Teacher Vs Pharmacist

Are you confused about whether you should choose teaching or pharmacy as your career path? In this post, we have compared both the career options and explained which one can be the best for you.

When it comes to making a career path decision, the most crucial thing you should be considering is your interest. Both the career options are different in terms of salary, duties, responsibilities, education requirements, etc. Before selecting the path, you should know will you really enjoy the job. Don’t choose a particular career path just because it can make you more money.

Before deciding on choosing between pharmacy and teacher, you need to have a clear idea about both the job description, responsibilities, duties, etc. Having a good idea about these factors would help you make the right decision. It will help you know what career option interests you the most.

Teacher and Pharmacist


If you are interested in the teaching field, it is imperative to know the duties, responsibilities, education requirements, salary, skills, etc. of the teacher. Teaching is a broad field. Depending on your skills and expertise, you can be the teacher of maths, science, English, art, music, etc. It’s all about your skills and educational background.

Teaching isn’t just about teaching subjects like maths and science. It’s all about the skills and knowledge you have. For example, if you are great at playing the guitar, you become a guitar teacher.

As a teacher, you will have many responsibilities. You will be responsible for lectures, keeping familiarity with benchmarks & students, creating lesson plans, assessing students, group work, meeting with parents, etc.

Talking about salary, this factor would differ based on several factors. It will vary based on factors like your skills, subjects, working hours, experience, and more. The average salary of teachers in the United States is about $55,790. The bottom 10% earn an annual salary of $39,080, while the top 10% make a yearly salary of $95,380.


Pharmacists are healthcare professionals who are responsible for tasks like dispensing medications, preparing medications, completing pharmacy operational requirements, etc. Your responsibilities as a pharmacist will vary depending on the type of pharmacy you are working in.

Types of pharmacies include community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, clinical pharmacy, ambulatory care pharmacy, consultant pharmacy, and veterinary pharmacy. Your job description, salary, qualifications, etc., will vary slightly based on the type of pharmacy you want to work in.

After completing pharmacy education and getting the certification, you can also highlight any of the benefits that set you apart when applying for a job.

A pharmacist’s salary differs based on factors like type of pharmacy, company you are working in, your experience, skills, etc. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacists’ average salary in the United States is around $121,710.

Teacher Vs Pharmacist

When deciding between teacher and pharmacist as a career option, the first important thing to consider is your interest. Do you really have an interest in the teaching or pharmacy field? Both the career options have their own pros and cons.

For example, getting into the teaching profession is quite easier than getting into the pharmacy profession. To become a teacher, you need to complete the required education and also earn a license. Talking about pharmacists, you need to complete the pharmacy education and also earn the licensure.

Some essential skills required to be a teacher are verbal communication, listening, patience, critical thinking, and passion for learning. Some necessary skills necessary to become a pharmacist are strong numerical skills, analytical skills, observation skills, problem-solving, attention to detail, communication skills, and social skills.

The main thing which can affect your decision to select teaching or pharmacy as the career path is salary. There’s a significant difference between the salary of both. We have already seen that the average salary of a teacher in the United States is around $55,790, while the average salary of a pharmacist in the United States is about $121,710. That’s a huge difference (more than double).

Although a teacher’s salary is a lot less than a pharmacist, the good thing about the teaching profession is that it is easy to get into. Unlike pharmacists, you do not have to go through the tough study.

Becoming a pharmacist is quite tough. To obtain the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D.) degree in the United States, you need to go through a minimum of 2 years of pre-professional coursework and then four academic years of professional study. And once the education is completed, the candidate will need to obtain licensure.

Without licensure, you won’t be considered a certified pharmacist. Each U.S. has a state board of pharmacy that sets requirements that candidates must meet before getting licensed.

Teacher Or Pharmacist?

We didn’t want you to only take the facts that we presented so we went out to some forums and blogs to get opinions of actual Pharmacist and Teachers. This information was curated so nothing has been changed except any spelling or grammar where needed. We hope this helps you make a decision based on their stories and opinions.

Real Teachers/Pharmacists

1. Overtime321 “Most Passionate About” I completely understand where you are coming from. I’m a senior that is going to graduate with a BS in pharmacology (not pharmacy) March 2014. I’ve always wanted to be a pharmacist since high school, but after hearing all about how it is not how it use to be and the job market being saturated with pharmacist I might have to reconsider is it really what I want to do. I haven’t had any experience in a pharmacy either. I live in New York and I already know that there are a lot of individuals going for pharmacy and lots of small individual pharmacy businesses, so I already know getting a job in the next few years might be difficult in my area

Being in the pharmacology program, I have to do research work in a laboratory in various institutes. I’ve worked in biochemistry labs conducting peptide synthesis to culture work and I must say I’ve learn to love bench work. I’ve learned more things in a course of 2 months than in my regular classes throughout all three years in college and just like you, I love the feeling to have knowledge and empowering other individuals with what I’ve learned. Obviously, you aren’t going to go to a party and start talking to people about peptide synthesis are you now? Don’t worry I’ve done that before. lol. Also I feel much more stimulated in conducting my own experiments and if it is a success I feel like I won the lottery. If it doesn’t work; try, try again.

