June 6, 2012

Congratulate Yourself on Choice of Professions: Pharmacy
Near Top of 'Best Jobs' List

Washington, D.C.You may already know this, but you have one of the best jobs in the country.

That's according to U.S. News and World Report, which recently published a ranking, "U.S. News Best Jobs 2012," with pharmacy third on the list. Only registered nurse and software developer ranked higher.

To rank professions, U.S. News used a formula that compared projected growth for the future to employment rates of the present, average salaries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and job satisfaction, as determined by the job review Web site Glassdoor, which compiles actual reviews of those in the field.

"If you're looking for a relatively well-paying, fast-growing job in the health care sector that requires a mix of technical, organizational, and people skills, the pharmacy counter may be the right fit for you," U.S. News says in its discussion of pharmacy as a profession. "The more than 274,900 pharmacists in the United States dispense medicine and advice in tens of thousands of retail pharmacies and hospitals, as well as in mail-order, clinical, or corporate settings."

The magazine also notes excellent job prospects in the near future, 25.4% employment growth from 2010 and 2020, and high earning potential. The median annual salary for a pharmacist was $111,570 in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U.S. News article points out that the best-paid 10% of pharmacists made about $138,620 a year.

"Job prospects should be excellent in the field in the years to come, and the earnings potential remains relatively high," according to the article. "While the market has cooled a bit from several years ago, experts say an aging population and increasingly complex medicines will keep industry growth healthy for years to come."

BLS predicts that the pharmacy profession will add 69,700 new jobs by 2020.

Where should those newly minted pharmacists practice if they want the highest salaries? Based on government statistics, the article recommends the California cities of Modesto, Santa Cruz, and Napa as well as Detroit and Laredo, Texas.

U.S. Pharmacist Social Connect