Long-term care pharmacists work in facilities where medical patients are either permanent or long-term residents. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that a total of 268,030 individuals were employed as pharmacists in the United States as of May 2010. The salaries earned by those working in long-term care facilities, however, tends to exceed the average salary of other pharmacists substantially.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the average salary of long-term care pharmacists working for residential mental retardation, mental health and substance abuse facilities was $122,380 per year as of May 2010. This salary is significantly more than the average salary for all other pharmacists across all other areas of pharmacy practice. The BLS indicates that the average salary of other pharmacists was $109,380 per year.
Placing long-term care pharmacists within the broader pay scale for all pharmacists also helps to provide additional context for understanding their average salary. According to the BLS, the median salary for all pharmacists was $111,570 per year. This means that long-term care pharmacists were in the upper 50 percent of pharmacists in terms of salaries earned. The middle 50 percent made between $98,810 and $125,740, with the highest paid pharmacists making salaries of $138,620 or more per year.
The long-term care sector of pharmacy practice is a small one by comparison to the more common retail environment in which most pharmacists work. According to the BLS, long-term care pharmacists were the highest-paid in any sector of the pharmacy industry. The largest number of pharmacists, however, worked in health and personal care stores earning an average salary of $111,000 per year. The only other pharmacists close to long-term care pharmacists in terms of average salary were those working in management, scientific and consulting services, who made an average salary of $121,040 per year.
The job outlook for pharmacists is expected to very good, according to BLS. The bureau indicates that the number of new jobs for pharmacists will grow by about 17 percent during the period from 2008 to 2018. This is better than average growth compared to other occupations. Although the most growth will occur in retail pharmacy, the bureau notes that there should also be excellent job growth for pharmacists in long-term care.