2015’s Top Cities for pharmacists

December 8, 2015

An online consumer advocate group has named Huntington, West Virginia the best U.S. city for pharmacists in 2015.

An online consumer advocate group has named Huntington, West Virginia the best U.S. city for pharmacists in 2015.

ValuePenguin analyzed median salaries, cost of living, and the demand for pharmacists in 396 small, mid-sized, and large cities. Huntington received the nod as the best city for pharmacists in 2015 based on its available jobs and cost of living.

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“The pharmacist performs an essential service. Every city has one, and most cities have a bunch of them. But no two pharmacists are the same (even if they fill a prescription the same way), just as no two cities are identical,” study authors stated.

“We're here to identify the very best cities for pharmacists to work in, considering four categories that all pharmacists care about: number of jobs, the demand for their services, their annual average salary, and the cost of living,” study authors stated.

According to the study, it is 15% cheaper to live in Huntington than in the average U.S. city. Additionally, two of the city’s largest employers (Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary's Medical Center) are healthcare providers. The city is also home to Marshall University School of Pharmacy.

"In terms of demand, the study is accurate," Dr. Kevin Yingling, founding dean of the Marshall University School of Pharmacy, told the Herald Dispatch. "West Virginia, the South, and the mid-Atlantic region have all been showing an increase in the demand for pharmacists for the past three years or so."

 

Yingling attributed the increasing demand for pharmacists in the Huntington area to Medicaid expansion, an increasing elderly population, collaborative practice opportunities, and chronic health issues among West Virginia’s residents.

"Medicaid expansion has obviously increased the need for pharmacists in Huntington, the state of West Virginia, and the region," he said. "West Virginia also has the second-most elderly among its population behind Florida. As a result, this area is also prone to diabetes, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and other ailments I call chronic health burdens."

Out of the 2,330 licensed pharmacists in West Virginia, 87 have Huntington addresses, according to the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy.

The four other top cities for pharmacists were:

#2. Modesto, Calif.

Modesto was cited for having the seventh-highest annual salary for pharmacists (140,020), which ValuePenguin said is 16% above the study’s average.

#3. Stockton, Calif.

According to the study, Stockton has more pharmacist jobs (630) than any of the other cities in the top 5. Nationally, the cities with the most pharmacist jobs are New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

 

#4. Florence, S.C.

Florence combines relatively high salaries with steady demand for pharmacists and a good cost of living.

#5. Sebastian, Fla.

According to the study, pharmacists in Sebastian earn an average salary of $135,650. Plus, the city is slightly more affordable than the average U.S. city.

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