Pharmacist Ranks Among Best Jobs in 2016


Pharmacist ranked as the 29th best job in the United States in 2016, according to CareerCast's latest ranking of 200 careers.

Pharmacist ranked as the 29th best job in the United States in 2016, according to CareerCast’s latest ranking of 200 careers.

This ranking was a slight dip from last year, when pharmacist was slotted as the 27th best job out of 200.

“Health care is one of the US economy’s pillars, sustaining growth even through there have been employment downturns in other industries,” CareerCast wrote in its report. “Increased access to health care and more emphasis on preventative care have further fueled the importance of health care professions.”

CareerCast used 4 criteria for its ranking: environment, income, outlook, and stress. Hiring projections and salary were based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Higher environment scores meant that the job had more competitiveness, hazards, peril, public contact, physical demands, bad work conditions, and confinement. Higher stress rankings were given to jobs with travel, deadlines, public personas, competitiveness, physical demands, harsh environmental conditions, low growth potential, hazards, lives at risk, and interactions with the public.

CareerCast gave pharmacists a work environment score of 48.2, a stress score of 14.7, and a hiring outlook of 3.6, which suggests a somewhat poor outlook. Pharmacists’ income was estimated to be around $121,170.

Pharmacy technicians landed the 42nd spot on CareerCast’s list, with an income around $30,000. Their work environment score was 44.7, their stress score was 9.1, and their hiring outlook was 10.25.

For comparison’s sake, the best job (data scientist) had a work environment score of 44.3, a stress score of 14.4, and a hiring outlook of 16. The worst job (newspaper reporter) had a work environment score of 86.7, a stress score of 49.9, and a hiring outlook of -8.7.

Here are CareerCast’s top 5 jobs in 2016:

1. Data scientist (salary: around $128,00)

2. Statistician (salary: $80,000)

3. Information security analyst (salary: $89,000)

4. Audiologist (salary: $73,000)

5. Diagnostic medical sonographer (salary: $68,000)

Meanwhile, CareerCast’s 5 worst jobs in 2016 are as follows:

200. Newspaper reporter (salary: $36,000)

199. Logger (salary: $25,236)

198. Broadcaster (salary: $37,000)

197. Disc jockey (salary: $29,000)

196. Enlisted military personnel (salary: $45,000)

Pharmacists’ duties were described as follows:

“Dispenses prescription medications to patients and offers expertise in the safe use of prescriptions; also may conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, oversee the medications given to patients, and provide advice on healthy lifestyles.”

Last year, CareerCast described pharmacists simply as those who “advise physicians and patients on the effects of drugs and medications as well as prepare and dispense prescriptions” on a list of the best health care jobs in 2015.

Pharmacy Times Health System Edition’s Editor-in-Chief Stephen F. Eckel, PharmD, MHA, BCPS, FCCP, FASHP, FAPhA, wrote that it was encouraging to see “the image others have of pharmacists is shifting toward a patient-care perspective.”

The 2016 description demonstrates an even greater shift toward the many valuable patient-centered roles pharmacists play.

However, Dr. Eckel noted that many pharmacists would challenge low stress scores for the job.

“Whether it is because we are continually asked to do more with fewer resources, to do new activities that we do not necessarily feel comfortable with, or to take on new responsibilities while continuing to do our present ones as we fear for our jobs, I hear mention of how stressful our jobs are any time I talk to a pharmacist,” he wrote.

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