You can earn a significant monthly income as a pharmacist. The top 10 percent made over $12,007 per month, according to May 2011 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Your primary duties would be filling prescriptions and advising customers on possible side effects. You may also warn people which medicines should not be taken with their prescriptions. And, you would input customers' insurance information into the computer so they get the proper discounts.
Average Salary & Benefits
A pharmacist's average monthly salary was $9,346, according to the BLS. This equates to $112,160 per year, which can buy a lot of nice shoes. Your pay would likely fall in the $8,446 to $10,776 per month range, which is what the middle half earned. The lowest 10 percent made less than $7,041 per month. If you are among the 79 percent of pharmacists who work full time, as reported by the BLS, you would likely get benefits such as medical insurance, paid time off and a retirement savings plan. You may also get discounts on prescriptions.
Salary by Industry
You would earn the highest monthly salary of $10,457 working for a pharmaceutical manufacturing company, according to the BLS. Your income would be closer to the national average at a general and surgical hospital --$9,503 per month. But if you decide to work for a drug store pharmacy, your monthly income would be slightly less at $9,234. Forty-three percent of all pharmacists work for the latter.
Salary by State
You could earn $10,444 per month working in Alaska, according to the BLS. That is, if you could tolerate the gelid and long dark winter days. You may want to spend part of your salary on a fur coat. If you prefer warmer climates, pharmacists in California earned monthly incomes of $10,233. You would make a more average salary in either South Carolina and Texas: $9,565 and $9,464 per month, respectively. And your pay would be somewhat less in Pennsylvania at $8,768 per month.
Education & Training
A pharmacy career won't come easy for you. Your first step would be earning a bachelor's degree so you could be accepted into a pharmacy program or school. You would then need to earn a doctorate of pharmacy, which takes about four years, according to the BLS. Subsequently, you'd spend one to two years as a resident, working under a trained pharmacist. And, you need to pass two exams to get your pharmacy license. If you plan to own your own pharmacy, a master's in business would be helpful.
The BLS projects an increase of 25 percent for pharmacy jobs between 2010 and 2020, which is faster than the national average of 14 percent. During this decade, 69,700 will become available. Many of the jobs will be spurred by an increase in new drugs for common diseases like diabetes. An aging population will also spur job growth, as elderly people need more medications.
2016 Salary Information for Pharmacists
Pharmacists earned a median annual salary of $122,230 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, pharmacists earned a 25th percentile salary of $109,400, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $138,920, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 312,500 people were employed in the U.S. as pharmacists.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Pharmacists
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Pharmacists
- CareerPlanner.com: Pharmacist
- StateUniversity.com: Pharmacist Job Description, Career as a Pharmacist, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job
- U.S. News & World Report: Money: Pharmacist: Job Profile & Salary
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Pharmacists
- Career Trend: Pharmacists