Pharmacists fill prescriptions ordered by physicians for patient use. They must understand drug use, side effects, and interaction with other prescribed medications. Pharmacists in the US earn a median wage of about $111,280 per year, compared to Canada at around C$82,700 ($63,900 USD). Annual pharmacist salaries in Australia and New Zealand are similar when converted to the US dollar at about AU$67,400 ($47,580 USD) and around NZ$69,280 ($44,780 USD), respectively. Pharmacists in UK earn about £34,790 ($45,400 USD), followed by South Africa at around R419,000 ($28,300 USD) and India at about Rs221,000 ($3,000). The average pharmacist salary varies by geography, work setting and experience.
How Much Does a Pharmacist Make per Year?
The average pharmacist salary for select countries worldwide are outlined in the chart below.
|Pharmacist Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand||India||South Africa|
Factors that Influence the Pharmacist Salary
Geographic region, work setting, and professional experience influence the salary of a pharmacist. Additional information on a career in pharmacy is provided below.
1. Geographic Area
Pharmacist Salary in US
The average pharmacist starting salary in the US is $76,000, increasing to more than $133,300 with experience. Additional bonus potential is available between $600 and $10,200 as well as profit sharing incentives between $900 and $9,500.
Pharmacist Salary in Canada
Pharmacists in Canada earn between C$49,400 and C$117,490. There is potential for profit sharing and bonus incentives ranging from $750 to nearly $7,500.
Pharmacist Salary in UK
Pharmacist starting salary in UK is about £34,797 for Band 5 positions and increasing to £46,215 for Band 7 positions funded by the National Health Service. There are opportunities to increase income through incentive and award pay, ranging from an additional £200 to nearly £4,000.
Pharmacist Salary in Australia
In Australia, pharmacists earn AU$67,432 per year, on average, for starting pay. Experienced pharmacists in Australia earn more than AU$97,250 per year. Bonus earnings can further increase overall income by AU$200 to nearly $7,700.
Pharmacist Salary in New Zealand
The average annual salary for a pharmacist In New Zealand is about NZ$69,280. Entry level positions pay a starting salary of about NZ$44,220 per year, while senior level pharmacists earn nearly NZ$93,290 per year. Some receive up to an additional NZ$1,400 in bonus earnings.
Pharmacist Salary in India
In India, pharmacists earn between Rs116,978 and Rs600,289. There is potential to earn additional income through bonus, profit sharing and commission from Rs1,900 to more than Rs51,000.
Pharmacist Salary in South Africa
In South Africa, the average annual salary for a pharmacist is R419,000 per year. Entry level pharmacists begin with a starting salary of about R228,200, increasing to about R610,790 per year with experience. Bonus, profit sharing and commission opportunities are available and can add more than R61,000 to the yearly income.
Experience has some influence on incomes, but the effect is greater in some countries than others. For example, in the US where starting salaries are strong for pharmacists, incomes increase the initial five to 10 years and then plateau with little effect in overall income regardless of additional experience. Hospital pharmacist salary can be about 3% to 8% more than retail pharmacists, and those with oncology specialization may also earn higher incomes.
In Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, the greatest incomes in salaries are seen during mid-career between five and 10 years, with an additional increase for those with more than 20 years’ experience. Additionally, those with more experience may have the potential to earn higher bonus and profit sharing pay.
Pharmacists are employed in hospitals, retail stores, and private businesses. Those who work in hospital settings and private practice have the potential to earn higher incomes compared to their colleagues who work in retail businesses.
This is because they often have additional specialty training in mixing compounds, oncology treatments, and other highly specialized areas. Pharmacists have a great amount of flexibility and work-life balance and overall, express a high level of job satisfaction.
If you are interested in pharmacy and are willing to spend a bit more time in school, you can also check out our guide to the clinical pharmacist salary.
Pharmacists typically work business hours between Monday through Friday if self-employed. Those working in retail settings and hospitals may have additional required evening and weekend hours. Those employed in the UK often receive overtime pay for time worked over 37.5 hours per week, while a 40 hour work week is standard globally.
Bonuses and Packages
It is common for pharmacists to earn healthcare benefits that include medical, vision, and dental insurance. Some pharmacists earn bonuses, profit sharing, and commission pay, and those employed in the UK who work in or near London often receive additional high-cost area pay that can increase overall earnings by 20%.
A worldwide aging population is expected to support ongoing strong demand for pharmacists. An increase of 14% job growth is expected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics between 2014 and 2024. With further medical treatment and awareness of treatment options for multiple conditions, the demand for pharmacists is expected to support future numbers of new professionals entering a pharmacy career. This strong demand is also expected to support the strong salary of a pharmacist.
Pharmacists have good employment options worldwide with future demand expected to remain strong and support salary levels. The pharmacist starting salary is strong, and while experience can increase overall earnings, income often increases most during the first five to 10 years. Hospital pharmacist salary can be higher, as well as the salaries of pharmacists who specialize in oncology, compound mixing, and other specialties. Pharmacists have a good work-life balance and express a high level of job satisfaction.