Walmart is increasing the wages more than 7,000 of its pharmacists and opticians.
Walmart is raising wages for two groups of employees as it continues to expand in health care in a still-competitive job market.
The nation’s largest private employer said it has raised pay for approximately 3,700 pharmacists, with its average salary for pharmacists now more than $140,000, not including bonuses and incentives. The increase comes amid an ongoing national shortage of pharmacists and build on the raises for 36,000 pharmacy technicians that Walmart implemented last year.
In addition, Walmart is raising the pay for more than 4,000 opticians. After the hike, it expect the average wage for opticians to be more than $22.50 an hour.
In addition, the company is launching an optician development program in a move designed to make it easier for employees who work in its vision centers to grow their careers.
“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 company stated.
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.
“As our Health & Wellness business continues to grow, we’re serious about being an employer of choice for the talented individuals in these fields,” stated Kevin Host, senior VP, Walmart Health & Wellness, Pharmacy, and David Reitnauer, VP, Walmart Health & Wellness, Optical, in a joint post on the company’s website.
Walmart’s push into health care includes the expansion of its freestanding health center format. In March, the company announced plansWalmart Health centers in 2024, giving it a total of more than 75 locations by the end of the year.
Walmart employs 16,000 pharmacists and 12,000 opticians overall, according to the New York Times.