How Much Does A Pharmacist Make In The United States?

how much does a pharmacist make

The question; “How much does a Pharmacist make?” has been asked a good number of time by our readers after our post on Easy Way To Enrol In Online Pharmacy Courses, however, in a bid to satisfy our readers’ queries birthed the topic: “How Much Salary Does A Pharmacist Earn In The US?

The salary range of pharmacists varies depending on a lot of factors, such as location, level of education, certifications, and the number of years spent in the profession.

Many people often ask ‘how much does a pharmacist make’ without even understanding who a pharmacist is and what a pharmacist does. It is important to understand why you should become a pharmacist not how much you will make as one.

What is a Pharmacist?

A pharmacist is a healthcare professional who is responsible for dispensing medications prescribed by a doctor to patients. They offer advice to patients on the safe use of prescribed and non-prescribed medications by doctors and other health practitioners about drug prescriptions, selection, and effects.

Pharmacist Job Description

Pharmacists are responsible for supervising the production of drugs to ensure that the drugs meet the appropriate requirements specified by the official compendium and conventional before they are supplied to patients.

They supervise the supply chain of drugs and make sure that the manufacturing and supply of drugs are done according to the law. They also provide information about drugs to healthcare professionals to ensure proper usage.

They dispense medications, that have been prescribed by physicians to the patients. They can also help customers through their drug therapies, and offer advice and information to patients about any potential side effects that a drug may have on them.

They can administer immunizations, and carry out other medical services, like measuring temperature, taking blood pressure, keeping patients’ records, and checking sugar levels.

Pharmacists ensure that the legal rules, regulations, and procedures that govern pharmaceutical practice are followed duly. They manage and maintain pharmaceutical stores by verifying order entries, keeping records of controlled substances, restocking the store, and removing expired and damaged drugs from the inventory.

How To Become a Pharmacist

There are many steps you must take before you become a pharmacist and there are two major paths that students follow to begin a career as a pharmacist.

Undergraduate Program

The first path, through an undergraduate program. Students who decide to study pharmacy as undergraduates usually spend at least two years to 4 years studying and completing the required coursework to earn a degree.

Get a Double Degree

The second path involves earning a dual degree. This means earning your bachelor’s degree and PharmD simultaneously. A dual degree pharmacy program is mostly referred to as an “0-6” program because it takes about six years to complete the degree.

The first two years are focused on the pre-professional study and while the four years that follow are for a professional pharmacy degree. However, whichever path you choose, pharmacy requires many years of schooling.

The first step to becoming a pharmacist is obtaining a high school diploma. Students are expected to have a good foundation in biology, math, chemistry, and physics.

READ ALSO: Pharmacology Degree | How to Become a pharmacologist.

They also need to have excellent writing and verbal communication skills. These qualifications can be obtained from high school and proved with a high school diploma certificate or GED.

After high school, the next step is completing an undergraduate degree. However, this could be a longer path to becoming a pharmacist than obtaining a dual degree especially if you intend to go to graduate school.

An undergraduate school is a good option for students still who are unsure of their career goals because it allows them to change their decision when they need to.  Students can enrol in undergraduate programs in fields like biology and chemistry and go to graduate school after they have earned their bachelor’s degrees.

Pre-pharmacy is not a major; it is a set of prerequisite classes. You can enrol in pre-pharmacy and major in anything.

The prerequisite courses you will need to take as an undergraduate include General chemistry, Organic chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Microbiology, Physics, Human anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Psychology, Statistics, Calculus, Economics, and English.

Most of these courses require lab practicals to enable students to have hands-on experience in the field.

After you have completed the required undergraduate coursework, you can apply to a professional pharmacy program. You can even obtain a bachelor’s degree before you apply to PharmD programs. 

An “0-6” program is the shortest path to follow if you are completely sure you want to become a pharmacist. This is because, upon completion, you will be awarded a bachelor’s degree and a PharmD. It is important to note that, if you do not maintain a satisfactory GPA or fail to complete required courses, you can be withdrawn from the program.

Enrol into a Pharmacy School.

Pharmacy school is the next step. In pharmacy school, students will offer courses like drug production, drug assessment, and the effect of drugs on the body. They will also be taught how to relate with patients and how best to advise them, how to supply and administer medication and manage other business operations.

Pharmacy Residency.

Upon completion of pharmacy school, you can proceed to residency. This will allow you to gain real-life experience in the field and further your education.  Residencies are in two parts: Post Graduate Year 1 and Post Graduate Year 2.

PGY1 is focused on developing the skills, knowledge, and abilities you have gained in the PharmD program, while PGY2 allows you to explore the particular field of pharmacy you are interested in. You can specialize in Drug Information, Pharmaceutical Management, Pharmacy Systems, Pharmaceutical Safety, or Pharmacotherapy.


The last step involved in becoming a pharmacist is obtaining a license. For you to practice as a pharmacist in the United States, you must write and pass two examinations. You must pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE).

The NAPLEX will be used to test your ability to make decisions that are safe for your patients, while the MPJE is to test your knowledge of pharmaceutical laws at the state and federal levels.

It is important to note that as a  pharmacist, you must complete continuing education hours to keep your license. You must dedicate at least  15 to 30 hours to continue your education between your license renewal periods. 

Apart from the educational requirements you need to acquire, there are some personal skills you need to develop to do well in the field. These skills include; communication and listening skills, writing and verbs skills, and the ability to handle work tools.

Some states may require you to fulfill other requirements to practice as a pharmacist.

How much does a Pharmacist Make?

The salary of a pharmacist is usually calculated per hour, week, month, and year.

How much does a Pharmacist make an hour?

According to ZipRecruiter, as of August 1, 2021, a pharmacist earns an average pay of $55.36 an hour.

How much does a Pharmacist make a year?

The average annual salary of a pharmacist in the United States is $115,149 at entry-level and $120,045 at a more experienced level.

READ ALSO: How Much Do Substitute Teachers Make In California?

Factors that affect how much a pharmacist makes in the US include;

Years of Experience.

Pharmacists who have more experience earn higher pay than those who have little or no experience. You should intern or volunteer with the pharmaceutical industry while in school to gain experience.

Level of Education.

Your type, quality, and level of education can affect your pay. If you earned a degree from a top program, you will attract a higher pay, and if you earned a degree from a school that is known to be weak in a particular field you will attract a lower salary.

Pharmacists who have advanced their studies and earned a Ph.D. or any other professional certifications also have high earning potentials.

Employer and Working Environment.

The level of your company’s success, in a way directly affect your pay. Your job description and employment contract in the company also determine how much you earn.


If your employers receive impressive reports about you, they might be moved to increase your pay. Bad reports and unsatisfactory performance may result in low pay or deduction from your salary.

Work shifts.

Some companies require their workers to work shifts and those who work during less favorable hours may be paid more than those who work normal work hours.


The job of a pharmacist is quite rewarding. You, however,  mustn’t pursue a career in pharmacy because of the salary alone but for the passion, you have for the work.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About How Much Does a Pharmacist Makes.

How much money does a pharmacist make an hour?

A pharmacist makes about $55.36 in an hour.

How much does a pharmacist make in a week?

A pharmacist makes about $2,214 in a week.

How much does a pharmacist make in a month?

A pharmacist makes about $9,526 in a month.

How much does a pharmacist make in a year?

A pharmacist makes around $120,045 in a year.

How much does a pharmacist make at entry-level?

The entry-level salary of a pharmacist is around $119,460.

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