Hospital Pharmacist Career Facts

A hospital pharmacist dispenses medications to patients and works closely with other health care professionals to care for their patients. There are a few different types of hospital pharmacist jobs, and a hospital pharmacist salary is similar to that of pharmacists who work in a retail setting.

Basic Tasks

Primarily concerned with the dispensing of appropriate medication, a hospital pharmacist will also assist in the preparation of sterile medications, such as intravenous medication. They will also make sure that their medications are made available in a timely manner. A hospital pharmacist will review patient medical histories, in order to offer drugs and medications that do not cause harmful interactions. The hospital pharmacist is responsible for the storage and safe-keeping of the drugs and medications within the pharmacy.

Though not in a customer service setting, a hospital pharmacist will have to work with many different people. They work with doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to advise them about the types of medications available and their proper use. A pharmacist will work with patients and their caregivers, and advise them about their drug treatment regimen. This can involve instruction and education, especially if the patient has many different medications. The pharmacist will advise the patient about the effects of the medication, and make suggestions about alternative medications, should complications occur.

Hospital pharmacists also have administrative and supervisory tasks, including:

  • Reviewing budgets
  • Making recommendations for medications and treatment plans, based on cost of effectiveness
  • Writing out drug administration guidelines.

Depending on their level of experience, they may also supervise other pharmacists, while monitoring the work of pharmacy technicians.

A hospital pharmacist may also participate in ward rounds and in administrative meetings as required. If their hospital is involved in clinical trials, they may play a key role in the implementation of these trials. Depending on the type of hospital, the pharmacist might also have some teaching duties incorporated into their role.


Hospital pharmacists will usually work a full-time, approximately 40-hour work week. This may include a weekend shift at least once a month, as well as shifts in the evening. There are some opportunities for part-time or relief positions in hospital pharmacies.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nationwide average for pharmacists in hospitals was $93,000 per year. This is only slightly less than the salary of pharmacists that work in grocery stores and retail chains. Part-time hospital pharmacists can make up to $55,000, though this figure will depend on the number of hours worked.

Hospital Pharmacist Jobs

Within the hospital environment, a hospital pharmacist could specialize in different areas, such as oncology, infectious diseases, or with different patient populations such as pediatrics.

With more experience, a hospital pharmacist can become a unit manager and oversee the work of several pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. A promotion of this type may lead to more administrative tasks, such as budgeting, and a greater role in security and decision-making within the hospital environment.