Anyone that is interested in becoming an army pharmacist should take the time to check some of the core factors that impact the salary for this position. Military pharmacists receive pay, benefits and bonuses that are on par with officers in the military. Keep reading to find more about army pharmacist salary.
Army Pharmacist Qualifications
According to U.S. ARMY, in order to become an officer in the Army, a pharmacist must meet the following criteria:
- between 21 and 42 years of age (may request a waiver)
- Must be a U.S. citizen
- Have Diploma from a school of pharmacy acceptable to the Surgeon General
- License to practice in the United States
Starting off in the Army Pharmacist
Once enlisted, pharmacists enter the Officer Basic Leadership course so they can start earnings bonuses and commissions for their expertise. Like most officers, the base monthly pay for an army pharmacists is based on their rank and time spent in military service. These pharmacists usually get promoted or receive a pay increase every two years.
Additional Bonuses in the Army Pharmacist Salary
Military pharmacists are also eligible for a $30,000 bonus when they first enlist and they can receive an additional $15,000 again if they re-enlist for another two years. These pharmacists can also receive additional increases in their pay that range from $3,000 to $12,000 annually. The army also provides this specialty occupation with school loan repayment funds of up to $120,000. Army pharmacists may receive funds for specialized pharmacy residencies as well.
Military vs Private Sector
On average, pharmacists in the U.S Army typically earn around $63,000 per year. This salary is about $15,000 more per year than the average employee of the U.S Army. However, it’s about $32,000 less than the average annual pharmacist salary when working in the private sector.
Army Pharmacist Payscale
Pharmacists that are with the army less than 10 years receive an extra $2,000 per year. Those that are with the army for 10 to 12 years receive an extra $2,500 annually. Pharmacists that enlisted for 13 to 14 years are due an extra $3,000 per year. Pharmacists in the army for 15 to 18 years receive an extra $4,000 per year. Pharmacists that stay in the army for over 18 years will receive an extra $5,000 annually thereafter.
Health Coverage Benefits
As a commissioned officer, military pharmacists can also take advantage of the post-911 GI bill that is available as well. In addition, these pharmacists and their families are covered under the military TRICARE healthcare system. This healthcare plan covers medical and dental with minimal costs. In comparison, private sector health insurance can cost over $5,600 for an individual and more than $15,000 for the entire family. The TRICARE health benefits are available for the pharmacist and their spouse during retirement as well.
Some of the other benefits military pharmacists receive as commissioned officers include paid maternity leave, paid sick leave, paid federal holidays and thirty days of paid vacation every year. Pharmacists and their families can also take advantage of tax-free housing, relocation expense coverage and shopping benefits as well.
The size of the army pharmacist salary should not be the sole determinant, but it’s certainly a significant component to making this career decision. There are clearly several valuable benefits available aside from the substantial salary. It’s worth considering the health benefits, the unique experiences and the future career opportunities that becoming a army pharmacist can create.
Published on November 28, 2013 by Grace Sun
- U.S. Army: Careers & Jobs: Pharmacist
- U.S. Army: Careers & Jobs: Direct Commission Officers
- Military Rates: Incentive and Special Pay: Special Pay for Pharmacy Officers
- Pharmacist Salary and Benefits at USPHS Commissioned Corps