Is Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Right For You?

by | Jul 6, 2024 | Blog, Career Path

Is becoming an ambulatory care pharmacist a good career choice? And more importantly, is becoming one worth it? We’re diving into satisfaction, salary, job demand, and flexibility in this career path for pharmacists.

Ambulatory care pharmacy, often referred to as outpatient or primary care pharmacy, focuses on managing chronic disease states commonly seen in primary care settings like diabetes and heart disease. Pharmacists in this role act as specialists, collaborating with healthcare teams to deliver patient-centered care across various settings, from outpatient clinics to hospitals and community pharmacies.

Certified ambulatory care pharmacists number over 6,000, indicating a growing but specialized field within pharmacy. Personally, this was my dream job before I transitioned to focusing on The Happy PharmD. Despite my own journey, ambulatory care pharmacy remains highly sought after due to its rewarding nature and competitive salaries.

Speaking of salaries, ambulatory care pharmacists can expect to earn between $100,000 to $170,000 annually, with starting salaries around $113,000 and potential to increase with experience and specialization. Additional income opportunities often come through side gigs like consulting or research due to limited vertical career growth in traditional managerial roles.

Satisfaction among ambulatory care pharmacists ranks high, with surveys consistently showing positive feedback on work-life balance and professional fulfillment. However, challenges like job stress and feeling disconnected from corporate environments are noted, with only 60% feeling a strong sense of belonging in their workplace.

Reviews from practitioners highlight the job’s appeal for those passionate about direct patient care and seeking regular hours without weekend or holiday shifts. Transitioning from roles like retail pharmacy to ambulatory care is feasible, often without requiring residency training, although it may enhance career prospects.

Job availability, while growing, isn’t as abundant as in community or hospital settings. Approximately 1,000 ambulatory care pharmacist positions are advertised, predominantly requiring residency training, reflecting a specialized demand for highly trained professionals.

Looking ahead, the field shows promise with increasing healthcare specialization and evolving patient care models. Flexibility is a key draw, with many roles offering autonomy in schedule and patient management, and opportunities for remote work and career diversification into research or academia.

In conclusion, ambulatory care pharmacy earns high marks for its competitive salaries, job satisfaction, and flexibility, making it a compelling career choice for pharmacists seeking a fulfilling patient-focused role outside traditional pharmacy settings. As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, so too does the potential for growth and impact within ambulatory care pharmacy.


Sharing is Caring

Creating Happy Pharmacists

If you really want to build the career and life that you’ve dreamed of, one where you are helping people and working in a field that you love, you need to do something different than what you’ve been doing.

Through coaching you can re-discover why you became a pharmacist and find your passion again.