Pharmacist employment outlook rosy

MANAGED CARE August 2009. ©MediMedia USA

The job market looks rosy for pharmacists: The U.S. Department of Labor expects employment of pharmacists to increase much faster than the national average of all occupations through 2016.

Specifically, employment of pharmacists is expected to grow by 22 percent between 2006 and 2016. The increasing number of middle-aged and elderly people, who use more prescription drugs than younger people, will boost the demand for pharmacists.

Other factors likely to increase the demand for pharmacists include scientific advances that will make more drug products available and the coverage of prescription drugs by a greater number of health insurance plans and by Medicare.

The latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the median salary for pharmacists in 2008 was $106,410. Fifty percent earned between $92,670 and $121,310. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $77,390, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $131,440.

National annual wages for pharmacists

Percentile wage estimates ($)

Companies that employ many pharmacists

Median annual earnings

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor