Average Pharmacist Salary in 2020

Average Pharmacist Salary in 2020

How did pharmacist salary change in 2020? In this post, I will visit popular pharmacist salary databases to determine the average latest pharmacist salary numbers.

Pharmacists are among the many essential workers out there working during the pandemic. They work during the day, night, weekends, and holidays providing important healthcare need to the American people so their compensation is justifiable.

So what is the state of salaries for pharmacists in 2020?

Average Pharmacist Salary in 2020

In 2018 the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) had the average pharmacist salary at $126,120.

Let’s fast forward to see what the latest BLS data for pharmacists’ salary.

The latest BLS data was a result of a salary survey done in May 2019.

The good news is that the average pharmacist salary went up from $126,120 to $128,090 or $61.58 per hour. That’s an increase of $1,970 from last year, not too bad at all!

Pharmacist’s Job Outlook

However, the most concerning aspect for pharmacists is job growth. According to BLS, the job outlook for pharmacists for the period of 2018 to 2028 is at a flat zero percent.

That means that the pharmacist’s job market is saturated. Where supply is meeting and exceeding the demand for pharmacists.

Update: 10/3/20, as of September 1st 2020, BLS updated their job outlook for pharmacists and it’s changed from a 0% to a -3% (negative) or a change of -10,500 jobs from 2019 to 2029.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), as of 2019, there were 143 accredited colleges or schools of pharmacy in the U.S.

If we assume each pharmacy school graduated an average of 100 students per class then each year there are 14,300 newly minted pharmacists looking for a job.

The job outlook of pharmacists is negatively affected by the increased utilization of mail-order and online pharmacies. As a result, employment in community pharmacies and drug stores is expected to be in decline.

There is an increase in demand for pharmacists in hospitals and clinics where residency trained and board-certified pharmacists provide direct patient care via medication management under a collaborative practice agreement.

Luckily, as a pharmacist, you now have more choices than ever as to the career you wanted to go into including but not limited to retail, hospital, and clinical pharmacy.

Highest Paid Pharmacists

According to BLS, the highest paid pharmacists in the top 10 percent can earn as much as $162,900 or more.

On the other hand, the lowest 10 percent earned less than $88,400.

General merchandise stores pharmacists continued to fare better compared to other industries making an average pay of $136,320.

Pharmacists work in traditional pharmacies and drug stores make an average salary of $125,910.

The following states have the highest concentration of jobs available for pharmacists.

StateHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage 
New York$58.40$121,480
Source: BLS

States with the highest average pharmacist salary in 2o20.

StateHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Source: BLS

Highest average pharmacist salary according to metropolitan areas.

Metropolitan areaHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage 
Tyler, TX$77.78$161,790
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA$76.08$158,250
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA$75.89$157,850
Madera, CA$75.12$156,250
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$73.48$152,840
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA$73.27$152,410
Salinas, CA$73.07$151,980
Bakersfield, CA$72.90$151,620
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX$72.57$150,950
Yuba City, CA$72.52$150,830
Source: BLS

Highest average pharmacist salary according to rural, non-metropolitant areas.

Nonmetropolitan areaHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage 
Southwest Alabama nonmetropolitan area$78.32$162,910
Alaska nonmetropolitan area$76.81$159,760
North Valley-Northern Mountains Region of California nonmetropolitan area$75.43$156,900
West Central Illinois nonmetropolitan area$75.25$156,520
Border Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area$72.08$149,920
Source: BLS

Average pharmacist salaries by State

Alabama: $127,460

Alaska: $142,610

Arizona: $125,320

Arkansas: $120,020

California: $144,050

Colorado: $120,660

Connecticut: $123,640

Delaware: $130,230

District of Columbia: $121,730

Florida: $121,530

Georgia: $122, 550

Hawaii: $129,360

Idaho: $121,360

Illinois: $125,490

Indiana: $119,920

Iowa: $117,420

Kansas: $121,710

Kentucky: $122,400

Louisiana: $123,140

Maine: $134,670

Maryland: $122,110

Massachusetts: $120,430

Michigan: $121,110

Minnesota: $130,290

Mississippi: $122,060

Missouri: $128,670

Montana: $115,270

Nebraska: $117,630

Nevada: $124,860

New Hampshire: $129,370

New Jersey: $121,650

New Mexico: $126,120

New York: $121,480

North Carolina: $123,560

North Dakota: $100,560

Ohio: $117,020

Oklahoma: $116,170

Oregon: $135,150

Pennsylvania: $119,800

Rhode Island: $123,350

South Carolina: $122, 500 

South Dakota: 118,360

Tennessee: $123,550

Texas: $127,320

Utah: $121,020

Vermont: $135,650

Virginia: $126,920

Washington: $128,320

West Virginia: $123,030

Wisconsin: 134,090

Wyoming: $122,720

Sourced from BLS.

Average Pharmacist Salary in 2020 from Non-BLS Sources


According to salary.com, pharmacists made an average salary of $136,591 as of July 27, 2020.

Pharmacists salary ranges from $121,520 (lowest 10%) to $153,571 (top 10%). However, the typical range falls between $128,702 to $145,479.


Since I live in Texas, I was interested in what Indeed has to say about pharmacist salary. You can change to the state of your choice to see further insights.

Because of the lower data points of 127 salaries reported. According to Indeed, the average salary for a pharmacist in Texas is $119,263.

On the national level, the average pharmacy salary in 2020 according to Indeed is $120,426. Not that much more when compared to Texas.

