53 Side Hustles Any Pharmacist Can Start Today

No matter what stage of life you are in, you should have some financial goals. As a pharmacist, you make a large sum of money—and you shouldn’t waste it.

You may have heard the saying, “With great wealth comes great responsibility.” So true. However, I also believe that great joy can also come with great wealth.

With this wealth, we can do so much good. Some pharmacists want to make even more money so they can do even more great things.

For those of you who want to build some serious wealth, a side hustle is a great way to get started. To get you motivated, I wanted to share some ideas that you can pursue outside of your day job to bring in extra cash.

I’ll be honest: Some of these ideas won’t make you too much money, but others have the potential to grow into a job that could eventually replace your full-time income. So, in addition to providing the positives of each idea, I’ll also share the potential pitfalls with you. Remember, not every side hustle is right for everyone.

I recommend you bookmark this page so you can come back to it later.

Here are my 53 ideas to help you start your side hustle today:

1. Public speaking

As a pharmacist, you have a unique position that allows you to speak and provide education to other people. Whenever I want to make some extra cash, I reach out to my network of doctors, pharmacists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to see if anyone wants to learn more about anticoagulation, which is my specialty area. Just by giving updates to other medical providers, I can make an easy $400 to $800 for one speaking engagement.

My friend Donald Kelly of thesalesevangelist.com is a phenomenal speaker who travels across the country to speak to all sorts of audiences. He gets paid thousands of dollars to speak, on top of being reimbursed for travel expenses. Speaking is something that has no upper earning limit. People such as Bill Clinton and Mark Cuban are paid literally tens of thousands of dollars to speak in front of audiences for just a few minutes. Now, I’m not saying that you can get to that point easily, if ever, but you can head in that direction.

You don’t have to talk about healthcare topics, either. You can speak about anything. I was once paid to talk about creating mastermind groups. You can also be paid to speak online.

Pros: The beauty of speaking is that after you create the content, you can deliver it over and over again to different audiences.

Cons: Public speaking is feared by some and avoided by many, so you will have to get over any fears you may have before standing in front of an audience. Also, some pharmacy organizations have the attitude that because you are helping the profession, you shouldn’t be paid (which I think this is BS – you should be paid for your knowledge and expertise!).

Action Step: If you are afraid of public speaking, the best way to face your fears is to join your local Toastmasters group. Then, reach out to your network and see if anyone wants to learn more about your specialty area (pharmacy-related or not) and start creating content.

2. Teaching courses

If you’ve ever felt like you have the heart of a teacher but didn’t pursue it because you didn’t think you met the qualifications for an academic position, it is possible to teach on your own terms. If you have expertise in anything or have accomplished something special, you are qualified to teach.

You can make tons of money teaching courses online. To illustrate my point, go on Udemy and pick a random course that costs $20. Most of these courses have thousands of students—do the math.

Pros: You don’t need a resident certification to be qualified to teach something online. You don’t need more publications, more credentials or more education to teach. Col. Sanders didn’t go back to school to get an MBA to launch Kentucky Fried Chicken, after all.

Cons: Creating and marketing a course takes time, and you may need to pay for a service or website to help you get started.

Action Step: Picking something you are good at and create a course using a service like Teachable. Then, sell your course on websites such as Udemy and profit insanely from what you already know.

3. Video editing

Video editing is a fun skill for the meticulous person. Let’s face it: Pharmacists are typically Type A, perfectionists who are highly detail-oriented. When you edit video, you are putting together the pieces of a very complicated puzzle and every second counts. Think about all the editing that is required for every 15 second commercial that you see on TV. Those editors are paid thousands for each commercial.

Pros: In my opinion, pharmacists are built for the details and video editing is that kind of job. If you have a nice camera and a lapel mic, you can do just about anything for any local business.

Cons: You spend a lot of hours looking at the computer, and it can be hard to estimate how long each editing job will take you.

Action Step: The best way to get started in a business like this is to do it for free. You could easily get started by editing video together for small companies in your local area. After you have a few testimonials under your belt, you can go out there and start charging.

4. Photography

If you have a knack for creativity and design or have ever thought, “Boy, I really love taking photos,” this is a great and easy side-hustle for any pharmacist. I did a photo shoot a few months ago and I was talking with my photographer about herself and her business. I found out that she was actually a nurse in a past life. She found that she enjoyed being a nurse, but she loved the creative nature of being a photographer more. She was able to hustle on the side doing photoshoots for weddings and graduations and built it up to a full-time business.

Pros: You can schedule appointment-only shoots for graduation, baby or engagement photos around your full-time job. Although investment costs are high, you can make your money back quickly.

Cons: Weddings could be hard to do depending on the kind of pharmacy shift you have. The investment costs for photography also can be prohibitive—a really nice camera costs $500-$600.

Action Step: Start taking photographs for free or at a deeply discounted rate and build a portfolio that you can show to prospective clients.

5. YouTube

Could you imagine getting $36,000 per week? I couldn’t. However, one young YouTuber, Ryan’s ToysReview, makes exactly that and he’s five years old. The model is simple: Create content, promote ads, get views and make money. The majority of YouTube channels that are out there create a partnership with YouTube to allow ads to be placed on their videos. In exchange, they receive a portion of the profits.

The way to get to hundreds of thousands of views is by niching down and creating content consistently. One of my favorite channels is The Nerdwriter, who is a blogger who writes about nerdy things—from tropical house beats of Rhianna to Lord of the Rings battle philosophy. He not only uses ads from YouTube, but he uses a platform called Patreon where people pay him a monthly subscription to support him to create more content. When I last checked, he was making more than $4,000 per month to produce his content.

Pros: If there is a subject that you love to talk about, it should be fun and easy for you to create content that is funny, interesting and engaging.

Cons: You have to be very focused in a niche. You have to choose something that you love talking about and talk about it until you are exhausted. And, you have to get an insane amount of views in order to make money from YouTube. Working as a YouTube blogger has a bad connotation that might lead others to believe you don’t work at all or are some sort of weirdo. Just ask PewDiePie, one of the most popular YouTubers, who is known as kind of a weirdo online and probably works harder than you do.

Action Step: Pick something that you have loved for 10-15 years, whether it is woodworking, playing guitar or a certain type of fiction genre, and run with it.

6. Writing

I am very partial to writing as a side hustle because it is how I got started. Essentially, I created content that I turned around and sold to websites. It’s something I still do, and I love getting paid to write content. If you feel like you are a writer and always have been, this is an amazing way to make some extra money—you get to do what you love and get paid to do it. This daily hustle eventually led to me paying off my house 27 years early, and there is no shortage of people online who promote the writing side-hustle.

Pros: Everyone has an hour at the beginning of their day to wake up earlier and write. There also are hundreds of courses you can take to teach you how to write great content and headlines and make more effective pitches.

Cons: It takes practice, diligence and constant work to improve your craft and it can be frustrating and difficult to get started. You will be rejected a lot. Here’s how things will be until you get your first paying gig:

  1. Write.

  2. Pitch your article to websites that will pay.

  3. Fail.

  4. Pitch again.

  5. Fail.

  6. Pitch again.

  7. Repeat.

Action Step: Pick a subject area that you like and know a bit about. Then, write some content. Don’t give up after the first “no.” Keep trying and keep pushing. Remember, even J.K. Rowling was rejected several times before Harry Potter was accepted.

7. Medical writing

Although this may sound similar to writing, I made this its own category. As a pharmacist, you are a highly trained professional. Medical writing involves talking specifically about any topic related to medicine, not just any subject at all, as in general writing. When you do medical writing, you come from a place of expertise and knowledge and should be paid accordingly for your work.

Pros: Every health care system needs content to educate their consumers, so there are many high-paying jobs available for qualified medical writers with advanced degrees.

Cons: The subject matter usually isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, and you might get tired of writing about medical topics after working at the pharmacy all day.

Action Step: Create a profile on upwork.com and start bidding on medical writer jobs.

8. Transcription

Just about anyone can learn to be a transcriptionist, but because of your advanced pharmacy knowledge, I recommend that you specialize in medical transcription.

Pros: The work doesn’t take much thought and is easy to do. All you really need is a set of headphones, a laptop and the ability to type quickly.

Cons: The work can be mindless and a bit boring, depending on the subject matter. It also doesn’t pay very much, even for medical specialists. As a pharmacist, I think there are easier ways for you to get started hustling at a higher price point.

Action Steps: Reach out to your network to see if any medical providers could use your help. Or, contract with a medical transcription service who will provide you with assignments.

9. Voice acting

For the creative and theatrical pharmacist, voice acting is a great way to get paid to speak. I started voice acting three years ago and found that it was fun to do. It fed my urges to act, and my first job was using my ATR2100 microphone to record myself talking about a Chinese conference.

Pros: I got paid $10 for two minutes of talking. You may scoff at the idea of getting only $10—but that’s $300 per hour, and it even led to more gigs.

Cons: This side hustle will not work for you unless you have a good voice.

Action Steps: Buy a microphone and start looking for gigs on upwork.com.

10. Kindlepreneur

A good friend of mine named Dave Chesson coined the term “Kindlepreneur.” He created a website around the idea that people can make money by writing books and selling them on Amazon. I created a few books, Hang Out and Grow Rich and Master the PCAT Essay Book, and I receive around $100 per month because of it.

Pros: If you have a big dream to publish a book, you could place it on Amazon and get paid for it.

Cons: It’s not that easy. A rule that I learned early on is that 20 percent of the battle is creating the content, 80 percent is marketing. After you create a book, if you don’t have a following no one will ever hear about it or find it. You have a lot of upfront work to do if you take this path.

Action Steps: Start writing while simultaneously building a following of people who might be interested in your book.

11. Consulting

Consulting is a great side hustle option for those who are experts and have accomplished a great deal in their career or in life. Anytime you have expertise and knowledge, you can be paid as a consultant to teach others what you know.

