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All About Pharmacist Jobs

July 12, 2023

What is a Pharmacist's Job?

A pharmacist's job encompasses a wide range of responsibilities related to medication management and healthcare. Pharmacists serve as medication experts, ensuring the safe and effective use of medications by patients. They collaborate with healthcare providers to review and interpret prescriptions, verifying their accuracy and appropriateness. Pharmacists accurately dispense prescribed medications, carefully selecting the correct dosage and providing clear instructions for use. In addition to dispensing medications, they play a crucial role in patient consultation. Pharmacists counsel patients on the proper use, potential side effects, and drug interactions of their medications, ensuring that they understand how to take their medications safely and effectively. They also provide guidance on over-the-counter medications, including non-prescription drugs and supplements. Pharmacists are well-versed in the latest advancements in pharmaceuticals, continuously updating their knowledge to stay current with new drugs, treatment guidelines, and research findings. They may also contribute to healthcare teams by participating in medication therapy management, conducting drug utilization reviews, and providing drug information to healthcare professionals. Overall, a pharmacist's job combines expertise in pharmacology, patient care, medication safety, and healthcare collaboration to promote optimal medication outcomes and improve patients' overall well-being.

History of Pharmacist Job in Canada

The history of the pharmacist's job in Canada dates back to the early colonization of North America. Here is a brief overview of the evolution of the pharmacist's profession in Canada

Early Years

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the practice of pharmacy in Canada was primarily carried out by apothecaries and physicians. Apothecaries, who were often unregulated, prepared and dispensed medications based on their own knowledge and experience. With the establishment of medical schools and the introduction of formal pharmaceutical education, the role of the pharmacist began to develop.

Formal Regulation

In the 19th century, efforts were made to regulate the pharmacy profession in Canada. Provincial legislation was enacted to ensure the competency and ethical conduct of pharmacists. The Pharmacy Act of Ontario passed in 1871, was one of the first pharmacy laws in Canada. Similar legislation followed in other provinces, gradually establishing a framework for the practice of pharmacy.

Pharmacy Associations

Pharmacy associations played a crucial role in advancing the profession and protecting the interests of pharmacists. The Canadian Pharmaceutical Association (now known as the Canadian Pharmacists Association) was founded in 1907. It provided a platform for pharmacists to collaborate, share knowledge, and advocate for the profession's recognition and development.

Pharmaceutical Education

Pharmaceutical education in Canada has evolved significantly over time. In the early years, apprenticeships and informal training were common. However, as the need for standardized education became evident, pharmacy schools were established across the country. The first pharmacy school in Canada was the Ontario College of Pharmacy, founded in 1869. Today, pharmacy programs in Canadian universities offer comprehensive education and training to aspiring pharmacists.

Expanding Scope of Practice

Over the years, the scope of practice for pharmacists in Canada has expanded to encompass a broader range of healthcare services. Pharmacists now play an integral role in patient care, including medication management, medication reviews, immunizations, chronic disease management, and health promotion. They collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure optimal patient outcomes.

Pharmacy Regulation

Each province and territory in Canada has its own regulatory body responsible for licensing and regulating pharmacists. These bodies, such as the Ontario College of Pharmacists, the Alberta College of Pharmacy, and others, set standards of practice, enforce regulations, and protect the public's interest.

Overall, the history of the pharmacist's job in Canada has witnessed the development of regulatory frameworks, the establishment of pharmacy associations, the evolution of pharmaceutical education, and an expanded scope of practice. Pharmacists in Canada continue to play a vital role in the healthcare system, promoting safe and effective medication use and contributing to improved patient care.

Pharmacist job in Canada

What is a Pharmacist Responsible for?

