Compensation for Pharmacists in the United States is generous, with average pay surpassing six figures annually ($110K). Total cash compensation to Pharmacists varies from $83K to $135K; higher pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $10K each. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is location, followed by the specific employer and years of experience. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 54 percent. Most enjoy medical while the greater part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. Most Pharmacists report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Pharmacist
Pharmacists work primarily for pharmacies and drugstores; however, hospitals and medical clinics may employ their own pharmacists to dispense drugs directly to patients. Pharmacists who work for hospitals must analyze both in-patient and out-patient medication, so close attention to detail is very important in this position to ensure the accuracy of filled prescriptions.Read More...
In addition to filling prescriptions from medical doctors, pharmacists must also be able to decide what medication is appropriate for each patient and identify any errors by physicians in prescribing medication to patients. They must also review other medications which patients are taking prior to filling new prescriptions to ensure there are no possible harmful drug interactions between medications. Pharmacists should also contact patients' physicians regarding any concerns about their medications.
Most employers require that candidates possess a doctorate degree in pharmacy and years of experience in a hospital or residency. Computer skills and interpersonal skills are important in this position, as well as excellent verbal and written communication skills to speak with patients politely, clearly and concisely. They must be able to work independently with minimal supervision, as well as in team settings. They are encouraged to read professional journals relevant to their job and stay up-to date with new drugs coming into the marketplace. Some may also train, coach, or mentor new pharmacists.
- Analyze prescribing trends to monitor patient compliance and to prevent excessive usage or harmful interactions.
- Dispense and review prescriptions to ensure accuracy, and compliance with professional, state and federal regulatory requirements.
- May collaborate with other health care professionals to plan, monitor, review and evaluate patient effectiveness.
- Educate patient on medication use, storage and side effects.
- Solicit information from patients regarding past and current medication to prevent drug interactions.
Common Career Paths for Pharmacist
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Popular Employer Salaries for Pharmacist
Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Pharmacists include CVS / Pharmacy, Walgreen's Pharmacy, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, Walgreen Co., and Rite Aid Pharmacy. CVS Caremark Corporation offers the best pay with a median salary of $128K, though salaries there don't seem that varied, bottoming out near $102K and maxing out at just $142K. The Kroger Company, Rite Aid Corporation, and Safeway, Inc. also offer top salaries for Pharmacists. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $124K, $124K, and $123K, respectively.
Kmart Corporation doles out the lowest salaries in town — median pay is $116K — not to mention workers can only make as much as $132K and scope of pay is rather limited. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Express Scripts Incorporated at $116K, Omnicare, Inc at $117K, and Rite Aid Pharmacy, where $117K is the norm.
Popular Skills for Pharmacist
Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Immunization, Pediatrics, Retail Pharmacy, and Managed Care are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like immunizations. The majority of those who know Hospital Education also know Long Term Care and Oncology.
Pay by Experience Level for Pharmacist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Pharmacists with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $109K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $117K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $120K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $121K.
Pay Difference by Location
Phoenix offers some of the highest pay in the country for Pharmacists, 7 percent above the national average. Pharmacists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Diego (+6 percent), San Francisco (+6 percent), Los Angeles (+5 percent), and Philadelphia (+3 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 8 percent south of the national average, can be found in Miami. Employers in New York and Boston also lean toward paying below-median salaries (7 percent lower and 6 percent lower, respectively).
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Key Stats for Pharmacist
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