Pros: Consulting is a great side gig because it is typically not something that requires full-time attention; usually, it is something that can be done on this side in the mornings or one day a month. Consulting isn’t just limited to business pursuits; you can also offer consulting services in other areas, such as fitness or home organization.

Cons: If you don’t have any expertise or if you are new to a field, you will have a hard time selling your expertise to other businesses. It can also take a while to get your first customer.

Action Step: Because getting your first customer can be tough, you may have to provide your service for free to someone. After you get a great testimonial, you can approach other businesses to ask if they would be interested.

12. Coaching

Have you ever thought that our education system is broken? Me too. One of the reasons why I think it is broken is because we teach kids the answers, rather than how to find the answers. Coaching empowers people to make decisions for themselves rather than just be handed answers. Coaching helps people overcome the obstacles in their path.

If there is something significant that you have accomplished in your life, congratulations! You are qualified to be a coach. Coaches typically hold weekly meetings with their clients via phone or video conference and may provide email support. Most coaches charge about $500 per month, although some can charge $1,800 per month or more.

An important point I want to make here is that a coach is not a consultant. A consultant shows you the map and says, “Go that way.” A coach holds up a mirror and says to the client, “Is this who you want to become? If not, how can we get you there?”

Pros: You can become a coach for just about anything, including parenting, career, health or organizational skills. All you need is some personal expertise, a website and a willingness to help others—no need to get a coaching certification or additional degrees.

Cons: Like any other service-oriented business, it takes time to build up a good reputation.

Action Steps: To get your coaching business off the ground, offer your services to one person for free. If you have a friend or acquaintance who wants to run a 5K, organize their home or get a promotion, ask if you can help them achieve that goal. After you provide above-and-beyond value and service, be sure to get a testimonial that you can show to your future clients.

13. Building websites

Building websites is a skill that easily can be learned. If you're a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician, you have the technical skills necessary to learn how to build a simple website—and companies will pay anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000 for web design services. However, you could start off small and only charge a few hundred dollars for a simple website for a small business in your local area. Website development is really not that difficult, especially if you are good with technology. Simple websites with five pages can put a few hundred bucks in your pocket.

Pros: By watching a few tutorials on YouTube and learning a bit about hosting and WordPress, you could have a website up within a few hours. Plus, you can work from home whenever it is convenient for you.

Cons: This is not a good choice if you struggle with technology. Also, you may have to spend some time learning the process before you get your first client.

Action Step: Take a cheap or free course to help you get started with web development.

14. Manage social media

If every business has a website, then every business likely also has a social media presence. Whether the business uses Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Twitter, the business will usually have someone who manages their social media by posting, Tweeting, communicating with customers and creating content for blogs and contests online.

Pros: You can turn your expertise in something that you probably do anyway in your personal time into extra cash. Many of these gigs are posted on Fiverr and Upwork, so it is easy to find jobs online.

Cons: Although blogging is a popular form of social media, I don’t usually recommend it as a first route for starting your side hustle. Here’s why: Because blogging highlights passive income, it takes a long time to build your following and make money—making it very easy to give up on before your first earnings arrive.

Action Step: Create your profile on Upwork and Fiverr and begin bidding on social media management jobs. Or, reach out to your network to find out if anyone you know needs help promoting their business on social media.

15. Sell on Amazon or eBay.

Selling stuff is one of the easiest things that you can do as a side hustler. It is a no-brainer to go to garage sales in your local area and buy lightly used items to sell for a higher price on EBay, Craigslist or Amazon.

Baby items, such as seats and strollers, are a great place to get started—parents are always looking to get rid of the items, so they are usually willing to part with them for a few bucks and people who need them are happy to get any kind of discount off the retail price, even if the item is lightly used. Books (either your own or ones that you find at garage sales) are another great place to get started with selling online.

Pros: This method gives you a quick return on your money and works especially well if you live in a metropolitan area. As your online sales business grows, you can even train other people to find specific items for you at garage sales and pay them for helping you out.

Cons: This is hard to pull off if you're in a rural area. Also, you have to have the patience and time to hunt for the items.

Action Step: Set up accounts on Amazon, Craigslist and EBay and head out to garage sales in your area this weekend.

16. App development

If you like working with technology, there is a lot of money to be made in app development—and, you get paid whether the app is a success or not. You could dream up a useful tool to sell online and get paid over and over again or develop something that you sell to a local business.

Pros: There is lots of money to be made if you have the skills. There are also a number of training courses available online.

Cons: If you don’t already have the skills, it may take some time and money to get up to speed.

Action Step: Check out an online course to learn about app development.

17. Cooking or baking

If you love to cook or bake, you could sell delicious meals or home-baked goodies to individuals and organizations. I can guarantee that there are busy parents in your community who would pay for a night off from cooking or businesses that would pay for treats that are delivered to their worksite.

Pros: If you already have the skills and the recipes, it would be very easy to get started. You could also do the food preparation on weekends and evenings.

Cons: It might be hard to land your first client. And, you may not have enough space in your home kitchen to handle high-volume food preparation.

Action Step: Offer to provide a free meal or dessert to a business or family in your area.

18. Running errands

If you have a couple hours to spare on a weeknight or a Saturday, you could help busy people run errands. Many people in your area would probably pay for someone to grocery shop for them or pick up dry cleaning on a weekly basis.

Pros: If you enjoy being out and about, this is a good task for you. Also, you might be able to accomplish some of your own errands at the same time.

Cons: This service would be a luxury for most people, so you would have to make sure you are marketing to people who would actually pay.

Action Step: Start advertising your services in your community where busy people with disposable income would be looking.

19. Accounting services

Pharmacists with an accounting background—or pharmacists who are good at math—could help small businesses in their area with bookkeeping tasks. If you are working for a small business or an online company, you may be able to work remotely at night or during the weekends.

Pros: Providing accounting services could be a great way to broaden your horizons and brush up on your math.

Cons: You should avoid preparing taxes or doing other complex accounting tasks unless you have the appropriate qualifications.

Action Step: Familiarize yourself with Excel and dust off your calculator. Then, start to look for want ads online.

20. Mobile car wash/detailing

Dirty, grimy cars are everywhere—including in your very own neighborhood. You could help busy people save time by providing a mobile car wash/detailing service.

Pros: This business would have low startup costs. Plus, you could market to large groups of clients in neighborhoods, at malls, schools or sporting events.

Action Step: Make up some flyers and post them anywhere that cars like to gather.

21. Computer tutoring

If you made it through pharmacy school, you have basic computer literacy skills that you could teach others. If you are an expert in any software of hardware specific to the pharmacy industry, you could provide training to other area pharmacists. Or, you could offer general tutoring services to the public.

Pros: Believe it or not, there is a large segment of our population that needs help figuring out how to operate a tablet, install a printer or use Gmail. You also may be able to create courses or provide video tutorial sessions.

Cons: Many clients would probably want to meet with you face-to-face—videoconferencing would probably be tough for someone who can’t set up their computer.

Action Step: Reach out to your network and see if anyone needs help learning new pharmacy software or hardware. Or, start advertising your services around town.

22. Cover letter and resume assistance

Put your pharmacy experience to use by helping your colleagues or new graduates prepare resumes and cover letters. Your feedback could help someone to land their dream job—how cool is that?

Pros: Because the payoff for landing a new job is so high, you would likely have many pharmacists who would seek your assistance. And, although there are many general resume services available out there, you could tailor yours specifically to pharmacy careers.

Cons: It will take some time to build your business, as you will probably gain a large number of clients through word-of-mouth. Also, it can be tough to offer constructive criticism on a resume and cover letter without knowing much about the applicant’s job history, personality and experience.

Action Step: Offer to help a friend revise his or her resume for free in exchange for a recommendation to other pharmacists.

23. Online customer service

Many companies now employ customer service representatives who work from home and handle incoming chat or phone requests.

Pros: You can work from home and set your own hours. Also, the work doesn’t require much thought.

Cons: This line of work typically doesn’t pay very much and you may occasionally have to deal with angry or difficult customers.

Action Step: Check out online job boards to see what companies are hiring and how much they pay.

24. Pet care

If you like animals, you could start a business providing pet sitting or dog walking services. Almost every pet owner uses this service at least once in a while, even if it is just when they go on vacation.

Pros: People love their pets, so they are usually willing to pay for someone trustworthy to keep an eye on them.

Cons: Some pets are friendly and some pets are not. Also, you will probably have to scoop poop at some point.

Action Step: Ask friends, neighbors and co-workers if they could benefit from your pet sitting services.

25. DJ-ing

If you’re up to speed on the latest tunes or know how to work some turntables, you could consider DJ-ing for weddings and special events—or even at your local bar or club. You don’t have to invest in crazy amounts of equipment right away, either. You could start by attaching your iPod to a set of high-quality speakers.

Pros: If you have an outgoing personality, this could be a fun and creative way to make a few extra bucks.

Cons: DJ-ing is on the decline thanks to the availability of music online. And, startup costs can be prohibitive if you go the turntables route.

Action Step: Build a playlist that includes classics and current hits while simultaneously looking for individuals and establishments that could use your services.

26. Graphic design

Graphic design services are always in demand if you have the software skills and eye for design. Whether your local entrepreneur needs new business cards or a company from halfway across the world needs a new logo, you can make some serious cash.

Pros: Graphic design allows you to express your creativity.

Cons: Good design is not as simple as it looks, so you may have to take classes to learn more about design principles before you get started. You may have to invest in graphic design software, too.

Action Step: Check out 99designs, Crowdspring or DesignCrowd and begin bidding on projects.

27. House sitting

Keeping an eye on someone else’s house while they are away has to be one of the easiest things to do to make extra money. Most people are OK with you continuing to work at your full-time job while house sitting, and many only need you to stop by once or twice a day to pick up mail, turn on some lights, check for packages and make sure nothing is amiss.