It is the responsibility of the pharmacist to formulate and dispense the appropriate dose of medications to each individual consumer. Patients will be instructed on how and when to take their medicine, as well as the precise dose that should be written on their prescriptions. Among a Pharmacist's responsibilities may be found:

  1. Dispensing Medications: Pharmacists review prescriptions, assess their accuracy and appropriateness, and dispense medications to patients. They ensure that the correct medication, dosage, and instructions for use are provided.
  2. Patient Counseling: Pharmacists play a crucial role in counseling patients on the proper use of medications. They provide information about potential side effects, drug interactions, and precautions. Pharmacists offer advice on medication adherence and address any concerns or questions patients may have.
  3. Medication Management: Pharmacists are responsible for managing medication profiles and records for individual patients. They monitor medication therapies, identify and resolve medication-related issues, and collaborate with healthcare providers to optimize treatment plans.
  4. Drug Information: Pharmacists serve as a valuable source of drug information for healthcare professionals, patients, and the general public. They provide evidence-based information on medications, including drug interactions, contraindications, and therapeutic considerations.
  5. Compounding: In some cases, pharmacists may compound medications, especially in settings such as hospital pharmacies. Compounding involves preparing customized medications to meet specific patient needs when commercially available options are not suitable.
  6. Immunizations: Many pharmacists are authorized to administer vaccinations. They assess patients' immunization needs, provide immunizations, and offer guidance on vaccine schedules and precautions.
  7. Medication Reviews: Pharmacists conduct medication reviews to evaluate the appropriateness, effectiveness, and safety of a patient's medication regimen. They identify and resolve drug therapy problems, optimize medication therapies, and improve patient outcomes.
  8. Collaborative Care: Pharmacists often work as part of a healthcare team, collaborating with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. They contribute to interdisciplinary care by providing expertise on medication-related matters and participating in medication management programs.
  9. Health Promotion: Pharmacists play a role in promoting health and wellness. They provide guidance on over-the-counter medications, non-prescription products, and preventive measures. Pharmacists may also offer advice on lifestyle modifications and disease prevention strategies.
  10. Regulatory Compliance: Pharmacists ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and ethical standards related to the profession. They maintain accurate records, handle controlled substances responsibly, and adhere to privacy and confidentiality requirements.

These duties and responsibilities may vary depending on the practice setting, such as community pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or research institutions. Pharmacists continually update their knowledge and skills to stay current with advancements in pharmaceuticals and healthcare practices.

Pharmacist Certification and License Requirements

In Canada, the certification and licensing requirements for pharmacists differ among provinces and territories. However, there are common steps involved in obtaining a pharmacist license. Firstly, aspiring pharmacists must graduate from an accredited pharmacy program offered by a recognized Canadian institution. These programs typically last for four years and include both theoretical coursework and practical training. After graduation, individuals need to pass the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) Evaluating Exam, which assesses their knowledge of pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacology, pharmacy practice, and calculations. Upon successful completion of the Evaluating Exam, candidates are eligible to take the Pharmacist Evaluating Examination, which evaluates their competence in Canadian pharmacy practice, ethics, laws, and professional responsibilities.

Following the exams, candidates must complete a structured practical training period, typically lasting between 12 to 24 months, under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. This internship provides hands-on experience and further develops the necessary skills for pharmacy practice. Additionally, proficiency in English or French is required for pharmacy practice in Canada, and applicants may need to demonstrate language proficiency through standardized tests like IELTS or TOEFL.

Once the practical training is complete, individuals can apply for licensure with the regulatory body or college of pharmacists in the province or territory where they intend to practice. The specific requirements for licensing, such as additional exams, background checks, and documentation, are set by each regulatory body. It's important to note that requirements may vary, and it is advisable to contact the relevant regulatory body or college of pharmacists for detailed information regarding the certification and licensing process in a specific province or territory.

Pharmacist Job Skills

Successful pharmacists should have a combination of outstanding pharmacological knowledge and strong interpersonal skills, all while maintaining public safety and patient confidentiality in the forefront of their minds. Some of the most essential skills for Pharmacists are:

  1. Pharmaceutical knowledge: Having a comprehensive understanding of medications, including their uses, side effects, interactions, and dosages.
  2. Medication management: The ability to accurately dispense medications, review prescriptions, and ensure proper medication administration.
  3. Attention to detail: Being meticulous and thorough in reviewing and handling medication orders, labels, and patient information to prevent errors.
  4. Communication: Effectively conveying information to patients, healthcare professionals, and colleagues, and actively listening to understand their needs.
  5. Patient counseling: Providing guidance and education to patients on medication usage, potential side effects, and adherence to treatment plans.
  6. Problem-solving: Identifying and resolving medication-related issues, including drug interactions, dosage adjustments, and patient-specific concerns.
  7. Critical thinking: Evaluating information, making sound judgments, and applying knowledge to make informed decisions in complex healthcare situations.
  8. Ethical decision-making: Upholding professional and ethical standards when faced with dilemmas or conflicts in patient care.
  9. Interpersonal skills: Building positive relationships with patients, healthcare teams, and stakeholders, and collaborating effectively in a healthcare setting.
  10. Teamwork: Working collaboratively with other healthcare professionals to ensure coordinated and patient-centered care.

