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Pharmacy Job Tips

Pharmacy Job Tips

Pharmacy Job Tips for Switching JobsNumerous pharmacists have recently switched jobs, while many others are considering a change to a new work direction or setting as the profession of pharmacy evolves in the wake of  the Covid-19 pandemic’s aftermath. With New Year’s resolutions on everyone’s minds, changing jobs as a pharmacist can be a very tempting idea at this time. It has been well over a half dozen years years since the AACP (American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy) first released it’s National Pharmacist Workforce Study way back in 2014, but the results are basically the same in 2022. The trends that the study documented all still continue to be accurate in today’s practice of the Pharmacy profession :

– Women (female) pharmacists outnumber men (male) pharmacists.
Over 57% of actively licensed practicing pharmacists in the United States are now women. It is interesting to note though that ownership of pharmacies is still predominantly dominated by men, with over 70% of all the independent retail community pharmacies owned by a male pharmacist.

– Pharmacy graduates are outpacing the creation of new jobs.
In 1987 a total of 72 pharmacy schools existed in the US. In 2014, according to the AACP there were 130 accredited pharmacy colleges. As of July of 2019, there were 143 US based colleges and schools of pharmacy with accredited (full or candidate status) professional degree programs, plus one 1 school with precandidate status, for a total of 144 colleges and schools. The last numbers released show a decrease (although still staggering) total of 140. The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) is the national agency recognized by both the Council on Higher Education Accreditation and the US Department of Education, and it is ultimately the agency responsible for accrediting the pharmacy programs.

– Pharmacy positions are becoming much more specialized and diversified.
In 2014 the total number of practicing pharmacists throughout the nation actually working in retail positions fell below 50% for the first time ever to around 44%. The move away from retail pharmacy jobs showed an astonishing increase in pharmacists now working in hospitals (30%) and other practice areas and specialties (25%). Although the latest available numbers numbers released this past July now show a reversal of this pattern with retail pharmacy jobs now comprising an estimated 58%, pharmacists as a profession are constantly assuming greater responsibility in patient care, and more pharmacists are continuing to step outside of their old traditional practice settings by switching jobs.

What is the Actual Pharmacist Job Turnover Average Annually?

Although the only actual number that could be found regarding pharmacist job turnover is perhaps outdated (the study took place from 1983 through 1997), the national average was 11% per year. Perhaps equally important to note was that the pharmacists who left and switched jobs primarily made the change in less than three years. The primary reason for leaving a pharmacy position was attributed to stress and perhaps surprisingly, citing salary for the reason for “job switching” was fourth down on the list (following stress, career advancement opportunities, geography and, finally, salary).

We should also quickly mention the Millennials. Named by Gallup as “The Job-Hopping Generation”, these younger professionals exhibit a tendency never before seen in the history of pharmacy (or other professions for that matter). A 2016 study on LinkedIn showed that Millennials average a change in jobs four times in their first decade of work after getting out of college. That’s nearly double the rate of the Gen-Xers before them (graduating college between 1985 – 1992) who averaged about two job changes in their first 10 years of work.
Although the past recession may have contributed to this phenomena of “job hopping”, causing many pharmacy graduates into accepting jobs they perhaps were not excited about, the primary motivation according to CNN is that the “Millennials want to move up the ranks quickly. One of the fastest ways to do that is to change jobs. A new role often comes with a more elevated title and a substantial pay raise (15% or more versus 1 to 3% by someone staying in their current role)”.

A “Quick Tip List” to Consider Before Changing Pharmacy Jobs

Today, as the expansion of patient focused healthcare services has changed the entire landscape of the workplace, many new pharmacy job opportunities and career paths are available to a pharmacist to consider and evaluate than ever existed in the past. Retail, hospital, specialty, clinical, mail-order, compounding, nuclear….. the list of possibilities for pharmacy career paths has become almost endless. So here is some “free advice” from pharmacy staffing experts who have been dealing with pharmacists switching positions for over 32+ years now.

1. Take your time. The decision to change jobs or career paths is a major decision. Take the time to explore all the possibilities that are available to you.
You may be surprised that, perhaps, there are more special and diverse opportunities than you initially thought.

2. Start by taking a personal self-audit by considering the following questions:
– What are my short term and long range goals?
– What pharmacy setting appeals to me, and is my personality a good fit for that type of environment or setting?
– What pharmacy sector fits in with my lifestyle?
– What professional and personal growth opportunities are available?

3. The next step is to talk with some pharmacists who actually practice in the areas of your pharmacy interest. Who better to ask questions regarding professional development and opportunities than the pharmacists that are actually practicing in those areas? In today’s world of social media, blogging and online engagement, access to individual professionals has become very fast and easy! Take some time and communicate with several individuals who can share their experience and are willing to help fellow members of the pharmacy community on the exciting and changing career paths now available to all of us.

4. Lastly, consider trying several different pharmacy job types before actually making the commitment to a specific pharmacy setting. This is where Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing (HCC) may be able to assist and help you. At HCC we have been finding that many pharmacists would rather initially “try out” several career path options before deciding on a permanent practice setting. This allows the individual to get actual experience in several different clinical &/or retail settings to see which opportunities best fit their goals, personality and lifestyles.

Who Can Help You With Switching Jobs?

If you are seriously considering making a change, HCC can help you to “boost” your chances for success. Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing has been known nationally as a full service Pharmacy staffing agency since 1989. With all the services that we provide to both pharmacies and pharmacists, it is sometimes easy to overlook the fact the we are one of the most successful and respected pharmacy staffing and placement firms in the country. Pharmacy staffing and job placement are our primary business now for over 32+ years. If you are a pharmacist looking for a new position or considering a career change, we urge you to talk with us. With placement positions immediately available, contact us today online or call us at 800-642-1652 to explore how we can help you in your choice of a new pharmacy career path.


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