Pros: This is about the easiest work you can possibly do.

Cons: Overnight house-sitting stays can cause problems if you have a family or work an odd shift. Also, if something goes wrong while you are there, you will probably have to help the owners deal with it.

Action Step: Advertise your services through friends, family and co-workers who can vouch for your trustworthiness.

28. Interior decorating

If you work in a pharmacy and are addicted to HGTV, you probably know all about how to make spaces functional and attractive. You could provide interior design services to businesses or individuals in your area.

Pros: Interior decorating could be a fun job if you like to shop, enjoy being creative and have some knowledge of design concepts. There are also nearly no start-up costs involved.

Cons: You may have to meet with clients during business hours, which could be tough if you work day shift.

Action Step: Read a few books on design concepts and check out some interior design galleries online (there are plenty for commercial and residential spaces). If you can’t find any clients right away, you could offer to style a friend or relative’s space for free.

29. Modeling

Are you easy on the eyes? If so, you could make some extra cash by modeling. Sometimes, local photographers are in need of subjects to strike a pose for advertisements.

Pros: What could be easier than sitting there looking good?

Cons: It might be hard to connect with the right people to help you land jobs. This also works much better if you live in an urban area.

Action Step: Get some professional photographs taken of yourself and reach out to local photographers and advertising firms to see if they need any volunteers.

30. Moving service

Strong pharmacists who don’t mind carrying other people’s stuff can make good money helping other people move. You can offer your services at night and on weekends and wouldn’t even need to own a truck—you could just help people carry things.

Pros: This is great exercise and will help keep you in great shape. Bonus points if you live in a college town.

Cons: You would not want to attempt this if you have back problems or any physical limitations. Also, this is not the most glamorous, high-paying work.

Action Step: Start advertising your services locally by contacting real estate agents and/or landlords who would be inclined to pass along your information to their clients.

31. Event planning

If you love to plan and organize, put your skills to good use by offering party or event planning services. Most events are scheduled on weekends or evenings, and you would probably only have to make a handful of phone calls during business hours. You could specialize in large events, such as weddings or corporate gatherings, or smaller events, such as bridal/baby showers or birthday parties.

Pros: People will pay good money for someone to take on the stress of planning their special event.

Cons: Depending on the shift you work, weekend or evening events could be a problem.

Action Step: Start by offering your services for free to a friend or relative who is planning an event and get a great testimonial.

32. Personal training

If fitness is your passion, you could provide either online or in-person personal training services to clients. If you go the in-person route, you could easily fit it into your schedule because most people work out in the early morning or after work. Online personal training can be done anytime.

Pros: This is a great way to turn what you already know about fitness into some extra cash. No need to obtain a pricey certification, either.

Cons: It will take you some time to find clients and build a reputation.

Action Step: Start by helping a friend or co-worker achieve some fitness goals and check out online personal training offerings to get an idea about costs, etc.

33. Podcasting

If you have a subject that you are passionate about and a unique angle, podcasting can be a great creative outlet for you. And, if you are able to attract a large following, it can translate into some serious sponsorship dollars.

Pros: Podcasting can be done on your timeframe and with very little upfront investment.

Cons: It takes a lot of time and a really unique angle to create the following you need to earn serious money.

Action Step: Check out some articles online about how to build a successful podcast and buy a high-quality microphone.

34. Proofreading

For pharmacists who love to read, proofreading is an awesome way to make extra money. Whether you focus on fiction or medical content, you can easily set up shop on Upwork.

Pros: Proofreading can be done remotely and requires almost no investment costs.

Cons: Depending on the type of jobs you are looking for, you may need to have some knowledge of AP or AMA style. Also, you will spend a ton of time reading on the computer.

Action Step: Create an Upwork profile and decide which area you would like to focus on (novels, medical content, etc.).

35. Sports officiating

Recreational sports leagues are always in need of referees and umpires. If you enjoy sports and have some knowledge of the game, you can earn some extra cash officiating in the evenings and on weekends.

Pros: Depending on the sport, you can get some good exercise while officiating.

Cons: Angry fans and difficult coaches can make the job significantly less fun. You may also have to go through a certification process and/or get child abuse clearances if you are working with children.

Action Step: Reach out to local recreational leagues and see what steps you would need to take to get started.

36. Selling hand-crafted items

Are you crafty? Do you enjoy making unique items? If so, you could set up shop on Etsy and sell your unique handmade items worldwide.

Pros: If you are naturally crafty, this is a great creative outlet.

Cons: There aren’t many cons here. You may find that your business takes off faster than you thought, causing you to be overwhelmed with orders. But, there are lots of options for hiring help, if necessary.

Action Step: Figure out what you can make that could be sold and see what other similar products are out there to help you establish your prices.

37. Selling on Fiverr

Fiverr is a great way to sell your side-hustle services, whether you decide to take up graphic design, web design, writing, editing or virtually anything else. There are lots of articles out there on how to start your side hustle using Fiverr.

Pros: Fiverr is easy to set up and can get you the exposure you need to make your side hustle profitable.

Cons: The risk of underselling yourself is high, as many people offer their services very cheaply.

Action Step: Figure out what you could sell and set up a profile on Fiverr.

38. Marketing services

Many small businesses don’t have the staff or expertise to do all their own marketing. If you have expertise in this area, you could offer your services locally or online and help businesses make a plan to put their best foot forward.

Pros: Many small businesses will pay good money for this service because it is way cheaper than hiring a staff member.

Cons: In order to be successful, you will have to demonstrate marketing expertise. It will also take time to find clients.

Action Steps: Create a profile on Upwork or Fiverr, or reach out to local small businesses that could benefit from your services.

39. Fitness instructor

Whether you enjoy aerobics, yoga or cardio kickboxing, becoming a part-time fitness instructor is a healthy way to earn some extra cash.

Pros: You can get fit while earning extra money. And, most classes are held in the early mornings, weekends or evenings, so you could surely find something to fit your schedule.

Cons: You may have to obtain certification to teach on your own dime (although some gyms may offer to pay for all or part of your certification).

Action Step: Reach out to local health clubs to see what their instructor needs are and research the costs associated with obtaining the necessary certification.

40. Translation/interpretation

If you know a second (or third!) language, you could create a killer side hustle providing translation or interpretation services. Translating documents would be a great way to work remotely on your own schedule.

Pros: This would have super low start-up costs and would not require any additional knowledge or training. There are tons of jobs available on Upwork.

Cons: Although translation would be easy to do, providing real-time interpretation services would probably be difficult around your full-time work schedule.

Action Step: Build a profile on Upwork and start bidding on translation jobs.

41. Tutoring

Put that Pharm.D degree to use by offering tutoring to pharmacy students. Thanks to videoconferencing, you don’t even have to live in a college town to make this work. You could also tailor your tutoring services to your pharmacy specialty area.

Pros: You are using knowledge you already have to make extra money, and you could provide services on evenings or weekends.

Cons: It might be tough to get broke pharmacy students to pay you a decent rate for your services.

Action Step: Advertise where pharmacy students congregate, either online or at a local pharmacy school.

42. Vehicle advertising

If you drive a lot, you could earn up to $500 per month by putting advertising “wrap” on your car. Talk about passive income!

Pros: You have to do next to nothing to earn extra money each month.

Cons: If you live in a rural area or don’t drive very much, you probably wouldn’t find too many companies that are interested in advertising on your vehicle.

Action Step: Visit Wrapify and see how you can get started.

43. Vending machines

Vending machines are a great way to make passive income. And, depending on the extent of your vending empire, you could potentially hire someone to fill the machines and handle any problems that may come up.

Pros: This is a great way to generate passive income and requires little work each month. Vending machines are also pretty cheap to buy.

Cons: This can be a difficult business to get started, mostly because you have to find a place to put your machines.

Action Step: Check the classified ads in your area to see if anyone is selling a vending machine business or cheap vending machines.

44. Virtual assistant

Virtual assistants (VAs) provide administrative support to clients from home. Depending on the amount of flexibility you have and the hours you are available to work, you can choose to set up shop on your own or sign up with established VA companies such as Belay or Fancy Hands.

Pros: For the most part, VA work is easy to do and easy to find—and it can be done at home.

Cons: Because it work is so easy, it really doesn’t pay that well.

Action Step: Create an Upwork profile or sign up with an established VA company.

45. Lawn mowing service

If you enjoy working outdoors, cutting lawns in your neighborhood is a great way to make some extra money—especially if you own a riding mower. You could start small by offering to cut lawns while people are on vacation, or look for more regular work on a weekly basis.

Pros: This is easy work and there are plenty of potential customers out there.

Cons: It is not glamorous work and doesn’t pay that well.

Action Step: Create a simple flyer and distribute it to your neighbors advertising your services.

46. Snow removal service

If you live in an area of the country that is prone to lots of snow, consider starting a snow removal company on the side. If you already own a snow blower, there are probably quite a few people in your neighborhood who would gladly pay for some help digging out after a big storm.

Pros: If you already have a snow blower and use it for your own property, the start-up costs are next to none.

Cons: This will not work if you live in a warmer climate. Also, even if you live in a colder climate, the income can be inconsistent. No snow means no work. This is also very physically demanding work and will require you to be out in the cold.

Action Step: Just as you would with a lawn mowing service, create a simple flyer and distribute it to you neighbors advertising your services.

47. Child care

Parents have a hard time finding quality, reliable babysitters—and when they find one, they are usually willing to pay. Why not fill that need in your community by providing child care help to families on evening and weekends?

Pros: All it takes is a connection with one nice family, and through the beauty of word-of-mouth, you will have a booming business in no time. Also, there are no start-up costs for this.

Cons: If you know nothing about or don’t like kids, this is not a good choice for you. Also, you will have to deal with messes, snotty noses, diapers and general stickiness if you are going to be in contact with little ones.

Action Step: Find one family (preferably with civilized children) and offer to provide your service for free in exchange for a recommendation to other families.