That’s significantly less than the salary data from BLS and Salary.com.

Other interesting insights from Indeed include the following:

  • A +29.05% in earnings if a pharmacist completed a pharmacy residency.
  • There is an increase in demand for residency-trained pharmacists as shown by an increase of 5.63% since 2018.

US News

In 2020, pharmacists was ranked as the #21 Best Paying Jobs and #27 in Best Healthcare Jobs.

I was curious to see which professionals ranked in the top profession.

  1. Dentist
  2. Physician Assistant
  3. Orthodontist
  4. Nurse Practitioner
  5. Physician
  6. Speech-language Pathologist
  7. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
  8. Veterinarian
  9. Registered Nurse
  10. Physical Therapist

Turns out US news still have pharmacist salary data from 2018, most likely from BLS pegging the average pharmacist salary at $126,120.


Similar to Indeed, Glassdoor relies on salaries submitted anonymously by pharmacists across the nation.

With a total of 4,179 submissions, the average pharmacist salary as of 8/18/2020 is $120,988.

Glassdoor has a range of $91,000 on the lower end to $136,000 on the high end.

In my opinion, Glassdoor’s value is with salary comparisons. In order to get the full benefit of Glassdoor, you need to create an account and submit your actual salary and they will tell you where you stand in comparison to your region.


According to PayScale, average pharmacist salary for 2020 is $114,956 with a slary from $82,000 to $137,000.

PayScale gave pharmacists an average bonus of $2,198, a commission of $997, and a profit-sharing of $3,435 on top of the base salary.

Account for the above variables, average pharmacist salary jumped to $92,000 on the lower end and $140,000 on the higher end as of 8/5/2020.

PayScale also broke down pharmacist salary according to years of experience.

  • Starting salary and less than 1 year of experience: $102,000
  • 1-4 years: $110,000
  • 5-9 years: $119,000
  • 10-19 years: $120,00
  • 30+ years: $121,000

At least, I thought that these figures are not including tips, bonuses, and overtime pay. However, PayScale did include these numbers in the average. From my own experiences, this company’s data is really lowballing salaries from pharmacists.

Especially when it comes to starting salary or entry-level pharmacist positions.

Pharmacist Career Paths

My favorite feature from PayScale is its career path. For example, if you started out as a hospital pharmacist then your career might lead you to a pharmacy director position.

Pharmacy Director

The average pharmacy director’s salary is $146,293, with a range of $118k to $176k. When accounting for salary, bonus, etc., the salary range jumped to $117k to $184k.

Pharmacy Manager

On the other hand pharmacy managers makes an average salary of $132,000 with ranges from $102k to $150k.

Clinical Pharmacists

The average salary for clinical pharmacists is $119,000, slightly higher than that of an average pharmacist salary. Clinical pharmacist pay ranges from $100k to $147k.

Drug Channels

While researching average salary for pharmacists I came across Drug Channels’ BLS analysis.

One interesting tidbit from his data analysis is pharmacist employment by practice setting.

  • Retail outpatient employed 180,9 thousand pharmacists accounting for 58,1 percent of pharmacists employment with an average annual salary of $124,710.
  • Non-retail pharmacists accounting for 31 percent of all pharmacists with hospital pharmacists accounting for 26.4 percent of employment with an average salary of $128,278.
  • Outpatient care centers employed 6.6 thousand pharmacists but the average salary is at $143,150, the highest in all categories.
  • All other industries account for 10.8 percent of pharmacists’ employment.

Must see graphs:


Last updated on May 18, 2020, Zippia had the average pharmacist salary pegged at $121,000. The bottom 1o% making $106,00 and the top 10% making $138,000.

Source: Zippia.com Zippia Logo

They had a nice interactive pharmacist salary heatmap. This is tremendously helpful if you’re looking to relocate across America.

Higher salaries seem to be concentrated in the west coast, but you have to take into consideration a higher cost of living.

Salary Explorer

A person working as a Pharmacist in the United States typically earns around 128,000 USD per year. Salaries range from 64,100 USD (lowest) to 199,000 USD (highest).

Salary Explorer

In contrast to other pharmacist salary database, salary explorer is too optimistic when it comes to the high end of pharmacists. Most pharmacists salary is capped at or around $165,00 to $175,000 according to my own knowledge as a pharmacy manager.

According to this site, pharmacists make the following salaries by experience.

  • <2 years: $76,900
  • 2 to 5: $102,00
  • 5 to 10: $136,00
  • 10 to 15: $162,00
  • 15 to 20: $175,00
  • 20 +: $188,000

Final Thoughts

Drug Topics has an article that caught my attention, “Address the “Glut” of Pharmacists.” It’s a good read if you’re interested.

The gist of the article is that we need to address the saturation of pharmacists’ supply. We went from declaring that we ha a shortage of pharmacists 10 years ago to now an oversaturation of pharmacists.

I’ve watched pharmacists’ salaries very closely since I graduated from pharmacy school in 2011. While it’s true that pharmacy is still a good career with good pay, if you don’t stop opening more pharmacy schools then we are going to have to face the repercussions.

I’ve heard of newly graduated pharmacists having to travel wide and far to find jobs or accepting a floater position and others with reduced hours and staff.

With the BLS projecting pharmacists’ job outlook at a 05 and a negative 100 job growth, we should all be alarmed. Pharmacists’ salaries will be stabilizing, and eventually bucking the current trend and heading the opposite way? It may happen and we need to prepare for and expect the fact that it may become.