How Much Do Pharmacists Make on Average (Salary)

How much do pharmacists make? What's the average annual salary of a pharmacist? Pharmacists are medicine specialists who play an important role in ensuring that patients get the most out of their drugs. Preparing and dispensing prescriptions, ensuring that medicines and dosages are accurate, avoiding dangerous drug interactions, and counseling patients on the safe and appropriate use of their drugs are all responsibilities of pharmacists.

What is a pharmacist?

Pharmacists are medical specialists that specialize in the proper use, storage, preservation, and distribution of medications. They can help you understand how to take medicines and warn you about any potential side effects. Doctors and other healthcare professionals write prescriptions, which they fill.

Pharmacists also help in medication development and testing. Pharmacies, medical clinics, hospitals, colleges, and government agencies employ them.

pharmacist salary

What does a pharmacist do?

Pharmacists are in charge of filling prescriptions, conferring with doctors' offices, advising patients on how to take their medications, and administering flu vaccines. They frequently explain potential medication interactions in order to ensure that patients follow their prescriptions properly. Many pharmacists also provide general health advice to their patients, such as stress management and diet, as well as over-the-counter medicines to relieve symptoms.

Among their major responsibilities are:

  • Dispensing medicines and other supplies, or overseeing technicians who are dispensing them, according to the physician's prescription.
  • Drug interactions are being investigated.
  • Prescriptions are being double-checked for correctness.
  • Planning, monitoring, and evaluating the efficacy of a medication for a patient in collaboration with other healthcare providers.
  • Assuring that a pharmacy follows all rules and laws.
  • Daily ordering and automated refills are under my supervision.
  • When necessary, recommending modifications to a patient's medications.
  • Educating both staff and patients about various medication treatments.

Types of pharmacists:

  • Ambulatory Care Pharmacist
  • Academic Pharmacist
  • Community Pharmacist
  • Compounding Pharmacist
  • Hospice Pharmacist
  • Hospital Staff Pharmacist
  • Infectious Disease Pharmacist
  • Long-Term Care or Consultant Pharmacist
  • Managed Care Pharmacist
  • Medication Therapy Management Pharmacist (Personal Pharmacist)
  • Nutrition Support Pharmacist
  • Nuclear Practice Pharmacist
  • Oncology Pharmacist
  • Operating Suite (Surgery Unit) Pharmacist
  • Pediatric Pharmacist
  • Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM)
  • Pharmaceutical Industry Pharmacists
  • Critical Care Pharmacist
  • Drug Information Specialist
  • Pharmacists in the Military
  • Home Care (Home Infusion) Pharmacist
  • Poison Control Pharmacist

Education requirements

A Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education-accredited institution is required to work as a pharmacist in the United States (ACPE).

Regardless of the university's entrance criteria, all PharmD programs require students to take postsecondary chemistry, biology, and physics courses. Pharmacy programs also need at least two years of undergraduate education, with the majority requiring a bachelor's degree. The Pharmacy College Admissions Test is also required of students (PCAT).

PharmD programs typically take four years to complete. Pharmacology and medical ethics studies are required as part of a degree in this profession. Internships at hospitals, clinics, or retail pharmacies are also available for students to obtain real-world experience.

Pharmacists must also attend continuing education classes to stay up to date on the newest advancements in the field of pharmacology.

Work environment of a pharmacist

Pharmacists have traditionally worked in community (retail) pharmacies, which include those in grocery and drug stores. However, the field is quickly evolving, and more pharmacists are working in hospitals, physician offices, and specialized clinics as clinical pharmacists. Emergency rooms, pediatric departments, cancer centers, cardiac care units, intensive care units, poison control centers, and long-term care institutions all have pharmacists on staff (e.g., nursing homes). Pharmacists who work for the government or the military have a unique set of skills. They spend the majority of their workweek on their feet in most situations.

The majority of pharmacists work full-time, although around one-fifth employed part-time in 2016. Some pharmacists work evenings and weekends since many pharmacies are open 24 hours a day.

pharmacist salary

Average salary of a pharmacist

Annual wages for Pharmacists range from $104,000 (25th percentile) to $126,500 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) earning $136,500 annually in the United States. Even with numerous years of experience, the typical salary range for a Pharmacist is quite consistent (about $22,500), implying that there are little chances for improved income or promotion regardless of region.

Pharmacists earn an average of $52.35 per hour, with salaries ranging from $20.55 to $98.40 per hour based on geographic region, experience, and sector. General retail stores, food and beverage stores, hospitals, and pharmacy stores are the leading industries.

Per hour

The national average is $52.35 per hour.

Per week

The national average is $2,214 per week.

Per month

The national average is $9,595 per month.

Salary by seniority

Salary by seniority level.

Top-level pharmacist earnings begin at:

$78.32 per hour, $162,900 per year.

Senior-level pharmacist earnings begin at:

$71.47 per hour, $148,660 per year.

Mid-level pharmacist earnings begin at:

$61.58 per hour, $128,090 per year.

