Pharmacist Salary: A 2022 Guide

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Pharmacists are medical professionals who ensure that patients receive the medication they need to manage their health conditions. Read on to learn what you can expect to earn in this important health care profession.

[Featured image] Pharmacist in white standing in front of medical equipment with a laptop computer

Pharmacists are highly-trained medical professionals who possess a deep understanding of pharmaceutical drugs and how they interact with human biology. Whether they’re providing patients with medication at a local pharmacy or working alongside physicians in an outpatient clinic, pharmacists are well-rewarded for their unique skill set, knowledge, and expertise. In this article, you’ll learn more about what you can expect to make as a pharmacist, how different factors may impact your salary expectations, and explore online courses that can help you prepare for a future career in the field. 

What is the average salary for a pharmacist?

Pharmacists make a much higher than average salary in the United States. 

According to salary aggregate sites, the average pharmacist salary is between $118,968 to $145,540 per year. Regardless of their exact pay, though, pharmacists still make much more than the national median annual salary for all workers in the United States, which the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated to be $45,760 as of May 2021 [1]. 

Depending on the source, the median annual salary that you can expect to earn as a pharmacist is as follows [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]: 

US BLSIndeedGlassdoorZippiaSalary
$128,570$127,267$128,701$118,968$145,540

The exact pay that you can expect to make as a pharmacist will likely be impacted by such common factors as your work experience, the industry in which you work, and your geographic location. Below, we explore more of these factors to help you better understand what you can expect to earn in this impactful health care profession. 

Read more: What Does a Pharmacist Do? Job Duties, Salary, and More

Pharmacist job outlook 

While pharmacists earn a higher-than-average salary, their overall job growth over the next decade is expected to be relatively low. 

According to the US BLS, the number of job openings for pharmacists is expected to grow by just two percent between 2021 and 2031, adding approximately 13,600 new jobs a year during that period. This is much slower job growth than is expected for other jobs during the decade, which the BLS projects to be an average of five percent for all jobs in the country and 13 percent for health care occupations [6, 7]. 

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Pharmacist salary by experience 

Much as with other positions, your work experience can have a big impact on how much you earn as a pharmacist. According to glassdoor, here is what you can expect to earn as a pharmacist each year based on your prior years of experience [3]: 

  • 0-1 years: $122,220

  • 1-3 years: $124,937

  • 4-6 years: $128,531

  • 7-9 years: $131,402

  • 10-14 years: $136,605

  • 15+ years: $138,522

Pharmacist salary by industry 

The industry in which you work can have a significant impact on how much you will make as a pharmacist. While some industries – and the employers operating within them – tend to pay pharmacists more, others are more conservative with how much they’re usually willing to pay. 

If obtaining a higher salary is a particularly important goal for you, then consider looking for a position within one of these four industries which the US BLS notes pay pharmacists the highest salaries [8]: 

IndustrySalary
Ambulatory health care services$131,790
Hospitals; state, local, and private$130,280
Food and beverage stores$128,190
Pharmacies and drug stores$127,820

Pharmacist salary by location 

Where you live and work tends to greatly impact how much you can expect to earn as a pharmacist. 

While dense cities tend to have higher costs of living and higher salaries, less populated regions often have lower costs of living and lower salaries. Furthermore, local market conditions, such as the number of qualified, local professionals performing the same job can also affect how much you can expect to earn in your position. To help you better understand how much you can make in different regions, here’s how much pharmacists earned in ten different cities within the United States in November 2022, according to Glassdoor: 

LocationMedian pay
New York City, NY$126,512
Los Angeles, CA$129,177
Chicago, IL$130,518
Seattle, WA$132,962
San Francisco, CA$147,544
Minneapolis, MN$130,797
Des Moines, IA$126,081
Houston, TX$127,031
Cincinnati, OH$126,598
St. Louis, MO$128,085

Pharmacists are highly trained medical professionals with deep knowledge of medication and how it interacts with the human body. Pharmacists work in a wide range of health care environments and possess a variety of transferable skills that can help them in numerous different positions. 

If you’re considering a position that encompasses some of the same skills and responsibilities that pharmacists use every day, then here are some similar positions that you might consider pursuing along with their median salaries, according to Glassdoor [9, 10, 11, 12]: 

Start exploring health care professions 

Pharmacists pair deep knowledge of pharmaceuticals with an expert ability to work with patients. Start preparing for your own career as a pharmacist by taking a cost-effective, online course through Coursera today. 

In UC San Diego’s Drug Development Management Specialization, you’ll familiarize yourself with the process of drug discovery, drug development, and drug commercialization used by pharmaceutical companies today.

In the University of Copenhagen’s Understanding Patient Perspectives on Medications, meanwhile, you’ll learn about the patient perspective on medicine use, and how to explore and apply it in health care and health policy. 

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Drug Development Product Management

Drugs: From Target Discovery to Patients. Familiarize yourself with the process of drug discovery, drug development and drug commercialization, in this new specialization from University of California, San Diego!

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Article sources

1

US BLS. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Pharmacists, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacists.htm#tab-1.” Accessed November 2, 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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