2017 Pharmacy Compensation Survey -- Base pay increased - All Positions / Healthcare Retail / Satellite Pharmacist increased 27.4% 2015-2017 / Lead Pharmacy Technician increased 10.7%

June 15, 2017

2017 Pharmacy Compensation Survey — Base pay increased – All Positions / Healthcare Retail / Satellite Pharmacist increased 27.4% 2015-2017 / Lead Pharmacy Technician increased 10.7% 

Welcome to PharmacyThisWeek!

Record breaking survey results to report! We had a record number of organizations at 326, highest ever!! I’ll expand upon all in future emails as there are several big announcements to make. Here are just a few survey highlights…

  • 326 Organizations (19.0% increase)
  • 318,945 Incumbents (7.1% decrease)
  • 53 Positions surveyed (10.4% increase)
  • 395 Metropolitan Areas
  • 16 Pay, Human Resources, and Benefits Policy Topics (Including: Pay Increase, Pay Differentials, Holiday Pay, Sign-on Bonuses, and Market Pricing Philosophy)
  • All key pharmacy jobs experienced an increase in turnover for 2016 compared to 2015

    15% Total Pharmacy Operations
    11% Pharmacy Team Managers
    9% Staff Pharmacists
    9% Clinical Pharmacists
    19% Pharmacy Technicians

  • 16% Total Average General Industry Turnover Rates

    5% Involuntary
    11% Voluntary


    2.8% – The mean projected value for 2017 was the same as the actual increases given out in 2016 for key pharmacy roles.
    87% of survey incumbents work in the Hospital/Healthcare industry
    4% Supermarket
    2% Managed Care/Health Plan
    1% Chain Drug Store
    1% Other

  • BASE PAY INCREASES ALIGNED WITH MERIT INCREASES Across all positions in the survey, the average median base pay increase was 3.2%.
  • BONUS PAYOUTS INCREASED COMPARED TO 2016 Average bonuses, as a percentage of base pay, increased slightly compared to 2016. The median short-term incentive actual value in 2017 was 2.4% versus 2.2% in 2016.
  • TOTAL CASH WAS IMPACTED BY THE SHORT-TERM INCENTIVES On average, the median total cash for all jobs increased 4.3% from 2016 to 2017.
  • BASE PAY TRENDS – YEAR-OVER-YEAR INCREASES FOR SAME INCUMBENTS Year-over-year increases were relatively consistent for those incumbents that were in the survey in both 2016 and 2017.

    4.9% Regional Pharmacy Operations Director
    3.7% District Pharmacy Operations Manager
    0.9% Pharmacy Team Manager
    16.7% Staff Pharmacist – Healthcare Retail/Satellite
    1.0% Staff Pharmacist – Retail
    3.1% Clinical Pharmacist
    0.8% Staff Pharmacist – Hospital
    1.3% Staff Pharmacist – Mail-order/PBM
    4.3% Pharmacy Tech Supv
    2.6% Lead Pharmacy Tech
    5.2% Pharmacy Tech
    6.4% Pharmacy Svc Assoc

  • BASE PAY TRENDS – DIRECTORS AND MANAGERS Regional Pharmacy Operations Directors have experienced a steady increase year-over-year with a 8% increase from 2015 to 2017.

    $137K Pharmacy Team Manager
    $171K Pharmacy Director
    $155K District Pharmacy Operations Manager
    $180K Regional Pharmacy Operations Director

  • DETERMINANTS OF PAY AND RECOGNITION AWARDS – PHARMACY TEAM MANAGER Not only do your organizations provide tenured service awards, but for Pharmacy Team Managers, experience is the key driver of pay.
  • GEOGRAPHIC PAY DIFFERENTIALS BY CITY – PHARMACY TEAM MANAGER San Luis Obispo, California has the largest differential from the national median base salary for Pharmacy Team Managers at 10.1%.

