While the healthcare industry is rapidly evolving, one thing remains the same: Most pharmacists are happy in their profession. Pharmacists responding to Drug Topics’ 2015 salary survey continue to report high levels of satisfaction, in part because of the low unemployment, infrequent overtime, and high salaries that are characteristic of the profession.
But the field isn't immune to the changing healthcare landscape, and as more Americans obtain healthcare coverage and pharmacists assume greater responsibilities in providing patient care, pharmacists are also finding that workload and stress levels are also on the rise.
"We're still holding onto the traditional roles of filling prescriptions and handing those to patients, and counseling and all that goes into that, but on top of that, more and more pharmacists are providing immunizations and taking blood pressures and healthcare screenings. And then, you know, we've got these MTM opportunities that we are trying to fit into the day as well," said Marvin Moore, PharmD, president and owner of The Medicine Shoppe in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.
This year's salary survey polled 1,987 pharmacists working across the country in independent, hospital, chain, retail, mail-order, and payer environments to gauge trends in satisfaction, salaries, workloads, and stress among those in the field.
Overall, nearly three-quarters of survey participants (73.2%) reported being either satisfied, very satisfied, or extremely satisfied with their jobs.
Unemployment rates also continue to remain low, with 85.4% of respondents reporting full-time employment this year. Only 1.2% of those who responded were either unemployed or a temporary employee.
Significant overtime is also not a factor for most pharmacists. According to the results, slightly more than half of the respondents — 52.3% —work between 40 and 44 hours a week, with just 8.1% reporting 50 or more work hours each week.