Choosing pharmacy as a career requires so much hard work, dedication, and time. It is not like getting a degree and you become a job-ready candidate. It is a field in which you gain experience over time. It is a continuous growing career. As pharmacy is categorized in so many career options, you will have a wide variety of options available. With so many career options available in the pharmacy field, you can choose the career as per your abilities and interests.
Among different career options out there in the pharmacy field, here we will discuss air force pharmacist career. What different things you can expect after becoming an Air Force Pharmacist. In this post, we will share everything you need to know to become an air force pharmacist – its requirements, salary, education qualifications, courses, scholarship, etc. Before you get into the air force pharmacy career, you must want to know the answers to different related questions.
Getting the answers to the related will help you to decide whether Air Force Pharmacy career is for you or not. In this post, we have answered some of the most common questions related to air force pharmacy. Let’s start with the main question – how much does an air force pharmacist make? It is an important question because before you get into this field, you must want to know how much you can actually earn after becoming into the field.
How Much Does An Air Force Pharmacist Make?
Salary is one of the crucial factors of any career option. It doesn’t matter what career option you choose; the important thing you take into consideration is the career’s earning potential. As there are so many career options out there after completing a pharmacy degree, you can follow the one that interests you.
The minimum education for becoming an air force pharmacist includes a doctor of pharmacy degree or bachelor of pharmacy from an accredited institution. Apart from this, you also must have completed an accredited residency or fellowship, or you need to have any other verifiable experience. You cannot get into the air force pharmacy right after completion of your doctor of pharmacy degree. The graduates need to obtain a license issued by the board of pharmacy in order to practice medicine within the 12 months of commissioning.
In the United States, the average salary for the pharmacist in the Air Force may fall between $127,000 and $144,000. However, the salary of the Air Force pharmacist is highly based on so many factors. Some of the factors are education, certifications, your skillset, and the number of years you have spent in the pharmacy.
The main motive of hiring pharmacists for the United States Air Force (USAF) is to provide Airmen proper health care. As an Air force pharmacist, you will be responsible for dispensing prescribed medications, helping the patients, and helping the patients understand proper usage and side effects. As the job positions for the Air force pharmacist will be different, the eligibility criteria will also be different. You need to prepare for the Air Force pharmacy as per the requirements. You cannot get into an air force pharmacy by just with a pharmacy degree.
How to Join the Military to Pay for Pharmacy School?
There are around 1.5 million Americans that do service in Armed forces. It includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Various army forces require pharmacists. If you have completed your pharmacy school, you might want to figure out how you can join the military to pay for your pharmacy school.
It is a good idea to join the military to pay for pharmacy school. To make the loan repayment easy for students, there are many options and programs prepared for you. You can easily repay the loan amount by joining any of the different programs for pharmacy officers. You can join any of the programs we have discussed here.
Pharmacists can get the sign-on bonus and loan repayment facility through the U.S Army. The Pharmacist Health Professions Loan Repayment Program provides up to $120,000 so that pharmacy students can repay the loan amount obtained during their pharmacy school.
Navy Pharmacy Officers
Navy Health Services Collegiate is the program offered by Navy to the pharmacy students. During the year 2014, students were receiving up to $134,600 over a maximum of 24 months. The graduates in pharmacy who commission in the Navy receive a $30,000 sign-on bonus plus the opportunity to get participated in the Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program.
Air Force Programs
The pharmacy students that have enrolled in the Air Force may participate in the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program. Air Force Program pays the tuition fees, expenses of the books, and also provides a monthly living stipend. If you commission as an active-duty officer, you may also participate in the Air Force Active Duty Health Professions Repayment Program. The program offers up to $40,000 to repay the pharmacy education loan amount.
Here, you can see that each of the military branches offers a scholarship program for the students so that they pay for their pharmacy school loan amount. Different branches offer scholarship program loan repayment programs and sign-on bonuses for the pharmacists. This way, you can join the military to pay for your pharmacy school.
