UK VS US - Pay for pharmacists

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by mass, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. mass

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    Just wondering if anyone knows why the pay in US for a pharmacist is considerably larger in comparison to a pharmacist in the UK. If you are over 60 or are 16,17 or 18 and in full time education you don't have to pay. Is this different there or is there other reasons for the pay package varying?
     
  2. drugdoc

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    You don't 'have to pay' for what? This post is confusing - the middle sentence doesn't make any sense.
     
  3. UBCmicrobi

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    I assume you mean that if you are over 60 or 17, 18 or 19 years of age and in full time education you don't have to pay for prescription drugs? The UK has a national healthcare system (NHS), but I don't think that has much to do with wages for pharmacists.

    You might get more responses if you clarify your question
     
  4. mass

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    Basically asking why Pharmacists are paid so well in America compared to United Kingdom.
     
  5. WestTXisGr8

    WestTXisGr8 Live with passion!!!
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    Ok, so what are they paid in the UK? Typical pharmacist now in the U.S. - minimum of 2 years (typically 4) of undergrad college and 4 years of pharmacy school - so 6 to 8 years of school. End up about $120,000+ in debt from school loans (unless they went to a private school - then it's much more). Make about $100,000 year before taxes.

    Actually, if you look at it, in the US, no matter what you do , the annual salary is pretty close to the cost of the education (at a State University). So someone who gets a 4 year degree in, say accounting, and end up about $30,000 to $40,000 in debt (school loans), typically will make a salary of about that much per year once they graduate.

    However, in regards to UK vs. US, not sure how they compare, but here in the US we have to pay all or at least part of our health insurance expense monthly (typical family who gets part of their health insurance paid at work pays about $350 out of their own pocket monthly for health insurance). we have to pay anywhere from 5% to 20% of our hospital/doctor bill even though we have insurance. We pay Social security tax, medicare tax, federal income tax, state income tax, and sometimes city income tax out of our paychecks - typically between 30% to 50% of our paycheck (depending on how much you make and where you live in the U.S.). We pay for our own retirement, sometimes you will find an employer who will match 5% of your income annually into a retirement account, but that doesn't always happen. We typically get 2 weeks paid vacation per year (if we are lucky). We pay appx. 8.5% sales tax on most items we purchase. We typically pay for our own disability insurance, and other insurances (life insurance, etc.) that cover us if we can't work for whatever reason or if we die. Everything is BIG over here (spread out), so an hour commute to work is not uncommon. 99% of our cities don't have a decent public transportation, so we must all own our own vehicle, and pay for fuel to get to work. I am frugal and I pay $355 per month in a car payment, $150 per month in car insurance (on one car), about $1,000/year in maintenance on the car, and about $300/month in fuel expense to get to work and back.

    Besides all of that we have property taxes on our homes of about 3.5% per year (on average) of the value of the house - so the owner of a house valued at $150,000 will receive an annual tax bill of about $5,250. Also we have home owners insurance to insure our homes against fire, etc. of about $1,400/year for a house valued at about $150,000.

    Oh, and child care expense. Employers pay $0 towards child care, which costs about $100/week for 1 child.

    I can't think of anything else at the moment, but I know there are other items we are required to pay that affects our bottom line.

    Ok, so how does this compare to the UK?
     
    #5 WestTXisGr8, Jun 27, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008
  6. WestTXisGr8

    WestTXisGr8 Live with passion!!!
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    Oh, and one last comparison on US vs UK -

    $100,000 salary in U.S. =
    $63,492 Euro OR
    $50,155 UK Pounds

    So with the exchange rate you can see we really don't make that much.

    Does a pharmacist in the UK make less than $50,155 UK Pounds per year? I have no idea what they make, but would be interested to know.
     
  7. UBCmicrobi

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    Well said, very well said.
     
