Pharmacists are medical professionals who ensure that patients receive the medication they need to manage their health conditions. Read on to learn what you can expect to earn in this important health care profession.
Pharmacists are highly-trained medical professionals who possess a deep understanding of pharmaceutical drugs and how they interact with human biology. Whether they’re providing patients with medication at a local pharmacy or working alongside physicians in an outpatient clinic, pharmacists are well-rewarded for their unique skill set, knowledge, and expertise. In this article, you’ll learn more about what you can expect to make as a pharmacist, how different factors may impact your salary expectations, and explore online courses that can help you prepare for a future career in the field.
Pharmacists make a much higher than average salary in the United States.
According to salary aggregate sites, the average pharmacist salary is between $118,968 to $145,944 per year. Regardless of their exact pay, though, pharmacists still make much more than the national median annual salary for all workers in the United States, which the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated to be $45,760 as of May 2021 .
The exact pay that you can expect to make as a pharmacist will likely be impacted by such common factors as your work experience, the industry in which you work, and your geographic location. Below, we explore more of these factors to help you better understand what you can expect to earn in this impactful health care profession.
While pharmacists earn a higher-than-average salary, their overall job growth over the next decade is expected to be relatively low.
According to the US BLS, the number of job openings for pharmacists is expected to grow by just two percent between 2021 and 2031, adding approximately 13,600 new jobs a year during that period. This is much slower job growth than is expected for other jobs during the decade, which the BLS projects to be an average of five percent for all jobs in the country and 13 percent for health care occupations [6, 7].
Much as with other positions, your work experience can have a big impact on how much you earn as a pharmacist. According to Glassdoor, here is the total pay, including base salary and additional pay like bonuses, you can expect to earn as a pharmacist each year based on your prior years of experience :
0-1 years: $122,534
1-3 years: $125,096
4-6 years: $128,682
7-9 years: $131,615
10-14 years: $136,852
15+ years: $138,420
Note: Total pay is the combined amount of Glassdoor users’ reported average salary and additional pay, which could include profit sharing, commissions, cash bonuses, or tips.
The industry in which you work can have a significant impact on how much you will make as a pharmacist. While some industries – and the employers operating within them – tend to pay pharmacists more, others are more conservative with how much they’re usually willing to pay.
If obtaining a higher salary is a particularly important goal for you, then consider looking for a position within one of these four industries which the US BLS notes pay pharmacists the highest salaries :
|Ambulatory health care services||$131,790|
|Hospitals; state, local, and private||$130,280|
|Food and beverage stores||$128,190|
|Pharmacies and drug stores||$127,820|
Where you live and work tends to greatly impact how much you can expect to earn as a pharmacist.
While dense cities tend to have higher costs of living and higher salaries, less populated regions often have lower costs of living and lower salaries. Furthermore, local market conditions, such as the number of qualified, local professionals performing the same job can also affect how much you can expect to earn in your position. To help you better understand how much you can make in different regions, here’s the total pay pharmacists earn in ten different cities within the United States, according to Glassdoor:
|New York City, NY||$128,338|
|Los Angeles, CA||$129,399|
|San Francisco, CA||$136,285|
|Des Moines, IA||$126,241|
|St. Louis, MO||$128,208|
Pharmacists are highly trained medical professionals with deep knowledge of medication and how it interacts with the human body. Pharmacists work in a wide range of health care environments and possess a variety of transferable skills that can help them in numerous different positions.
If you’re considering a position that encompasses some of the same skills and responsibilities that pharmacists use every day, then here are some similar positions that you might consider pursuing along with their total annual pay, according to Glassdoor [9, 10, 11, 12]:
Pharmacy technician – $37,407
Pharmacologist – $181,852
Toxicologist – $123,773
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative – $117,044
Pharmacists pair deep knowledge of pharmaceuticals with an expert ability to work with patients. Start preparing for your own career as a pharmacist by taking a cost-effective, online course through Coursera today.
In UC San Diego’s Drug Development Management Specialization, you’ll familiarize yourself with the process of drug discovery, drug development, and drug commercialization used by pharmaceutical companies today.
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US BLS. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Pharmacists, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacists.htm#tab-1.” Accessed December 20, 2022.
Indeed. “Pharmacist salary in United States, https://www.indeed.com/career/pharmacist/salaries.” Accessed December 20, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Pharmacist Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-pharmacist-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,13.htm?clickSource=searchBtn.” Accessed December 20, 2022.
Zippia. “Pharmacist Salary, https://www.zippia.com/pharmacist-jobs/salary/.” Accessed December 20, 2022.
Salary. “Pharmacist Salary in the United States, https://www.salary.com/research/salary/benchmark/pharmacist-salary.” Accessed December 20, 2022.
US BLS. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Pharmacists, Job Outlook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacists.htm#tab-6.” Accessed November 1, 2022.
US BLS. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Healthcare Occupations, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm,” Accessed November 2, 2022.
US BLS. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Pharmacists, Pay, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacists.htm#tab-5.” Accessed December 20, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Pharmacy Technician Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-pharmacy-technician-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,22.htm.” Accessed December 20, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Pharmacologist Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-pharmacologist-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,17.htm.” Accessed December 20, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Toxicologist Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-toxicologist-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,15.htm.” Accessed December 20, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-pharmaceutical-sales-representative-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,38.htm.” Accessed December 20, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.