Air Force Pharmacy & Air Force Pharmacy Technician
The Air Force Pharmacy and Pharmacy technician is one of the most lucrative careers after completing the pharmacy degree. The requirements for both the career options – U.S. Air Force Pharmacy positions and U.S. Air Force Pharmacy Technician positions are different. They have different training, qualifications, and education requirements.
In pharmacy job positions, the amount of responsibilities is more than that of the pharmacy technician job position. This is the reason why pharmacy and pharmacy technicians have different job position requirements. Let’s take a look at criteria for both: Air Force Pharmacy & Air Force Pharmacy Technician:
Air Force Pharmacy
The minimum education required to become an air force pharmacist is a doctor of pharmacy degree or bachelor of pharmacy from an accredited institution with the completion of residency, fellowship, or other experience.
The student must have a valid pharmacy license and a minimum of 2 years of experience in pharmacy practice assignments. The applicant will also need to complete a 5.5 week commissioned officer training course.
If we talk about the job duties of pharmacists, they can do the duties of pharmacy technicians, but they have more responsibilities. The pharmacist will make sure that the patient will use the product correctly by avoiding the misuse.
Air Force Pharmacy Technician
The minimum education required to become an Air Force pharmacy technician is a High School Diploma or GED. Apart from this, the individual also needs to meet the ASVAB general requirements for the Air Force.
If we talk about qualifications, you need to have normal color vision, you must have good communication skills (written & oral), and you must have completed one year of high school algebra. You will need to complete 8.5 weeks of basic military training.
The job duties of an air force pharmacy technician are to fulfill and dispense medications. After becoming a pharmacist technician, you need to work with patients, providers, and insurance companies.
Air Force Pharmacy Scholarship
Getting a scholarship for Air force pharmacy is the best way to begin your career in it. When it comes to the scholarship for air force pharmacy, the Air Force Pharmacy Health Profession Scholarship Program (HPSP) is the popular one.
This scholarship is for two- or one-year in which you get the benefit of tuition fees and all other necessary fees. It also includes reimbursement for necessary small equipment items, textbooks, and other important supplies for studying. And, you will also get the benefits of monthly allowances so that you can cover your living expenses.
To become eligible for the scholarship, you need to be a U.S. citizen with enrollment in an accredited pharmacy school. This way, if you want to get the scholarship, you can get it by meeting the requirements for it.
Air Force Pharmacy Requirements
Before you get into the Air force pharmacy, you need to understand different requirements for it. As we know, the duties of pharmacists and pharmacist technicians are somewhat similar, but both of them don’t have the same amount of authority and responsibility.
If we talk about pharmacists, they have more authority and responsibilities as compared to pharmacy technicians. As both of these have varied responsibilities, the requirements to become an Air force pharmacist and Air force pharmacy technician are different. Let’s take a look at education, qualifications, and training required to become an Air force pharmacist:
To fulfill the eligibility criteria for becoming an air force pharmacist, you must have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Or, you need to have a bachelor of pharmacy from an accredited institution with the completion of an accredited residency, fellowship, or other experience. Now, let’s take a look at the qualifications required to become an Air Force pharmacist:
As an Air Force pharmacist, you need to have valid pharmacist licensure. Your age must be between 18 and 41, and you must have a minimum of 2 years of experience in pharmacy practice assignments. Also, you need to have a normal color vision and you need to obtain the license issued by the board of pharmacy within 12 months.
Last but not least, you need to complete a 5.5 week commissioned officer training course. After fulfilling all the requirements for education, qualifications, and training, you will be eligible for Air Force Pharmacy.
Air Force Pharmacist Job Duties
As we know, the requirements, authority, and responsibilities of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are different; the same goes for job duties. There are some similarities in the job duties of pharmacists and pharmacist technicians, but they are different in many ways. The responsibilities and authority of air force pharmacists are more as compared to air force pharmacy technicians.
