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Medicinal Relief: The Best Pharmacist Salary and Employment in the USA
Pharmacist salary and employment in the USA depends almost entirely on the employer and location. It is a job that involves dispensing prescription drugs to consumers, advising patients and doctors on drug dosages and interaction, and tracking drug purchases and health concerns. The career requires a Pharm.D. degree from an accredited college or university as well as a state license to practice.
© 2011 by Aurelio Locsin
Pharmacist Salary Basics
The country’s 268,030 pharmacists make a mean $52.59 per hour or $109,380 per year.
- The lowest-earning 10 percent earn $39.47 per hour or $82,090 per year, while the best-paid 10 percent get $66.64 hourly or $138,620 annually.
- This compares to an average $34.27 per hour or $71,280 per year made by all 7.3 million U.S. healthcare practitioners. This job category includes optometrists, who make $106,750 a year; family doctors, who earn $173,860 annually; and registered nurses who receive $67,720 yearly.
- This is over 40 percent more than the mean $21.35 per hour or $44,410 per year made by the 127 million workers in the country.
The biggest employers of pharmacists are as follows:
- Health and personal care stores employ almost 44 percent of the profession and pay a mean $53.37 per hour or $111,000 per year.
- General medical and surgical hospitals have over 21 percent of the jobs averaging $52.13 hourly and $108,430 annually.
- Grocery stores show 8 percent of the position with means at $51.70 per hour or $107,530 per year.
The best pharmacist salary is found in the following industries:
- Residential mental retardation, mental health and substance abuse facilities offer a mean $58.84 per hour or $122,380 per year.
- Close behind are management, scientific and technical consulting services averaging $58.19 hourly or $121,040 annually.
- Doctors’ offices have mean wages of $54.54 per hour or $113,450 per year.
The states with the most pharmacist jobs also have the highest populations:
- California is the biggest state in terms of population. It has 23,540 pharmacist jobs averaging a mean $57.12 per hour or $118,810 per year.
- Texas ranks number two for population and jobs, with 20,320 positions averaging $53.57 hourly or $111,420 yearly.
- Florida, which is fourth for population, has 17,080 pharmacists making a mean $52.38 per hour or $108,950 per year.
The best pharmacist salary is located in the following states:
- Maine averages $58.40 per hour or $121,470 per year.
- California has mean wages of $57.12 per hour or $118,810 per year.
- Alaska, where the high cost of living increases all average salaries, has mean pay at $56.76 per hour or $118,060 per year.
City employment of pharmacists also follows population.
- New York City, the most populated urban area, has 9,680 jobs averaging $50.86 per hour or $105,800 per year.
- Los Angeles, the second biggest city, shows 6,040 positions with means at $54.87 per hour or $114,120 per year.
- Chicago, ranking third for population, has 5,990 pharmacists making mean incomes of $48.42 per hour or $100,700 per year.
The following cities, all located in California, have the best pharmacist salary.
- Modesto has mean wages of $68.67 per hour or $142,840 per year.
- Santa Cruz-Watsonville is close at a mean $68.63 per hour or $142,750 per year.
- Napa averages $64.79 per hour or $134,760 per year.