Pharmacist Salary

Pharmacist Salary Information

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Pharmacist Job Description
Pharmacist Training and Education

A pharmacist’s primary function is to dispense drugs prescribed by doctors and health professionals. They may counsel with patients about the function, dosing and use of various medicines. They are also often called upon to advise physicians on the appropriate medication and dosing for a specific patient, as well as on potential side effects and drug interactions.

The Skinny on Salaries

Pharmacist

Pharmacist—John Pavelka (Flickr.com)

A pharmacist’s salary will vary somewhat, depending on industry employment, geographic location, etc. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Pharmacists’ mean wage in the US is estimated to be a little over $113,000 annually, or about $54 per hour.

Determining Factors

While industry and geographic location do play a major role (as you’ll see below), there are several other contributing factors that will determine a pharmacist’s salary. For starters, income will increase significantly as a pharmacist gains experience. A pharmacist with a year or less of experience might make in the neighborhood of $70,000 annually, while a pharmacist with 20 years of experience could be making well over $100,000 each year.

Of course, attending a well-recognized school can significantly raise your chances of a good salary at entry level. Earning additional certifications can also increase your worth in the eyes of an employer, affording you a higher pay package. Earning your Master of Pharmacy in Medication Therapy Management, for example, can be a big plus. Of course, assuming a managerial position will also put you in line for a raise.

These aspects will all take time, but as you gain experience and/or certifications, you should be able to increase your salary quite significantly.

Interestingly, however, gender does play something of a role in this field as well. According to a study conducted by Stephanie F. Gardner (Dean, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy) and Cindy D. Stowe (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences), female pharmacists working in private and chain pharmacies typically earned approximately a dollar less per hour than their male counterparts. While this doesn’t seem significant at first glance, the difference is considerable when you realize that the annual difference comes out in the thousands.

This difference is also seen in academic settings. Individuals with comparable background, qualifications and experience will still see this difference in salary based on gender. In fact, the pay gap widens at higher ranking positions, particularly at the level of professors at colleges of pharmacy.

Industry Breakdown

Pharmacists’ salaries differ (often quite significantly) from one industry to the next, with the pharmaceutical industries paying some of the highest wages, and government services typically paying on the low end of the scale.
Here’s a basic breakdown of salaries in some of the most common industries for pharmacists:

INDUSTRY

AVERAGE HOURLY

AVERAGE ANNUAL

Pharmaceutical & Medicine Manufacturing

$60.33

$125,480

Scientific & Technical Consulting

$56.97

$118,490

Offices of Physicians

$56.61

$117,750

Outpatient Care Centers

$56.49

$117,510

Health & Personal Care Stores

$54.83

$114,040

Specialty Hospitals

$53.52

$111,320

General Medical & Surgical Hospitals

$53.27

$110,810

Department Stores

$52.52

$109,240

Grocery Stores

$52.35

$108,890

Online/Mail-Order Stores

$51.08

$106,260


Geographic Breakdown

Of course, a pharmacist’s salary will also vary depending on his or her geographic location. Interestingly enough, Alaska ranks as the highest paying state with pharmacists there earning an average annual salary of $125,330 (or an hourly wage of $60.25). On the other end of the spectrum, pharmacist in Nebraska can expect to earn an average annual salary of $99,050, which breaks down to $47.62 per hour.

Here’s a breakdown of average pharmacist’s salaries by state. To make your analysis easier, we’ve simply listed the states alphabetically:

STATE

AVERAGE HOURLY

AVERAGE ANNUAL

Alabama

$57.60

$119,810

Alaska

$60.25

$125,330

Arizona

$56.78

$118,110

Arkansas

$50.76

$105,570

California

$59.04

$122,800

Colorado

$53.70

$111,690

Connecticut

$55.63

$115,710

Delaware

$57.55

$119,710

District of Columbia

$54.08

$112,480

Florida

$53.73

$111,760

Georgia

$53.31

$110,880

Hawaii

$53.85

$112,020

Idaho

$50.92

$105,910

Illinois

$51.10

$106,290

Indiana

$51.84

$107,820

Iowa

$49.47

$102,890

Kansas

$52.52

$109,250

Kentucky

$53.67

$111,640

Louisiana

$52.05

$108,260

Maine

$60.24

$125,310

Maryland

$51.35

$106,850

Massachusetts

$51.95

$108,050

Michigan

$54.38

$113,100

Minnesota

$55.15

$114,720

Mississippi

$53.20

$110,650

Missouri

$54.55

$113,460

Montana

$49.19

$102,320

Nebraska

$47.62

$99,050

Nevada

$52.95

$110,130

New Hampshire

$57.05

$118,660

New Jersey

$51.25

$106,590

New Mexico

$56.15

$116,800

New York

$53.72

$111,750

North Carolina

$55.80

$116,070

North Dakota

$51.08

$106,250

Ohio

$51.79

$107,720

Oklahoma

$49.71

$103,400

Oregon

$54.22

$112,770

Pennsylvania

$50.58

$105,210

Rhode Island

$52.16

$108,500

South Carolina

$55.18

$114,780

South Dakota

$48.68

$101,260

Tennessee

$55.51

$115,460

Texas

$54.60

$113,570

Utah

$52.97

$110,180

Vermont

$58.89

$122,490

Virginia

$54.62

$113,610

Washington

$53.15

$110,550

West Virginia

$55.74

$115,950

Wisconsin

$57.05

$118,670

Wyoming

$50.94

$105,950