  8. YapYap6

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    I think I'll kill myself now kthnxbye. :scared:
     
  9. WestTXisGr8

    WestTXisGr8 Live with passion!!!
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    Don't kill yourself yet. I forgot to mention the $1,200 monthly student loan payment for 30 years to pay back your student loans! The Govt. needs you alive to pay that back! :eek:
     
  10. mass

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    Our loan situation isn't as bad as that. Isn't 100,000 the average retail pharmacist though, what's the max pay?. In the uk the average pharmacist earns about 40-45k.
     
  11. WestTXisGr8

    WestTXisGr8 Live with passion!!!
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    First, you are talking 40-45k in UK Pounds, yes? Not in US dollars? If so, then that is equivalent to $80-90k in US dollars.

    In the US, the average pharmacist - retail or otherwise - typically earns an hourly wage of $48 to $50/hr. x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = $99,840 to $104,000 US per year. Pharmacist who make more either work in high cost areas where your typical house price (for a small house) is around $400,000 or they are working overtime. In the US it is common as a pharmacist to be able to get overtime hours. Overtime hours are typically paid at time and a half (so $72 to $75/hr for hours above 40 hours per week). So if you don't mind working 50 or 60 hours per week you can definitely earn more than $100,000.

    Ok, so this isn't fair, I outlined our expenses here in the US, so give us some info about yours in the UK. I'd love to see the differences. How many hours per week do you work for your $40-45K? Give us lots of details, expenses, etc. This is interesting!
     
  12. mass

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    Yes, I am refering to £'s and not $s.

    As I am a student I can't give definities on expenses, but the pharmacy course (called MPHARM) is 5 years in total (4 years and 1 training year). It's £3000 a year so £1200 for 4 years. You pay the loan back after you are earning over £12,000.

    House prices have recently gone up a lot in the UK so I am not the best to give advice on that:laugh:.

    As for the wages, the typical retail pharmacist earns 35k-40k and if you are the manager slighty more. In terms of industrial pharmacy no one ever goes into it but the pay is very low at the start (typically 20k) and then shoots upwards over time. Not so sure about hospital but as you progress into bands your pay range does go up.

    See the pay for a pharmacist in the uk is good but not great and hence I would like to move to the states but having read the threads about so many schools opening up over there, I am a bit worried now:idea:

    I was told once that the despite the fact that the salary of a US pharmacist is the same as a UK one, the cost of living in US is cheaper, reading the above post makes me think otherwise.
     
  13. WestTXisGr8

    WestTXisGr8 Live with passion!!!
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    It may be cheaper here - in places. And depending on how far you have to travel to get where you're going. And depending on how frugal you are.

    But where housing may be cheaper here - in places, it is offset by the fact that you are driving farther to get to work, shop, eat, etc.

    And we may be earning a little more money in each paycheck than in the UK, but we don't get many benefits either - like paid health insurance, paid medical bills, child care, vacation, retirement, etc. Our benefits are minimal. I don't know how it is in the UK, but I know in places in Europe you get like 6 weeks paid vacation annually, paid child care, health insurance paid which actually covers your medical bills, retirement or pension paid.

    When you look at the trade-off it's probably about even. So live where you love, love what you do, and enjoy life!
     
  14. mass

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    How difficult is it to get into industry and what's pay like in that area?
     
  15. FungManX

    FungManX The Cure.
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    Industry as in R/D? I know Canadian figures for pharmacology phD's are around the ballpark of 50-70k/year Canadian (roughly same US figures), unless you move up enough to eventually become owner of say.. pfizer then your salary skyrockets to 7 figures (after bonuses)
     
  16. mass

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    Well I wouldn't mind being a medical representative or saying promoting sales or even making products if you get me.
     
  17. wolingfeng

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    I believe the cost of living in UK is higher than in US typically. One of my friends went to study abroad in London and she said everything was much more expensive there than in New York City. Public transportation was also expensive, like 5 pound. And I believe in UK tax is higher than in the states.
     
  18. mass

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    which echoes my point of wanting to move there after I get my pharmacy degree.
     
  19. mass

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    Bringing this point back, how much tax do you generall pay. Say if your wage is 100k, how much will you have in the end?

    Also what is pay for a hosp pharmacist like?
     
  20. mass

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    anyone?
     
