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How Much Do Pharmacists Make?

written by: C.D. Crowder•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 3/5/2011

As with any career, salary is important and pharmacist is no exception. When you ask yourself how much do pharmacists make, you have to take in to account several factors, such as experience, education and location.

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    When determining how much do pharmacists make, education is a major factor. A Bachelor's degree is necessary to earn the average salary or higher. A graduate degree helps push the average annual salary towards $90,000. Pharmacists can work while continuing their education in pursuit of a Master of Science in Pharmacy, for example, to be eligible for higher positions, raises and employer changes.

    Each type of pharmacist position requires different levels of education. You can choose to take the time to pursue higher education, while earning less or spend more time learning in the field. Either will help you to earn a higher annual salary and bigger bonuses when applicable.

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    As with many careers, experience helps increase a person's salary over time. A pharmacist's salary gradually increases, the longer they stay in the profession. After approximately twenty years in the field, many pharmacists earn over $100,000 before any type of benefits or bonuses.

    Experience helps increase salaries for pharmacists whether they stay with the same employer or not. When taking a position with a new employer, a pharmacist may take a slight pay cut initially, but within a few years may greatly increase their annual earnings. For some employers, experience is more important than education. If you combine the two, the salary for a pharmacist is much higher.

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    Location and Employer

    Location and the type of employer are the final factors in determining how much pharmacists make. In larger cities with a higher population, pharmacists are in greater demand, equaling a higher earning potential. Smaller areas tend to pay on the low side of the pay scale, but often have a friendlier, more personal working environment.

    The lowest paying employer is in the pharmaceutical industry. The average annual salary is typically less than $83,000 per year. Pharmacists choosing to work in the retail industry earn salaries on the higher end of the salary range, typically around $97,000 or more. Pharmacists can also choose to work as educators, in hospitals and even community clinics. The annual salary for these areas typically falls around the annual average of around $90,000. Depending the pharmacist's education and experience; the pay for these other types of employers may be higher or lower. The more experience and education, the more you can make.

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    In Summary - Average Annual Salary of a Pharmacist

    Rx symbol How much do pharmacists make on average? Pharmacists with a Bachelors degree can expect an average annual salary of approximately $81,000 during the first few years of their career. The average salary range for pharmacists is $76,000 to $105,000. With benefits, such as bonuses, profit sharing and commission, the total annual salary range is between $80,000 and $113,000. Other benefits such as vacation and health insurance may also be included in the annual average salary.

    Image Credits: WikiMedia Commons / Rlgdias

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