Northern exposure


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Want to earn over $200k a year? Here’s the catch…that’s for pharmacists in Alaska

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its occupational employment and wages statistics as at May 2020, revealing a median annual wage for pharmacists of US$128,710 (AUD$178,124).

On a state basis, Alaskan pharmacists are the best-paid in the United States, earning an annual mean wage of US$147,040, or AUD$203,492.

For those less enthusiastic about colder climates, California was in second place, with an annual mean wage of US$146,070 (AUD$202,149).

This was based on an hourly mean wage of US$70.69 in Alaska (AUD97.83) and US$70.22 in California (AUD$97.18).

The state of North Dakota was in last place, with an annual mean wage of US$103,440 (AUD$143,153).

But it was California which had the highest annual mean wage when pay was broken down into different areas, with metropolitan pharmacists significantly outearning their peers outside these areas.

In metro areas, Madera, California topped the list, with an annual mean wage of $165,350 (AUD$228,831). Nine of the top 10 metro areas were in the western state.

Among nonmetropolitan pharmacists, the top earners were those in the southeast coastal North Carolina nonmetropolitan area, with an annual mean wage of US$116,810 (AUD$161,656).

As for the top paying industries, pharmacists working in outpatient care centres had the highest annual mean wage, at US$147,130 (AUD$204,035).

They were followed by pharmacists working in grantmaking and giving services, medical and diagnostic laboratories, warehousing and storage, and local government (excluding schools and hospitals).

The sector with the highest level of employment in pharmacists, as well as the highest concentration of employment, was health and personal care stores, where the annual mean wage across the US was US$122,860 (AUD$170,379).

Annual wages were calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a “year-round, full-time” hours figure of 2,080 hours, the Bureau said.

In Australia, Professional Pharmacists Australia data released earlier this year showed a median annual salary of AUD$92,500 for pharmacists working in the community setting, and AUD$100,000 for those in hospitals.

In May, the Pharmacy Guild’s national president Trent Twomey confirmed that the organisation is in talks with PPA on the Award.

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