48. Music lessons

If you are a musical pharmacist, offer to provide music lessons to youngsters in your area. Whether you sing or play another instrument, parents will be more than willing to sign their kids up for affordable, low-pressure music lessons.

Pros: Lessons will usually be held on evenings or weekends (outside school hours) and are usually only 30 minutes long for little kids. At $15 for a 30-minute lesson, you could make more than $100 in a couple hours.

Cons: You would either need to travel to students’ homes or have a space in your home where you could provide lessons. Also, you may need access to a piano or other instrument—and, of course, some musical experience.

Action Step: Ask local parents if they might be interested in music lessons for their kids and offer a free trial lesson.

49. Refreshment sales

Selling refreshments at youth sporting events, yard sales or other community gatherings is a great way to earn some extra money. You don’t have to buy a food truck right away, either. Filling a couple coolers with bottled water and soda and selling bagged snacks can be enough to get you started.

Pros: Start up is easy and it doesn’t take much effort to make a profit.

Cons: You would probably need to get advance permission to set up shop.

Action Step: Visit your local bulk-buy superstore and stock up on soda, water and bagged snacks. Then, brainstorm a list of places in the community where your customers congregate and get permission from the property owners.

50. Selling fresh produce

Do you enjoy gardening and have the space to do it? If so, you could set up a mini “farmers market” selling produce that you grow yourself. Tomatoes, fresh flowers, cucumbers, herbs, onions and potatoes are popular sellers that are easy to grow.

Pros: Selling your extra produce will keep it from going to waste.

Cons: Cultivating a garden takes lots of time and space.

Action Step: Plant a couple extra things this year and see if you can harvest enough to sell to other people.

51. Review products

Companies like Vindale Research will pay you to take surveys and review products online.

Pros: This is easy and can be done at your convenience.

Cons: The online survey world is rife with scams, so be careful to thoroughly check out the company—and don’t pay any money upfront. Also, you could probably make much more money with another type of side hustle.

Action Step: Sign up with a couple survey companies and start answering questions.

52. Selling stock photography

New blogs and websites are born all the time, and they all need stock images. Taking pictures of simple items and uploading them on stock photography websites such as ShutterStock is an easy way to make money over and over again.

Pros: You don’t need to be a professional photographer—all you really need is the ability to take quality photos.

Cons: Most sites pay between 25 cents and $3 each time one of your images is downloaded, so you won’t build wealth very quickly this way.

Action Step: Start coming up with ideas for stock photos, take some pictures and upload them to the site of your choice.

53. Real estate

Investing in real estate can be a huge money-maker. You could choose to purchase and rent commercial/industrial or residential real estate or buy bargain properties and flip them for a profit.

A pharmacist actually shares her story on how she fell into real estate and renting on The Happy PharmD. Check it out by clicking this.

Pros: The returns on investment can be huge with real estate.

Cons: Real estate can be risky and requires a large amount of start-up capital. Also, being a landlord can be difficult, particularly with residential properties. Flipping, though lucrative, can take quite a bit of work and know-how.

Action Step: Get your investment funds ready and start working with a real estate agent to find properties in your price range.

As you have probably noticed, there are side hustle options that fit every budget, every area of expertise and every schedule. All you really need to get started is a little motivation. If you are serious about building your side hustle, I’d be happy to help. Feel free to book a call with me.

How This Pharmacist Started in Real Estate and Renting Properties

NOTE FROM ALEX: This is a guest post from Sonia Amin, PharmD. Sonia was a part of my class Side Hustle Fast Track for Pharmacists and shared with our class how she started her side income of renting and real estate. I'm a sucker for learning more about investment strategies, so I asked her to share her story here! Enjoy!

The term real estate investing can either give the sentiment of a road to great wealth or it could bring feelings of apprehension and uncertainty. For me, it was quite the latter. However, after eight years of my husband and I, being landlords, I can say, although it has been quite stressful at times, there is money to be made and the long-term goal of having passive income is a reality that can be accomplished by anyone willing to put the work in!

How It All Began

My journey into real estate investing was one initially, not by choice. Funny enough, one of our first rental properties, was actually the home my husband lived in prior to us getting married. The home was purchased towards the end of the market peaking and we would have taken a severe loss had we sold it when we were looking to relocate.

It was quite devastating to watch the value of that home go from $200,000 to $250,000 all the way down to $60,000 at one point.

Talk about a great time to buy an investment property!

Why do I bother to mention this unfortunate situation? It's the reality we all can face when it comes to the uncertainty of the real estate market, the stock market, or anything in life, for that matter. We cannot control things that are out of our power. But we can control how we decide to approach and deal with things like this.

Looking At the Whole Picture

With real estate investing, being pragmatic in how a property is evaluated and planning for the ups and downs of the market are essential. And I won't pretend that's all I do.

I mean, I pray a lot.

I mean, A LOT!

That property was obviously not purchased with the intent of renting it out. However, from that time on, I have learned so much of what to look for in a property and evaluating it based on the current market along with looking at it for what it could be in case the market fluctuates, whether up or down.

The Current Approach

Since then, we have added a couple more rental properties to our portfolio. Now, when I look at potential investments, I evaluate them quite differently. I will do a return on investment (ROI) calculation looking at the potential of it being a flip (this can be more difficult to find and being a conservative investor, I'm not as willing to take larger risks) or a rental property.

The main difference between a possible flip and a potential rental is that more money and time may be needed to update a property to be flip-worthy, versus, typically minor renovations can be done to have the home rented out quickly. This would also just depend on your area and what typical buyers and renters are looking for.

In the area we normally do our investment search in, homes that sell quickly are move-in ready with granite counters, updated fixtures, stainless steel appliances, and have nice curb appeal. However, when getting a property ready to be rented, those things are all great if they are already in place, but putting money into granite counters, high-end appliances, or things of that sort is typically unnecessary - at least in the area we choose to purchase in.

I add that disclaimer because every market is different and the more time you spend looking at houses and seeing which ones sell/rent and for what price, you'll be able to come up with your own evaluations.

Of course, renters would also like nice fixtures and upgraded appliances, but they are many times more willing to forego those perks for their temporary residence. They may be more focused on the layout of the home, how spacious it feels, whether the backyard will work for their children, etc. Basically, is it a nice, clean home, in a good location that meets their needs?

Managing the Day to Day

More recently, I have taken a step back from looking into additional real estate as much. I am a mom with two little ones and they are my heart and focus these days. I still manage our rental properties in that I handle the day to day issues such as maintenance requests, showing the property to get it rented, meeting with contractors, or even working on minor maintenance issues myself.

Typically, a handyman is hired for most jobs but there are times that I know it's something simple that I can take care of myself. For example, we received a letter last week from the HOA of a home we own regarding the appearance of the garage. Admittedly, it was looking a bit rusty.

Luckily, this home is only about 5 minutes from where I live so it's convenient enough for me to go and fix it myself. I sanded down all the areas that had rusted and sprayed a new coat of paint on.

Good as new!

Something I would encourage those who think of themselves as not the "handy" type, is that there is so much information on the internet to help you. It's quite possible to learn how to do things that normally would require a professional. Specifically, my favorite thing to use is YouTube. It's one thing to read about how to fix a garbage disposal that's jammed, but another to see someone do it in a quick video! Then, you can decide if it's something you want to/can do yourself or if it's something you rather have a professional do.

There are several factors that could play a role in whether you hire a professional. The work could be dangerous, too difficult to do, or you simply don't have the time to get it done.

Another reason I like to do my own research is that I like to have a baseline knowledge of the issue when speaking to the contractor. This way they know that they aren't talking to someone who is completely clueless.

For example, if an air conditioner is running but the air blowing is not actually cool air; there could be a variety of reasons this happens. Doing my own research and having that knowledge beforehand is a good way to make sure whoever you are speaking with has narrowed down the issue to the few things you found as well. Of course, they are the professional, and they may just as well find something completely different, but it doesn't hurt to do your own research.

Want to Learn More?

If you happen to be interested in dabbling in the real estate market, there are a plethora of books available that help the beginner investor. One such book is The Million Dollar Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller. This book gives clear steps as well as checklists and charts that can be easily used and implemented.

In addition, a great resource I highly recommend is www.biggerpockets.com. There, you will find an entire community of people willing to help answer questions and a wealth of information for any stage you are at. If you have a question, it's more than likely been asked and answered on their forum.

It's a Long-Term Goal

Now having gone through the ups and downs of being a landlord, I still would like to purchase a few more investments at the right time. As I mentioned, the long-term potential to have passive income is phenomenal.

It does take time, patience, and perseverance just like anything worthwhile. And there can be quite a bit of competition depending on your region of the country. You may also find a decrease in the number of homes available now compared to months/years past. However, I am always keeping my eyes and ears open for the next gem to pop up. You just never know when the right rental property might present itself.


Sonia Amin, PharmD, received her B.S. degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition and PharmD from the University of Florida. She then completed an ambulatory care residency and received her teaching certification. Dr. Amin has worked in academia, ambulatory care pharmacy, and community pharmacy. She currently works as a MTM Pharmacist and is dedicated to helping people live healthy lives.

How to Live Like a Pharmacy Resident after Residency

Do you remember the moment in pharmacy school when you had to convince yourself that all this effort and energy was earning worth six figures in the future? Remember the moment when you had to cajole yourself to study for another few minutes for that chemo exam by saying to yourself “six years, six figures, six years, six figures …”?

Pharmacy is a wonderful profession for making a living. Yes, we do have our downsides and our problems. But overall, we are paid very well for the work that we do.

There are too many pharmacists who are miserable at their jobs, living paycheck to paycheck and wondering why they made the decision to join this profession. Some feel trapped, like they can’t escape their day job. They can’t even think about taking a day job that would pay them half of their salary—say $60,000—in exchange for a happier life.

