Top 10 Highest Paying Pharmacy Jobs 2024 (Inc Salaries)

Stephen Ramotowski
June 20, 2024 · 11 min read

Explore the top 10 highest paying pharmacy jobs in 2024, including salaries and job descriptions. Discover lucrative career opportunities in the pharmacy field.

“Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also love of humanity.” -Hippocrates

This quote perfectly sums up what the pharmacy industry is all about - love of medicine and humanity.

In this world where medicines serve as a lifeline for many people, pharmacists are at the forefront of promoting better health and quality patient care.

With the increasing need for medicines, it is not surprising that pharmacists are one of the sought-after occupations today. Expected to generate 13,400 annual job openings in the next few years, the industry’s job outlook is definitely looking bright.

Not only that but it's also considered one of the best-paying medical and healthcare jobs, making it a great career path for anyone who wants to play a part in helping people heal and recover while also earning well.

If you’re looking to start a thriving career in this industry, check out our list of the highest-paying pharmacist jobs in the U.S. below.

Top 10 Highest Paying Pharmacy Jobs 2024 (Inc Salaries)

1. Pharmacometrician

As a quantitative pharmacology professional, a pharmacometrician uses a combination of mathematics, statistics, and pharmacology to examine and evaluate the effect of drug substances on animals and humans.

He is responsible for developing the drug's pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic models to help illustrate how the chemicals are absorbed, metabolized, distributed, and eliminated inside the body.

Their research findings provide pharmaceutical companies and regulatory agencies with valuable insights into optimizing and enforcing drug development strategies and trials.

Educational Requirements

Landing the highest-paying pharmacy position requires extensive education, technical skills, and practical experience. Here are some of the steps or requirements that you need to fulfill to get there:

  • Bachelor’s degree in pharmacy, bioinformatics, mathematics, statistics, engineering, pharmacology, and other related fields,

  • Master's and Doctorate with a specialization in pharmacokinetics, pharmacometrics, pharmacodynamics, and other relevant areas of study,

  • Years of work experience in the research, regulatory, and academic industry,

  • State licensure and certifications demonstrating your proficiency in data analysis and modeling software and tools.

Salary Information

As per Glassdoor, pharmacometricians are being paid an average salary of USD 189,700 per year.

On top of that, they may also receive average cash bonuses worth USD 19,900.

2. Director of Pharmacy

While pharmacy managers are responsible for managing the operations of a specific pharmacy area, directors are in charge of handling the functions of the entire pharmacy department—from in-patient to outpatient, purchasing, clinical, and many more.

They oversee all aspects of the organization and collaborate with the managers to ensure the highest quality of patient care, optimized pharmacy services, compliance with laws and regulations, better performance, and increased job satisfaction among the pharmacy staff.

Educational Requirements

A Doctor of Pharmacy degree is the minimum requirement to become a pharmacy director.

In addition to this, you also need state licensure, years of experience working as a staff pharmacist, and additional experience working as a pharmacist manager.

To increase your chances of landing this senior management role, obtaining a master’s in business administration or hospital administration is highly recommended.

Salary Information

The estimated total pay for Pharmacy directors amounts to USD 173,600.

Since this is a senior management position, it may also come with an additional pay of USD 22,300 in the form of cash bonuses and profit sharing.

3. Pharmacologist

A clinical pharmacologist is a type of medical scientist who works with physicians and other medical specialists to discover and develop new medications for treating rare diseases and illnesses. He is also responsible for testing medications on cell and tissue samples.

He is also in charge of conducting and overseeing clinical trials on human volunteers to determine the new drug’s effect on the body, standardize drug dosage, and explore potential side effects.

They also ensure that all trials and studies follow safety procedures and comply with regulatory laws.

Educational Requirements

Becoming a pharmacologist starts with an undergraduate degree in life sciences, including pharmaceutical sciences, biology, chemistry, and others.

Most employers look for candidates with advanced degrees, including a Ph.D. in pharmacology, a Doctor of Pharmacy (Ph.D.), or a Doctor of Medicine (MD).

If you plan on participating in human clinical trials, obtaining postdoctoral pharmacology training or fellowship is also highly recommended.

Salary Information

A clinical pharmacologist earns an annual median wage of USD 170,300 and an estimated additional pay of USD 30,200 per year.

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4. Clinical Pharmacist

Clinical pharmacists' primary responsibility is to ensure that their patients receive the right type and dosage of medications at the right time and in the right way.

