
Another industry that typically hires community pharmacists is warehouse clubs and supercenters. In Massachusetts, 2.8 percent of pharmacists work in a warehouse club or supercenter.
Massachusetts supercenters with pharmacies are most commonly found in the following cities:
The largest supercenter hiring pharmacists in Massachusetts is Costco Wholesale. Costco’s pharmacy offers a variety of services including immunizations, vaccinations, as well as a location to pick up medications for people and pets alike.
5. Offices of Physicians
Approximately 2 percent of pharmacists in Massachusetts work in physicians offices. These positions usually call for clinical pharmacists or pharmacy clinical coordinators. They work with other healthcare professionals to provide direct care patients need.
As is the case with the majority of industries in Massachusetts, most jobs can be found in the Greater Boston Area. However, your options aren’t limited to Boston. While you can find work in any area that has physicians offices, clinical pharmacists often find employment in offices in the following Massachusetts cities:
- North Attleborough
- East Longmeadow
If a clinical position appeals to you, but you’re not necessarily interested in work at a hospital, a physician’s office may be the perfect choice for you. The top physicians offices looking for pharmacists in Massachusetts are:
Is a Pharmacy Career Right for You?
Pharmacy is a highly rewarding career that allows you to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients on a regular basis. What impacts quality of life to the extent that medications do? If you are considering becoming a pharmacist, the first step is to obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from an accredited pharmacy program like the one at Northeastern University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Finding the right program will put you on the path to becoming a successful pharmacist.