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A few items triggered this post:
- This article I wrote recently on back to basics around different pharmacy career paths — which seemed to be pretty popular, and
- The note by several people that pharmacist salaries are all over the board right now, and in many markets, plummeting. A few argue that it’s because there are probably too many pharmacy schools pumping out too many pharmacists. Fair point.
- Women in pharmacy still aren’t making what men make — at least that was true at the BLS survey numbers I looked at pre-pandemic. In fact, the pay gap between genders was actually widening. The closest we ever got to pay pariety was $0.92 for every $1.00 a man made, but that’s lowering again. By sharing some of the higher-paying roles here, I’m in hopes to start closing that gap.
And, everything — including pharmacist salaries changing — requires a matter of perspective. Despite gender pay gap disparities, many (too many?) pharmacy schools, and lower salaries, I think there are now more than at any point in time in history, great opportunities for pharmacists — along with great pay. So, I thought I’d challenge myself to write a story really quickly on different areas of pharmacy or healthcare practice where pharmacists are getting paid $200K+ per year in salary. This is a pretty big challenge because the average pharmacist’s salary in a midmarket area right now is somewhere between $110K — $140K per year.
That and, what I’m about to throw down as options generally require even more than a pharmacy education, and/or years (decades?) of experience. It would be very, very rare for a graduate rolling out of pharmacy school to land any of these roles fresh out of school — so be warned it takes some time and skills to get into these roles.
Pharmacist Gigs That Pay $200K+ in Salary Per Year
- Senior Medical Science Liaison — Senior level pharmacists in the MSL world make great money — but it’s after they’ve been around the field for a while. According to Indeed, the average salary of a MSL right now is around $169K per year — but what it fails to mention is that most pharma companies also pay big bonuses on top of base salary — so even if the base salary for a MSL doesn’t reach $200K out of the gate, a good year with a rich bonus could easily push them over the $200K top. There are literally tons of sources where you can learn more about the MSL these days — GTS.
- The remainder of these suggestions is over at the new eSubscription/Book Series, Punk Rock Pharmacy as of July 2021.
(BTW — a list of several certificates, certifications and advanced learning opportunities for pharmacists is available at the link image below or here.)
Erin L. Albert is an author, podcaster, and Pharmacy Benefit Practice Leader at Kinetiq Health/Apex Benefits. Her opinions above, however, are her own. Her latest book is Punk Rock Pharmacy: How to DIY Your Healthcare Career.