  21. WestTXisGr8

    WestTXisGr8 Live with passion!!!
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    Are you asking someone in the U.S., or is this question for someone in the U.K.?
     
  22. Idesiretosling

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    Lame. Look it up yourself and settle down about your possible future wage.
     
  23. WestTXisGr8

    WestTXisGr8 Live with passion!!!
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    Mass,
    If you are asking for the U.S. figures I was EXTREMELY specific in my post above that told exact figures including salaries, taxes, etc. I don't know how more detailed I could get. So I don't know what more you want.
     
  24. mass

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    Your intial starting salary is much higher than over here. What's the difference between a clinical and retail pharmacist.

    Also I would be interested to know which profession makes the most money ( I am only asking out of interest, not to change careers or anything before someone has a go at me).
     
  25. Requiem

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    I think you should just start asking people to mail you their pay stubs.
     
  26. WestTXisGr8

    WestTXisGr8 Live with passion!!!
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    This thread is tiring so this will be the last time I post to it. But Mass, here's my advice:

    First, all you see is the bigger "starting salary" here. By your own admission you have no idea what house prices, taxes, benefits, etc. are in the UK. So I'm not sure why it would matter what we make or pay here if you don't even know what to compare it to in the UK (apparently where YOU live). My advice, find out about the pay, cost of living, taxes, benefits, etc. in your own country first. Then you can compare lots of countries to it. Without that you are comparing apples to...well...the unknown. Also, you seem to have forgotten the exchange rate. $100,000 in the US is $53,000 GBP, so what looks like much more on the surface isn't that much more when you compare it at the correct exchange rate.

    But again, determine the actual cost of living in the UK first, then you can ask informed questions about the cost of living elsewhere.

    ----------------------

    Despite the cost of living, it remains popular.
     
  27. mass

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    I was talking to a friend of mine in relation to how much good pay would be classified as in the US in terms of good living. They said 50k, is that true?
     
  28. spyder45

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    Hey guys I was actually looking at the exchange rate for GBP and USD. Typically, every 1 GBP is equal to 1.54 USD. So basically a salary of 50,000 GBP would equal to only 77,213 USD. So from this, I am assuming that the average salary of pharmacists in UK is not as much as that in the US. But after researching from different websites, the avg salary in UK tends to be lower, around 45,000 GBP. So it might be better to move to the US afterwards?
     
  29. StevePerry

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    no
     
  30. Momus

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  31. kvl1027

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    The OP was back in 2008, so I would imagine the exchange rates have changed a bit since then. You would have to look at so many different factors to determine whether it would be better to work in the US or stay in the UK. The cost to move, health care expenses, and the likely lower compensation in terms of benefits.

    You would also have to be prepared to drink your beer cold, tip your wait-staff, drive on the right side of the road, and listen to us Americans bastardies the English language. Do you even like hotdogs? Foot.....American football? Plus we don't have any castles, not one F****ng castle!!!!!!
     
  32. p-rog

    p-rog Junior Member
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    Apparently pharmacists in the UK are not happy, maybe even worse off than us..

    http://www.chemistanddruggist.co.uk/c/portal/layout?p_l_id=259751&CMPI_SHARED_articleId=450860&CMPI_SHARED_ImageArticleId=450860&CMPI_SHARED_articleIdRelated=450860&CMPI_SHARED_ToolsArticleId=450860&CMPI_SHARED_CommentArticleId=450860

    'Don't choose this career' says profession

    Zoe Smeaton

    Many pharmacists are so dissatisfied with the profession that they would not recommend it as a career, the C+D salary survey suggested.

    Sixty three per cent of employed pharmacist and locum respondents said they would not endorse pharmacy as a career.

    Such feelings have implications for both staff motivation and performance and for recruitment of young people to the profession.

    Fin McCaul, chairman of the Independent Pharmacy Federation, said the findings were "bad news for pharmacy".

    But he added: "Low morale at the minute is hopefully just a blip."

    Jane Lumb, Numark's training manager, reminded pharmacists that the profession still offers a unique opportunity to add value to a community while running a business.

