Employment of pharmacists is projected to grow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Several factors are likely to contribute to this increase.
Demand is projected to increase for pharmacists in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals and clinics. These facilities will need more pharmacists to oversee the medications given to patients and to provide patient care, performing tasks such as testing a patient's blood sugar or cholesterol.
The large baby-boom generation is aging, and older people typically use more prescription medicines than younger people. Higher rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes among all age groups will also lead to demand for prescription medications. In addition, scientific advances will lead to new drug products.
The number of individuals who have access to health insurance is expected to continue to increase because of federal health insurance reform. As more people have access to insurance coverage, more pharmacists will be needed to fill their prescriptions and to consult with patients about their medications.
Employment of pharmacists in traditional retail settings is projected to decline slightly as mail order and online pharmacy sales increase.
The number of pharmacy schools has grown in recent years, creating more pharmacy school graduates and therefore more competition for jobs. Students who choose to complete a residency program gain additional experience that may improve their job prospects. Certification from the Board of Pharmacy Specialties or as a Certified Diabetes Educator also may be viewed favorably by employers.
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Health diagnosing and treating practitioners
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program