How much do pharmacists make?

Last updated: February 28, 2024
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Michael Frash
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How much do pharmacists make?
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You’ve just graduated with your Doctor of Pharmacy degree, and you’re trying to find the best job with the best salary as a reward for all your hard work.

Or maybe you’re looking into pharmacy school and trying to determine your job prospects at the end of the four-year program.

No matter what stage of the pharmacist journey you’re in, this guide to the average pharmacist salary will help you make the best decisions for your career.

We’ll cover what the average pharmacist salary is, the factors impacting a pharmacist’s salary, and other important salary data you’ll want to know.

What is the average pharmacist salary?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average pharmacist salary is $128,710 per year or $61.88 per hour.

Reports from third-party websites like Salary.com show a broad range of hospital and clinical pharmacist salaries. Pharmacists in the U.S. can expect to make between $120,000–$160,000 per year, depending on their experience and location.

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While even the low end of the pharmacist salary range is impressive, keep in mind that you’ll only earn that level of pay after earning a four-year Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

It’s also worth noting that the BLS projects a 2% decline in pharmacist jobs over the next ten years.

Still, working in pharmacy can be a helpful and lucrative profession in any state.

Factors impacting the pharmacist salary average

With such a wide range in what pharmacists make, it’s no surprise that many factors impact a pharmacist’s salary.

For instance, some states will have a higher average pharmacist salary due to the cost of living in that state.

In this section, we’ll cover the top three factors impacting pharmacist salaries: location, skill, and experience.

Understanding these factors will help you make the best decisions for your education and career. After working hard to get a PharmD, you want to make the most of that hard work.

1. Location

Location has one of the biggest impacts on a pharmacist’s salary. As you can see in the map below, the average pharmacist salary varies widely from state to state.

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Salary varies by location so much due to the cost of living and supply and demand in different geographical areas.

Keep in mind that this data can change somewhat often, as supply and demand shift in different states due to other economic factors. A state that has a median pharmacist salary now might prove to be a top earner in the future.

2. Skills

As with most professions, a pharmacist’s salary can increase if they have specialized skills. In pharmacy, these skills might include pediatrics, patient counseling, or hospital pharmacy.

Management and administration roles can also increase a pharmacist’s salary. Typically, those skills and roles develop over time and with experience.

3. Experience

Although you’ll enter the workforce with a hard-earned professional degree, there’s nothing like a few years on the job to fine-tune your skills and make you even better at your job.

You’ll develop more nuance and perhaps develop specializations in new areas. All of these accomplishments can help you increase your pharmacist salary, either in your current role during your annual review or when looking for a new pharmacist job.

Working diligently and producing excellent results are also great ways to stand out to your employers and coworkers. In the future, that can help boost your salary options in the form of excellent professional references.

Average pharmacist salary by state

As mentioned above, the average pharmacist salary is different from state to state.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California and Alaska offer the highest average pharmacist salaries, at over $140,000 per year. North Dakota ranks lowest, with an average pharmacist salary of $100,000 a year.

Check out the rest of the list below:

State

Annual Pharmacist Salary

California

$144,050

Alaska

$142,610

Vermont

$135,650

Oregon

$135,150

Maine

$134,670

Wisconsin

$134,090

Minnesota

$130,290

Delaware

$130,230

New Hampshire

$129,370

Hawaii

$129,360

Missouri

$128,670

Washington

$128,320

Alabama

$127,460

Texas

$127,320

Virginia

$126,920

New Mexico

$126,120

Illinois

$125,490

Arizona

$125,320

Nevada

$124,860

Connecticut

$123,640

North Carolina

$123,560

Tennessee

$123,550

Rhode Island

$123,350

Louisiana

$123,140

West Virginia

$123,030

Wyoming

$122,720

Georgia

$122,550

South Carolina

$122,500

Kentucky

$122,400

Maryland

$122,110

Mississippi

$122,060

District of Columbia

$121,730

Kansas

$121,710

New Jersey

$121,650

Florida

$121,530

New York

$121,480

Idaho

$121,360

Michigan

$121,110

Utah

$121,020

Colorado

$120,660

Massachusetts

$120,430

Arkansas

$120,020

Indiana

$119,920

Pennsylvania

$119,800

South Dakota

$118,360

Nebraska

$117,630

Iowa

$117,420

Ohio

$117,020

Oklahoma

$116,170

Montana

$115,270

North Dakota

$100,560

Pharmacist salary by job level

In your first pharmacist job, your job title will likely just be “pharmacist.” As one of the lower-ranking members of the team, you’ll report to a pharmacy manager or director.

As you gain more experience and understanding of the nuances of your role, you may be able to increase your responsibilities — and salary — by taking on a supervisory or management role.

Take a look at the average pharmacist salary by job level:

Pharmacist Position

Average Annual Salary

Pharmacist

$139,931

Pharmacy Manager

$157,137

Assistant Pharmacy Director

$161, 637

Pharmacy Director

$183,981

There are plenty of opportunities for a high-paying pharmacist career when you’re willing to develop the experience and skills necessary for these top roles in a hospital, health system, or even retail chain like CVS or Walgreens.

Find a high-paying pharmacist job today

The average pharmacist salary is well into the six figures, but pay depends greatly on your location, skill, and experience.

With this information in mind, you can choose the best pharmacist jobs for you and your career trajectory.

For more resources on finding jobs, check out the Jobcase Getting Hired Resource Center.

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