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Walmart hikes pay for some pharmacists, opticians

The raise would bring the average annual salary for roughly 3,700 pharmacists affected to more than $140,000, not including bonuses and incentives.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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Walmart shared on May 30 that it is hiking wages for more than 7,000 of its pharmacists and opticians.

In a blog post on the company's website, Kevin Host, senior vice president of Walmart health & wellness, pharmacy and David Reitnauer, vice president of Walmart health & wellness, optical, said, "In many communities, Walmart’s pharmacy and vision center associates are the most accessible healthcare providers for busy families. Whether they are offering prescriptions and immunizations at Every Day Low Prices, providing counsel or helping customers save money so they can live better, these associates are making a difference."

The pair continued, "As our Health & Wellness business continues to grow, we’re serious about being an employer of choice for the talented individuals in these fields. That’s why we’re proud to invest in pay raises for thousands of pharmacists and opticians in stores across the country. Today, we’re excited to share we have raised pay for approximately 3,700 pharmacists as we continue our work to offer attractive pay in every market where we operate. Our average salary for pharmacists is now more than $140,000, not including bonuses and incentives. Those investments build on the raises for 36,000 pharmacy technicians that took place last year. Being an employer of choice also means better work life balance and listening to our customers and associates, which we did earlier this year when we adjusted our hours at pharmacies and vision centers across the country."

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The pair noted, "Our pharmacists and opticians understand just how essential they are in the communities they serve. Just ask David Barnard, the pharmacy manager at Store 2944 in DeLand, Florida, and he'll tell you: Community comes first!"

In the blog, the pair also said, "We’re also excited to share we’ll be raising pay for more than 4,000 opticians. After these investments, we expect the average wage for opticians to be more than $22.50 an hour. It’s another step in our strategy to offer good jobs that lead to great careers. We’re making it easier for our vision center teams to grow their careers with the launch of the new Optician Development Program. This program will help our vision associates access higher-paying roles and more career opportunities by obtaining nationally recognized certification and licensure from the American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners as they continue to help patients see better to live better. The training is offered through the Optical Training Institute and is paid for 100% by Walmart, including reimbursement for any of the fees associated with the certification or licensure.

Moreover, the pair said, "Our opticians play a critical role in helping customers access vision care at Walmart. From recommending the ideal frame and lens combinations and taking custom lens measurements to making frame repairs or ordering contact lenses, our opticians deliver great experiences while providing affordable, accessible and quality care.

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The executives concluded, "This is all part of our ongoing effort to recognize the great work of our Health & Wellness associates while investing for the future. We’re proud to make these investments in our current and future associates. They’re on the frontline of health care in the communities they serve, helping people live betterand healthier."