Mercer survey finds that pharmacists' salaries are on the rise

July 23, 2008

The largest pay increase (8.1%) has been for pharmacy team managers.

Despite the slumping national economy, a new survey from Mercer indicates that pharmacists have seen healthy pay increases this year.

The survey is conducted semi-annually and examines pay levels in more than 380 metropolitan areas. It found that the salaries of retail staff pharmacists, including base salary and annual bonus, has risen 5.8% thus far in 2008, to $108,700 from $102,800. The salaries of hospital pharmacists have jumped 6.5%, to $105,200 from $98,800, while clinical pharmacists have seen a 5.2% pay increase to $105,000 from $99,800. The largest pay increase has been for pharmacy team managers, who have experienced an 8.1% hike to $118,000 from $109,200.

"The ongoing shortage of pharmacy professionals continues to drive up pay," David Dross, principal with Mercer's managed pharmacy benefit business, said. "With the need for more pharmacists growing as baby boomers age and need more medications, pharmacy operators are continuing to raise salaries to attract pharmacists and remain competitive."

The survey found that pay varies by geographic region. For example, retail staff pharmacists in San Jose ($118,000) and Charlotte ($115,400) received higher salaries than their counterparts in Pittsburgh ($97,800) and Omaha ($97,200).

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