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At fifth place, the profession of pharmacy is still a top contender.
Pharmacy as a profession dropped a few notches to fifth place in the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings for all jobs and placed third on the list of best healthcare jobs, behind nurse practitioner and dentist. It had placed third as the best profession overall last year.
“Solid employment growth and a high median salary help make pharmacist a top contender on this year’s list of Best Jobs,” according to the report.
More than 280,000 pharmacists are employed in the United States, working in community and health-system pharmacies, as well as clinical and corporate settings. With a population that is growing older and with more Americans gaining access to health services through the Affordable Care Act, the need for pharmacists is expected to grow by 14.5%, translating into 41,400 new jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as reported by U.S. News.
Pharmacists’ salaries remain high with a median of $116,670 in 2012, showing a gain compared to the 2011 median of $113,390. On the high end in 2012, pharmacists in the 75th percentile made $133,700, and those in the 25th percentile made $103,350. “The best-paid 10 percent made $145,910 in 2012, while the lowest-paid made $89,280,” according to the report.
Dentists’ salaries reached a median of $145,240 in 2012, with the best-paid almost topping $190,000. Nurse practitioners had a much lower median salary at $89,960, with the highest-paid 10 percent at $120,500.
In terms of job satisfaction, pharmacy has “above average” upward mobility, but also “above average” stress levels and “below average” flexibility. Dentists have “average” upward mobility, yet experience “average” stress levels and “above average” flexibility. Nurse practitioners have “average” upward mobility, yet contend with “above average” stress levels and “below average” flexibility.