How Much Do Pharmacists Make?

Pharmacist Job descriptionPharmacists process prescriptions and dispense medications.

They have knowledge of different treatments and medicines, giving patients advice and instructions on the safe use of medication.

They also provide advice on how to live a healthier lifestyle, carry out some health screenings, administer immunizations, and keep records of medications used by patients.

Pharmacists work in hospitals, clinics, drug stores, and pharmacies.

There are often pharmacies inside larger shopping malls and supermarkets.

To become a pharmacist a person is required to have a Doctor of Pharmacy qualification, which is a 4-year professional degree. Along with passing two exams to receive a licence to practice.

Pharmacist Salary

How much do pharmacists make in the US? An average pharmacist’s salary is . This the median wage across the whole of the US. 

Pharmacies are open long hours, meaning that most pharmacists work full time. Around 1 of every 5 works part time. It’s not unusual for pharmacists to work shifts, late nights, weekends and over holidays

Top 5 Paying States

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alaska FlagAlaska1.48$65.54$136,320
California FlagCalifornia1.87$63.54$132,160
Maine FlagMaine2.13$62.07$129,100
New Hampshire FlagNew Hampshire 1.71$59.88$124,540
Wisconsin FlagWisconsin2.05$59.28$123,290

Top Paying Industries

IndustryPercent of industry employmentHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Scientific Research and Development Services 0.03$62.40$129,790
Warehousing and Storage0.02$61.60$128,130
Offices of Physicians0.21$61.32$127,550
General Merchandise Stores 0.91$61.22$127,350
Outpatient Care Centers0.53$60.57$125,980

Pharmacist Job Description

What do pharmacists doWhat do pharmacists do? Pharmacists process prescriptions and serve patients medicines. As well as offering their expertise and advice. They typically have a few key duties, which include:

  • Checking and fulfilling prescriptions, then giving advice when administering medicine.
  • Cross check prescriptions to see if they will conflict with current medications.
  • Give patients advice about dosages, potential side-effects, and duration of treatments.
  • Fill out insurance forms and documents to ensure patients receive the correct medications.
  • Administer flu shots and other vaccinations.
  • Work with and train other healthcare workers in the same pharmacy.
  • Carry out a range of administration tasks, involving paperwork and computer based records.
  • Give patients advice about lifestyle and health choices.

Some pharmacies are family run business, or part of a chain.

A pharmacist can own their own pharmacy, and will be more involved with the day-to-day operations of the business.

As with all healthcare professions, there is an ongoing learning curve. There is a need to constantly go on courses to keep up to date with the latest medicines, and healthcare news.

Some pharmacists are involved in a process called compounding, which means mixing their own drugs.

Here are the most common types of pharmacists:

Community pharmacists – These work in independently owned drug stores, typically located in retail stores. They provide a range of healthcare services for the community, and process prescriptions.
Clinical pharmacists – These work in hospitals, clinics, and some other health care practices. They are more involved with patient care, and spend less time processing prescriptions. Often doing the rounds of patients in hospital with the rest of the healthcare team.
Consultant pharmacists – They typically act on a consultancy, giving advice to insurance providers and healthcare facilities. They also offer support to some patients, with advice on healthcare and medicine.
Pharmaceutical industry pharmacists – They work in the marketing, research and development, and sales areas. They are involved in conducting clinical drug trials, developing new drugs and ensuring the drugs meet all the strict regulations.

As you can see from the above, a pharmacist’s career path can be a varied and interesting one. There is a lot of scope for entering different industries, and being involved with medication from its initial testing, to the trial and rollout phase.

Pharmacist Career Outlook

The outlook for pharmacists is a projected growth of 6% until 2026. This is around the average for all occupations, and there are several factors that contribute to this increase.

There is an aging population, and this is having a massive impact on the medical sector in general.

pharmacist salaryOlder people use more medicine than the younger generation, so this contributes to the increase in pharmacists required.

There is also a higher rate of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart conditions.

Another factor leading to a demand in medications, along with the ongoing research that goes into developing new drugs.

As the healthcare sector continues to grow, and the number of patients increase, there will be a rise in demand for pharmacies and pharmacists to dispense and advise on the medication.

