Pharmacy Jobs with Welcome/ Sign on Bonuses- Is it worth it?

4 mins

Money makes the world go round. It also makes people change their minds about their careers ...

Money makes the world go round. It also makes people change their minds about their careers and life if offered in great sums. During this blog we’ll be digging into the world of sign on/ welcome bonuses and how they could make you take a job even if you’re not 100% sure about the opportunity.

You’re on the market for a new role as a pharmacist. You’re currently employer isn’t ticking all your boxes, and you know that you could get more if you moved jobs.

All the opportunities on the market are appealing. Great salaries, fantastic benefits packages. But you spot one in particular that stands out above the rest….it offers all the general benefits, has matching salaries to other opportunities, however, offers a deliciously attractive welcome bonus. We’re not just talking about $1,000 here, we’re talking about $50,000-$70,000!

Of course, it caught your eye! How could your eyes not be fixed on this tasty offering….

So, you apply.
You interview.
You get the job.
You start working.
You receive the magnificent welcome bonus.
You feel like there may be a catch…
But you go and spend the money anyway!

We’re here to tell you that there are many pros and cons to a welcome bonus. Retail pharmacies in the USA are witnessing a tricky market. As a result, some of the larger organizations are offering sign on/welcome bonuses to combat the pharmacist shortage.

There has been lots of talks around this recently. Is there actually a pharmacist shortage or do pharmacists want to move away from a retail setting? Either way, a lot of pharmacists are accepting positions that they might not necessarily want, but with a $50,000 - $75,000 welcome bonus it’s difficult to say no right?

There are many reasons as to why a pharmacy organization will seek to employ a pharmacist with a huge welcome bonus. Below is possibly why:

  1. Location- The pharmacy you’re seeking to work is in a tough area. By this we mean that it may be in a small town, away from main cities.

  2. Transportation- The pharmacy may be away from main transportation lines.

  3. Numbers- If the pharmacy is in a small town, there may not be any pharmacists that live within a 50-mile radius. Which means that the welcome bonus could go towards relocating.

  4. Open vacancy- It may be because the pharmacy has had an open vacancy for far longer than they themselves even anticipated. They then realize that their package needs to stand out above all the other opportunities within the area.

As a Pharmacy only staffing agency, we have formed lasting relationships with numerous retail pharmacies. We’ve been able to nestle down into a sign on bonus through multiple conversations with business owners and can now produce several pros and cons as to why accepting a welcome bonus may be the best decision you ever made, or possibly the worst…..


  • Your employer is looking to invest in you. They are willing to give the right person for their business a large welcome bonus. They don’t give this out willingly, it isn’t guaranteed. It can be incredibly flattering to be given this sum.

  • You get a large sum of money within the first few months of joining a new business. This must be brilliant, having $50,000 - $75,000 as a thank you. This will pay a big chunk of your mortgage off and can be life changing for you.

  • You now know that the business you have chosen to work with aren’t short of any $, which makes progression and professional development a genuine possibility for the future within this organization.

Now we’ve covered the pros, let’s get into the cons. You may have never considered this side of the bonus before, until now.


  • The main negative to this is that you are tied down with that organization for a certain amount of time (unless you can pay the singing on bonus back to them). If the opportunity with this pharmacy isn’t going as you first thought it would, and you very much dislike where you work…. was the money really worth it? With any employer, you are going in somewhat blind, without knowing if you are going to enjoy working for them. However, imagine being somewhat stuck with a company without the possibility to get out just because of the money.

  • You may miss out on other life changing opportunities in your career. Except you can’t look because you’re stuck in a money contract. We speak to hundreds of pharmacists who are looking to leave their current position but can’t because of the large sum they have to pay back.

  • You can exit their welcome bonus contract; however, you will need to pay back in full. But you may have already spent all the money? Now you’re stuck. There is a way out, and it’s by entering another organization who’s offering a welcome bonus too, this bonus will now cover your previous losses. But now the cycle starts…. you’re stuck again!

  • Are you doing the job for the right reasons? Pharmacists play a vital part in the healthcare industry, so are you going into work every day with a positive attitude to help patients or are you just waiting for the day you can leave without paying anything back?

This is an interesting topic that I think will have a lot of different opinions, and ultimately will have its own good and bad reasons for every pharmacist.

If you are looking to accept a job offer with a large signing on bonus, it may just be worth having that extra day to access the situation and to think if this is the right decision for you and your career as a pharmacist.

If you currently have entertaining opportunities with a sign on bonus, or have an offer already, which includes the sign on bonus. Just take a step back and assess your situation. Would you be happy to stay with an employer without any freedom to move? If you’ve been offered and have a contract of employment, make sure you read all the T’s & C’s thoroughly, so you aren’t blindsided when you explore leaving your employer.

We’re not here to put you off welcome bonuses. We’re here to put a perspective of what can happen if you decide to leave. If you are happy with your employer, then great! You’ve really landed on your feet! It’s crucial that you as a pharmacist simply weigh up all your options, before jumping at what is seemingly a great sum of money!

Make the right decision for you.

We work with clients who both do and do not offer a welcome bonus, the options are there for you to choose. A huge positive of using Quad Recruitment is that we can bring you these answerers, without you having to search. We work with the USA’s leading Pharmacy organization, who would love to be introduced to you. If you’d like to discuss how we could work with you, feel free to get in touch.