I once met a pharmacist who truly did not like what he did on a day-to-day basis (You could say he hated his job). I found out that he had a passion for painting. He loved to paint, not just his own drawings, but also painting houses. Yet he decided that it was better for him to be miserable at his job and earning six figures instead of taking a job he loves that pays less than half of what he currently earns. He would say, "I don't have a choice. I have to do this job."

This kind of lifestyle is something we do not promote at The Happy PharmD. We take a simple approach when it comes to money management. What follows is a philosophy and techniques to use money to create a lifestyle that is fulfilling—call it “lifestyle designing,” if you will. Here are three worldviews that will guide the rest of our discussion:


Minimalism purports that in order to be truly happy, we don’t need to fill our lives with stuff. We don’t need a better home or a better car or the next and newest gadget to fulfill our desires. Minimalism states that you only need the bare essentials to live a fulfilled and happy life; in fact, the less you have, the less distracted you are. And, the more focused you are, the more fulfilling your relationships will be.

Minimalism isn’t just about money. It’s about all of life, including your eating habits, exercising, what kind of car you buy and what kind of job you take.

I was first truly introduced to this approach to life when I read the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. In this book, she talks about how creating a lifestyle in which you are truly decluttered helps you escape from the busyness of life.

A Long-Term Money Perspective

Another definition for wisdom is delayed gratification. If you are a parent or have a young child in your life, think about how that child acts when he or she wants something. Children want everything RIGHT NOW, right? It can’t be later, it can’t be in two minutes—it has to be NOW!

Here is a picture of my daughter crying because I told her I would get her pajamas “in a minute."

Children live in the here and now. They have a hard time conceptualizing the future. As adults, we’re taught this concept primarily through education. We go through education for a majority of our lives to prepare for our career. We are forced into this way of living because it’s what everyone does—and the government mandates it—but really, it’s a long-term perspective. 

We are investing time now educating ourselves to achieve a degree, in hopes that it will pay off later. This is the same concept as pharmacy school: The median pharmacy student debt in 2016 is $150,000, and students pay that money (or incur that debt) in order to eventually reap the benefits of the pharmacy profession—and along with that, the salary of a pharmacist.

I take the same approach when I think about how I want to live my life and the investments I want to make. I try to adopt the mindset of long-term thinking when it comes to my money. I think about things like early retirement. I have no desire to work a 40-50 hour work week for the rest of my life in order to “do the things that I want to do” when I am 62. I’d rather live the minimalism lifestyle now so that in the future I can do the things I want to do with the time that I have—we’re not guaranteed life, so I don’t want to hang all my hopes on a retirement that may never come.

In fact, if you’re the kind of pharmacist who hates your job and are still working there every day, why are you suffering now? You don’t have to be a pharmacist for the rest of your life if you hate what you do. You can find a way to escape.

However, if you find yourself with an extravagant lifestyle and living paycheck to paycheck, you will never escape the endless cycle that is your life. You live paycheck to paycheck buying things you don’t need to impress people you probably don’t like—and you’re forced to work at a job that you hate. This is truly a miserable existence, and I want to encourage you to make small changes today to move away from that.

The long-term perspective we have on money is to use the majority of extra income to invest in things such as Roth IRAs, 401(k)s and business ventures so that we can retire early. My wife and I have adopted this mindset and we are aiming to retire by the time I turn 37. Will I actually retire from pharmacy when I turn 37? Probably not. But if I wanted to, I could. If we want to take a two-month sabbatical to Europe, we can. If I want to go part-time as a pharmacist, I can.

This is the lifestyle we want to create—a lifestyle of freedom as opposed to a lifestyle of being trapped.

Debt Kills

Debt keeps you trapped. Imagine if all of your debt payments—mortgages, car payments, cell phone payment plans—were gone. How much extra income would you have per month? Take a moment and calculate it.

Finished? Good.

Now, imagine that you have that money in your hand.
What would you be doing with it? How would you spend that money? Would you save? Would you travel?

Guess what? If you are in debt, the reality is that your debts entrap you. Not only do debts keep you trapped, they fool you into thinking that you are getting a good deal. A $100,000 home at 4 percent interest over 30 years does not cost you $100,000. It actually costs $171,869.51.

Debt traps you and makes you a slave to a monthly payment. And, debt increases over time. What makes me so mad about my college loans is that every month I had to pay $500, and only $240 went toward paying the principal. The rest went toward interest, or, as I like to call it “stupid tax” (because I felt stupid for having to pay it).

Techniques and Strategies

We talked about the philosophies that inform our decision-making. Now let’s talk about the money-saving techniques you can use to live like a resident even after you are done with residency:

1. Low cost of living

When I graduated from high school, and the majority of my classmates said that they wanted to live near the big city. I thought the same thing when I was in high school. I thought I would never move back to my hometown, but that’s exactly what I did.

I received a great offer from a hospital during my residency to live in my hometown with a great salary and benefits. One reason why I chose to live in my hometown was because of the low cost of living. Houses here are extremely cheap, and to get a 2,000-square-foot home for less than $100,000 isn’t unheard of—in fact, it’s common. If you live anywhere near the big city, you’d be hard-pressed to get a two-bedroom, one-bath home for under $100,000.

Cost of living influences what you can do with your buying power. Buying power is the extra income you have to pay off your debts. Another great thing about rural areas is that you might find additional benefits or even higher salaries because few professionals wish to live in these places. I was lucky enough to be offered college loan repayment as part of my current position. I would have never found this had I applied in an urban pharmacy setting.

2. Low expenses

After you start receiving a salary of $115,000 out of nowhere, it can be very tempting to adopt an extravagant lifestyle. After you have all this money, businesses will find ways to allow you to spend it on anything from a nicer home to a nicer car to fancier groceries. Ultimately, we believe that we don’t need those things in order to be happy. What makes us really happy is having the bare essentials and having great friends and family.

When I was a resident, my wife and I figured out that our bare minimum expenses totaled around $1,600 per month. Yes, that includes things like food, rent and insurance. After transitioning from residency to full-time pharmacist, our expenses did increase. We bought a home, which had a higher mortgage payment than our rent, and we also had to start paying off my student loans. After we transitioned, we kept our expenses around $2,500 expenses per month. This allowed us to use about $3,000 per month as our buying power, and we paid off a car loan, my wife’s college loan, my loans, and our house. In fact, we paid off our house 27 years early. Now we have all this extra income to use as we wish because we kept our expenses so low.

3. A cheap house

It pays to buy a cheap home. If I could do this again, I would buy a really cheap duplex and rent out the top. I would do this because it would create extra income for our family over time. The other tenants’ rent would pay for the mortgage, so we literally would be living in a home for free. This is a great strategy for any resident who eventually wants to build multiple streams of income—and multiple streams of income is the way to achieve the freedom lifestyle.

4. Rent, don’t buy (at least at first)

I recommend that most residents and new pharmacists rent. If you don’t know for sure that you are going to stay in an area for at least five years, you shouldn’t buy a home. The hassle, the payments and reselling the home are too much to take on if you aren’t committed to staying in one area for a while. Based on current statistics, people transition from job to job much more quickly than they did once upon a time. There’s no reason for you to settle down and buy a home if you can rent—at least temporarily.

5. No new cars

A new car is one of the worst investments you can make. Why? As soon as you drive the car off the lot, it loses approximately 10 percent of its value, according to CARFAX. Its value significantly depreciates over time and you can’t get that value back. You can save significant amounts of money by getting a quality car with a few years and miles on it.

6. Nix subscription services

Let’s face it. You don’t need Netflix. You don’t need Hulu. You don’t even need Internet, truthfully. People have been living without these things for thousands of years. However, if you are like me and you feel like you have to have Netflix because you love a certain series, join in with other people. Make a family plan so that the cost of these services is cut in half, at least.

7. Low-cost phone

Did you know that with Google’s Project Fi, you can spend about $25 per month for cell phone service? Yes, you read that correctly. One line = $25. Technically, you don’t even need a fancy cell phone. You can get a TracFone and be OK; you just can’t do all the cool things like play Angry Birds or surf the Internet whenever you please.

Habits of the Happy PharmD

Committing to these changes is difficult. I won’t sugarcoat: If you are trying to make these changes overnight, it won’t be easy. It’s like a smoker trying to quit cold turkey. These are a few habits I recommend that you adopt so that you can see the full benefit of these changes over time:

1. Monthly budget meeting

Whether you are single, married or in a relationship, a monthly budget meeting can help you review your expenses and make necessary adjustments as you go along. A monthly budget meeting involves you (and your partner, if applicable) sitting down and going over your expenses and your budget. Although I am not a huge fan of a budget, it’s extremely important for you to know how much you are spending on things each month so you can keep track of your expenditures and hopefully, keep them low. This isn’t a huge commitment and should take about an hour of your time.

One of the best ways to track your expenses without having to create a giant, ugly spreadsheet, is to use my favorite money management tool, Personal Capital. Personal Capital is a free tool that connects you to all of your financial accounts and tracks expenditures that you make.

2. Continue the hustle

Residency felt like I was extending school another year for significantly lower pay—I still had to hustle, complete extra projects, work late and live on a tight budget. What I recommend is not adjusting to your new pharmacy salary. I see a lot of people who finish residency adjust to “normal” life and stop pushing themselves.

One of the best ways to become a minimalist and apply that long-term approach to money is to continue the hustle by going above and beyond your job and creating an extra revenue stream through real estate, consulting or another side business. You can use this extra income to save for the extra things you want in life (or pay off debt, I paid off $50K in 2015 using this strategy). By hustling outside of your job, you create a drive and energy for you to push. I found that whenever I didn’t have a hustle—something on the side that I was working on—I found myself getting lazy at home and at work.

By following these tips and strategies to live like a resident, you can set yourself on a path to happiness and fulfillment. I know this sounds difficult, and you will definitely have some bumps in the road. But whenever the going gets tough, just imagine how great it will feel when you find personal and financial freedom.

