What Is the Average Salary of a Pharmacist?

The average annual salary for pharmacists as of May 2019 was $125,510, or about $60 an hour.

Teddy NykielSeptember 17, 2020
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The average salary of a pharmacist was $125,510 as of May 2019, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pharmacists make roughly $60 an hour,

Average pharmacist salaries don't vary greatly, whether you work at a nonprofit hospital or a chain drugstore, like CVS or Walgreens. But earning a six-figure pharmacy salary doesn’t come cheap; pharmacy school graduates face high student debt balances.

How much does a pharmacist make?

How much you'll make as a pharmacist depends on where you work, but salaries don't differ much by setting. Here's the average pharmacist salary by industry based on the latest BLS data:

Industry

Average Pharmacist Hourly Salary

Average Pharmacist Annual Salary

Health and Personal Care Stores

$59.43

$123,620

General Medicine and Surgical Hospitals

$61.24

$127,370

Food and Beverage Stores

$61.00

$126,870

General Merchandise Stores

$62.04

$129,040

Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods

$59.21

$123,150

Most pharmacists work at health and personal care stores, which include chain pharmacies and drugstores

If you opt to do a one-year or two-year post-graduate residency, you'll make far less during that time. The average salary for pharmacy residents is around $42,500 annually, according to the job site PayScale.

Paying off student debt on a pharmacist’s salary

The average pharmacist student loan debt among 2020 pharmacy school graduates with student debt was $179,514 — more than the annual salary for a typical pharmacist.

Depending on your career plan and financial situation, consider these options for pharmacy school loan repayment:

  • If your income is too low to afford monthly payments: Whether you’re doing a pharmacy residency or earning less than you’d like in your full-time job, an income-driven repayment plan can help make monthly federal student loan payments more manageable. These plans cap monthly payments at 10% to 20% of your income and offer taxable loan forgiveness after you make payments for 20 or 25 years, depending on the plan.

  • If you’re working for the government or a nonprofit: You may be eligible for the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which offers tax-free loan forgiveness after you make 10 years’ worth of student loan payments while working for a qualifying employer. To maximize forgiveness, make qualifying payments on an income-driven plan.

  • If you have good credit and are aggressively paying down student debt: Student loan refinancing through a private lender may save you money and help you get out of debt faster. To qualify for a lower rate, you need a credit score at least in the high 600s and a relatively low debt-to-income ratio — 50% or less — indicating that you have enough income to afford loan payments. When you refinance student loans, you lose access to federal programs including income-driven repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Estimate your potential savings by refinancing

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