- In 2012, average gross salary for pharmacists at retail, mail, and specialty pharmacies was $117,000—up 2.7% from 2011.
- Of the 1,089 occupations in the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, the “pharmacist” classification ranked 35th in compensation. (The top 10 most highly compensated U.S. occupations are all physician-related.)
- Pharmacist salaries grew faster than did overall healthcare worker salaries and overall U.S. salaries.
The OES survey is a collaboration between BLS and the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). BLS funds the survey and dictates its structure, while the SWAs collect most of the data. The OES survey categorizes workers into detailed occupations based upon the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. You can read more about the methodology in the Technical Notes for May 2012 OES Estimates.
The “pharmacist” occupation code is 29-1051. Using these data, I identified pharmacists working at retail, mail, and specialty pharmacies by analyzing the following NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) industries:
- Chain and independent pharmacies: NAICS 446110
- Supermarkets with pharmacies: NAICS 445100
- Mass merchants with pharmacies: NAICS 452000
- Mail pharmacies: NAICS 454100
Note that BLS computes the annual wage data by multiplying an hourly mean wage by the "year-round, full-time" figure of 2,080 hours. The data below show these full-time gross salary data.
SHOW ME THEIR MONEY
The table below summarizes my analysis of salaries and employment, by dispensing format.
- In 2012, retail, mail, and specialty pharmacies accounted for about 64% of total U.S. pharmacist employment. Hospitals (not shown) account for a further 23% of pharmacist employment.
- In 2012, pharmacists at retail, mail, and specialty pharmacies earned annual average salaries of almost $117,000, up 2.7% vs. 2011.
- The average pharmacist salary grew faster than that of the average healthcare worker. In 2012, pharmacist salaries grew by 2.7% (range: 2.0% to 3.8%). By comparison, salaries for all “Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations” (SOC 29-0000) grew by only 1.1% in 2012.
- For the first time, pharmacists at mass merchants had the highest average pharmacist salaries. Pharmacists at mass merchants, who also saw the biggest pay jump, now earn a full-time average of $117,990 (+3.8%).
- Average annual salaries at supermarkets and mail pharmacies are lower than those in other retail formats, at about $110,000.