In the end, I’m just saying do what you feel you have the most passion for. From what I read, you really love medicine (me too!!) and teaching it. You would probably be very interested in the realm pharmacology (learning how pharmacokenetics and pharmacodynamics of various drugs).

2. ProfessorXanax “Shadow Teacher and Pharmacist” – I just got accepted to pharmacy school as I’ve shadowed a lot of clinical pharmacists and really love it. I suggest shadowing the different specialties within in a hospital, they don’t get paid as much as retail pharmacists but I find retail to be extremely boring and overwhelming (I work at CVS as a pharm tech). The one pharmacist I shadow quite a few times is a good family friend. She is specializing and also teaching at a pharmacy school. She absolutely loves her work both in the hospital and in academia. As long as you network and shadow, you should be in good shape!

3. Amicable Angora “Lifestyle before Money” – I’m not the original poster, but as a woman, a teaching occupation is a great lifestyle to raise kids on. You get so many vacation days, you can spend a lot of time with your family, etc.

4. LDLarocque “Pros VS Cons” –You have to look at the pros and cons of both before deciding which is for you. You’re pretty much comparing apples and oranges in those two careers.

Teacher (unfortunately, it’s mostly cons): Pay sucks. Health insurance is outrageous and pays practically nothing from what I’ve seen. Depending on what level you teach at, you may end up having to pay for classroom supplies out of your own pocket. If you teach middle school or high school you will be required to do something other than just teach the classes you were hired for. IE, if you teach math, science or history you will probably have to either teach drivers ed or coach a sport. You’ll have to be a class sponsor, an organization supervisor or a chaperon for cheerleaders at games. You won’t have a lot of time for family as you’re going to be taking your work home. My mother spent an average of 6 hours per day after she got home from school doing grading and lesson planning. She never got a free weekend and those holidays they are supposed to get, those were spent grading and planning too. The only break she ever got was the few days at Christmas and about 6 weeks in the summer.

Pharmacist: You’ll need to maintain malpractice insurance which can be expensive. You can almost always find a job in any city in America. Pay is usually pretty nice. You have a lot of different places you can work; hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, public or private institutions.

Combining the two, get a masters in pharmacology and you can teach at the college level if you want.

5. Rednail “Pay, Retirement, Experience, Etc.” –

Pay: probably pharmacist

Retirement: depending on the state probably a teacher.

Daily experience: tie

Vacation: 3 months unpaid vacation as a teacher but very little time off during the school year other than school breaks. Pharmacist probably the standard 2 to 3 weeks

6. Rattlesnake30 “Outlook worse for Pharmacist” – From what I read on pharmacy forums and the subreddit, the outlook is getting worse.

“Employment of pharmacists is projected to grow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations.”

7. Fipples “Day to day” – Take a very good look into the day to day life of a pharmacist. It can be nothing but a retail job with a ton of liability on top of it.


41% stated that you should shadow both a teacher and pharmacist based on what field you are looking to get into. If you want to work as an inpatient Pharmacist go shadow an inpatient Pharmacist. If you want to be a High School Chemistry Teacher go shadow one first before making your final decision.

22% stated that you need to base on lifestyle more then money in the bank. So if you like teaching kids and are passionate about it and want to enjoy traveling in the summer months teaching is definitely the way to go. Also when looking at pay you need to consider student loans. If you are taking out loans for your PharmD you can expect 6 figure student loans where with a teacher you can expect 5 figure student loans this does make a huge difference as well.

Final Thoughts

Whether you become a teacher or a pharmacist, both the career fields have their own pros and cons. For example, the pharmacist study is quite challenging, but the pharmacist salary is pretty high. On the other hand, getting into teaching is relatively easy, but the teacher salary is comparatively less. Both fields have had struggles based on where you live so moving could make either option much more attractable as well.

Don’t just base on money you need to look at all aspects. Money is only one part of your life it may look like a big different but 5 to 6 figures which isn’t that much of a difference especially if you have 5 or 6 figure student loans to pay for on top of that. Both fields have gaps that need to be filled so you really shouldn’t have a problem finding a job if you do your research correctly and try to specialize in one certain on top of the general practices. Hope you have found this article helpful and good luck on your decision and future.


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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