Pharmacists and pharmaceutical researchers are professionals who typically make more than $100,000 per year. However, their work requires a doctoral level degree. Universities developed the bachelor's in pharmacy as stepping stone for students preparing for pharmacy school and higher-level degrees in life sciences. As a result, a bachelor's in pharmacy doesn't open many more doors or opportunities than any other bachelor's degree. Holders of a bachelor's in pharmacy can usually get entry-level and assistant jobs in pharmacies and research laboratories.
Although a bachelor's degree isn't required to be a pharmacy technician, holders of bachelor's in pharmacy degrees have an advantage in becoming one. Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists with dispensing medication and in some cases, providing customer service. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for a pharmacy technician is $13.32 per hour with a total range of wages running between $9.27 and $18.98, as of 2008.
Because of their scientific education, bachelor's in pharmacy graduates have advantages in securing research assistant work in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Research assistants carry out specific tasks and occasional experiments under the direction of Ph.D., PharmD and M.D. holding research scientists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2008 laboratory chemical technicians made a median wage of $21.72 per hour while biological technicians make $19.88.
Bachelor's in pharmacy degree holders lend themselves well to selling pharmaceutical products. Their knowledge and familiarity with pharmaceuticals make it easier for them to understand various drugs and their uses. Pharmaceutical sales is one of the better paying options for a bachelor's of pharmacy holder. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2008, pharmaceutical sales representatives' median annual income was $74,840 -- which combines their salaries and commissions. However, the top earners in the field made $133,040.
In today's market, degrees and jobs don't always correspond. Because the bachelor's in pharmacy doesn't uniquely qualify a person for any particular job, graduates sometimes seek out work in unrelated industries and have the same general qualifications as any other bachelor's of science graduate. Therefore, wages vary widely as a graduate may find themselves working as anything from a bank teller to the marketing specialist in a technology company. In order to achieve more in the pharmacy field, those with bachelor's degrees must pursue a doctorate in pharmacy in either a clinical PharmD program or in a Ph.D. research track.
2016 Salary Information for Pharmacists
Pharmacists earned a median annual salary of $122,230 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, pharmacists earned a 25th percentile salary of $109,400, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $138,920, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 312,500 people were employed in the U.S. as pharmacists.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Pharmacists
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Pharmacy Technicians and Aides
- Purdue University: The Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Science Program
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Pharmacists
- Career Trend: Pharmacists
- Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images