What is a Contract Pharmacist? 3 Best Pharmacy Career Options

Last Updated on February 27, 2024

Looking into pharmacist contract jobs? There are several exciting options to consider to level up in your pharmacy careerespecially in the contract world. Contract jobs offer some distinct personal and professional benefits that might just surprise you.

Discover what a contract pharmacist is, the different types of contract jobs and their benefits, plus explore how to become a travel pharmacist.

What is a Contract Pharmacist?

A contract pharmacist is a licensed pharmacist who works on a temporary or contractual basis for a specific period.

Instead of being employed full-time by a single employer, contract pharmacists often work with staffing agencies, allowing them to take on short-term assignments in a variety of settings.

Pharmacist contract jobs provide flexibility for both the employer and the pharmacist. Employers can quickly fill staffing gaps without committing to a long-term hire, and pharmacists can gain diverse work experiences and flexibility in their schedules.

Types of Pharmacy Career Options

You can choose from several pharmacy career options, especially when exploring pharmacist contract jobs. With contract opportunities, you can work:

PRN/Per Diem Pharmacist Contract Jobs

PRN/Per diem pharmacist contract jobs allow you to work on an as-needed basis, stepping in to cover shifts or busy periods.

Pharmacists under these contracts are often compensated on a per-shift or per-day basis. They often have higher hourly rates than staff pharmacists. As a PRN pharmacist, you can work as much or as little as you want, giving you the work-life balance and schedule you desire.

Local Pharmacist Contract Jobs

Instead of an as-needed basis, local pharmacist contract jobs are temporary positions where you’ll work in the same facility for a predetermined period. Often, it’ll be your job to cover staff shortages, seasonal demands, or special projects.

These roles offer the flexibility of contract roles while giving you the stability and familiarity of staff pharmacy roles.

Travel Pharmacist Contract Jobs

More on the adventurous side? Travel pharmacist contract jobs allow you to take on temporary contracts across different cities or even states if you’re licensed in them.

You’ll move from one assignment to another, gaining experience in diverse work environments, exposure to different healthcare settings, and opportunities to explore new regions. They also have some of the most competitive compensation packages of the pharmacy career options.

Benefits of Pharmacist Contract Jobs

Of all the pharmacy career options, contract jobs offer some of the most distinct benefits for your professional and personal life:

Since 2022, the top-paying industries for pharmacists were wholesale trade agents and brokers, outpatient care, scientific research, warehousing and storage, and management of companies, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are also high levels of employment opportunities throughout with retailers, hospitals, and acute care facilities.

Pharmacy career options are vast, especially for those who take on short-term assignments. You’ll have the opportunity to move around and explore which you like the best, gain experience, and open up new job opportunities for the future. You’ll not only build your skills – you’ll build a network!

Earn More Money

It’s no secret that contract pharmacists tend to make more than staff pharmacists. Between the competitive rates and incentivized bonuses, CareerStaff pharmacists can make upwards of $80/hour!

You can also earn extra money by picking up additional shifts as a PRN/per diem pharmacist.

Better Work-Life Balance

Of all the pharmacy career options, contract jobs offer some of the best work-life balance. You can choose which assignments you want to take on. When negotiating your contract, you can find a schedule that supports your lifestyle. You can stay local or move around, all while enjoying the flexibility and independence that comes with contract work.

Flexibility is the antidote to burnout. When you aren’t burnt out, you can provide better care to patients and feel more satisfied in your career.

Should I Become a Travel Pharmacist?

The traveling lifestyle isn’t for everyone — but for those who do enjoy it, it can change everything for the better. Here are a few key reasons you should seriously consider travel contracts as one of your pharmacy career options:

More Freedom and Flexibility

Like all contract pharmacy career options, travel pharmacy offers increased flexibility with scheduling. However, it also offers even more freedom in your lifestyle. You aren’t tied down or stuck in one place. You get to choose where, when, and how much you work.

More Money

Pharmacists are some of the most in-demand, top-paid allied health professionals. One of the best ways to earn more money as a pharmacist is to become a travel pharmacist. Often, travel pharmacists travel to locations with increased demand, giving them extra pay, bonuses, and stipends.

Boost Your Resume

You should consider becoming a travel pharmacist if you want to expand your career. When facilities read the word “travel” on your resume, they’ll see you’re flexible, driven, and experienced. You’ll develop new skills and get exposed to different settings, facilities, and projects. You’ll stand out from other candidates thanks to your diverse experience and perspective on the industry.

Variety of Pharmacy Career Options

Hate the idea of a monotonous career? Welcome to travel pharmacy, where every assignment feels like a new adventure. You’ll learn to embrace change as you take on new settings and explore new cities in your downtime.

You Want to Travel

As a staff pharmacist, your opportunities to travel are essentially limited to your PTO days. As a travel pharmacist, you can enter ‘vacation mode’ when you’re off the clock. You can explore a new city or state with each assignment, if you want, continually creating new memories and opportunities.

How to Find Pharmacist Contract Jobs

Ready to explore your contract pharmacy career options? Whether PRN/per diem, local, or travel, finding pharmacist jobs nationwide is easier than you might think. Start with Step 1: Work with a Healthcare Recruiter. They’ll help you find assignments that support your career goals, work-life balance, and lifestyle!

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