The Easy Way for Pharmacists to Retire with Seven-Figures

Timothy Ulbrich is a good friend of mine. He’s also the guy behind yourfinancialpharmacist.com and author of a new book, Seven Figure Pharmacist. I have known Tim for two years and we have had lots of discussions about financial freedom and pharmacy. He’s taken a few minutes out of his busy schedule to chat with me about his journey to financial freedom and how his new book can help other pharmacists achieve their financial goals.

If you'd rather listen to this interview, then sign up below.

Alex: Could you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?

Timothy: I always say that I am pharmacist by day and a financial nerd by night. My background and training is in pharmacy. I graduated from Ohio Northern University, did residency training at Ohio State and worked in academia for about seven years.

Like many pharmacists coming out of school, I had a bunch of debt—and my wife decided to marry me despite it all. All through high school, I had no debt. Then I went through six years of pharmacy school and residency training, got married and when I looked up, I had $200,000 of non-mortgage debt.

Unfortunately, this is normal. My wife and I thought we had everything under control. We didn’t think it was “stupid” debt because we weren’t buying anything extravagant. But in 2012, the humbling moment came when we realized that we were making a six-figure income, but we were broke.

After that realization, my wife and I thought, “There’s got to be a better way of doing this.” What was so frustrating was that despite our hopes and dreams for what we could do with a six-figure income, we were not in a position to achieve any of them. We were unable to move to a larger home, go on vacation or give to people in need. We really had very little flexibility and almost no freedom.

So, we got serious about paying the debt, setting goals and working on it together. In the fall of 2015, about three years later, we hit the “submit” button on the last payment of our $200,000 of non-mortgage debt.

As a reminder of that moment, I saved the screenshot of that zero-dollar balance after I hit the “submit” button. After making that last payment, the feeling of living paycheck to paycheck was gone and we found financial freedom that we didn’t have before. Yes, it was hard, but it was so worth it—and I am fired up about sharing our journey and helping other pharmacists achieve their financial goals.

Alex: I know that you are a teacher and that you enjoy talking about personal finance.

What was the impetus for starting your website, www.yourfinancialpharmacist.com?

Timothy: Right around the time that I hit the “submit” button on that last debt payment, I started talking to a lot of other pharmacists and students. Personal finance has always been an area of interest and a passion of mine, and as I talked to more people, I consistently heard the message, “I feel like I am living paycheck to paycheck despite making a six-figure income.” That’s exactly what I felt, and I found out that many people who were making great income were struggling financially day-to-day.

These pharmacists had common financial questions and were struggling because they had great income, but lacked financial freedom. I also heard pharmacists say, “I’m really not pleased with my job and I want to do something else, but I can’t because I have $200,000 of debt,” or “I’d love the flexibility to go part time, stay home with my kids or save for retirement, but I can’t because I have all this debt on my back.”

I reached out to about 100 of my close friends and peers and told them that I was thinking about writing once a week or so about personal finance and sharing stories of successes and failures, and the reaction was unbelievable. People said, “We need this. We want more of this.” I started writing and sharing some of the good financial things that I’ve done and some of the stupid financial things that I’ve done and got feedback from people saying, “We never learned that during pharmacy school, and I wish we would have,” and “Having a peer perspective from a pharmacist really resonated.” I started the website in October 2015, and it’s been an incredible journey since then.

Alex: You said you’ve done a lot of stupid financial things … your words, not mine. What is one of the least intelligent financial decisions you’ve made as a pharmacist?

Timothy: I’m so glad you asked that question! I first wrote an article about this in 2016 called “My Top 10 Financial Mistakes.” After writing the article, I remember having a little voice of pride inside of me before I hit “submit” that said, “Do you really want to share all the stupid things you’ve done with money?”

As it turns out, that article resonated with readers far more than anything else I’ve done. And that’s what we need to do more of—share more examples of our mistakes so we can learn from each other.

At the end of the day, we all know that personal finance is behavioral. We can have all the knowledge in the world, but we know that personal finance is emotional.

One mistake that sticks out—and that my wife and I are feeling right now—is buying a house without a 20 percent down payment. We bought a house with only a 3 percent down payment and had to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). Because of our small down payment, it took forever to build equity and we are still feeling the pain.

In hindsight, one more year of saving, one more year of waiting and one more year of being patient would have given us 20 percent down and would have allowed us to have a lot more flexibility five years down the road. Not being patient, reacting quickly and wanting to get into a home worked out, but it was harder than it had to be—and we took a risk that we didn’t have to take.

Luckily, we bought our home after 2008, so the housing market had already crashed. If we would have bought out home pre-2008 before the market crashed, I probably would have been underwater on my mortgage. That’s just not intelligent because it decreases your financial security and flexibility.

If I had to pick one more bad decision, it be waiting to buy life insurance. There was a point in time when I was married with two kids and had no life insurance in place. With a single income in the household (my wife stays at home with my three children), that was crazy. When I tell that story, people look at me like, “Really?” But there are a lot of pharmacists who don’t have life insurance or disability insurance, but they should. And, there are a lot of pharmacists who are being sold bad policies, and I can intervene because of that mistake I made. If I can help 30 or 50 or 100 people to get those important policies to protect their income, making my mistake was so worth it.

Alex: I’m glad you have that attitude. You have a new book that just came out called Seven Figure Pharmacist. I love the title and I have to admit that the seven-figure pharmacist sounds far-fetched because most pharmacists make six-figures. Seven-figures seems impossible. Tell me a bit more about why you wanted to write this book and why you chose that title.

Timothy: I want to acknowledge my co-author, Tim Church, who is a pharmacist at the West Palm Beach VA. We really tag-teamed this project, and I think one of the things that really comes through in this book is the pharmacist perspective and the stories that are relevant to pharmacists. Really, there isn’t anything else out there like that.

It’s funny that you bring up the “seven-figure” in the title, because we spent about a month debating it. We started off with, “The Million-Dollar Pharmacist” and we found that pharmacists, for whatever reason, have a negative connotation about the idea of being a millionaire.

I talk a lot about the fact that it’s not about becoming rich; it’s about building wealth so you can take care of your family, give to others and be responsible. When I talk about being a seven-figure pharmacist, I’m not talking about being wealthy for the sake of being wealthy. My goal is to help you get out of debt, build a cushion to protect your income, maximize wealth and help the next generation.

If you look at the book’s subtitle, it’s “How to Maximize Your Income, Eliminate Debt, and Create Wealth.” That’s what this is all about.

We started the book with a net worth calculation. I did this with my students in the fall, and I thought they were going to fall off their chair when they found out their net worth. You need to know what your current position is before you can get where you are trying to go, and what that net worth calculation does is help you to figure out where you are today, how your debt factors in and where to you need to go in order to move forward.

The book has three chapters related to investing and building wealth. Without question, every pharmacist with adequate planning should be a multimillionaire. It’s not even debatable. If you look at the math of what a pharmacist makes, as long as you responsibly get out of debt, responsibly save each month, minimize your expenses and maximize your income, being a multimillionaire should be a reality. If you want to retire at a reasonable age, not only should it be a reality, but it HAS to be a reality.

One of the things we do in the book is go through a nest-egg calculation for your personal situation that looks at how much money you need to save to retire or reach financial independence. What most people realize is that they need several million dollars to reach that place. That’s the premise of Seven Figure Pharmacist: Get out of debt, build, protect and maximize your income and create wealth.

Alex: You’ve been working on this book for a long time. Writing a book is not easy in the first place, and the type of book you’re writing is not always fun to write. I know that at times you felt frustrated and overwhelmed. What drove you to write the book, even when you felt like giving up?

Timothy: What really motivated and inspired me as I talked to more than 1,000 pharmacists in the last year and a half is how much of a pain point this is for people. I know how much financial trouble hurts and how much their finances impact their career satisfaction, home life and peace of mind. I wanted to create an A-to-Z resource for pharmacists to help them get an idea of where they should be heading. I wanted it to be light, fun and relatable for a pharmacist. Knowing that there was nothing out there to meet that need gave me increased motivation.

For me, at the end of the day, this book is about helping people change their financial future—that’s what gets me fired up. When I speak with someone or they email me and say, “Because I read this, I did this and now my husband and I are working on a budget, we bought life insurance, and we have a plan to pay off my debt. If I can motivate a pharmacist to do any one of those things, it’s a win.

That’s what it’s all about: People improving their financial future. That’s what motivated me to get up at 4:30 and 5 a.m. and to keep writing. That’s what motivated me to keep going even though I have three young kids.

My co-author, Tim Church, was incredible. He helped to keep me accountable by saying, “Hey, we’re almost there” and providing a different perspective. We also had a team of 50 pharmacists who were helping us to write this, and we were getting feedback saying, “Because I read this chapter, I just did this.” When you are a third of the way through writing a book and you read that, it gets you fired up enough to keep going. You’re right … It was hard. It was difficult.

Two weeks ago when I finished writing, I said that I am not sure I would do it again. Now that I’ve forgotten some of the struggles, I’m ready to go again.

Alex: I know that you sent the book off to the publisher and you’re done with the writing process. Is there anything you would have done differently as you wrote the book?

Timothy: The one section that really gave us some heartburn was helping people navigate choosing a financial advisor. It’s at the very end of the book, and the reason we wanted to spend so much time on it is because it’s a question I get all the time. What should I be looking for in an advisor? Do I need one? How do they get paid? Without going into too much detail, the financial services industry is extremely complicated, the regulation is all over the place, there is little regulation around the term “financial advisor” and to be honest, there are a whole lot of pharmacists who just aren’t getting good advice. We felt it was so important that we went through seven or eight versions of that chapter.

