What are the worst states for a pharmacist to work in or get a job in? An interesting article recently published by Drug Topics gave the following list of states that they recommended pharmacists looking to relocate should avoid:
2. New Mexico
The Criteria Used To Determine the Worst States for Pharmacy Jobs
Before we disagree or argue about the “correctness” of their list, let’s first take a look at the criteria that they used in evaluating these state rankings. They looked at twelve criteria that included such variables as pharmacists’ salaries, number or robberies and something called a state’s “overall well being” to compile the listings. The 12 measuring points that were used included:
– The average or mean annual salary for a pharmacist in each state.
– The total number of pharmacists in each state.
– Number of pharmacy job openings in that state.
– Concentration of pharmacy technicians as compared to the national average.
Note that they actually labeled this as a “location quotient of the industry”.
– Each state’s cost of living.
– Overall crime rates in each state and the number of pharmacy robberies per each state. This including armed robberies, burglaries while the pharmacy was closed, plus employees stealing drugs.
– State specific factors such as the resident’s “overall well-being”, financial savviness, education levels, stress levels and health insurance rates.
Agree To Disagree
Although we believe that the article was written in an attempt to give credible ratings to each state and present the reader with an honest list of what states are viewed by the editors as the “Top 10 Worst States To Be a Pharmacist”, we should all consider the following:
– Many of the criteria that were utilized were essentially very subjective. How was each state’s resident’s stress levels, “overall well-being” and financial savviness determined?
– No links to any reputable sources of information were given. We all know that statistics sometimes vary by source.
– How were the criteria weighted? The article did say that all twelve criteria were equally weighted and a bad score in one area did not mean that the state would be unfairly judged. Yet how is it possible to judge a state by the number of job openings? Is it fair to judge a state such as Alaska with a very minimal population and populace density against states like New York and California, where there are obviously more residents, a denser population and more jobs?
– Along the same lines, how do state specific factors such as the resident’s “overall well-being”, financial savviness, education levels, stress levels and health insurance rates actually fit into the equation? Is the assumption then valid that if a state’s residents are not as educated or financially savvy as another state’s populace, then that state is not a very good place to work in?
Our point is that it is perhaps unfair based on such an unscientific and limited study to label these ten states as the “Top 10 Worst States To Be a Pharmacist”.
Let’s take a positive look with statistics from the US Labor Bureau at some of the states that made this list:
10. Indiana – Indiana ranks #2 nationally in having the lowest cost of living in the US. It also ranks very high in the number of residents that have health insurance (almost 89%).
9. Arkansas – The state actually ranks #5 in number of pharmacy job openings. Isn’t that a positive thing if you’re looking for a job and willing to relocate?
8. Alaska – Pharmacists in Alaska make more than any other state. They average almost $138,000 per year (or over $15,000 more than the national average). We probably all agree that salary alone is not the only reason to work in a specific state, but how can Alaska possibly be so bad to live in to be placed on this list?
7. Oklahoma – Ranks #2 nationally in having the lowest cost of living in the nation.
6. Tennessee -Ranks #7 nationally in lowest cost of living per state. Has the eleventh most number of pharmacy jobs in the US.
5. Florida – How can Florida possibly be one of the five worst states to work as a pharmacist? Florida actually ranks number 3 in the number of jobs for pharmacists and number 7 in the location quotient pertaining to technicians. Yet what about the weather? Who would not choose to work in sunny Florida when it is snowing in all the northern states each winter?
4. Georgia – The state actually ranks #8 in total number of pharmacists and has a low crime rate.
3. Louisiana – Currently ranks number 4 in the number of job openings for pharmacists nationally. Plus who doesn’t like New Orleans?
2. New Mexico – The state pays pretty well for pharmacist salaries.
1. Nevada – Nevada pharmacists average salary is actually $1,200 higher than the national average.
Here are some of my personal criteria that I felt should be on any list evaluating working and living in a particular state or city:
1. Sports – I personally factor this into my own equation when evaluating a state’s ranking. Take Florida as an example. Three professional football teams, two baseball, two basketball and two hockey teams! I noticed that states such as Idaho, Wyoming, Hawaii, etc. were not among the top 10 states to work in, but for me the lack of professional sports places them on “my personal” list”.
Let’s not even mention College sports or this post will go on for ever.
2. Climate – Using Florida again as an excellent example, how can living in the northern states during a snowstorm compare to living in sunny Florida (or several of the other states on the list) not be included as a part of the equation?
3. Culture – A major part of my personal “equation” includes culture as a primary motivating factor when choosing geographically where to live and work. Cities such as Atlanta, New Orleans, Orlando, Miami, Las Vegas, Nashville and Memphis offer the types of cultural experiences that simply can not be found in certain states.
Please keep in mind that I no way intend to offend pharmacists that choose to live and work in states such as Idaho, Wyoming, Hawaii, etc. I am only using them as examples of why I personally would not choose to live or work there. I’m sure that for many reasons those states are excellent places to live and work in.
Finding a Pharmacist Job and Relocating
If you are a pharmacist considering relocation, finding work and the right job as a pharmacist is the easy part. With the demand being high, the best way to find employment that suits your individual needs is to work with a pharmacy staffing agency who can offer you multiple job opportunities and can help you to compare your options. HealthCare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing is that staffing agency!
Whatever type of position and geographical setting a pharmacist is looking to work in, HCC can help. Our pharmacy positions cover all aspects of job types: retail, hospital, clinical and specialty pharmacies. We offer solutions for almost every type of pharmacy job you may be looking for:
– Compounding pharmacy
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Let HCC do the work for you! HealthCare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing is one of the leading pharmacy staffing agencies in the United States. Established in 1989 and owned and operated by pharmacists, we serve all 50 states and have vast experience in relocation, direct hire and permanent placement. We attribute our 28+ years of success to always placing the right pharmacist in the right job.
If you are a pharmacist looking for opportunities to relocate, we urge you to talk with us. With positions immediately available, contact us today online or call us at 800-642-1652 to get started.