The Drug Topics 2011 Salary Survey

April 15, 2011

Finding stability in an unstable economy can be difficult, but it seems that many pharmacists have done just that. Pharmacists report low unemployment rates, high salaries, and high job satisfaction at a time when many industries are struggling with layoffs and budget cuts. But the perks of being a pharmacist don't come without stress.

Key Points

Finding stability in an unstable economy can be difficult, but it seems that many pharmacists have done just that. Pharmacists report low unemployment rates, high salaries, and high job satisfaction at a time when many industries are struggling with layoffs and budget cuts. But the perks of being a pharmacist don't come without stress.

The Drug Topics 2011 salary survey was emailed to Drug Topics' readers the week of Feb. 7, and 1,187 pharmacists across the country responded to questions covering average salaries, raises, workload, and job satisfaction. The results tell the story of a stable industry with mostly satisfied employees, whether in the chain, independent, or hospital setting, but this year both workload and stress levels appear to be on the rise.

Based on the survey findings, it appears that work hours for most pharmacists aren't overly demanding. The majority (70%) report working between 30 and 44 hours each week, with just 15% logging more than 45 hours a week.

When it comes to financial rewards, most pharmacists (59%) receive an hourly wage, with 65% reporting between $51 and $60 an hour. However, 17% of those surveyed earn less than $50 an hour and 18% receive more than $61 an hour.

Of salaried pharmacists, 72% said they earn between $101,000 and $140,000, with 19% earning salaries between $121,000 and $130,000 each year.

Pharmacists bring all levels of experience to the job. Years of experience reported by survey respondents ranged anywhere from 0 to 36 years; however, it seems that most pharmacists (69%) have at least 21 years or more on the job.

The survey also found that most (47%) carry the title of staff pharmacist, while 20% are pharmacy department managers, 8% are clinical pharmacists, 6% are directors of pharmacy, and 5% are store owners or partners.

Most pharmacists also believe their annual salaries are comparable, if not higher, than the salaries of employees new to the industry. Survey results indicate that 43% believe their salaries are similar to the starting salaries of new employees, 29% believe their yearly income is higher or much higher than starting salaries, 11% believe they may be receiving less than the average starting salary, and 16% aren't sure.

There's no perceived gender gap in the pharmacy industry. Drug Topics found that 71% of respondents reported that they believe male and female employees in the same position receive the same pay.