Pharmacists Salary Review

Healthcare Recruiters need to be aware that there are varied employment opportunities for pharmacists, and salaries can differ widely depending on a variety of factors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for pharmacists was $124,170 in May 2017. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $87,420, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $159,410.

The most significant factors impacting pharmacists salaries are geographical location and pharmacists type.

The top five states with the highest annual pay for pharmacists:

  1. California – $151,800
  2. Arkansas – $136,000
  3. Nevada – $134,400
  4. Vermont – $131,100
  5. Kentucky – $131,000

Mercer’s (a global human resource consulting firm) U.S. Pharmacy Compensation Survey results show the annual mean salary for pharmacists by positions:

Healthcare Retail/Satellite

  • Pharmacy team manager – $148,900
  • Nuclear pharmacist – $136,900
  • Clinical pharmacist – $131,500
  • Staff pharmacist – $131,500


Mail Order/Pharmacy Benefit Manager

  • Staff pharmacist – $125,200


  • Staff pharmacist – $ 124,400

The above salaries are base figures; bonuses and profit sharing can increase annual income. Salary levels also rise with experience, regardless of specialization.

While pharmacist salaries are growing, they are not keeping pace with other healthcare practitioners. The long-term job trend for pharmacists essentially remains flat. The BLS has projected growth of 3% from 2014 to 2024. Due to the changing healthcare landscape, pharmacy jobs are expected to shift from retail settings to jobs in hospitals, outpatient clinics, home healthcare and physicians’ offices. An awareness of this long-term trend will help healthcare recruiters focus on areas that are developing.