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As pharmacy students plan for a career in pharmacy, they often wonder which pharmacy settings will be the best choice. Before deciding on a pharmacy practice setting it is advisable to know how pharmacists are compensated in various pharmacy jobs. Here is some information on salary and job description for pharmacists in retail pharmacy, clinical practice, academia, pharmaceutical industry, and independently owned pharmacy.
Ave starting salary: $117,473
Community pharmacists include those that work for companies such as Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS pharmacy. They dispense medications, counsel patients on prescription medications as well as give OTC advices, and discuss medication therapy with the physicians. They also give advices on diet, exercise, and stress management.
Average starting salary for retail pharmacist is around $117,000. With enough experience, a retail pharmacist can move up to become a pharmacist manager and earn average salary of $129,000 in the United States.
Average starting salary: $105,635
Clinical pharmacists interact frequently with other healthcare providers to optimize health outcomes from medications. Clinical pharmacists monitor patient progress from the time of admission to discharge. They attend rounds with the physicians to discuss proper medications and doses, and discuss drug administration with nurses.
Academic Pharmacist (Assistant Professor)
Ave starting salary: $95,730
Pharmacists in academia are often involved with one or more of the following; conducting research, publishing articles, and practicing in community, hospital, or ambulatory care settings. Their schedules are flexible, and they work in an office in universities or schools of pharmacy and medicine. They spend on average 40% of the time lecturing in class, and 60% of the time working in hospital, community, or industrial pharmacy. Benefits in academic pharmacy include contributing scientific and clinical knowledge, enhancing ones own learning while teaching others, and satisfaction of training residents and graduate students.
On average, assistant professors make roughly $96,000. Academic pharmacists could further their career by promotion to associate professor, assistant dean, or dean, which results in an increase in salary to $109,550, $114,993, and $153,138, respectively.
Pharmaceutical Industry (Medical Science Liaison)
Average starting salary: $97,000 to $110,000 plus 10% to 25% bonus
Pharmaceutical industry professionals are involved with research and development, drug safety, regulatory affairs, and marketing and sales. More specifically, medical science liaisons (MSL) keep healthcare providers and researchers update on latest research, attend conferences, and present new product information to physicians. Medical science liaisons may work long hours due to travel and sometimes on weekends. Starting salaries are just below $100,000 on average in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Medical device companies pay entry level MSLs an average starting salary of $110,000. According to careerbliss average MSL salries are $117,000 in the United States. MSLs travel often and are compensated for their efforts. With enough experience, a Medical Science Liaison can be promoted to Senior Medical Science Liaison or Director. Salaries at this point can be as high as $161,000 or higher depending on the company and responsibilities.
Independently Owned Pharmacy
Salary: $101,069 to $151,604 in San Jose, Ca
Independent pharmacy owners are both healthcare practitioners and entrepreneurs. These pharmacies can have an impact on local community by offering a variety of care benefits. The unique scope of care includes asthma management, diabetes education, compounding, and medication therapy management. Independent pharmacy owner’s schedule their own hours. The average salary varies depending on location and how well the business is doing. For example, independent pharmacists in San Jose, Ca can make on average $153,409. Top yearly salary can increase up to $144,384 to $216,577 over time.
References and Resources
AACP. Salary Data. 2013. Web February 4, 2013.
AveragePharmacistSalary. 2013. Web February 6, 2013.
CareerBliss. 2013. Web: February 12, 2013.
Drug Channels. Owning a Pharmacy: Still Pretty Profitable. 2011. Web February 4, 2013.
Salary.com. Web February 4, 2013
Rxownership. Plan an Independent Pharmacy Career. Web February 4, 2013.
Pharmacy Job Openings and Resources
Pharmacy Jobs Resource Page
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