Becoming a U.S. citizen is difficult, but it is doubly difficult to become a Pharmacist in the U.S. It’s a highly competitive industry, possibly because the U.S. is one of the dynamic forces that is pushing the global pharmacy profession forward.

Pharmacists in the U.S. are among the highest-paid pharmacists in the world. In United States, half of the pharmacies are located within drug stores, grocery stores, hospitals, department stores, medical clinics, surgery clinics, universities, nursing homes, prisons, and other facilities. The remaining pharmacies are considered to be independent or privately owned. In USA, average salary of pharmacists is 99000-140000 USD per annum. It can be varied depending on many factors. Earning an average salary of around $120,950, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also, there are tons of benefits of becoming a pharmacist in the U.S., including: Many opportunities for continuing education, the ability to practice in a variety of clinical settings, a strong community of the Pharmacy professionals and a salary that can provide a good standard of living.

International pharmacists may obtain a license to practice pharmacy in the U.S. through one of two ways:

  1. Taking the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination® (FPGEC) and completing the requirements of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
  2. Successfully completing a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program at a school or college of pharmacy in the U.S.

Pharmacists in all states must obtain a license to practice. Licensure typically involves completing an accredited Pharm.D. program and passing two licensing examinations: the North American Pharmacist Licensing Exam (NAPLEX) and the Multi-State Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE).

If you are making an allowance for becoming a pharmacist in the U.S., here’s some information that will definitely help you achieve your goal. The journey to registration is as follows:

Make sure you have an NABP e-Profile and e – Profile ID number.

STEP I                           

Apply to Education Credential Evaluators (ECE) in order to gain recognition of equivalence of your foreign qualifications. ECE will verify your degree credentials and is the only organization that can evaluate your credentials on behalf of NABP. The ECE application may be submitted prior to submitting your FPGEC application. You need

  • Documentation of your education including official transcripts
  • Translation of non-English documents
  • Payment of the General Evaluation Report fee

Ensure you have the valid proof that you have obtained the requirements to practice pharmacy in another country without restrictions. This may include a license, a registration, both a license and a registration, or neither. You will also need to provide other required personal documentation (passport, attestation, and photos) that can be sent to NABP.


Prepare and Apply to TOEFL – iBT (The test of English as a foreign language – internet based test)

VALIDITY : 2 Years

The TOEFL ibt is available frequently at an Educational Testing Service Centre. These examinations can be done in any order, If s not your first language, you might want to study for the FPGEE first. FPGEC Certifications are mandatory before applying for FPGEE.

FPGEC applications are only valid for two years and you must pass the TOEFL iBT exam during this timeframe before you register for the FPGEE.

Analysis of TOEFL passing scores for the different universities has showed that the average score for the TOEFL iBT is about 74.2 for students and 82.6 for graduate students.Speaking about TOEFL PBT test results, the highest passing score is 630, while the lowest one is around 450 points.

The passing standards for FPGEC certification are:

  • Reading: 22
  • Listening: 21
  • Speaking: 26
  • Writing: 24


STEP III                                                   

Submit your FPGEC application in the Foreign Pharmacy section of NABP e-Profile. We recommend that you send all supporting documentation to NABP prior to submitting your application. Evaluation of your FPGEC application will not begin until all documentation is received, including a passing TOEFL iBT score report.

FPGEC CERTIFICATION:                                                                   

Pharmacists educated outside of the United States are required to achieve Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination CommitteeTM (FPGEC®) Certification before applying for a pharmacy licensure exam or state board of pharmacy license. FPGEC applications are only valid for two years and you must pass the TOEFL iBT exam during this timeframe before you register for the FPGEE.

The FPGEC Certification includes:

  • A review of your education and licensure/registration
  • A passing score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT)
  • A passing score for the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination® (FPGEE®)

The certification is not a license to practice pharmacy; it ensures that a foreign pharmacist’s education meets comparable requirements to pharmacists educated from US pharmacy colleges. Each state has different requirements for obtaining a license. Once you are FPGEC certified it is important that you check the board of pharmacy website for specific licensure requirements in the state or jurisdiction you wish to be licensed.

