Types of Pharmacists

Academic Pharmacists

Academic pharmacists teach and do research in colleges and schools of pharmacy.

Ambulatory Pharmacist

Ambulatory Pharmacists accommodate decreases in patient hospital visits and inpatient days– a major goal of every health insurance company and health care organizations. They manage patients at risk for or experiencing drug-related problems (e.g. noncompliance, adverse drug reactions) and those with uncontrolled disease (hypertension, diabetes, asthma).

Ambulatory Pharmacists act as the first and/or most frequently seen health care providers in many rural areas. They provide extensive contact with geriatric populations and work as part of a system either directly controlled by a larger health care organization or through contracts with such organizations.

Clinical Pharmacist

Clinical pharmacists are a valuable resource in providing drug information as well as monitoring drug interactions and drug therapy.

Clinical pharmacists work anywhere from hospitals to nursing homes to home health care settings. They are
focused mainly on the patient and his or her medication, ensuring the medication is used appropriately to optimize treatment.

Community/Retail Pharmacists

Community Pharmacists give advice to customers on how to use prescribed medicines and will highlight when certain medicines should not be used in conjunction with alcohol or other types of medication.

Retail pharmacists advise customers about prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and their possible side effects and interactions.

Government Pharmacists

Government pharmacists work for the U.S. Public Health Service, the Veterans Administration, the Food and Drug Administration and the Armed Services. At the state and local level they are employed by regulatory, health and social service agencies

Home Care Pharmacists

Home Care Pharmacists, also known as home infusion pharmacy, mainly prepares injectables and delivers them to patients who are critically ill at home. Home Care Pharmacists do not dispense oral or external-use medications. They will often receives orders from doctors but still needs to communicate with nurses and the patient to ensure proper drug administration

Pharmacists who work in home healthcare monitor drug therapy and prepare infusions—solutions that are injected into patients—and other medications for use in the home. Some pharmacists specialize in specific drug therapy areas, such as intravenous nutrition support, oncology (cancer), nuclear pharmacy (used for chemotherapy), and pharmacotherapy (the treatment of mental disorders with drugs).

Community or retail pharmacists work perform a combination of professional, managerial, and administrative functions. In addition to dispensing medications and medical supplies and consulting with consumers and other health professionals, they hire and supervise employees, keep business records, and oversee the general operation of the pharmacy.

Hospital Pharmacists

Hospital pharmacists work in hospitals, clinics, or nursing homes and advise the medical staff on the selection and effect of drugs. They may perform administrative duties, teach in schools of nursing, and work in patient care areas as members of a medical team. They also may be engaged in the monitoring of drug levels and filling orders for medications.

Hospital Pharmacists

Hospital pharmacists may advance to supervisory or administrative positions. Pharmacists in hospitals and clinics dispense medications and advise the medical staff on the selection and effects of drugs.

The hospital pharmacist is part of a hospital team, providing, preparing and dispensing medicines normally to patients who are or have been treated in the hospital.

Pharmacists in hospitals and clinics also dispense medications and advice, but also instruct medical staff on the selection and effects of drugs, monitor patients’ drug regimens, and evaluate drug use patterns in the hospital. It is common for pharmacists to specialize in specific aspects of drug therapy, such as those used to treat psychiatric disorders, radiopharmaceuticals, or oncology.

There are 2 types of hospital pharmacists: inpatient and outpatient pharmacy

Inpatient Pharmacists – This mainly provides medication and prepares injectables for patients staying in the hospital. Pharmacy personnel mainly communicate with doctors and nurses because their patients do not “physically” bring in their prescription

Outpatient pharmacist – This is similar to a retail pharmacy but in a hospital setting. It mainly provides service to patients who can “physically” bring in their prescription to pharmacy.

Independent Pharmacist

Independent community pharmacists, who generally work in pharmacies. They dispense prescription medication, compound different forms of prescription drugs and counsel customers about medications. They also provide information about over-the-counter drugs and make recommendations after asking a series of health questions, such as whether the customer is taking any other medications.

Industrial Pharmacists

Pharmacists in the pharmaceutical industry may advance in marketing, sales, research, quality control, production, packaging, or other areas.

Managed Care Pharmacist

Managed care pharmacists work for Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), helping to plan and manage prescription drug use.

Hospital, nursing home and extended health care center pharmacists, who dispense medication to patients and assist other medical staff on selection and effects of drugs. They may make sterile solutions and buy medical supplies. They also assess, plan and monitor drug regimens.

Some pharmacists specialize in specific drug therapy areas, such as intravenous nutrition support, oncology (cancer), nuclear pharmacy (used for chemotherapy), geriatric pharmacy, and psychopharmacotherapy (the treatment of mental disorders by means of drugs).

Nuclear Pharmacist

Nuclear pharmacy is a specialty area of pharmacy practice dedicated to the compounding and dispensing of radioactive materials for use in nuclear medicine procedures. A specialty area of pharmacy practice is one that requires a concentration of knowledge in a once specific area. The development of nuclear pharmacy as a specialty area followed the development of nuclear medicine as a recognized specialty by the American Medical Association in the early 1970’s.

Nuclear pharmacy is a highly specialized field. Very few colleges of pharmacy offer the specialized training required to meet the requirements of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, however, certificate training programs are available.

Pharmaceutical Industry Pharmacists

Pharmaceutical industry pharmacists work for drug manufacturing companies doing marketing, research and product development, quality control, sales, and administration.


Radiopharmacists dispense radioactive pharmaceuticals used for patient diagnosis and therapy.

Research Pharmacists

Research pharmacists, who may work in hospitals, universities or drug companies, developing new drugs and studying the side effects of drugs.


  1. Musawenkosi Gwebu says

    I have been motivated by the general overview of pharmacy education, now i know that my dream of becoming a pharmacist will come true.

  2. Samantha Simpson says

    Very informative, it helped me with my interview to become a Pharmacists.

  3. Samantha Simpson says

    Oops I mean a PHARMACIST, no s

  4. Kristofer Krusteashan says

    Anyone know any other sites with information like this? Is this all of the types of pharmacists right now?

  5. boniface olobo says

    The shared knowledge inspires we whose dreams are to become future pharmacist

  6. pharmacy is not an easy course but a very intresting course.

  7. Raven Jackson says

    I am graduating this year from high school and becoming a Pharmacist is always been my dream but taking alook at the different type their are I feel that becoming a Research Pharmacist is my challenge. I want to be that person that become apart of a finding cure…

  8. I’m still in high school, but my school offers a great Pharmacy program that I am in, I LOVE it and I hope to pursue my dream of becoming a pharmacist someday. It will be very challenging, but I’m ready to take it on. This is a good website to do your research on, it was very helpful.

  9. thanks for your information !!

  10. sorry to say that IN INDIA the importance of pharmacist is very less

  11. riyaz ahemad says

    I was very much confused about types and roll of pharmacist but now i am tention free with the help of this info.