A day as a community pharmacist

After five years of study you had many career options and after considering hospital pharmacy and industrial pharmacy you chose to work in community pharmacy. Your pharmacy is on the main high street and is a modern, welcoming and friendly place to work. It is part of a local health centre where there is also a doctor's surgery, a dentist and a chiropodist, so you see lots of patients regularly and get to know them well. Every day is different and there are always patients coming to you with new and unusual conditions and ailments. Some people need your advice and help on lifestyle issues such as diet, exercise and stopping smoking. You use special equipment to test people's weight and blood pressure and make decisions about which medicines they should take. You also prepare prescriptions and offer important advice, using your expertise to ensure everyone receives the best healthcare.

Does this sound like you?

You're careful, thorough and very responsible. You enjoy maths and science and have good problem-solving skills. You like interacting with all sorts of people and want a job helping others.

What's next after GCSE?

You'll usually need a minimum of five 9-4 (A*-C) grade GCSEs (or the equivalent), including maths, English and preferably two science subjects. Then you'll be ready to apply for at least three A levels (or the equivalent) at college or 6th form.

What's next after A level and beyond?

You'll need to apply for an approved (usually 4 year) pharmacy degree course at university. Entry requirements can vary (so it is vital to check these in advance) but you will usually need three A levels - one in chemistry, and the other two in biology, and/or maths, and/or physics.