After submitting an FPGEC application, you will have 2 years to meet the requirements for acceptance to the certification program. Review all documentation requirements thoroughly before they are submitted. Your evaluation may significantly be delayed if the documents are sent incorrectly the first time.



Register online for the FPGEE.

The FPGEE is a comprehensive pharmacy exam, which focuses on knowledge from biomedical, pharmaceutical, behavioral, and clinical sciences. To be eligible for the FPGEE, you must first apply for FPGEC Certification and complete the necessary steps. You will only be able to register for the exam after your FPGEC application has been evaluated and accepted. You will be notified through e-Profile of your acceptance to test. After registering for the FPGEE and receiving an Authorization to Test (ATT), you will be mailed a FPGEE Identification Card (FIC) to the address in your e-Profile. The FIC is required on the day of your exam. If you do not present your identification card at the testing site, you will not be admitted to take the exam and will forfeit your fees.The FPGEE is held bi-annually at a Pearson VUE Test Centre.

The minimum passing score for the FPGEE is 75.



Contact the  STATE BOARD OF PHARMACY  where you wish to obtain your pharmacist licensure to receive information about that state’s requirements. Each state’s pharmacy licensure requirements may vary. We recommend you check the state’s eligibility requirements for the NAPLEX and MPJE before registering for those examinations.



INTERNSHIP1500 hours (Approx)

Register as a pharmacy intern with the state board of pharmacy and start recording working  hours.This can be done as soon as you are approved to sit in the FPGEE. You will need to find a pharmacist who will be your instructor at your internship facility and register as a pharmacy intern with the State Board of Pharmacy. Once got registered, start “recording” 500 to 1,500 intern hours (depending on the state).

Refer each state pharmacy intern application instructions on their official portal !

Instructions for registering as a pharmacy intern: (Some states are given below and further refer on your choice)

Pennsylvania –

Texas –

Oregon –



  • Take the FPGEE and the TOEFL ibt.
  • Results for the FPGEE can take around eight weeks to arrive.
  • Results for the TOEFL ibt are available online within 10 days.

Once you have set both of these tests, your entire assortment undergoes final evaluation by the FPGEC (which can take up to 10 weeks) before you are issued with a certificate.



Submit records of internship hours to the State Board of Pharmacy / PCS once completed. This has to be done before you apply for the North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and Multistate Jurisprudence Pharmacy Examination (MJPE). Use the proper form and be prepared to submit proof of worked hours.



Once approved, apply for and take the NAPLEX and the MJPE and apply for pharmacy licensure Eligibility to take these examinations also varies according to state and your local board needs to issue another ATT first.

In Massachusetts there is a combined form for the NAPLEX, MJPE and pharmacy licensure (again there is a demographic component and it needs notarising). An MJPE must be passed in every state a candidate wishes to practise in, since pharmacy law varies from state to state. Other things to consider can be some additional costs, such as: Charges for issuing documentation, notary fees, textbooks/online resources, postage and packaging and any examination repeat fees. Pharmacist’s salaries are higher in the US that can  provide Financial support while applying for the job. In hospital pharmacy, working patterns incorporate variable shift-work.





The NAPLEX is a six-hour exam composed of 225 questions that are delivered in a computerized, fixed form. The exam results will be reported as pass or fail, and candidates are allowed five attempts to pass the exam.

The following resources may assist you when preparing for the NAPLEX:

View the NAPLEX sample candidate performance report to find a breakdown of the information included in your exam results.

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The Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination® (MPJE®) is designed to assess your application of laws and regulations for the specific states/jurisdictions and is taken by recent college of pharmacy graduates shortly after they receive their degree. The exam is also taken by licensed pharmacists who want to practice in other jurisdictions and pharmacists who are FPGEC certified.

For More visit 



Obtain professional liability insurance – one of the most commonly used is the HPSO which has links to the American Pharmacist Association (APhA).

Add your suffix – “RPh”, which stands for “registered pharmacist”, can be used by anyone who has completed the licensure requirements and is currently registered to practice.



Say bye to your HOME TOWN !


MAP of USA –

Government of USA –

American Pharmacists Association (APhA) –

VISA for Pharmacists –,obtain%20an%20H%2D1B%20visa.

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