If I were to do it all over again, I would have started writing that chapter earlier. Just to give you a quick idea of how the book is structured, we broke it up into six “prescriptions”:

  • The first prescription focuses on preventative financial medicine, such as the behavioral decisions associated with money, contraindicated decisions to avoid and minimizing debt.
  • The second prescription talks about having a plan, including goals and a budget.
  • The third prescription talks about protecting and maximizing your income, saving for emergencies, paying taxes and growing your income.
  • The fourth prescription focuses on debt.
  • The fifth prescription focuses on investing and hiring an advisor.
  • The sixth prescription focuses on how to follow the behaviors of successful people.

The book is 350 pages and includes lots of great stories and examples. We also included references to scholarships for students, and I think people are going to get a lot of value out of it.

Alex: Some pharmacists have been in the career for some time and are close to retirement age, and I know that some of them feel like they haven’t used their income very well. What advice do you have for the pharmacist who feels like it’s too late for them?

Timothy: I get a lot of questions from people who have been pharmacists for 20 or 30 years who are still struggling with student loans or other debt and feeling the pressure of retirement. My advice is that you will never be successful if you try to attack all of your financial problems at once.

If you are looking at debt, lack of an emergency fund, paying off your house, paying for your kids’ college tuition, you will become overwhelmed. My wife and I realized when we first started this process that we were trying to do six or seven things at once and weren’t doing any of them well. We said, “We’ve got to do one of these things and go all in and do it well to get momentum.”

Get the small wins and build off of that. That’s the advice I have for people who are 25, 35, or 55. You’ve got to get a small win and map out a stepwise approach to attack your finances—and you’ve got to pick one thing to focus on. You can’t do it all at once.

Maybe your one thing is paying off a small loan, building an emergency fund, getting a life insurance policy, maxing out a Roth IRA or taking advantage of an employer 401(k) match. If you try to do all of these things at once, you are going to get frustrated, it won’t work and you will feel like you aren’t making progress. Finding one thing—and one person to keep you accountable such as a peer, a spouse, a financial coach or an advisor—can help you build momentum.

If you ready to learn more about becoming a Seven Figure Pharmacist, visit http://www.sevenfigurepharmacist.com, where you can purchase the book and different “therapy packages” based on where you are on your financial journey and what you are ready to do. If you use the coupon code BARKER, you will receive 15 percent off your purchase and access to a private Facebook group that connects you with a community of pharmacists who are working on their finances together. Whether you are seasoned saver or a personal finance neophyte, this book will provide you with the financial knowledge required to help you make the most of your pharmacist income.

33 Tools I Use For My Side Hustle as a Full-Time Pharmacist

When I was growing up, my favorite tool was the Lego brick separator—the tool that helps to get those stubbornly stuck-together bricks apart. I used it all the time and it made my Lego experiences much more fun.

As a side hustler, time is my most valuable resource. I spend 45 or more hours per week at my day job and enjoy spending evenings with my family, so I use (and even pay for) tools to help me make the most of my available side-hustle hours.

That’s the funny thing about time—it’s the only thing in life that you can’t get more of and after you spend it, you lose it forever. Here’s a list of tools that can help you use your time wisely, make the most of your working hours, grow your side hustle and manage your job, family and Netflix addiction:

Gmail is an email service that offers so many free extensions, tools and capabilities. Gmail is the No. 1 way that I communicate quickly and easily with my readers and business partners. Honestly, I don’t understand why people still use Outlook or Hotmail unless it is required for their job. If you are not already using Gmail, do yourself a favor and set up an account today.

I wouldn’t be able to function without my Google Calendar. It reminds me of appointments, birthdays and tasks on my “to-do” list. It also allows me to create one-time, weekly, monthly and yearly events and invite others with a few clicks, saving me a ton of time when compared to writing everything down in a regular calendar.

Google Docs makes it easy to share documents with others, get feedback and collaborate. I rarely use Word because Google Docs is so much more flexible.

Google Forms is a simple, free tool that allows you to create surveys and send them via email to your customers, patients, clients, friends and family members.

Rapportive is a Gmail extension that is no longer updated, but is still available for use. Whenever you open a new email and type in an email address, Rapportive pulls information from LinkedIn about the person you are emailing (such as job title, Twitter handle, etc.).

Boomerang is a Gmail extension that allows you to receive email reminders if you do not receive a response to your initial email. I use Boomerang when sending emails regarding potential speaking engagements or guest posting on blogs, because it sends an email back to me if I don’t receive a response in my chosen timeframe.

Do you send the same email to different people, such as prospective clients or customers, over and over again? If so, Canned Responses is a Google extension that can save you a ton of time by allowing you to save text templates that can be inserted into any email you send.

Constantly checking email is a huge time-waster. Inbox Pause is a Chrome extension for Gmail that allows you to time when you receive email so you don’t feel compelled to check it all the time. You can pre-set the times that are most convenient for you; for example, I have my email delivered at 6 a.m., noon and 5 p.m.

Calendly syncs with Gmail and allows others to see when you free to chat, eliminating those dreaded back-and-forth scheduling emails. It also checks your calendar to make sure you aren’t double-booked and allows you to send a link to your calendar to other people.

When you are running a business, it can be easy to forget to check all of your financial accounts. Personal Capital allows you to see all of your financial accounts, such as bank accounts, IRAs and PayPal, in one place and track your net worth over time.

Although I prefer written “to-do” lists, they aren’t always practical—or portable. Todoist is a free, mobile task management app that helps me to organize my tasks when I am on the go.

  • The Action Journal

The Action Journal is a tool that I created because no other journal had exactly what I was looking for. It includes questions that help me to focus on how I am going to make each day awesome. It also asks questions about potential roadblocks and helps me plan how I will get around them. I only provide The Action Journal as a gift to my clients and it is not currently for sale. However, if you think this would be useful for you, please message me and I will see if I can help you out.

This is one of the first journals I used as an early riser. It has helped me to focus on the bigger picture in life, what I am grateful for and where I am going.

Zoom is a great tool for videoconferencing and costs $12 per month. I have used most of the other free videoconferencing options out there and did not have good experiences; Zoom far outpaces them all.

Doodle is a tool that makes it really easy to find a time for group meetings that works for everyone.

Lending Club is a peer-to-peer lending platform. I make a contribution to Lending Club using a portion of my profits each month and Lending Club loans that money to others who need personal loans. Over time, I get my money back plus interest.

Hootsuite is an easy, simple social media sharing tool that my virtual assistant uses to input my articles and schedule social media sharing.

Grammarly makes me sound smart. I am not a great writer, so Grammarly gives me suggestions on how I can improve my writing to make it grammatically correct. A free version of this tool is available, but the paid version is totally worth the extra money.

Brain.fm is a music player that helps you focus. I can see you rolling your eyes right now—and I was skeptical at first, too—but after I did my free trial, I was hooked. When I listen to this music while working, it helps me focus on my task and get into the zone within a few minutes.

This microphone is the least-expensive, highest-quality microphone out there. It comes with a lifetime warranty and the company stands behind it. My microphone broke after four years, and the company replaced it—all I had to do was email a copy of my receipt and pay for shipping and handling.

I use this video camera all the time and I love it. As you can see in the video below, it works very well!

My Audible account is central to my continuing education. For $15, I receive one audiobook per month on a variety of topics, such as real estate, financial planning, career or personal development. Considering that most audiobooks sell online for $20-$30, this is a great deal. I recently listened to The $100 Start Up—a fantastic book to get you started. Use this special link to get your first book free.

You might be asking, “Did you really just include entertainment as a business tool?” Yes. Yes I did. When you are a busy side-hustler, sometimes you just need to relax and get away from it all. And if I didn’t get my Brooklyn99 or The Office reruns, I would go crazy!

See above. The great thing about these streaming services is that they allow you to avoid watching commercials (huge time-wasters!).

  • SumoMe
    SumoMe is a suite of free website tools that make blogging easier and helps you to improve your website traffic.
  • AppSumo
    AppSumo is the greatest website for getting amazing discounts (like 95% off) for online business tools. Their marketing comes off a little strong at times, but I open every email from them fully expecting to love what they promote.

Bluehost is the hosting service I use for all my websites. I love their customer service and the fact that they refuse to host pornography websites. Use this link to get a deal on your own website.

WordPress is a free back-end website builder that I use for all the behind-the-scenes aspects of my websites. WordPress allows me to create posts and pages, upload plugins such as SumoMe, and track and analyze web traffic.

Google Analytics is a free tool that allows anyone to track traffic on their website.

Although Thrive Themes is a bit pricey ($200 and up), it works with WordPress by using website themes that include landing pages, opt-ins and lead magnets designed to turn viewers into clients and subscribers.

If Thrive Themes is out of your price range or you do not need the extra features, ThemeForest offers cheaper, more basic themes starting at $9.

Call Recorder is an app that allows you to record phone conversations so you can take notes later. I’ve tried most of the other free services out there, and they didn’t work nearly as well.

To make the most of my drive time to and from my day job, I often record my thoughts using Dragon Dictation’s transcription service. Although the app automatically transcribes your words, you have to speak very slowly and hit record often because the app automatically stops during long pauses in your speech.

Just like the Lego brick separator helped me to have a more pleasant Lego experience as a kid, using the right tools for your side hustle can help you to save time, build your business faster and enjoy your work even more. For more tips on how you can get your side hustle started today, check out my free PDF, “8 Ways for Pharmacists to Make Extra Cash with No Investment Costs.”


The 2017 Pharmacist Salary Guide

Once again, it’s time for my updated Pharmacy Salary Guide.

Before we dive into 2017, let’s look at the pharmacy salary information from 2016. In 2016, full-time pharmacists made anywhere from $84,000 to $134,000 per year, with the average annual salary coming in around $108,000, depending on the data source consulted. Both the high and low end of the salary range decreased by about $6,000 when compared to 2015.

Staff pharmacists at retail and mail order pharmacies were the lowest paid in 2016, earning an average wage of $58.35 and $56.83 per hour, respectively. Aside from team managers, nuclear pharmacists were the highest paid, earning an average wage of $66.31 per hour. Nearly 42 percent of pharmacists reported earning between $61 and $70 per hour in 2016.

