Staff R.Ph.s' income tops $93,000, survey finds

August 22, 2005

The perfect storm of rising prescription volume and ever more drugstores in search of professional staff has driven the median income of staff pharmacists above $93,000, according to a survey from Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

The perfect storm of rising prescription volume and ever more drugstores in search of professional staff has driven the median income of staff pharmacists above $93,000, according to a survey from Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

Nationally, staff R.Ph.s received median total compensation of base salary and annual bonus of $93,300 as of last spring, up 5.5% from the previous year. Mercer's semiannual survey is based on data supplied by 174 organizations with more than 175,000 pharmacy employees in 16 different jobs. The respondents represent chain drugstores and supermarkets, mail-order and on-line pharmacies, and hospitals and health systems.

"Basically, too many jobs exist for too few pharmacists, and pharmacy operators are paying competitively to fill open positions," said Eric Michael, Pharm.D., a Mercer senior consultant. "As pay levels continue to increase and the role of pharmacists is stretched thin from longer hours and responsibilities broader than just dispensing drugs, employers will likely see higher costs. Additionally, their customers risk receiving less service in managing their use of medications."