Their extensive medical expertise and knowledge of drug risk factors and interactions make them qualified to provide direct patient care, administer medications, and monitor their effects on patients.

They work directly with physicians and other healthcare professionals to provide specialized drug therapy and optimal patient care.

Clinical pharmacists work in various specialties and healthcare settings, including hospitals, emergency departments, and outpatient clinics.

Educational Requirements

A career in clinical pharmacy starts with an undergraduate degree in biology, microbiology, and pharmaceutical sciences.

The next step is to obtain a 4-year pharmacy doctorate program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

After that, completing a 2-year specialized training and securing several certifications will qualify you for working in different areas of specialties.

Lastly, you must pass the North American Pharmacists Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) to secure your state licensure.

Salary Information

Here are projected earnings for the highest-paid clinical pharmacy specializations:

5. Hospital Pharmacist

Pharmacists in hospital settings cater to patients who deal with chronic conditions and more complex illnesses.

They play a significant role in providing patients with the highest quality of care through the proper selection and use of drugs.

Their primary duties include preparing and dispensing medications, providing drug information, including proper drug use and potential side effects, and monitoring and maintaining inventory.

Educational Requirements

The requirements to becoming a hospital pharmacist are similar to those of a retail pharmacist, including a PharmD degree and state licensure by passing the NAPLEX or MPJE examination, depending on the state where you wish to practice.

On top of that, most hospitals look for candidates with at least 1 to 2 years of pharmacy work experience or residency training programs.

Salary Information

According to Glassdoor, a hospital staff pharmacist earns an estimated annual pay of USD 143,900.

Depending on the pay structure, they may also receive an additional yearly compensation of USD 14,300.

6. Retail Pharmacist

Retail pharmacists work retail pharmacies where they prepare and dispense the proper medications to the public. They also take part in upholding safe and effective drug use by advising patients on drug interactions, contraindications, and side effects.

Part of their duties includes evaluating the patient's prescription for accuracy and validity, administering vaccinations according to state laws, and ensuring all medications are properly labeled.

They also promote better community health by conducting health and wellness screenings, including blood pressure monitoring and blood sugar checks, to the public.

Additionally, they are responsible for overseeing the pharmacy operations and evaluating the performance of pharmacy technicians.

Educational Requirements

The minimum requirement to become a retail pharmacist is a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree and a state license, which you can get after passing the NAPLEX and MPJE examinations.

Salary Information

Retail pharmacists make an annual median wage of USD 142,300 which may even include a cash bonus or extra compensation worth USD 6,200.

7. Pharmaceutical Scientist

A pharmaceutical scientist is a type of scientist who plays a unique role in every step of the process of developing new medications.

They are responsible for developing and designing new drug molecules and compounds during drug discovery using advanced tools and scientific methods.

After screening the potential candidates, they are in charge of conducting pre-clinical and clinical trials to determine the drug’s optimal delivery, dosage, formulation, and stability,

The last step is the drug evaluation, where they are tasked to perform a post-marketing evaluation designed to monitor the medication's effectiveness and safety.

Educational Requirements

Start your career in the pharmaceutical industry with a bachelor's degree in pharmaceutical sciences, followed up with a master's in pharmacology, biomedical sciences, or pharmaceutical sciences.

On the other hand, a doctorate is necessary if you plan to lead your research project.

Most employers also prefer candidates with completed internships or years of laboratory work experience.

Salary Information

The average annual salary for pharmaceutical scientists is around USD 140,700.

On top of that, he may also receive an additional pay of USD 19,700 in the form of a cash bonus or profit sharing.

8. Consultant Pharmacist

A consultant pharmacist provides pharmaceutical companies with expert advice on developing new drugs more efficiently and cost-effectively to ensure patient safety and regulatory compliance, improve drug therapy management, and maximize sales.

They also help improve business operations by providing financial projections and identifying operational issues. They also identify which type of software, medical equipment, tools, and business strategies can help them achieve their goals.

Consultant pharmacists may also work in different medical settings like hospitals, surgery centers, nursing homes, and the like.

Educational Requirements

Becoming a consultant pharmacist requires a combination of education and experience.

It begins with an advanced degree in pharmacy – either a master’s or a doctorate. After that, you need to complete a 2-year residency program.

You must also obtain years of experience as a clinical researcher or pharmaceutical sales representative. You also need management experience to demonstrate your knowledge in the field.

