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Average Starting Salary in a Pharmacy

by Ruth Altman

Working in a pharmacy can be a rewarding career choice for many individuals. If you’re considering getting a job at a pharmacy, you should have an interest in science, people and helping others. Pharmacies hire retail workers, pharmacy technicians, pharmacists and store managers. Average salaries vary, depending on the position.

Pharmacy Retail Worker

Retail workers employed at pharmacies sell merchandise and help customers find products. They may also process customer payments and work the cash register. Retail sales workers may have varied shifts, including nights and weekends. Most pharmacy retail sales workers don't need a formal education, such as college or vocational training. The median salary in 2012 for a retail sales worker in a pharmacy was $21,110, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pharmacy Technician

A pharmacy technician works behind the pharmacy counter alongside the pharmacist. Responsibilities include preparing and filling prescriptions for customers, including measuring, mixing and counting dispensed medication. Pharmacy technicians may also answer phones, explain prescription information to customers and ring up their purchases. The median salary in 2012 for a pharmacy technician was $29,320, according to the BLS.

Pharmacist

All pharmacies must operate under the supervision of a pharmacist. Pharmacists dispense medication prescribed by doctors to patients, ensuring the proper selection and dosage. A pharmacist must ensure medication interactions don’t interfere with other prescriptions or health conditions. Pharmacists also manage the day-to-day tasks of pharmacy technicians. The median salary in 2012 for a pharmacist was $116,670, according to the BLS.

Pharmacy Store Manager

Pharmacy store managers directly supervise retail workers. They may also manage store budgets, payroll, accounting functions and human resource functions like hiring and firing employees. Pharmacists and pharmacy store managers must work together for the betterment of the store and working environment. The median salary in 2012 for a first-line supervisor of retail workers was $36,820, according to the BLS.

About the Author

Ruth Altman writes on business, lifestyle and careers. She holds a Master of Arts degree from Pepperdine University in addition to a bachelor's degree from Harvard University.

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