Pharmacy Professionals Get a Good Dose of Pay Hike in '08

July 22, 2008 ( - The 2008 Pharmacy Compensation Survey from Mercer shows pay increases for pharmacy professionals have been healthy this year.

A Mercer press release said nationally, the position of retail staff pharmacist receives median total cash compensation (which includes base salary and annual bonus) of $108,700 this year compared to $102,800 in 2007 – an increase of 5.8%. The strongest growth in pay (8.1%) belonged to pharmacy team managers whose median total cash compensation increased to $118,000 from $109,200.

Hospital staff pharmacists and clinical pharmacists received median increases of 6.5% and 5.2%, respectively.

“The ongoing shortage of pharmacy professionals continues to drive up pay,” said David Dross, principal with Mercer’s managed pharmacy benefit business, in the press release. “With the need for more pharmacists growing as baby boomers age and need more medications, pharmacy operators are continuing to raise salaries to attract pharmacists and remain competitive.”

While overall there was an uptick in compensation for pharmacists, pay levels vary considerably by geography, the survey found. Median pay for a retail staff pharmacist is lower than the national median in cities like Omaha, Nebraska ($97,200), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ($97,800), and Little Rock, Arkansas ($102,400). However, pay for this position is much higher in many cities in California and North Carolina, including San Jose ($118,000) and Charlotte ($115,400).

Geographic pay variations for staff pharmacists - retail

align="center"> Metropolitan Area

align="center"> 2008 Median Total Cash Compensation


align="center"> $108,700

Atlanta , GA

align="center"> $107,100

Baltimore , MD

align="center"> $107,600

Baton Rouge , LA

align="center"> $103,000

Chicago , IL

align="center"> $106,100

Columbus , OH

align="center"> $103,000

Dallas , TX

align="center"> $112,300

Denver , CO

align="center"> $107,000

Las Vegas , NV

align="center"> $107,700

Minneapolis , MN

align="center"> $116,100

New York , NY

align="center"> $110,100

Norfolk , VA

align="center"> $110,200

Orlando , FL

align="center"> $108,200

Philadelphia , PA

align="center"> $107,100

San Francisco , CA

align="center"> $117,200

Seattle , WA

align="center"> $106,000

Source: Mercer