For pharmacists, while stress might seem a near-universal constant, location can make a huge impact on factors like salary, safety, and happiness—and while pharmacy might always be stressful, some places are just inherently more stressed out than others.
To help pharmacists make sense of it all, Drug Topics put together our list of 10 Best and 10 Worst states. Using a variety of factors, we put together the definitive list for where you should want to put your pharmacy degree to good use—and the places you should avoid at all costs.
From money matters to the overall comfort of the state, utilizing data from sources like the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), WalletHub, and U.S. News and World report, we pooled together nine factors that have a direct impact on how a state will affect how you live and work. They are:
- Average annual salary: How much money the average pharmacist made in a state.
- Cost of living: How far all of that money will go when living day to day.
- Housing affordability: Compares median household prices with median household incomes. If you want to live in a mansion on your salary, you should probably steer clear of states with hyper-expensive real estate costs.
- Employment: The raw number of jobs in a state. Obviously, more pharmacists means you have a better chance of getting a job in your desired location.
- Location quotient: Per BLS, “The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.” A lower score in this category indicates you’ll be unlikely to find any camaraderie with fellow pharmacists in your area.
- Stress levels: How stressed out people in your state are, on average.
- Safety: Even beyond comparatively-rare pharmacy robberies, overall safety in a state is important, especially when taking factors like natural disasters into account.
- Overall happiness: Nothing makes a pharmacy more stressful than having stressed out or rude customers, so it might be worth looking at states where populations have the highest happiness levels.
- Uninsured rate: The share of patients in the state who lack any kind of insurance, which can make your job harder.
Every state was ranked using each of those nine factors, and given a score from 1 to 50, with 1 being the best in a category and 50 being the worst. Scores were then added up and states were ranked based on how high or low their scores were.
Here, from 10 to 1, are the best states to be a pharmacist in 2019.