For our 2017 Pharmacist Salary Guide, we consulted a number of sources to try to give you a well-rounded picture of pharmacy salaries in the U.S., including Payscale.com, Drug Channels, Drug Topics, PharmacyWeek, U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. News & World Report and The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. The good news is that, no matter which source we consulted, a pharmacist is still considered to be a respected, stable job that provides above-average income.

PayScale.com Survey

According to the results of a PayScale.com survey, pharmacists’ annual salaries were between $83,000 and $135,000. The median annual salary is $110,000, with higher-paying jobs typically offering potential bonuses and profit-sharing amounting to an additional $10,000 per year.

Just as in 2016, the factors that influence a pharmacist’s salary in 2017 include (in order of most influence):

  1. Area of residence
  2. Specific employer
  3. Experience level

According to PayScale.com, experience does not seem to play a large role in salary calculations:

  • Average earnings with 0-5 years of experience: $109,000
  • Average earnings with 5-10 years of experience: $117,000
  • Average earnings with 10-20 years of experience: $120,000
  • Average earnings with 20+ years of experience: $121,000

Although there is a significant increase in average annual earnings after the first five years on the job, average annual income tapers off as pharmacists become more experienced. And, the average salary in each of these experience ranges increased by $1,000 to $2,000 when compared to 2016.


Each year, PharmacyWeek teams with Mercer to conduct a national compensation survey of pharmacists. In 2016, pharmacists reported earning an average hourly wage of $61.67, representing an increase of 79 cents when compared to the average reported hourly wage in 2015. However, the pay rate varies depending on a pharmacist’s job title, setting and specialty area.

Here is the breakdown of average hourly pay for different job titles in the pharmacy industry, as reflected in PharmacyWeek’s 2016 survey:

Job Title Hourly Pay Rate +/- From 2015
Staff pharmacist – mail order $58.57 $1.74
Staff pharmacist – satellite $61.06 $0.49
Nuclear pharmacist $67.81 $1.50
Staff pharmacist – retail $60.18 $1.83
Multiple average $61.67 $0.79
Staff pharmacist – hospital $61.98 $1.23
Clinical pharmacist $63.29 $0.99
Team manager $69.94 $0.89

According to this survey, hourly wages increased for all types of pharmacists. Retail pharmacists saw the highest wage increase, at $1.83 per hour.

Pharmacists on the West Coast of the U.S. earn the most, making an average of $68.97 per hour, or $143,500 per year. Pharmacists in the Northeastern U.S. earn the least, at $57.28 per hour, or $119,100 per year.

In California, pharmacists earn the highest wage in the United States, pulling in an average of $71.17 per hour, or $148,000 per year. Pharmacists in Puerto Rico are the lowest paid, earning an average of $51.19 per hour, or $106,500 per year. Here is a breakdown of pharmacists’ average annual and hourly salaries by state:

State Average Annual Salary Average Hourly Salary
Alabama $122,700 $58.98
Alaska $130,300 $62.63
Arizona $126,400 $60.76
Arkansas $123,300 $59.26
California $148,000 $71.17
Colorado $123,400 $59.34
Connecticut $127,500 $61.31
Delaware $125,600 $60.38
Florida $118,700 $57.07
Georgia $120,700 $58.05
Hawaii $122,000 $58.65
Idaho $120,000 $57.67
Illinois $124,400 $58.82
Indiana $119,800 $57.59
Iowa $115,500 $55.52
Kansas $124,700 $59.96
Kentucky $129,300 $62.18
Louisiana $121,000 $58.18
Maine $129,100 $62.09
Maryland $119,700 $57.55
Massachusetts $122,400 $58.84
Michigan $118,000 $56.75
Minnesota $125,900 $60.53
Mississippi $123,200 $59.23
Missouri $120,700 $58.02
Montana $118,900 $57.18
Nebraska $115,700 $55.60
Nevada $131,800 $63.34
New Hampshire $125,200 $60.19
New Jersey $121,500 $58.42
New Mexico $124,900 $60.04
New York $125,200 $60.18
North Carolina $124,200 $59.71
North Dakota Data not available Data not available
Ohio $117,700 $56.61
Oklahoma $118,000 $56.74
Oregon $128,600 $61.81
Pennsylvania $116,300 $55.92
Puerto Rico $106,500 $51.19
Rhode Island $116,500 $56.02
South Carolina $123,700 $59.49
South Dakota $115,400 $55.50
Tennessee $120,700 $58.01
Texas $120,800 $58.08
Utah $122,100 $58.71
Vermont $128,700 $61.85
Virginia $123,900 $59.58
Washington $125,100 $60.16
Washington, D.C. $123,800 $59.53
West Virginia $125,000 $60.11
Wisconsin $126,200 $60.66
Wyoming $122,900 $59.09

Hospital/healthcare system pharmacists are the highest paid, at an average of $129,100 per year, or $62.07 per hour. Supermarket pharmacists make an average of $126,200 per year ($60.66 per hour); mass merchandiser pharmacists make an average of $121,700 per year ($58.49 per hour); and chain drug store pharmacists earn an average of $126,600 per year ($60.84 per hour). Mail-order pharmacists are the lowest paid, at an average of $120,500 per year, or $57.94 per hour.

Drug Channels

 Drug Channels, which bases their statistics on the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics from 2015, reported the average gross salary for retail, mail and specialty pharmacists as $119,517, representing an extremely modest increase from the 2014 average salary of $119,400. Here is a chart showing total U.S. employment and average salary by dispensing format:

Dispensing Format Total Employment Average Annual Salary
Chain and independent drugstores 128,030 $119,600
Supermarket pharmacies 23,160 $115,830
Mass merchant pharmacies 26,790 $122,860
Mail pharmacies 4,790 $116,420

When compared to 2014, the number of pharmacists employed at mail order pharmacies increased by 21.7 percent despite a slight decrease in the average annual salary. Although the salaries of pharmacists employed by mass merchants remained the highest, employment in that sector fell by 8.5 percent.

Drug Topics

 The 2017 Drug Topics survey, which was conducted in 2016, found that the 3,085 surveyed pharmacists are mostly satisfied with their jobs, but are experiencing an increase in job-related stress.

In 2016, 45.4 percent of pharmacists reported earning between $120,000 and $140,000. Just as in 2015, most pharmacists (41.7 percent) earn between $61 and $70 per hour. This chart shows a breakdown of pharmacists’ hourly wages in 2016:

Hourly Wage Percentage of Respondents
$40 or less 3.3
$41-$45 1.8
$46-$50 5.0
$51-$55 14.5
$56-$60 27.7
$61-$70 41.7
$71 or more 6.0

Approximately 86 percent of respondents reported working full time, 9.9 percent reported working part-time and 1.9 percent reported being unemployed. Pharmacists also reported that, although raises are modest, salaries are growing:

  • Percentage of pharmacists who received at least one raise in 2016: 62.5
  • Percentage of pharmacists who expect to receive a raise in 2017: 66.9

This chart shows a breakdown of pharmacist annual raises by percentage in 2016:

Amount of Raise By Percentage Percentage of Respondents
1 percent 26.6
2 percent 36.0
3 percent 20.4
4 percent 4.5
5 percent 2.2
6 percent 0.6
7 percent 2.1
Not sure 7.7

More than 25 percent of pharmacists earn between $120,001 and $130,000. This chart shows: Breakdown of pharmacists’ annual salaries in 2016

Pharmacist Annual Earnings Percentage of Respondents
$70,000 or less 1.6
$71,001-$80,000 1.1
$80,001-$90,000 2.3
$90,001-$100,000 4.1
$100,001-$110,000 6.8
$110,001-$120,000 19.2
$120,001-$130,000 25.1
$130,001-$140,000 20.3
$140,001-$150,000 8.4
$150,000 or more 11.2

A majority of pharmacists (57.7 percent) reported working between 40 and 44 hours per week, and 29.6 percent reported working 39 hours or fewer per week. Only 6.2 percent of pharmacists reported that they saw a decrease in their stress level at work; 63.4 percent said that they saw an increase.

Approximately 67 percent of pharmacists said they are not considering a job change within the next 12 months. However, of the 32.9 percent who are considering a job change, 67.4 percent said they are dissatisfied with their current job.

U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015 Report 

In its 2015 report, the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that there are 295,620 pharmacy jobs in the United States, down slightly from 297,100 in 2014. BLS reports that the median pay for pharmacists is $119,270 per year, or $57.34 per hour—also down from 2014’s average salary of $120,950 per year and $58.15 per hour.


U.S. News & World Report 2014 Rankings

In 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, U.S. News & World Report ranked “Pharmacist” as No. 20 on its list of best-paying jobs, down from No. 18 in 2014. The publication reported that the median salary was $121,500 per year, or $58.41 per hour.

  • The best-paid 10 percent of pharmacists earned $154,040
  • The lowest-paid 10 percent of pharmacists earned $86,790

According to the publication, the best-paid pharmacists are employed by scientific research and development companies and work in the metropolitan areas of Santa Cruz, CA; Victoria, Texas; and Laredo, Texas.


The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy 

The average salary for full-time pharmacy professors in 2016-17 was $166,600.


If you’ve made it this far, you’ve probably figured out that pharmacy salary data varies depending on which source you consult. But, it is safe to say that pharmacists across the United States have seen modest increases in their salaries this year with fairly flat employment rates—except for large employment increases in mail order pharmacy sector.

Not much has changed when it comes to salary variations by location. Pharmacists in California are still the top-earning in the country due to the higher cost of living. Nuclear pharmacists remain the highest paid and hospital/healthcare systems remain the highest-paying job setting.

Whether you are considering relocating for a new job or are looking for fodder to negotiate a raise, I hope that this information proves to be useful to you.