    10.1% San Luis Obispo, CA
    9.3% Redding, CA
    7.8% Fresno, CA
    7.8% Bakersfield, CA
    7.2% Santa Barbara, CA
    7.2% San Francisco, CA
    7.1% Yolo, CA
    7.0% Modesto, CA

  • DETERMINANTS OF PAY – STAFF PHARMACISTS Years of total pharmacist experience is still the dominant driver for determining Staff Pharmacist’s pay.
  • BASE PAY TRENDS – STAFF PHARMACISTS Pay for the Healthcare Retail/Satellite Pharmacist has increased significantly over the last couple of years with a 27.4% increase from 2015 to 2017. (However every Pharmacist position in every setting experienced an increase in pay!)

    Median Hourly Pay

    $57.00 Pharmacist – Mail-order/PBM
    $61.07 Clinical Pharmacist
    $60.51 Pharmacist – Hospital
    $61.00 Pharmacist – Retail
    $76.47 Pharmacist – Healthcare Retail/Satellite

  • BASE PAY TRENDS – RETAIL PHARMACISTS BY INDUSTRY SPECIALIZATION Across the three year sample, Supermarket Pharmacists have seen the smallest increases in pay.

    Median Hourly Pay

    $60.50 Supermarket
    $62.83 Mass Merchandiser

  • GEOGRAPHIC PAY DIFFERENTIALS BY STATE– RETAIL PHARMACIST The regional pay strategies for Retail Pharmacist is similar to the location pay trends for the Pharmacy Team Manager.
  • GEOGRAPHIC PAY DIFFERENTIALS BY CITY – RETAIL PHARMACIST Redding, California pays marginally higher than other cities in California for Retail Pharmacists.

    10.3% Redding, CA
    9.8% Fresno, CA
    9.1%Oakland, CA
    9.0% Santa Rosa, CA
    8.6% San Jose, CA
    8.5% Vallejo, CA
    8.0% Stockton, CA
    7.8% Las Cruces, NM
    7.6% Sacramento, CA
    7.0% Portland, ME

  • BASE PAY TRENDS–PHARMACY SUPPORT ROLES Although Lead Pharmacy Technician pay decreased in 2015, over the period from 2015 to 2017, it had a 10.7% increase.

    Median Hourly Pay

    $10.50 Pharmacy Service Associate
    $13.23 Pharmacy Technician
    $17.01 Lead Pharmacy Technician

  • BASE PAY TRENDS – PHARMACY TECHNICIANS BY INDUSTRY SPECIALIZATION Pharmacy Technicians in hospital/health care systems receive a significantly higher hourly wage than those in other industries.

    Median Hourly Pay

    $13.55 Supermarket
    $14.70 Mass Merchandiser
    $20.10 Hospital/Healthcare system

  • BASE PAY TRENDS – NEWLY LICENSED PHARMACISTS While the Pharmacy Residents have seen some fluctuation in their hourly wages, Pharmacy Graduates pay plateaued in 2016.

    Median Hourly Pay

    $23.28 Pharmacy Resident
    $30.00 Pharmacy Graduate

  • SHORT-TERM INCENTIVE PLAN MEASURES Short-term incentive plan measures are similar for Pharmacy Team Managers and Pharmacists.
  • SHORT-TERM INCENTIVE ELIGIBILITY Pharmacist short-term incentive eligibility varies widely by role. District Pharmacy Operations Managers are 100% eligible for short-term incentives.
  • SHORT-TERM INCENTIVE ELIGIBILITY Across all positions, 31% – 89% of the eligible population received a short-term incentive.
  • TARGET VS. ACTUAL INCENTIVES Short-term incentive payouts in 2017 were higher than 2016 and had a stronger alignment with the short-term incentive targets.

However not everything is rosy, stay tuned for more details!!

I hope everyone has a great week, you can always reach me at my email or cell number below, thanks!

Kevin Mero
cell: 210 872-6160



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