This is important to establish when deciding on a pharmacy focus or making a career change.
I have received many questions over the past few months about salaries.
Yes, it is a topic that depending upon whom you ask can be viewed as impolite or rude. It is definitely something that many do not ask about during an interview. It is important though to know one’s salary range when deciding which field of pharmacy to focus on or when making a decision about a career change.
As more pharmacists seek nontraditional work opportunities, this topic is timelier than ever. However, many pharmacists shy away from asking about salary.
In 2022, the top 5 highest-paying pharmacy specialties are listed below in descending order:
5: Community or retail managers. Think of a traditional chain pharmacy and the manager there. These pharmacists are among the top paid, with salaries ranging between $102,000 and $157,000 annually.1
4: Nuclear pharmacists. This is a specialty area in pharmacy in which pharmacists compound or prepare and dispense patient-specific radiopharmaceutical doses for diagnostic imaging and/or therapeutic procedures. These salaries range between $134,000 and $154,000 annually.2
3: Independent pharmacist owners. The salary for these positions is $100,000-plus annually, putting it at No. 3 on the list. But this position has the potential to be No. 1, depending upon how busy a pharmacy is with not just prescriptions but also supplemental revenue.3
2: Health care payers. Health care payer is another area in which many pharmacists are interested, especially related to prior authorizations. Pay of $125,000-plus annually is higher than many would expect, and there is also an opportunity to work from home.4
1. Industry pharmacists. This includes clinical development, medical and regulatory affairs, and even chief medical officers. These positions also afford to the opportunity work from home. The pay is $130,000-plus annually.5
This should provide some food for thought when pharmacists are thinking about where to set their ranges for various positions. 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 female pharmacists in the United States, with more than 45,000 members.
1. Average retail pharmacist salary. Zippia. Updated February 9, 2022. Accessed July 8, 2022. https://www.zippia.com/retailpharmacist-jobs/salary/
2. Nuclear pharmacist salary in the United States. Salary.com. Accessed July 8, 2022. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/benchmark/nuclear-pharmacist-salary 134,000-154,000
3. Is owning a pharmacy profitable? Elements Magazine. August 29, 2018. Accessed July 8, 2022. https://www.pbahealth.com/elements/is-owning-a-pharmacy-profitable/
4. Managed care 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