Pharmacist Salary: A 2024 Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn how much you can expect to earn as a pharmacist, based on experience, industry, and location.

[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 pharmacist salary?

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 $145,944 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

The exact pay that you can expect to make as a pharmacist will likely depend on your experience, the industry in which you work, and your geographic location. Below, we explore 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 

Overall job growth over the next decade is expected to be relatively low.

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 that of all jobs, which is at five percent, and 13 percent for health care occupations [6, 7]. 


Pharmacist salary by experience 

Your work experience can have a big impact on how much you earn as a pharmacist. According to Glassdoor, here is the total pay, including base salary and additional pay like bonuses, you can expect to earn as a pharmacist each year based on your prior years of experience [3]: 

  • 0-1 years: $116,000

  • 1-3 years: $117,000

  • 4-6 years: $119,000

  • 7-9 years: $122,000

  • 10-14 years: $126,000

  • 15+ years: $133,000

Note: Total pay is the combined amount of Glassdoor users’ reported average salary and additional pay, which could include profit sharing, commissions, cash bonuses, or tips.

Pharmacist salary by industry 

Your industry can also impact how much you earn as a pharmacist. While some industries 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]: 

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 can 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 due to lower demand. 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 the total pay pharmacists earn in ten different cities within the United States, according to Glassdoor: 

LocationMedian pay
New York City, NY$122,189
Los Angeles, CA$133,977
Chicago, IL$120,971
Seattle, WA$129,257
San Francisco, CA$133,940
Minneapolis, MN$125,029
Des Moines, IA$120,920
Houston, TX$149,669
Cincinnati, OH$118,617
St. Louis, MO$120,089

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 have transferable skills that can be applied in numerous 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 total annual pay, according to Glassdoor [9, 10, 11, 12]: 

Start exploring health care professions 

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.

Article sources


US BLS. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Pharmacists,” Accessed September 5, 2023.

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