Junior-level pharmacist earnings begin at:

$53.91 per hour, $112,140 per year.

Entry-level pharmacist earnings begin at:

$42.50 per hour, $88,400 per year.

Average pharmacist salary by state

Average pharmacist salaries by state:

  • Alaska: $144,670 per year.
  • Alabama: $120,211 per year.
  • Arkansas: $120,641 per year.
  • Arizona: $127,800 per year.
  • California: $144,660 per year.
  • Colorado: $127,490 per year.
  • Connecticut: $122,767 per year.
  • District of Columbia: $126,110 per year.
  • Delaware: $125,530 per year.
  • Florida: $122,540 per year.
  • Georgia: $122,460 per year.
  • Guam: $118,510 per year.
  • Hawaii: $121,780 per year.
  • Iowa: $116,160 per year.
  • Idaho: $123,120 per year.
  • Illinois: $123,430 per year.
  • Indiana: $116,951 per year.
  • Kansas: $120,730 per year.
  • Kentucky: $122,450 per year.
  • Louisiana: $119,370 per year.
  • Massachusetts: $120,250 per year.
  • Maryland: $122,450 per year.
  • Maine: $135,510 per year.
  • Michigan: $122,320 per year.
  • Minnesota: $136,540 per year.
  • Missouri: $129,000 per year.
  • Mississippi: $124,770 per year.
  • Montana: $117,580 per year.
  • North Carolina: $127,250 per year.
  • North Dakota: $115,340 per year.
  • Nebraska: $121,390 per year.
  • New Hampshire: $129,410 per year.
  • New Jersey: $119,330 per year.
  • New Mexico: $127,610 per year.
  • Nevada: $128,290
  • New York: $124,220 per year.
  • Ohio: $121,770 per year.
  • Oklahoma: $119,120 per year.
  • Oregon: $137,620 per year.
  • Pennsylvania: $111,019 per year.
  • Puerto Rico: $92,450 per year.
  • Rhode Island: $122,170 per year.
  • South Carolina: $126,670 per year.
  • South Dakota: $118,140 per year.
  • Tennessee: $125,400 per year.
  • Texas: $128,260 per year.
  • Utah: $122,730 per year.
  • Virginia: $128,260 per year.
  • Virgin Islands: $119,680 per year.
  • Vermont: $139,970 per year.
  • Washington: $130,250 per year.
  • Wisconsin: $131,450 per year.
  • West Virginia: $122,980 per year.
  • Wyoming: $122,250 per year.

Information provided by The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (source).

Highest paying states

States where the median annual wages are higher:

  • New York: $53.00 per hour.
  • North Carolina: $54.03 per hour.
  • Arizona: $55.20 per hour.
  • Oregon: $55.48 per hour.
  • Texas: $55.53 per hour.
  • Wyoming: $55.55 per hour.
  • California: $55.97 per hour.
  • Alaska: $58.97 per hour.
  • Montana: $59.15 per hour.
  • Virginia: $115,446 per year.
  • New Mexico: $122,480 per year.
  • Washington: $127,134 per year.
  • Colorado: $142,640 per year.

Job outlook

From 2018 through 2028, the job outlook for pharmacists is projected to remain stable, but demand in some healthcare environments, such as hospitals and clinics, is expected to rise. This is most likely due to the aging of the baby-boomer population, as well as increased incidence of chronic illnesses such as diabetes. However, employment in drug shops and pharmacies is anticipated to diminish, with pharmacy technicians likely to play a larger part in the operations of pharmacies.

Chronic disease linked with an aging population will necessitate more prescription medications, which will drive up demand even further.

Job description of a pharmacist

Compounding and/or dispensing prescription medications, providing pharmaceutical information to healthcare professionals, monitoring customers' drug therapies to avoid interactions with other medications, and providing pharmaceutical expertise to customers on the safe use of medications are all tasks that pharmacists are responsible for.

Common questions

Questions from job seekers:

Are pharmacists doctors?

A pharmacist holds a PharmD, or Doctor of Pharmacy, degree. A PhD is required for several professions (for example, a professor, a psychologist, etc). They are not, however, "physicians" in the sense that medical doctors are.

Can physicians do a pharmacists job?

Pharmacists are pharmaceutical specialists who know all there is to know about prescription medicines. Because it is not a physician's specialty, the average pharmacist understands a lot more about medicines than the average physician.

A pharmacist's job entails much more than merely writing labels and counting pills. Because anybody can make a mistake, a pharmacist will double-check that the medicine a doctor has recommended for a patient will not interfere with any other medications the patient is taking. It's fairly uncommon for a pharmacist to call the doctor to double-check the dose because it's simple to write the erroneous quantity, resulting in a prescription that's either too low or too high. They'll modify doses, double-check treatment calculations, and generally function as a barrier between the patient and potentially dangerous medication interactions.

A pharmacist also has a lot of time-consuming responsibilities, such as ordering supplies, dealing with insurance companies, and dealing with the numerous regulatory compliance concerns. Physicians like the division of labor because it allows them to focus on their patients.

pharmacist salary

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