Like many careers in the health professions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for trained pharmacists is expected to grow faster than the average for all other jobs between 2010 and 2020. While many people are familiar with the role that pharmacists play in retail outlets, pharmacists are also hired in clinical settings where they assist physicians in writing prescriptions, administer medications and work in hospital pharmacies. The difference in salary between retail and clinical pharmacy can vary by experience and the state in which a pharmacist is employed.
As of May 2012, the BLS reports that, on average, pharmacists earned an annual wage of $114,950, with an average hourly wage of $55.27. The top 10 percent of pharmacists earned more than $145,910 annually, while the lowest 10 percent of earners earned less than $89,280 annually.
Salary by Industry
The average salaries for pharmacists working in the retail industry in 2012 ranged between $111,040 and $122,810. Pharmacists working in the retail industry found employment in grocery stores, department stores, health stores and other general merchandise outlets. Pharmacists working in hospitals, physicians' offices, and outpatient treatment centers earned annual salaries between $112,170 and $120,310 on average. Pharmacists that work overnight or extended hours, regardless of industry, may receive a higher salary than their colleagues who only work during regular business hours.
Salary by Location
Alaska and Maine reported the highest average salaries for pharmacists in May 2012, paying on average $129,170 and $128,030 per year, respectively. Nebraska and Rhode Island reported the lowest average wages for pharmacists, with average annual salaries of $100,830 and $102,410, respectively. Pharmacists in Puerto Rico reported the lowest average salaries for pharmacists, with annual salaries hovering at approximately $76,980 and the lowest 10 percent of Puerto Rican pharmacists earning an average salary of $41,550 per year.
Salary by Gender
Pharmacy was highlighted by Forbes magazine as being one of the best-paying jobs for women in 2013. According to Forbes' analysis of data provided by the BLS, the pharmacy profession is one of just a handful of careers that can claim gender equality in regard to the salaries that are earned by women in the field versus men. Women also comprise 52 percent of the workforce in the pharmacy industry, while an additional 70,000 jobs in the field are expected to open up between 2010 and 2020.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Pharmacists Summary
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Pharmacists Pay
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012 Pharmacists
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Women in the Labor Force: A Databook
- Forbes: The Best-Paying Jobs For Women In 2013
- Keith Brofsky/Digital Vision/Getty Images