If we talk about the job duties of pharmacists, they can do any of the jobs of pharmacy technicians. It is because they have more responsibilities and power as compared to technicians. The basic and crucial job duty of a pharmacist is to make sure that medication dosages prescribed are correct. The pharmacist also needs to make sure that the patient is getting them in the correct order.
The pharmacist guides the patients when they get the medication prescription by explaining them with potential side effects. Pharmacists also instruct the patients about the proper usage of the medication.
They make sure that the patient is aware of how to use the product in the right way so that the misuse can be avoided. Pharmacists will go through prescriptions and check out whether the medication is correct for the particular disease or not. Various duties of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians ensure the proper health of airmen.
The pharmacists need to be very careful about the compound mixing and dosage for medications; hence they assist regarding proper mixing of compound and dosage requirements.
The power, liability, and accountability are more in the pharmacist position as compared to the pharmacy technician position. Because of this, pharmacists need to have more knowledge and capabilities. As an air force pharmacist, you need to have a great decision-making ability on customer care. They also have to work on the pharmacies that are high-tech and allow automation.
Benefits of Becoming an Air Force Pharmacist
If we talk about pharmacy, you need to choose your career path depending on your interests and skills. To help students understand whether air force pharmacy is ideal for them or not, here we have explained the benefits of becoming an Air force pharmacist. Here we have explained different benefits of both air force pharmacy and air force pharmacy technician.
Out of so many advantages, one of the best advantages is that it would be beneficial if you enter the air force as a pharmacy technician with the goal of becoming a pharmacist. And, for the students who are entering as a pharmacist, for them, it is the education tuition assistance.
With Air force, you can get tuition assistance with up to full tuition fees covered. You can get the assistance for tuition in air force pharmacy depending upon various programs. If you are planning to become a pharmacist after becoming a pharmacy technician, then the Health Professions Scholarship Program is ideal for you because the program covers 1 year of tuition expenses for becoming a pharmacist. This will be applicable only if you sign for 1 year of active duty.
If you are planning to complete pharmacy school to become a pharmacist or you are currently completing the pharmacy school, then this program is perfect for you. If we talk about other benefits in Air Force pharmacy technician and Air Force pharmacist position, it includes insurance, housing, food, retirement, vacation, recreation, etc.
Navy Pharmacist & Army Pharmacist
Let’s take a look at both: Navy pharmacist and Army pharmacist:
Navy pharmacist works in military hospitals and clinics. As a Navy pharmacist, your job location will not be limited to the United States. After you complete the graduation, you need to attend the Officer Development School (ODS). It is the five-week program in which you will learn a detailed introduction to the responsibilities of Navy staff corp officers.
After going through it, you will also learn about the military structure of the U.S. Navy and its culture. The minimum education requirement is to have a doctor of pharmacy degree from an accredited college or university. As a Navy pharmacist, you will be responsible for drug information services, unit dose distributions, drug-use evaluations, quality controls, sterile products, interventions, patient counseling, administrative tasks, etc.
The job duties of the pharmacists in the Army are to provide safe and proper use of medication in the Army. After becoming an army pharmacist, you will be responsible for accessing the latest treatments and drug therapies to provide them to the patients.
The army pharmacist will have to plan, direct, execute, implement, evaluate, and keep an eye on various pharmaceutical activities. As an army pharmacist, you also need to do tasks related to pharmacy service administration and operations. The army pharmacist provides his/her services in clinical and consultative pharmacy. Apart from all the pharmacy skills & knowledge, you will also need to have other skills like critical thinking, concentrating, decision-making, etc.
Pharmacy is a broad field. If you are getting into the pharmacy profession, you have so many career options available. Among various career options in pharmacy, here we have discussed Air Force Pharmacist career. We have included everything you need to know about the air force pharmacist career. The main motive of hiring pharmacists for the United States Air Force (USAF) is to provide Airmen proper health care. It doesn’t matter which pharmacy career option you choose, the main task as a pharmacist will be to keep an eye on various pharmaceutical activities.