Pharmacist Salary by State

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alabama FlagAlabama2.784$58.66$122,010
Alaska FlagAlaska1.477$65.54$136,320
Arizona FlagArizona2.319$57.35$119,280
Arkansas FlagArkansas2.519$54.68$113,730
California FlagCalifornia1.871$63.54$132,160
Colorado flagColorado2.066$55.96$116,390
Connecticut FlagConnecticut1.723$57.41$119,420
Delaware flagDelaware1.866$54.77$113,920
Florida FlagFlorida2.632$54.99$114,380
Georgia FlagGeorgia2.354$56.36$117,220
Hawaii FlagHawaii1.889$56.05$116,590
Idaho FlagIdaho1.989$54.32$112,980
Illinois FlagIllinois1.962$55.91$116,290
Indiana FlagIndiana2.194$55.55$115,540
Iowa FlagIowa2.409$48.44$100,750
Kansas FlagKansas2.369$57.33$119,240
Kentucky FlagKentucky2.397$58.70$122,090
Louisiana FlagLouisiana2.31$54.36$113,070
Maine FlagMaine2.132$62.07$129,100
Maryland FlagMaryland2.153$57.80$120,230
Massachusetts FlagMassachusetts2.072$54.49$113,330
Michigan FlagMichigan2.176$54.21$112,760
Minnesota FlagMinnesota1.872$58.60$121,880
Mississippi FlagMississippi2.41$57.94$120,520
Missouri FlagMissouri2.249$58.91$122,530
Montana FlagMontana2.792$51.28$106,670
Nebraska FlagNebraska2.582$48.38$100,630
Nevada FlagNevada1.621$57.62$119,850
New Hampshire FlagNew Hampshire1.712$59.88$124,540
New Jersey FlagNew Jersey2.196$56.52$117,560
New Mexico FlagNew Mexico2.114$56.80$118,130
New York FlagNew York2.142$57.16$118,900
North Carolina FlagNorth Carolina2.235$59.16$123,050
North Dakota FlagNorth Dakota1.69$54.64$113,660
Ohio FlagOhio2.202$55.31$115,050
Oklahoma FlagOklahoma2.465$54.60$113,570
Oregon FlagOregon2.133$58.51$121,700
Pennsylvania FlagPennsylvania2.194$53.06$110,360
Rhode Island FlagRhode Island2.631$52.84$109,900
South Carolina FlagSouth Carolina2.621$55.96$116,400
South Dakota FlagSouth Dakota2.84$52.10$108,360
Tennessee FlagTennessee2.993$57.05$118,670
Texas FlagTexas1.871$57.15$118,870
Utah FlagUtah1.861$56.73$117,990
Vermont FlagVermont1.637$59.08$122,890
Virginia FlagVirginia1.923$56.90$118,360
Washington FlagWashington1.956$57.42$119,430
West Virginia FlagWest Virginia3.152$55.77$116,010
Wisconsin FlagWisconsin2.053$59.28$123,290
Wyomin FlagWyoming1.857$53.88$112,070

Top paying metropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Santa Cruz / Watsonville, CA1.78$79.25$164,850
Gadsden, AL 2.76$74.97$155,940
Fresno, CA 2.08$69.22$143,980
Chico, CA 2.72$68.45$142,380
Anniston / Oxford, AL 2.10$67.71$140,830

Top paying nonmetropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Northwest Alabama – nonmetropolitan area3.66$91.50$190,320
Southeast Alaska – nonmetropolitan area 1.12$70.06$145,730
Southern Texas – nonmetropolitan area 0.85$68.76$143,030
Railbelt – Southwest Alaska – nonmetropolitan area1.04$68.38$142,230
Southeast Missouri – nonmetropolitan area 2.22$68.14$141,730

Pharmacist Career Video

Noel Griffith, Ph.D.
Noel Griffith is a Doctor of Philosophy with a strong interest in educational research. He has been an editor-in-chief of since 2014. Noel is an avid reader (non-fiction), enjoys good food, live theatre, and helping others make wiser career decisions.

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