Sunday, September 30, 2007


Jim Plagakis posted an entry on his website that talked about how young, female pharmacists handle making much more money than the guys they date. It's a very interesting read, and I recommend everyone to check it out. I just figured I'd write about my experience as a young, male pharmacist who makes a lot more money than most of my friends.

I'd be lying if I told you that my primary motivating factors for finishing pharmacy school weren't the big dollar signs at the end. People talk about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I saw money. The company I interned with (and now work for) paid pharmacists roughly $50/hr for the time period I was on my rotations. I remember constantly sitting down and calculating my daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly salary using that hourly figure. It worked out to just over $100,000/yr.

It was a figure I almost couldn't even imagine. For my 6 years in college, I felt like I was rich if I had $700 in my bank account. Making that amount of money in just a little over a day of work blew my mind. My friends, most of whom graduated with 4 year degrees and were just starting to get jobs when I was getting ready to finish my 6 years, were talking about making $40-50 grand per year. I would be making more than double that.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I bragged about it. Not a lot, mind you, but probably just enough where most of my friends knew how much more money I'd be making than them. When I finally got licensed and started getting my pharmacist salary, I was eager to show everyone the brand new $30,000 car I bought. I didn't mean to shove it in their faces. I just wanted people to check out my car because I liked it a lot.

The extra money allowed me to take part in things I didn't normally do because of my previous conservative spending ways. I started sitting in for weekly poker games, in which the buy-in was $40. Most of my friends I played with were making $12-15 per hour. With $40 buy-ins, $40 rebuys, and some pots getting in the hundred of dollars range, this was a lot of money for these guys to be gambling. I'd go to the card game and drop $40 on a hand without even thinking about it. After all, that wasn't even an hour's pay for me.

It wasn't long before a few of my not-so-close friends started referring to me as "Moneybags" because I made so much more money than everyone else. This is when I realized that I needed to stop even giving people any idea of the kind of money I made as a pharmacist.

Now, being a realist, I know that making $100,000 per year doesn't make me filthy rich. It makes me comfortable as a single guy. I can't afford a really really nice house or a BMW 7-series. I can't go out and spend $3,000 on a watch or a suit. However, compared to my friends, I'm rolling in dough. I don't think I have one friend that even makes half of my salary.

Therefore, the money occasionally seems to be a point of contention with my friends, and it hasn't helped make me even the least bit more desirable to women (not that I really think it should). Not that I'm ready to give away my salary, but sometimes I wish I had a job where I made a lot less. At least then, I wouldn't feel so different than the rest of the people my age.

I kind of lost my initial chain of thought midway through this post, so I'm going to stop now...


Pharmer Mike said...

I hope you're socking some of that away for later. If not, do yourself a favor and start investing. I have the same problem at times. As a couple, we make huge money compared to some of the people in our circle. Fortunately, it's not really an issue most of the time. But we notice it during big purchases or pricey trips. We just don't flaunt it. On a different note, we sure have fun spending it though!

MrHunnybun said...

Yes, I had the money problem too, especiallly when I was younger. Now my friends are catching up, which makes things easier.

I have bought $3000 watches and expensive gadgets and normally I do not mention it to the non-pharmacists that I work with. Unless they give me the "pharmacists get paid too much and only count tablets." speech. I've heard that way too many times. Simple answer though-study hard, go to pharmacy school and you too can get a decent salary-that shuts them up.

Anyway Mike, have you seen any contenders for :)

I've linked to you from my blog, hope that is okay