The employment opportunities in the pharmacy industry are excellent and there is great growth potential for pharmacists. This is because there are limited training programs and replacing pharmacists who leave their jobs is quite difficult. The expected growth rate for pharmacists between 2008 and 2018 is predicted at 17 percent which is far higher than that for most other occupations.
The typical duties that pharmacists perform are, distributing prescription drugs to individuals, advising and counseling patients, health practitioners and doctors on drug selection, dosage, side effects and interaction with other medicines. Pharmacists also advise patients on the interaction between medications and over the counter medicines. Some pharmacists also monitor the use of medications, the progress and health of their pharmacy patients. They ensure that the patients are using the medications as per the prescribed dosage.
Asides from advising patients on the correct usage of medications, pharmacists also tell them about heath related topics, such as exercise, diet and managing stress. Pharmacists read the doctors prescriptions and provide the correct dosages to patients. Pharmacists no longer mix actual ingredients for medicines. It’s the pharmaceutical companies that make drugs in standard dosages and drug forms for pharmacies, hospitals and healthcare facilities. In addition to their jobs, pharmacists also fill the necessary paperwork to handle third-party insurance forms.
The average annual salary earned by pharmacists in May 2008 was $106,410. The top tier pharmacists earned more than $131,440 annually, and the lowest tier earned less than $77,390. The bulk of pharmacists in the middle earned $92,670 to $121,310 a year.
Pharmacy and Industry Hourly Wage
- Health and Personal Care Stores- $51.83
- General Medical and Surgical Hospitals – $51.06
- Grocery Stores – $50.79
- Department Stores – $50.54
- Other General Merchandise Stores – $52.61
- Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services – $56.11
- Residential Mental Retardation, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Facilities – $55.08
- Insurance Carriers – $53.55
- Management of Companies and Enterprises – $53.30
- Employment Services – $53.11
SOURCE: BLS Current Employment Statistics, 2008.
How much does a pharmacist make per year?
According to Indeed.com, as of July 1, 2010 a pharmacist makes a median salary of $122,000 a year.
- Pharmacist Nuclear – $118,000
- Registered Pharmacist Retail Pharmacist – $146,000
- Pharmacist Travel Pharmacist Pharmacy – $109,000
- Travel Pharmacist – $150,000
- Pharmacist Lead – $126,000
- Registered Pharmacist Clinical Pharmacist – $102,000
- Pharmacist Grand Junction – $126,000
- Pharmacist Battlement Mesa – $126,000
- Pharmacist Hospital – $112,000
- Clinical Pharmacist Specialist – $125,000
- Pharmacist Pharmacy Director – $131,000
- Pharmacist Oncology – $117,000
- Inpatient Clinical Pharmacist – $134,000
- Pharmacist ON Call – $85,000
- Lead Pharmacist – $87,000