Pharmacist salary in Germany
Pharmacy: Doctorate is a key to top salaries
About one fifth of graduates decide to reap the benefits of a doctorate in pharmacy. Salary and career prospects gain a clear head start if graduate studies are followed by a successful doctorate.
The current labour market situation helps: Pharmacists are in demand, face little risk of unemployment and can start their professional lives with the best job prospects. Pharmaceutical graduates have a range of career options after successfully completing their studies. Industry, public services, hospitals and pharmacies offer a variety of career challenges. Nevertheless, the vast majority of trained pharmacists are employed in public pharmacies. Women in particular opt for the traditional career path, earning a licence to practice medicine after graduating and then working in a pharmacy.
The collective agreements of the pharmacy union Adexa provide an indication of the earning potential of pharmacists in state pharmacies. In individual cases, income also depends on location conditions and the size and income of the respective pharmacy.
Salary differences for pharmacists depending on their position and professional experience
Salary of pharmacists in the civil service in Germany
While a doctoral degree is absolutely necessary for a scientific career, pharmacists in the civil service can also enter the profession without a doctorate. After graduation, there are various career options for pharmacists in the civil service, such as the state and district authorities, vocational schools, pharmacies, health insurance, universities or the Federal Armed Forces. The European Medicines Agency or the European Patent Office offers opportunities for an international career. In most state pharmacies, additional academic titles do not play a major role. Communication and teamwork skills are more important when working in the pharmacy. The following overview from the 2012 Unidaz salary report illustrates the differences between salaries for pharmacists:
Pharmacist salaries depend on the employment contract and institution
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Career paths after studying pharmacy: Salary and position
As is the case for many other academics, a south-north and west-east divide awaits pharmacy graduates. Salaries also vary depending on the industry and location of the employer. Individual factors affecting monthly income include professional experience and the individual's academic degree, i.e. a doctorate always has financial benefits. An overview is provided below:
Factors that affect pharmacists' salary:
Gross salary (in €)
12th year in the profession
Branch managing director of a pharmacy in South Bavaria with 8 employees
5th year in the profession
Store managing director of a pharmacy in a West German city with four employees
Employed pharmacist of a Franconian country pharmacy
Academic council at a Baden-Württemberg university
3rd year in the profession
Pharmaceutical technical assistant (PTA) school teacher at a PTA school
Hospital pharmacist in a Saxon private clinic
Career entry with doctorate
Pharmacist in the product development department of a research-based pharmaceutical company in Switzerland
Pharmacist in the field of drug approval at a research-based pharmaceutical company in Hesse
Pharmacist in the quality control department of a South German generic manufacturer
with no doctorate
Pharmacist in the quality assurance department of a research-based pharmaceutical company in East Germany
Pharmacist as medical advisor to a research-based pharmaceutical company in northern Germany
Salary of pharmacists in the industrial sector in Germany
A doctorate has a decisive impact on career development in the industrial sector: A doctoral degree is associated with clear salary and entry position benefits after studying. A degree will also help to assess whether a candidate can work in the scientific field. Good exam grades are always important for entry into the industry, as employers tend to check grades. Other requirements placed on applicants include working hours and motivation – overtime is common and a high degree of flexibility is required. The starting salary in the pharmaceutical industry, as in all sectors, depends on how big the company is, whether it conducts research and where it is located.
Starting salaries in the pharmaceutical industry, which are not otherwise set out in a collective agreement, range from €3,500 to €4,000, according to Deutsche Aerzte Finanz. Graduates can expect to earn an additional €500 to €1,000 per month.
Comparison: Starting salary pharmaceuticals
In summary, a professional's salary and career will clearly benefit if they have a doctoral degree in this industry, especially in the field of research. The starting salaries of state pharmacists tend to vary the most and proportionally overlap the salaries of privately employed pharmacists, whether they have a doctoral degree or not. However, in the civil service, starting salaries are less flexible and less likely to increase, as shown in the direct comparison of starting salaries in the graph.
academics - August 2015
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