The last step is to get certifications tailored to your specialized care area. Make sure to research the appropriate certifications and get them from reputable organizations.

Since consultants also provide advice on sales, a master’s of business administration (MBA) degree can also make their application more reliable,

Salary Information

In a year, consultant pharmacists make a median wage of USD 137,800.

Along with the basic pay, they may also receive additional compensation of around USD 6,900.

9. Compounding Pharmacist

The primary responsibility of a compounding pharmacist is to provide patients with customized medications specifically created to meet their unique needs.

This type of pharmacist uses their knowledge of science and technical skills to adjust drug dosages, alter dosage forms, and personalize prescriptions while adhering to sterile compounding practices.

Their daily responsibilities include consulting with patients to determine their specific needs and educating them on the drug’s proper use and storage, preparing medications according to physician orders, and performing quality control tests on all compounded drugs.

Educational Requirements

The requirements to become a compounding pharmacist are similar to that of a retail pharmacist—a doctor of Pharmacy degree from an accredited pharmacy school and state licensure by passing the NAPLEX and MPJE.

While it’s not a requirement, getting more extensive compounding training is highly recommended.

You can get specialized training by completing the right kind of compounding programs as provided by the Professional Compounding Centers or the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board of America.

Salary Information

The estimated annual salary for pharmacists in this sector is USD 131,100.

They may also receive an extra cash bonus of USD 5,300 every year.

10. Nuclear Pharmacist

Also called radio pharmacists, nuclear pharmacists are skilled and trained in preparing and distributing radioactive drugs for cancer-related treatments and diagnostic procedures.

While they can also perform the same responsibilities as a hospital pharmacist (i.e., dispensing medicines and managing inventory), they have the added task of working with other medical specialists in managing and administering nuclear medicine diagnostics and treatments to patients.

Educational Requirements

You must complete a 4-year PharmD program and a 2-year fellowship and residency program and pass the state-issued Pharmacy Licensure Exam to enter the pharmacy industry.

To specialize in the nuclear medicine sector, you need to secure Nuclear Pharmacy certification from the Board of Pharmacy Specialties.

Salary Information

Nuclear pharmacists earn an average salary of USD 128,100 per year with a potential cash bonus of USD 5,300.

Other high-paying jobs in the pharmacy field include Informatics Pharmacist and Pharmaceutical Sales Representative.


Conclusion

With a career in pharmacy, you can choose from plenty of pathways and specialties, enjoy job flexibility, and look forward to a bright future.

A pharmacist's educational background is packed with clinical training. However, it lacks the management training for most high-paying jobs.

With that said a degree in business will give you the competitive edge you need and prepare you for a career as a pharmacist with higher roles and leadership positions.

The good thing is you can now take these advanced degrees most easily and conveniently -- online.

Nexford offers online BBA and MBA programs that provide next-level education when you need it the most.


FAQs

What is the highest-paying pharmacy job in 2024?

Pharmacometrician is predicted to be the highest paid pharmacist in 2024.

As per Glassdoor, the position has an annual salary range of USD 149,000 to USD 243,000 with a median wage of USD 189,700.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which pharmacy jobs are projected to have the highest level of growth?

The BLS projects a 6.2% growth rate for the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry, making it the fastest-growing pharmacy job.

What is the best pharmacy career path in 2024?

With its high earning potential and wide range of specialties, clinical pharmacy offers flexibility, job stability, and satisfaction, making it the best pharmacy career path in 2024.

What skills or expertise is required for high-paying pharmacy jobs?

According to BLS, the essential qualities a pharmacist should have are analytical, communication, compassion, detail-oriented, and interpersonal skills.

Pharmacists should also demonstrate good critical thinking abilities and management and leadership skills to increase earning potential.

Find out the skills necessary for a lucrative career in pharmacy. Download our free report now!

What qualifications are required for high-paying pharmacist jobs?

A Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree is the minimum requirement to land any of these high-paying pharmacy jobs.

On top of this, you’d also need years of work experience, state licensure, and additional certifications related to the pharmacy industry you want to enter.

Why is it beneficial to gain a BBA/MBA degree to gain a career in pharmacy?

An online MBA or BBA program allows pharmacists to understand better business practices and critical leadership skills needed to lead and expand their organizations—a must for landing higher-paying pharmacy jobs.

About the author
Stephen Ramotowski
Stephen Ramotowski

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