Our annual pick of the worst states to practice pharmacy in America is back with the 2018 results.
Last month, we gave you our list of the top 10 states to be pharmacist. Like any top 10 list, it causes a sort of morbid curiosity-if those are the 10 best, what are the 10 worst?
Like last time, we compiled data from a number of sources (like personal finance website WalletHub, US News & World Report, the government’s Occupational Employment and Statistics program, Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Pharmacy Workforce Center) to rank the states for pharmacists.
We ranked each of 12 metrics for on a scale from 1 to 50. The best state got a one, the worst a 50-the worst states got the highest total.
When you look at the bulk of Alabama’s rankings, it seems like it should come in somewhere in the middle of the pack. And while it has a pretty good location quotient, other factors-like education, overall well-being, and especially stress-are just enough to put it on this list.
If we only looked at pharmacists’ salaries, Alaska would be the best place to work, but we have to look at the entire picture. So, when we look at such factors as location quotient, health insurance rates (which tells us how many have access to prescription drug coverage), and the total number of pharmacists, that sinks Alaska’s overall rank.
There might be a reason that there are so many pharmacist job openings in Oklahoma- especially when you look at such factors as well-being, health insurance rates, and salary.
6. Florida (tie)
Florida might have a reputation for sun and fun, but pharmacists may not find it that appealing. Job openings are not so easy to come by (there are already plenty of pharmacists), health insurance rates aren’t that great, and there are a lot of pharmacy robberies.
6. Mississippi (tie)
Wages in Mississippi are more or less in the middle of the pack. However, health insurance rates, education, stress, and financial savviness pull its overall rating down for an overall tie with Florida for the sixth space on our list.
Pharmacists in Tennessee get paid a little less than the national average, however, pharmacy robbery rates and overall crime statistics are high. Couple that with relatively low health insurance rates, financial savviness, and overall stress, and Tennessee comes in fifth on our list.
3. Georgia (tie)
Georgia and Louisiana are tied for third place on our list. In George’s case, low health insurance rates mean that prescription drugs are not easy to come by. For pharmacists, there aren’t many job openings and there is a relatively high amount of stress and a low level of financial savviness.
3. Louisiana (tie)
Interestingly, while pharmacy robbery rates in Louisiana are low (the DEA reported none in 2017), overall crime is very high. Education levels are low and overall stress is second only to Alabama.
2. New Mexico
Like Louisiana, overall crime statistics in New Mexico were very high. But unlike Louisiana, New Mexico had eight reported armed robberies. While there are plenty of job openings, the state’s overall financial savviness, stress levels, and education put it in the number two position on our list.
Like Alaska, pharmacists in Nevada are paid pretty well: not as much as Alaska, but still in the top ten. However, its education level, overall crime statistics, stress, and health insurance rates all contributed to its status as the worst state in the country to be a pharmacist.