The average annual salary for all pharmacists in the United States was $118,470 as of May 2014, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Among the largest employment sectors, pharmacists in general merchandise stores earned the highest average salary at $127,350 per year.
Though a smaller employment sector, scientific research and development services was the top-paying for pharmacists at $129,790 per year. Health and personal care is the largest employment sector, where pharmacists earned $119,420 per year. Alaska was the top-paying state for pharmacists with an average annual salary of $136,320. California was the next highest with an average of $132,160 per year.
The employment of pharmacists is expected to grow 14 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is about the same as the average growth rate for all other professions. To become a pharmacist, one must have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree as well as a pharmaceutical license. Pharmacists become licensed by passing exams. Doctor of Pharmacy degree programs typically take four years to complete.