The Canadian Pharmacist Association calls pharmacists the most accessible healthcare professional in Canada, reducing pressure on other areas of the healthcare system. It states that "pharmacists are taking on expanded roles … As the world of pharmacy continues to evolve, pharmacists and pharmacy teams are doing more for their patients than ever before."
Pharmacists dispense and provide advice on prescriptions, as well as assess symptoms to determine if over-the-counter drugs are appropriate, referring to doctors as necessary. They provide other health care services, including vaccinations and cholesterol or blood pressure checks.
Pharmacist Average Salary in Canada
Glassdoor reports an average pharmacist salary in Canada of $103,737 CAD/year, including benefits.
Pharmacist salaries range from $85,000 to $127,000 CAD.
The Government of Canada reports that over the next three years, job prospects in most provinces and territories are good for new job seekers.
As with other careers, entry-level and new pharmacists start at the lowest end of the salary range, while the most experienced ones are at the highest end of the range.
There are some similar job titles; the exact position and skills required impacts expected salaries.
Glassdoor reports that in 2022, a retail pharmacist can expect $99,749 CAD per year.
Some pharmacists go on to become pharmacist managers.
Pharmacy manager salaries range from $89,000 CAD up to $152,000, with a median salary of $116,147 CAD.
For those interested in starting out in this industry, pharmacist assistants earn an average of $35,100 CAD annually. Entry-level positions start at $32,175.
Pharmacist Salaries by Location
A pharmacist salary usually varies by location. Jobs in Ontario and Quebec tend to pay better than those in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. Similarly, jobs in larger cities like Vancouver, British Columbia, pay more highly than those in a smaller community, like Richmond, British Columbia.
According to the Government of Canada job bank, median pharmacist wages vary by province:
British Columbia $98,725
New Brunswick $98,894
Newfoundland and Labrador $97,557
Nova Scotia $93,743
Smaller towns and cities generally have lower average wages, even if it's in a region that tends to pay more highly, compared to larger cities.
The highest paid cities for pharmacist salaries are Calgary, AB ($51.95/hour), Saskatoon, SK ($51.51/hour), Nanaimo, BC ($50.57/hour), Ottawa, ON ($49.73/hour) and Victoria, BC ($49.38/hour).
Similar to any other career, increased education usually leads to higher wages.
A Bachelor's Degree is the minimum qualification for a pharmacist position.
A Master’s Degree can open up high-level pharmaceutical positions, with ranges in salary starting from $89,000 to $211,000, or more, depending on specific job roles, with an average of about $139,600. Pharmaceutical positions with a Master’s Degree that is associated with income generation increases the average wage and likelihood of bonuses.
A Doctorate Degree is the highest level of education for a pharmacist.
Other Pharmacist's Salary Factors
Government and Public sector employees in Canada earn 4% more than equivalent positions in the private sector counterparts.
Male pharmacists in Canada earn 4% more than female counterparts.
Pharmacists who get the highest bonuses are usually involved somehow in revenue generation. Most pharmacists do not receive bonuses unless involved in revenue generation.
According to Payscale, the average hourly wage of pharmacists in Canada is $45 CAD per hour.
Pharmacy managers earn hourly wages of about $55 per hour.
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