    A possible reason for the lack of job satisfaction is the problems pharmacists have faced when trying to take on additional services and clinical roles.

    Roger Walker, professor of pharmacy practice at Cardiff University, said many pharmacists consider themselves overqualified for what they do, "particularly those who continue to work in dispensing factories with ever-growing workloads".

    Will Swain, a young pharmacist at Weldricks, said he hoped the future of the profession was not in the dispensary, saying pharmacists should be released from this "ball and chain".

    However, Mr Swain felt some pharmacists could do more to help themselves. They could accept that the profession is changing, for example, and attempt medicines use reviews, he said.


    http://www.chemistanddruggist.co.uk/c/portal/layout?p_l_id=259751&CMPI_SHARED_articleId=450870&CMPI_SHARED_ImageArticleId=450870&CMPI_SHARED_articleIdRelated=450870&CMPI_SHARED_ToolsArticleId=450870&CMPI_SHARED_CommentArticleId=450870

    Morale slumps under daunting rise in workload

    Rob Finch

    Nearly a third of employee pharmacists and locums are likely to quit the profession and more than a third are already planning to leave their current job, the C+D Salary Survey has found.

    A poll of 928 pharmacists revealed morale at rock bottom across the sector.

    More than three-quarters of those surveyed said they expected to be stressed or very stressed in 12 months' time.

    The survey included responses from employee pharmacists, locums, pharmacy managers and owners. One anonymous respondent to the survey said that workloads "are becoming unsupportable". A female pharmacist from Hampshire said she was "not paid enough for the stress level".

    And a 38-year-old pharmacist said she regretted studying pharmacy. Another pharmacist, from Wales, said: "This profession is going nowhere."

    John Murphy, of the Pharmacists' Defence Association, said: "I don't doubt people are more stressed.

    "Employers have been trying to reduce staffing levels while prescribing figures have gone up. You've got increasing workload and decreased support staff."

    Morale had slumped under the pressure of huge professional change, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said. David Pruce, director of practice and quality improvement, told C+D: "If this is a true reflection of how the profession feels then it's very worrying. It's a time of great change and great uncertainty."

    Mr Pruce denied that the RPSGB could have done more to shield members from rising workloads. "It's not that the Society has allowed it. There are a lot of things coming together and all pharmacy bodies have a responsibility."

    Barbara Sutherland, resourcing manager for Lloydspharmacy, linked low morale to the impact of category M cuts.

    She said: "We know adjustments are starting to have a real impact."
     
  33. spyder45

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    Hey, I was looking at the "cost of living" website given by Momus and compared the San Jose (which where I might move to after pharmacy) to Bradford in the UK and the cost of living tends to be a little bit better than in San Jose than Bradford. The price for groceries is relatively the same, things a 10% less expensive in San Jose but the rent for an apartment is half the price in Bradford. However, the ability to purchase various requirements is a lot more stronger in San Jose than Bradford but I am still not sure about the health care system and bonuses in UK and US for pharmacist.

    Also, since I live in Canada I am pretty much used to the stuff that you have mentioned about tipping not just waitresses, but almost EVERYONE now, including the type of food. And I also love basketball (not so much football though lol).

    I am going to try researching more though..
     
  34. spyder45

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    If you actually go to their forum:

    http://www.pharmacy-forum.co.uk/content/

    you can see that people there do complain about becoming pharmacists so that is why I do not plan on staying there after I graduate from UK. And also, who does not want to live the American dream? :)

     
  35. aussiepharmer

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    Can you still get a job easily in the pharmaceutical industry(drug companies other than community and hospital) in Canada without doing the intern year in UK? In other words, trying to get a job with only your pharmacy degree.
     
  36. SomeGuy

    SomeGuy Senior Member
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    A lot probably depends on whether you need to do the intern year or not to get your license in Canada. You'll likely have to do a chunk of Canadian hours and should get some kind of credit for the UK intern work anyway.

    Finally, why wouldn't one want to have a UK license if they've gone 4/5ths of the way towards earning it? Standards could always change in the future!
     

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