This is important to establish when choosing a pharmacy focus or making a career switch.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about salaries over the past few months.
Yes, it’s a topic that depending on who you ask can be considered rude or impolite. It’s definitely something many don’t ask about during an interview. However, it is important to know a person’s salary range when deciding which area of pharmacy to focus on or when making a career switch decision.
As more pharmacists look for non-traditional employment opportunities, this topic is more topical than ever. However, many pharmacists shy away from asking about salary.
In 2022, below are the top 5 highest paying pharmacy specialties in descending order:
5: Community or retail managers. Think of a traditional chain pharmacy and the manager there. These pharmacists are among the highest paid, with salaries ranging between $102,000 and $157,000 per year.1
4: Nuclear Pharmacists. This is a specialty in pharmacy where pharmacists prepare or dispense patient-specific radiopharmaceutical doses for diagnostic imaging and/or therapeutic procedures. These salaries vary between $134,000 and $154,000 per year.2
3: Independent Pharmacy Owners. The salary for these positions is $100,000-plus per year, putting it at number 3 on the list. But this position has the potential to become No. 1, depending on how busy a pharmacy is, not just with prescriptions, but additional income as well.3
2: Healthcare payers. Healthcare payer is another area that many pharmacists are interested in, especially in relation to pre-approvals. Pay off $125,000 plus per year is higher than many would expect, and there is also an opportunity to work from home.4
1. Industrial Pharmacists. This includes clinical development, medical and regulatory affairs, and even chief physicians. These features also include the ability to work from home. The wage is $130,000-plus per year.5
This should give food for thought when pharmacists think about where to set up their range for different functions. Good luck!
About the author
Suzanne Soliman, PharmD, BCMAS, is the chief academic officer at the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs and the founder of Pharmacist Moms Group, the largest group of women pharmacists in the United States, with more than 45,000 members.
1. Average salary for pharmacists. Zippiah. Updated Feb 9, 2022. Accessed Jul 8, 2022. https://www.zippia.com/retailpharmacist-jobs/salary/
2. Salary for United States Nuclear Pharmacist. Salary.com. Accessed July 8, 2022. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/benchmark/nuclear-pharmacist-salary 134,000-154,000
3. Is having a pharmacy profitable? Elements Magazine. August 29, 2018. Accessed July 8, 2022. https://www.pbahealth.com/elements/is-owning-a-pharmacy-profitable/
4. Managed Healthcare Pharmacist Salary in the United States. Salary.com. Accessed July 8, 2022. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/posting/managed-care-pharmacist-salary
5. Medical science liaison pharmacist salary. ZipRecruiter. Accessed July 8, 2022. industry pharmacist https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Medical-Science-Liaison-Salary https://www.salary.com/research/salary/benchmark/chief-medical-officer-salary