How to Become a Pharmacist?

To become a pharmacist in Canada, individuals typically need to complete a Bachelor's degree in Pharmacy from a recognized Canadian institution. These pharmacy programs typically span four years and include both theoretical coursework and practical training. Upon graduation, aspiring pharmacists must pass the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) Evaluating Exam and the Pharmacist Evaluating Examination. Practical training in the form of an internship, ranging from 12 to 24 months, under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist is also required. Proficiency in English or French is necessary, and applicants may need to demonstrate language proficiency through standardized tests. Additionally, licensing requirements vary by province or territory, and individuals must meet the specific requirements of the regulatory body or college of pharmacists in the jurisdiction where they intend to practice.

The process of becoming a licensed pharmacist in Canada typically takes around five to eight years or more, depending on individual circumstances. It involves completing a four-year Bachelor's degree in Pharmacy, passing the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) Evaluating Exam and the Pharmacist Evaluating Examination, and completing a practical training period of 12 to 24 months. After fulfilling these requirements, individuals can apply for licensure with the regulatory body or college of pharmacists in the province or territory where they plan to practice. The timeline may vary based on factors such as educational pathway, examination schedules, and availability of practical training opportunities.

Pharmacist Salaries in Canada

Pharmacist salaries in Canada can vary depending on several factors such as experience, location, and the type of pharmacy practice. Below are the annual wages by location in Canada for a pharmacist:

Pharmacist Salaries in Canada

How to Find Pharmacist Jobs in Ontario?

To find pharmacist jobs in Ottawa or the rest of Ontario, you can utilize various resources and platforms. Here are some effective methods to explore:

  1. Online Job Boards: Use popular job search websites like Indeed, LinkedIn, Monster,Caring Support and Glassdoor to search for pharmacist positions in Ottawa or Ontario. These platforms allow you to filter job listings based on location, experience level, and other preferences.
  2. Professional Pharmacy Associations: Joining and engaging with professional associations such as the Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) and the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) can provide access to job boards, networking events, and career resources specific to the pharmacy field.
  3. Pharmacy-specific Websites: Check websites that specialize in listing pharmacy jobs in Canada, such as,, or These platforms cater specifically to healthcare and pharmacy professions.
  4. Hospital and Healthcare Networks: Explore career sections on the websites of hospitals, healthcare networks, and healthcare organizations in Ottawa and other parts of Ontario. They often post job openings for pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.
  5. Networking: Leverage your professional network, including connections made during your pharmacy education, internships, or previous work experience. Reach out to colleagues, professors, preceptors, and other pharmacists to inquire about potential job openings or referrals.
  6. Community Pharmacies: Visit local community pharmacies in Ottawa or other areas of interest and inquire about job opportunities directly. Sometimes, positions may not be publicly advertised, and reaching out proactively can uncover hidden job openings.
  7. Provincial Health Authorities: Check the websites of provincial health authorities, such as the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, for any postings related to pharmacist positions within the government healthcare system.
  8. Career Fairs and Job Events: Attend career fairs, job fairs, and industry conferences that feature healthcare or pharmacy-related exhibitors. These events provide an opportunity to connect directly with employers and learn about job openings.

Where Can I Work as a Pharmacist?

Community Pharmacies

Pharmacists provide medication dispensing services, counsel patients on medication use, and offer general healthcare advice in retail or neighbourhood pharmacies.

Hospital Pharmacies

Pharmacists support medication management within hospitals, verifying medication orders, providing clinical pharmacy services, and contributing to patient care in specialized areas.

Clinical or Ambulatory Care

Pharmacists work in clinics or ambulatory care settings, collaborating with healthcare teams to provide direct patient care, manage chronic diseases, and conduct medication therapy management.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Pharmacists contribute to research, drug manufacturing, quality control, drug information, sales, marketing, and regulatory affairs in pharmaceutical companies.

