Pharmacist workforce growing in South Carolina

April 18, 2014

The number of pharmacist jobs in South Carolina increased over the past four years, and the number of pharmacists nearing retirement is likely to create jobs for new graduates, according to a new report.

The number of pharmacist jobs in South Carolina increased over the past four years, and the number of pharmacists nearing retirement is likely to create jobs for new graduates, according to a new report.

The report, “The Pharmacist Workforce in South Carolina,” examined pharmacist-employment trends between 2008 and 2012. It was prepared by the state’s Office for Healthcare Workforce Analysis and Planning.

The report showed that the size of the pharmacist workforce grew by 13% from 2008 to 2012, but growth rates, the number of licensed pharmacists, and the number active pharmacists in the South Carolina have declined.

Additionally, the report showed that approximately 25% of the current pharmacist workforce in the state is age 56 or older.

“Two new education programs have opened in the state in recent years, and their graduates will increase the number of new pharmacists entering the workforce each year,” the report said. “Whether these new graduates will be enough to offset the large number of pharmacists expected to retire in the next decade remains to be seen.”

The South Carolina report is much more optimistic than predictions from some industry insiders. Some analysts believe a glut of new pharmacy schools and the slow pace of expanded pharmacist duties will lead to a job shortage.

 

The report also offered insights into other pharmacist trends in South Carolina, including pay, demographics, and workplace settings. In 2012, for example, the average annual salary for pharmacists in South Carolina ($114,900) was nearly identical to the U.S. average ($114,950).

However, pharmacists in several areas of the state averaged considerably more; Florence ($124,300), Myrtle Beach ($122,090), Anderson ($121,420), and Rock Hill ($118,870).

The report showed that the female pharmacists averaged fewer hours per week than their male counterparts (36.4 versus 38.4).

The total number of pharmacists in South Carolina serving the civilian population increased to 4,272 in 2012 from 3,769 in 2008.  And nearly half of the state’s pharmacists (47.3%) work for large chains, 23.2% work in hospitals, and 16.3% work in independent community pharmacies.

 

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