Pharmacists Are Content With Their Salaries, Less So with Their Jobs, Survey Shows (Part 3)

In the third part of the series analyzing results from the Pharmacy Times Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey, we further explore pharmacists' satisfaction with their jobs and the factors that contribute to their overall happiness in a position.

The first part of this survey analysis provided an overview of the results, pointing out that when asked to rate their satisfaction with their overall job satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 7 (with 1 being “not at all” and 7 being “extremely”), the average response among the 580 respondents was 4.23.

The second part of this analysis highlighted pharmacists' satisfaction with their total compensation, noting that on the same scale the average response among the 580 respondents was 4.74.

In the third part of the series analyzing results from the Pharmacy Times Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey, we further explore pharmacists' satisfaction with their jobs and the factors that contribute to their overall happiness in a position.

Pharmacy Times asked respondents to determine which 3 of the following factors were their driving contributors to job satisfaction: autonomy, being a key opinion leader in my specialty, challenges, colleagues, compensation, dynamic profession, facility where I practice, improving patients health, opportunities for advancement, patient interactions, prestige of pharmacy profession, and pride in what I do.

Of these options, the top 3 responses among 581 pharmacists were: pride in what I do (14.7%), compensation (14.2%), and improving patients’ health (13.2%).

Survey participant Chad Henry, PharmD with a certified specialty pharmacy specialization, listed his 3 top drivers of satisfaction as autonomy, a dynamic profession, and opportunities for advancement.

Henry, who is a clinical pharmacist at Optimed Health Partners in Kalamazoo, Michigan, said that he appreciates flexible work hours, low technician turnover, easy scheduling of vacation time, and "some degree of autonomy in work and projects."

Respondents were also asked to determine which of the following factors were their top driving contributors to job dissatisfaction: colleagues, commute, compensation, facility where I practice, frustration with providers, interactions with health insurance companies, limited scope of practice, management, work hours, work/life balance, and workload.

Of these options, the top 3 answers among 583 respondents were: workload (21.1%), management (16.9%), and work/life balance (14.0%).

Survey respondents were also asked to rate how motivated they are by the potential for advancement in their organization, using the previously mentioned scale of 1 to 7, and found that not many pharmacists were not motivated by the possibility of a promotion. Among the 575 respondents, the average response was just 3.43.

When asked how likely they would be to choose a pharmacy career again if they had the opportunity to start all over, the results show a lack of enthusiasm among many. Among the 582 respondents, the average response was 3.88.

In the survey, Henry said he'd say 6 out of 7 on this question, but in an interview he said he might actually say 4, upon reflection, adding that it would be dependent on whether he would be able to get a good job like he has now.

"While I appreciate the respect and salary a pharmacist gets right out of school, the mounting burden of student loans significantly limits my satisfaction," he said. "If I was looking to start pharmacy school in 2020, I would be very wary of market conditions, automation in the retail setting, and falling salaries."

Read the full survey results here.