Government and Public Health

Pharmacists play a role in policy development, medication safety initiatives, public health campaigns, and regulatory compliance in government health departments or public health agencies.

Long-Term Care Facilities

Pharmacists ensure safe medication use for residents in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, managing medication regimens and providing education.


Pharmacists teach pharmacy students, conduct research, and contribute to the advancement of pharmaceutical sciences in universities or colleges.


Pharmacists provide expertise in medication management, pharmacoeconomics, regulatory compliance, or medication safety through consulting practices or firms.

These settings offer diverse opportunities for pharmacists to apply their expertise in different aspects of pharmaceutical care and contribute to patient health outcomes.

How can I find pharmacist job opportunities?

To find pharmacist job opportunities in Canada, you can use various methods and resources. Here are some effective ways to search for pharmacist jobs:

Online Job Boards: Utilize popular job search websites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Caring Support, Monsterand Glassdoor. These platforms allow you to search for pharmacist positions by location and filter by specific criteria such as experience level or type of practice.

Professional Pharmacy Associations: Join and engage with professional associations such as the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) and provincial pharmacy associations. They often provide job boards, career resources, and networking opportunities specifically for pharmacists.

Company Websites: Visit the websites of pharmaceutical companies, retail pharmacy chains, hospitals, and healthcare organizations. Many organizations list job openings in their career sections, allowing you to apply directly.

Networking: Connect with colleagues, professors, preceptors, and other pharmacists to inquire about job opportunities. Attend pharmacy conferences, seminars, and networking events to expand your professional network.

Hospital and Healthcare Networks: Check the websites of hospitals, healthcare networks, and provincial health authorities. They often post pharmacist job openings within their organizations.

Pharmacist Recruitment Agencies: Consider reaching out to recruitment agencies specializing in healthcare placements such as Caring Support. They can help match you with relevant job opportunities and provide guidance throughout the hiring process.

Community Pharmacies: Visit local community pharmacies in the areas you are interested in and inquire about job openings directly. Sometimes, positions may not be publicly advertised, and expressing your interest in person can be beneficial.

Provincial Pharmacy Regulatory Bodies: Check the websites of provincial pharmacy regulatory bodies or colleges. They may have job boards or resources available to help you find pharmacist positions in their respective provinces.

Remember to regularly check these resources, tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight relevant skills and experiences, and follow the application instructions provided by employers. Persistence and active engagement in your job search efforts will increase your chances of finding suitable pharmacist job opportunities in Canada.

We hope that the information in this article was helpful to you in your research regarding working as a pharmacist. You may read an article right here on how to put together the perfect resume by clicking on the link. 

How to Write an Ideal Resume for a Pharmacist Job?

When crafting an ideal resume for a pharmacist job, it is crucial to highlight your relevant skills, experience, and education in a concise and professional manner. Here's a suggested structure for your resume in three paragraphs:

Introduction and Summary

Begin your resume with a clear and concise summary statement that outlines your professional background, areas of expertise, and career objectives. This section should immediately capture the attention of hiring managers and provide them with an overview of your qualifications. For example, "Results-oriented pharmacist with 5+ years of experience in community pharmacy settings. Strong expertise in medication therapy management, patient counseling, and prescription processing. Committed to providing exceptional pharmaceutical care to optimize patient outcomes."

Key Skills and Achievements

In this paragraph, focus on highlighting your key skills, relevant achievements, and notable experiences. Include any specialized training, certifications, or licenses you possess, such as immunization certification or experience with compounding. Emphasize your ability to accurately dispense medications, ensure patient safety, and provide counseling on medication usage. If you have experience with pharmacy management systems or electronic health records, mention it here. Also, highlight any significant achievements, such as improving workflow efficiency, reducing medication errors, or implementing quality improvement initiatives.

  1. Proficient in accurately dispensing medications and ensuring patient safety.
  2. Extensive experience in medication therapy management and providing patient counseling on proper medication usage.
  3. Strong knowledge of pharmacy laws, regulations, and ethical standards.
  4. Familiarity with pharmacy management systems and electronic health records.
  5. Successfully implemented quality improvement initiatives, resulting in a 20% reduction in medication errors.
  6. Improved workflow efficiency by streamlining prescription processing and inventory management.

