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August 06, 2008
Pharmacy Professionals Enjoy Rising Pay
Pay for pharmacy professionals is "increasing at a healthy rate," according to new survey results from Mercer. The survey also highlights differences in pay among metropolitan areas for positions in the industry.

The 2008 US Pharmacy Compensation Survey reveals that pharmacy team managers are currently receiving median total cash compensation (base salary and bonus) of $118,000 nationally. This figure was up 8.1 percent from 2007, when median total cash compensation for this position was $109,200. Pharmacy team managers enjoyed "the strongest growth in pay" according to the survey.

Meanwhile, retail staff pharmacists are receiving median total cash compensation of $108,700 in 2008, up 5.8 percent from 2007, when median total cash compensation was $102,800 for these workers. Other positions in the industry saw similar increases from 2007 to 2008, including hospital staff pharmacist (6.5 percent) and clinical pharmacist (5.2 percent).

"The ongoing shortage of pharmacy professionals continues to drive up pay," David Dross, principal with Mercer's managed pharmacy benefit business, said in a press release announcing the survey results. "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."

The survey also provided results on median total cash compensation broken down by metropolitan area. Retail staff pharmacists in San Jose, California ($118,000), San Francisco, California ($117, 200), and Minneapolis, Minnesota ($116,100) are currently among the best paid, while pay is lower in places such as Omaha, Nebraska ($97,200), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ($97,800) and Little Rock, Arkansas ($102,400), according to the survey.

The 2008 US Pharmacy Compensation Survey (Spring Edition) reflects data submitted by 172 organizations covering more than 242,120 pharmacy employees in 23 different jobs, according to Mercer, and has information on over 380 metropolitan areas across the United States. For more information, visit Mercer (

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