Are you a pharmacist who is feeling the pinch and want to earn extra income? Well, you’re in luck, as being a pharmacist also opens numerous opportunities for you to earn extra cash while contributing back to society with your professional knowledge. Here are 6 different ideas to explore to bring home fresh income:

1) For the word lovers - Write original articles

Many pharmacists are good writers. They provide unbiased reviews on the use of medications, or critique on medical journals providing insights in a different light from the physicians. Pharmacists are trained to write in facts, and ground their work based on research instead of opinions. They have high credibility due to the nature of their profession. Medical information written by pharmacists are also often highly sought after by both the public and other healthcare professionals as they add diversity to the vast information in today’s medical scene. Pharmacists with good writing skills can supplement their income by becoming freelance medical writers and bloggers. They can write on various topics ranging from current medical practices to reviews on a new supplement in the market. Over time, established writers often find themselves engaged with profitable assignments, earning up to hundreds per article.

2) For the passionate educator - Teach and inspire

Historically, the trade of pharmacy was passed down through teaching and pharmacists start off by being an apprentice at a pharmacy. Most will therefore not deny that being a teacher is an integral part of being a pharmacist. Pharmacists can earn cash by being adjunct lecturers, teaching assistants and tutors. They can share their knowledge of pharmacy practices to budding pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and assistants. They can also write syllabus and teaching materials for pharmacy schools and design online learning modules for local and overseas distance learning. Tertiary schools pay post grad pharmacy candidates at an average rate of $30 per hour to assist pharmacy students with lab work. While earning extra bucks, pharmacists can continue to inspire students through education.

3) For the time-work traders - Do part-time

Pharmacists can actually locum or “moonlight” in various institutions during their free time, offering their professional knowledge while earning extra cash. Typically, pharmacists are seen working extra hours in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, retail pharmacies and clinics. Many employers are not concerned with this “moonlighting” behaviour as it expands the experience of a pharmacist, allowing new ideas from other institutions to flow into the primary sector they are serving. Pharmacists can earn an average of $25 per hour, depending on the remuneration package provided by different institutions. By doing so, they also help to ensure continued functionality of a demanding frontline healthcare system during atypical hours.

4) For the linguistic enthusiast- Translate others’ work

Pharmacists typically have a voluminous vocabulary. Years of hands-on experience of counselling patients on medications and medical conditions allow them to accumulate a huge realm of synonymic colloquial words for bombastic medical terms (i.e. they know a lot of ways to convey the same medical term). Pharmacists are always ready to fish the most appropriate word out of their mental thesaurus for translation work. They translate with precision because being meticulous is merely second nature to their profession. Extra cash can thus be earned by being a freelance translator for health magazines, patient information leaflets, medical journals and medical reports. Earnings are often dependent on the length and difficulty of the translation.

5) For the very experienced rat catcher - Provide consultancy

Pharmacists function in different sectors. They work in healthcare, manufacturing, quality assurance and control, regulatory and niche areas such as clinical trials and logistics. In each professional career path, pharmacists earn knowledge and experience through the years. Experienced veterans can provide various types of consultancy in the later stage of their career for supplementary income. In IT and technical support, experienced pharmacists can provide insights to trouble shoot a failed system. In manufacturing, they are often engaged as external auditors to audit compliance for good manufacturing practices. In clinical trials, they are independent third-party gate keepers to ensure non-biasness in the conduct of clinical trials. These services can supplement their income, especially so for mid-career pharmacists with a great deal of experience in their own sector.

6) Nothing suits you from above? - Be your own boss!

In many countries around the world, pharmacists own pharmacies. They are business-people and entrepreneurs, buying and selling products favourable to their community. They are trusted retailers for medications and supplements. Pharmacists with limited capital can earn money by creating their own inventions. Joseph Swan, an English pharmacist who patented his incandescent light bulb in 1906, made himself a fortune for his invention. More recently, pharmacists like Colin Murdoch have earned a good living via his patented child-resistant bottle cap and disposable prefilled vaccination syringe. Today, his inventions are adopted as the norm in medication packaging. Although not everyone aspires to be the next Swan or Murdoch, pharmacists can certainly look to their own daily lives for inspiration. Unique inventions can be good cash cows, with the social purpose of improving lives.

Being a pharmacist certainly opens up a multitude of opportunities to turn knowledge into bonus cash. There are many ways by which pharmacists today can earn extra money, and these are abundant for all levels of experience. Give some thought to the above, and take that first step to earn cash outside your 9-5 job - while discovering your passion! MIMS

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Pharmacists, looking to up your salary? Make sure you are equipped with these skills
Pharmacists, what is your life priority: Salary, family or the pursuit of your passion?