2021: Pharmacists Are Moderately Satisfied With Salary, Job Satisfaction, Survey Results Show (Part 1)

Pharmacy Times, January 2022, Volume 88, Issue 1

Compensation was a positive, while workload, management, and lack of work/life balance are the top reasons for dissatisfaction.

Pharmacists are moderately happy with their compensation and jobs, according to the results of the 2021 Pharmacy Times® Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey.

When asked to rate their satisfaction with their 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 151 respondents was 4.41.

When asked to rate their overall job satisfaction on the same scale, the average was 4.09 compared with 4.53 in 2020.

The top 3 reasons pharmacists gave for their dissatisfaction were the same as in the 2021 survey: workload, management, and work/life balance.

The top driver of job satisfaction was compensation, chosen by 17.5% of respondents.

“My boss is very understanding. Overall, with the actual job itself, yes I am satisfied.” Joyce Steinberg, MPH, BPharm, staff pharmacist at Harford Pharmacy in Forest Hill, Maryland, said in an interview.

“Currently, the situation I have now, I do have the supportive personnel I need,” Steinberg said.

“I’d like to see pharmacy recognized as a medical profession,” she said. “I’m concerned about the current status with any of the larger corporations treating it as a business, not as health care.”

Other top reasons given by survey respondents for job satisfaction included colleagues, improving patient’s health, and “pride in what I do.”

“In general, I just try to be my best to be helpful with patients and do everything I can as a licensed pharmacist in my state to help patients and their health,” Steinberg said. “I’d like to see our education, I guess I could say, and our abilities used more to help patients and their health and not simply be counters, and us to get the respect we deserve and to have the supportive personnel that we need.”

Of the survey respondents, 93.5% have been licensed pharmacists for a year or more, 93.5% are employed in the United States, and 92.2% said that they earned their pharmacy degrees in the United States.

More than 32% of the respondents work in a health system setting, more than 38% work in chain community pharmacies, and more than 12% work in independent community pharmacies.

The majority (91.5%) of respondents were employed during their first year after graduation, with 53.6% in chain community pharmacies.

Also, 73.2% of respondents said that they did not receive additional compensation, such as bonuses or profit sharing ,within the first year, a percentage that has increased since the 2019 survey, when 66.6% of respondents said that they did not receive additional compensation.

Just 52% of respondents said that they did not receive additional compensation, such as bonuses or profit sharing, within the past year, a percentage that has slightly changed since 2020, when 57.2% of respondents said that they did not receive additional compensation.