Pharmacists are moderately happy with both their compensation and jobs, according to the results of the 2020 Pharmacy TimesÒ Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey.

The first article in this 3-part series covered a general overview of the survey and its respondents. In this article, we will explore the questions and answers around compensation.

When asked how satisfied they are with their current annual total compensation on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being “not at all” and 7 being “extremely,” the average response of the 299 responding pharmacists was 4.82. These results show a slight increase in satisfaction compared with the 2019 survey, which found an average response of 4.74.

Of the 299 respondents, 42.1% said they had received additional compensation such as bonuses or profit sharing in the past year, compared with 57.2% who said they had not. In comparison, just 32.8% of respondents said they had received bonuses or profit sharing during their first year after graduating from pharmacy school. When asked on the scale of 1 to 7 to rank their satisfaction with their compensation during the first year after pharmacy school, the average response was 4.66.

Compensation is a significant driver of job satisfaction as well. Interestingly, 10.3% of respondents chose compensation as a significant driver of dissatisfaction in their job. Other choices for dissatisfaction included workload (19.7%), management at their workplace (15.9%), and the struggle of balancing work and personal life (14.2%).

One respondent, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of workplace retribution, said he is extremely dissatisfied with his work at a retail pharmacy, where he said they are “interested in compliance and not innovation.”

“I have seen many changes in 50 years of pharmacy, but the practice of pharmacy in chain drug stores over the past 10 years is disturbing, to say the least,” he said in an email to Pharmacy Times. “I love my profession and am rewarded by helping individual patients, and this is what keeps me coming back for the 13-hour days.”

Other respondents, however, said their compensation is 1 of the top 3 reasons that they are satisfied with their work. When asked to choose their top 3 drivers of job satisfaction, 14.2% chose compensation. Other significant drivers included colleagues (14.6%), autonomy (11.8%), and pride in the profession (10.6%).

Pharmacy oncology specialist Carolyn Bodell, RPh, said her job satisfaction comes from the variety of patients she meets and things she does each day.

“Our patients are so grateful for everything we do for them,” Bodell said in an email to Pharmacy Times®. “Despite the fact that they are fighting for their lives, they have smiles on their faces. It is humbling to work with them and a reminder of what is important in life.”

Next month, in part 3 of this series, we will explore how survey respondents view their job satisfaction.