Pharmacists dispense prescription drugs and advise patients on potential drug interactions and side effects. Many pharmacists are called upon to counsel customers on general health topics. The demand for pharmacists is high. CVS competes with other drugstores, hospitals, supermarkets and pharmacy chains for experienced and newly graduated pharmacists.
Pharmacists enjoy a fairly high pay rate. USA Today reports the average median annual wages of pharmacists were $106,410 as of 2008. The top 10 percent of pharmacists earned more than $131,440 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned significantly less, $77,390 a year. Pharmacists who fell in the middle range earned between $92,670 and $121,310 annually.
CVS Pharmacist Salary
CVS pharmacists earn less than the median annual wages of pharmacists. The average pay for a CVS pharmacist according to GlassDoor.com is $99,161 a year. This is $7,249 lower than the national average reported by USA Today. The total CVS salary includes base pay, bonuses and profit sharing. The average hourly wage for a CVS pharmacist is $49.30 an hour. The average amount earned in cash bonuses is $1,677. The average of other bonuses is $1,785. The average amount of profit sharing earnings is $2,250.
The pay rate of CVS pharmacists vary by location. In Detroit, Michigan, the average pay rate is $98,251 annually or $48.38 an hour according to GlassDoor.com. The pay rate of a CVS pharmacist working in Miami, Florida, is $101,915 or $48.96 an hour. SalaryList.com reports CVS pharmacists in El Cajon, California, average $102,044 a year; pharmacists in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, average $87,360 a year; and CVS pharmacists in Smyrna, Georgia, average $83,200 a year.
Salaries of CVS pharmacists increase with years of experience. A CVS pharmacist with one year of experience can expect to earn $49.17 an hour which equates to $99,039 annually in total pay. CVS pharmacists with four to six years of experience earn around $111,458 in total pay.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the job outlook for pharmacists is excellent. Between the years of 2008 and 2018, employment for pharmacists is expected to increase by 17 percent. Factors fueling the demand for pharmacists include an aging baby boomer population, advances in new drug therapies and the growing popularity of mail-order pharmacies. Demand will be particularly strong for drug stores, grocery stores and other mass retailers. The BLS reports that many retailers are having a difficult time “attracting and retaining” pharmacists. To fill open positions, CVS and other mass retailers increased pay and added hiring bonuses in 2005, according to USA Today. As of 2010, CVS employed more than 20,000 pharmacists in locations around the nation.
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