Professional Experience and Education:

In this section, provide a comprehensive overview of your professional experience and educational background. Start by listing your previous positions in reverse chronological order, including the job title, company name, and employment dates. Briefly describe your responsibilities and accomplishments in each role, focusing on relevant pharmacy-related tasks, such as dispensing prescriptions, conducting medication reviews, and collaborating with healthcare professionals. Additionally, mention any internships or clinical rotations you completed during your education, showcasing your hands-on experience in different pharmacy settings. Conclude this paragraph by listing your educational qualifications, including your PharmD degree, university name, and graduation year.

Professional Experience and Education:

Pharmacist, ABC Pharmacy

June 2018 - Present

  1. Accurately dispense medications and counsel patients on medication usage, side effects, and potential drug interactions.
  2. Conduct medication therapy management services, reviewing patient profiles and recommending appropriate interventions.
  3. Collaborate with healthcare professionals to optimize patient care and ensure medication safety.
  4. Implement and maintain pharmacy policies and procedures in compliance with state and federal regulations.
  5. Train and supervise pharmacy technicians to improve workflow efficiency and customer service.

Intern Pharmacist, XYZ Hospital

January 2017 - May 2018

  1. Assisted in medication dispensing and inventory management in a fast-paced hospital setting.
  2. Conducted medication reconciliation and provided patient education on medication regimens.
  3. Participated in clinical rounds, collaborating with healthcare professionals to optimize medication therapy.
  4. Contributed to pharmacy quality improvement initiatives, including medication error reduction strategies.


Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), University of ABC

Graduated May 2017


Immunization Certification (American Pharmacists Association)

CPR Certification (American Heart Association)

Always keep your resume neat and orderly, and if feasible, use bullet points to emphasize crucial details and quantitative accomplishments. Create a resume that is tailored to the particular job description, highlighting your abilities and experiences that are relevant to the pharmacist position you're looking for. To guarantee accuracy and project professionalism, proofread thoroughly. For a simple and fast resume, use the free resume builder at Caring Support website. Although it may seem like a lot, we got this for you.

Pharmacist Job Interview Questions

You can anticipate a variety of questions during a pharmacist job interview that will evaluate your abilities, expertise, and fit for the position. Typical inquiries that may be made include the following:

  1. Tell us about your experience and qualifications as a pharmacist.
  2. How do you handle challenging situations with patients or healthcare professionals?
  3. How do you stay updated with the latest developments and advancements in pharmacy?
  4. Describe a time when you identified and resolved a medication error.
  5. How do you handle high-pressure situations, such as a busy pharmacy or a sudden influx of prescriptions?

Always remember to thoughtfully prepare your responses in advance and, whenever possible, provide concrete examples to highlight your abilities and experiences as a pharmacist.

Overall, while the future of pharmacist jobs will present new challenges and opportunities, it is expected to be characterized by an expanded scope of practice, increased collaboration with other healthcare professionals, and the integration of technology to enhance patient care and outcomes. Pharmacists will continue to play a vital role in the healthcare system, ensuring safe and effective medication use while providing comprehensive pharmaceutical care to patients.

The Future of Pharmacist Jobs

The future of pharmacist jobs is likely to undergo significant changes driven by various factors. Technological advancements will continue to transform the profession, with the integration of automation, artificial intelligence, and digital health tools. Pharmacists will need to adapt and embrace these technologies to enhance medication management, improve patient safety, and provide more personalized care.

Moreover, the expanding scope of practice is expected to continue, enabling pharmacists to take on more clinical responsibilities such as medication therapy management, chronic disease management, and preventive care services. This shift will require pharmacists to develop and apply advanced clinical skills, collaborate closely with other healthcare professionals, and actively engage in patient-centred care.

The growing focus on population health and preventive medicine will create opportunities for pharmacists to play a more significant role in public health initiatives, health promotion, and wellness programs. Pharmacists can contribute to reducing healthcare costs, improving medication adherence, and optimizing patient outcomes.

Additionally, the increasing recognition of pharmacists' expertise in medication management and patient education will lead to greater involvement in healthcare decision-making, policy development, and research. Pharmacists may have opportunities to contribute to evidence-based practice, participate in clinical trials, and shape healthcare policies at regional and national levels.

About The Author
Arielle Rosales
Content Writer

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