What is the Pharmacist Take Home Salary?

Many people strive to make a six figure salary. This obviously should not be your #1 reason for becoming a pharmacist. I believe you should be passionate about what you do, however, it should be something that pays well too. People will always tell you to “follow your passion” and not worry about the $$$ involved. “Money is not important, money does not buy happiness”. I think this is ideological advice that will bite you in the ass. Those who have an inheritance from their parents/family are the only ones that can afford to truly follow their passion without worrying about how much money they are going to make.

Growing up in a modest income family, I learned to work hard and be conscious about earning and spending money. I will not inherit any assets, in fact, I will be the provider for my family in the end. I have accepted the role of being financially responsible for my parents when they are not able to support themselves anymore. In addition, I will always be there if my brother needs financial help. Without proper management of my finances I would be unable to do this. Thus it was important to me to also consider salary when choosing a career to pursue.

As a high school student I never thought I would make a six figure salary. I grew up in a family of 4 with my parents only making about $40k per year. My goal in high school was to make at least $50,000 per year after college. I far exceeded this goal. Now I have new goals to be financially independent by the age of 40. If everything works out my goal is to scale back to 16-24 hours a week. I may have to work full time past my goal, as I suspect my parents will need my assistance in the future.

What is the Pharmacist Take Home Salary?

When I was in college I found out pharmacists were making a six figure salary. I imagined if I could be a pharmacist I would be wealthy and all my problems would go away. Not true. What most people do not take into account is taxes and increasing expenditures as income rises. The average pharmacist take home salary comes no where close to a six figures. Granted pharmacists get compensated well above many other professions. The problem is most new graduates start living a much more extravagant lifestyle with vacations, going out, luxury cars, large houses, and just buying unnecessary “stuff”. If everyone increases their lifestyle to match their income, technically nobody will ever become “wealthy” or even be prepared for retirement. It is not how much you make, but how much save!

The national median salary for a pharmacist comes out to be $116,670 in 2012 according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

To keep things simple letPharmacy Take Home Salary‘s assume this pharmacist used the “standard deduction” to account for taxes. The median salary take home salary for pharmacists ends up being $84,744 (note: state/city income tax not included). Definitely less than six figures.  To calculate the numbers on the chart:

  1. I used TurboTax Calculator to get the federal income tax total. This is not as easily calculated due to the incremental steps in the federal income tax brackets.
  2. Medicare Tax 1.45%
  3. Social Security tax is 6.2% up to a gross income of $117,000 for the year of 2014.

*NOTE: This does not include State Income Tax or City Income Tax. This will be variable depending in which state you work in. I work in Washington and there is no state income tax or city income tax.

Now we know that the median income pharmacist pays a lot in taxes, $31,926.26 to be exact. Why does this matter? It is important to understand tax concepts to help you make financial plans. There are many ways to save money on taxes.

Would you like to see more articles on how to save money on taxes?

I hope the recommendations above will help guide, motivate, and inspire you to achieve your goals. Follow my blog for more tips and advice on finances and being a pharmacist. What are your experiences? Please comment below and share your thoughts.


10 thoughts on “What is the Pharmacist Take Home Salary?

  1. Anonymous

    And this is assuming that your student loans are paid off. Student loans is basically another 2 thousand off your paycheck a month.

  2. pharmer john

    I will tell you pharmacists in Canada make NO WHERE near that yearly amount. I have over 20 years experience in Retail, and as a manager, IF I worked full time with only 2 weeks off I would make $96,000 before taxes. And as you know, we pay HUGE tax in Canada, I am about 30%. So, remove that and my take home is $67200 after taxes. No where near the amount you claim to get in the USA

    1. ThePharmacistBlog Post author

      How much does it cost to go to pharmacy school in Canada? USA typical student has a bachelors degree + 4 more years in pharmacy school. Cost varies greatly for public vs private but expect to pay somewhere between 10-15k per year tuition for undergrad, plus 25-30k per year for pharmacy school tuition. That does not include living costs or books and supplies. Tuition alone for public schools + pharmacy school would be somewhere around 150-200k just for tuition alone. Factor in 8 years of living costs you should expect about 300k debt easily if you had nobody to help pay for anything and didn’t work a part time job.

  3. William fitzgerald

    Hey! Do you think pharmacy school would over look that I took Organic chemistry 5 times) I took it and I got an F,F,F,D finally I went to a community college and I got a B+. I took org 2 and got a B. I went too 4 different school(2 community college and 2 University). Finally I graduated with a BS in psychology. I also too Bio 1 3 times. (D, C-, Finally a C+). I took the PCAT and had a 47 composite Bio 46 and Chem 66-composite 47. I am turning 27 this year and applying for Fall 2018. My GPA in the 4 year school where I received my psychology degree was a 2.6. The first community college was 2.9. In the 2 community college 2.8(thats where I took org 1, 2 and Physics 2 which I got a C). I went to a University GPA 2.2).

    1. Pharmer John

      Pharmacy school takes anyone and everyone now, their are money thirsty….good luck in school though.

    2. jjay

      Hey, My friend got accepted into pharmD in Utah with accumulative 2.9 gpa this past Spring. Yours is sort of low but Im sure if you find the right school (private). they’ll be more than happy to take you since there’s technically no minimum gpa pcat requirement. I currently have a 2.56 but I dropped out back in 2012 that concluded in 2 semesters with 4x F and a D in courses after I declared major (BA of MGMT). I was told I can replace those grades to receive my BA and work on improving my gpa (3.50 competitvely as they say) by completing additional 1.5 semester of science prereq. courses required for pharmD application. Only problem is, if you are like me, I already have 138 unit credits earned and the limited of courses 15-18 units of prereq. I take thereafter will not impact my accumulated gpa much going forward. Worst comes to worst the weather at University of Alaska Anchorage school of pharmacy cant be that bad, just cross your fingers like the rest.


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