Pharmacists fill prescription orders from physicians for use by patients. They also provide drug education to patients by explaining proper use and administration, side effects, and possible interaction with other medications and natural remedies. In the US, pharmacists earn about $110,507, followed by Canada at C$81,550 ($59,928 USD). Among the countries reviewed in this guide, earnings for pharmacists in the UK lag behind at £34,528 ($38,360 USD). Salaries in Australia and New Zealand for pharmacists are similar at AU$65,464 ($48,563 USD) and NZ$68,615 ($47,288 USD), respectively. A pharmacist salary varies by work area, work setting, and professional experience as outlined in this guide.
How Much Does a Pharmacist Make?
Salary ranges for pharmacists in select countries are outlined in the chart below.
|Pharmacist Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand|
Pharmacist Salary Determinant Factors
Payscale.com offers income information for pharmacists worldwide, and while geographic region appears to be the greatest influencer, earnings are also affected by work setting and professional experience. Further details are provided in the following paragraphs.
1. How Much Does a Pharmacist Make by Country?
Pharmacist Salary in the US
Pharmacists beginning their careers in the US can expect a starting salary of about $74,000 per year, increasing to nearly $133,000 annually with experience. Bonus and profit sharing potential can increase overall earnings by nearly $2,000 to nearly $11,000 per year. The geographic region within the US also affects earnings with those in San Francisco and Phoenix earning about 6% more than the national average while incomes in Atlanta and Chicago are lower than average by 3% and 2%, respectively.
Pharmacist Salary in Canada
In Canada, pharmacists earn between nearly C$49,000 and just over C$118,000 per year. There is bonus potential of between about C$500 and more than C$8,300 annually, and some employers offer profit sharing incentives than can surpass C$600 in additional pay. Incomes are higher in some geographic regions in Canada with those in Montreal earning about 15% more than the national average, followed by Ottawa and Calgary at 7% more and 6% more, respectively, while those in Toronto may earn about 8% less followed by Halifax at 6% less.
Pharmacist Salary in the UK
In the UK, entry level pharmacists earn about £21,000 annually, increasing to nearly £46,000 per year with experience. Up to an additional £4,700 per year is possible in bonus potential and some employers offer profit sharing than can increase earnings by nearly £4,800 annually. Those in Bristol may earn about 7% more than the national average while employers in Nottingham and Leicester may earn about 7% than average.
Pharmacist Salary in Australia
Entry level pharmacists in Australia earn a starting salary of nearly AU$40,000 per year compared to an income of more than AU$95,000 for those with experience. Up to AU$9,000 can be earned in bonus pay each year. Higher than average earnings can be found in Perth (4% more) and Melbourne (2% more), compared to Brisbane and Sydney where incomes are lower by 7% and 4%, respectively.
Pharmacist Salary in New Zealand
New pharmacists beginning their careers can expect a starting salary of about NZ$44,000 per year, increasing to more than NZ$87,000 annually with experience. Bonus potential can increase earnings by an additional NZ$2,000 per year. Incomes increase significantly during the first five to ten years of professional experience, but further experience has little effect on earnings.
2. How Much Does a Pharmacist Make According to Experience?
While incomes are higher in the US, the difference between entry level and senior level pay is lower compared to other countries. Earnings increase most notably in the first five to ten years and experienced pharmacists earn about 80% more than their entry level colleagues. This difference in similar in New Zealand where incomes increase by about 97% with experience. Meanwhile, experience boosts incomes in Canada by 140%, followed by Australia at 138%. Earnings in the UK increase steadily throughout one’s career, peaking for those with 20 years’ or more experience at a level that is about 119% higher than starting salaries.
3. How Much Does a Pharmacist Make According to Work Environment?
Pharmacists work in hospitals, retail stores, and some are self-employed in private businesses. Those who work in retail businesses often earn less than self-employed professionals or those employed in hospitals. Specialty pharmacists who have training and experience in mixing compounds earn more and are often employed in hospitals and private businesses, while some hospital pharmacists also have oncology experience that can garner higher pay. In Australia, hospital pharmacists often earn up to 14% more than their colleagues in other work settings. Working in the private sector often garners higher pay compared to those employed in the public sector, and there is greater potential for bonus and profit sharing earnings.
Most pharmacists work a full-time schedule during typical business hours Monday through Friday with some Saturday hours being common. Those who work in retail settings and hospitals may have additional hours during weekend and evening times. While full-time hours are common, there are opportunities for part-time employment. Most pharmacists express a high level of job satisfaction and positive work-life balance.
Bonuses and Benefits
As part of the healthcare community, pharmacists typically earn a full healthcare benefits package that includes medical, vision, and dental insurance. Paid time off for holiday, vacation, and sick time is common. Some pharmacists earn bonus and profit sharing pay incentives; however, these are often offered in the private sector rather than public sector organizations.
A career in pharmacy is expected to remain strong with good prospects for employment in the coming years and sufficient supply for new pharmacists entering the career field. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects an increase of 14% job growth between 2014 and 2024 due to an aging population worldwide and improved research and advancement in medicine overall.
Pharmacists earn strong salaries worldwide and enjoy a full range of benefits and bonus opportunities. Work-life balance and job satisfaction are also positive. Medical advancement and an aging population are expected to demand additional professionals in a pharmacy career with growth expected during the coming years.