Should you also work during pharmacy school? (Paid Pharmacist Interning)

pharmacy intern

So you have gotten into pharmacy school or are looking seriously into it. That is a great thing you need to make sure you are as prepared as can be. Hopefully you will be able to get some scholarships and/or grants to help you limit the amount of debt you have coming out of pharmacy school.

If not it is not the end of the world just be conscious of what you are taking out and are going to be left with after graduating. Pre pharm is much cheaper then when you get to the graduate portion. There are many options to save money as far living in a cheaper apartment, roommates, and possibly working.

So should you and can you during pharmacy school? 

Yes you can work while attending pharmacy school and how much you work will depend on how much you can handle. During pre-pharmacy schooling you can work more as the class load is less. As you get into your graduate years the less you are going to be able to do so. It is great to get a job as an intern pharmacist or even a pharmacy tech during your required classes. 

Now you don’t have to be a pharmacy intern or pharmacy tech, but that will give you the best work experience relating to your future career. Below we will show you how to make this happen.

Working While In Pharmacy School

Is working going to be worth it? If it starts affecting your grades and your ability to graduate from college then probably not. You will need to work heavily on your time management skills.

This will also depend on where you are hired as an intern. If possible be upfront that your first priority will always be schooling, but want to learn and make some money along that journey.

Balancing being an employee and student will always be tough no matter what. It may be best to just work summers and weekends if that is what works best for you.

How To Get A Pharmacy Internship?

Retail internships are usually much easy to attain. Not because the job is easier, but mainly because there are more locations and the hiring process can be much quicker. You can normally get hired after your 1st professional year in school and work your way up through until you graduate. Applying as soon as you can is your best bet as they like to get your training in and they will get more out of you through the years making it more worth it on their side.

It will vary state to state, but in New York State you have to go to the state website ( and apply for your intern permit. The fee was $70 back in 2007 so hopefully that hasn’t changed yet. It is a 5 year limited permit. Visit the website if you want questioned answered to that it is a pretty straight forward process.

The rest of the steps are just like applying for any job. Get your resume and cover letter up to par before you start applying. If you don’t have a resume together just quickly google pharmacist resumes or even pharmacy technician resumes for examples along with cover letters.

If you absolutely have no clue what you are doing get all your information together for your resume and cover letter and you can outsource it to a place like fiverr. Just type in the search “resume pharmacist” and look for one with at least 20 reviews that are at least 99% positive and you should be good to go.

Will cost anywhere around $10 to much more. Just make sure you get it in an editable document like Microsoft Word, but have them also send it in a PDF so you can just upload to the employment site. This is something you can use and update every year so when you graduate your professional resume is ready to start when your career does.

This what I would have done if I started over it can be very frustrating dealing with resume templates on Microsoft Word and starting from scratch.

Now that you have your resume in order just do a quick search to retail pharmacies in your college area and/or in your hometown if you plan on traveling home during the weekends and breaks. I worked personally for CVS and Rite Aid and both were very lenient with my schedule.

I worked weekends, breaks, and summers to put some money away for the year. The locations I worked at were both at home and around the college.

Pharmacy Intern Jobs

Pharmacy intern jobs start after 1st year of professional school. You will be supervised by a preceptor (pharmacist who has agreed to watch you).

Your actual duties will range quite a bit depending on who your preceptor is and what company you are working for. But most will allow you to do all functions of a delegated licensed pharmacist besides performing immunizations.

You have 5 years to use your permit so this allows for some extended time after you graduate to get your license in order after testing and applying to your first official pharmacist job.

Each year your income will increase along with your year of pharmacy school.

Part Time Pharmacy School – Does It Exist?

I have never heard of a part time pharmacy school, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t other options that may interest you.

One such option is Duquesne University that has a weekend program where you go just Saturdays and Sundays year around and graduate at 3 years. So it isn’t part time but you have the week to work on all your school work and maybe work part time.

I think working full time during your professional years is pretty much impossible. During your pre pharmacy years you can definitely work full time if needed.

Another option is online schooling like what Creighton University has to offer. If used right and you are the right person for it can be easier and cheaper. You won’t have living expenses or travel time for schooling and back. You need to have your time management skills in order. Plus you will actually be able to talk with your professors more on a one on one basis then most pharmacy school settings believe it or not.

If you are going to pharmacy school later in life Duquesne and Creighton may also be some great options to look into.

Related Frequently Asked Questions

Which Job Is Better Pharmacist Or Nurse?

How To Make Money While In Pharmacy School?

Become a paid pharmacist intern after your 1st year of pharmacy school.

  • Go to your states pharmacist intern site and apply
  • Get your resume in order
  • Apply to be a pharmacist intern on company sites just like any other job

How Many Hours Do Pharmacy Interns Work?

Pharmacy intern work can vary quite a bit based on a need. Some employers will want a minimum number of hours for most weeks. Fortunately with going to class during the day most locations need people in the afternoons, weekends and summers since most employees don’t like to work during those times and employers need coverage for vacations during the summer.

Do You Get Paid As A Pharmacy Intern?

Yes you get paid as a pharmacy intern after your 1st year of pharmacy school. Each year your pay will increase for 5 years which will get you through graduation along with some time to work while getting your license and looking for an employer.



Danielle Winner

Hello my name is Danielle Winner. Welcome to my site on Pharmacy School and tips and tricks to hopefully help you get in. It's not easy but hopefully you can learn to not make mistakes that students (myself included) make. Good luck on your journey. I graduated from Albany School of Pharmacy in May 2010 and have had a few different jobs across the east coast of the U.S.

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