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


In late 2018, Pharmacy Times surveyed readers to determine their satisfaction levels with their jobs and salaries as pharmacists.

The first part of this survey analysis provided an overview of the results, pointing out that just 51% of 273 pharmacists responded with a 5, 6, or 7, when asked to rate their overall job satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 indicating “not at all," and 7 indicating “extremely”.

The second part of this analysis highlighted pharmacists' satisfaction with their salaries, noting that 62% of 290 pharmacists rated their satisfaction with their annual total compensation as a 5, 6, or 7 on the same scale.

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 273 pharmacists were: pride in what I do (49.45%), compensation (45.42%), and colleagues (40.66%).

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

Of these options, the top 3 answers among 273 respondents include: workload (53.85%), management (43.59%), and work/life balance (36.26%)

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. Of the 273 respondents, 26.74%, or 73 pharmacists, responded that they were not at all motivated. Just 6.59%, or 18 pharmacists, responded that they were extremely motivated by potential advancement, rating their motivation as a 7.

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 varied opinions. The most common response for this question was not at all, with 20.88% of 273 respondents choosing this answer. The second most common answer was “extremely," with 16.85% of respondents choosing this answer.

Respondent Whitney Rogers, PharmD, BCPS, a critical pharmacy care specialist, is among the respondents who would be extremely likely to choose pharmacy again.

“I would choose pharmacy 100 million times over. I would choose pharmacy every time,” Rogers said.

“I get a lot of joy out of helping patients not only being on their appropriate therapy but helping them afford it and helping them understand why they need it," she said.

Rogers attributes the lower job satisfaction to pharmacists who join the profession for the wrong reasons.

“I think the salary is what initially draws some people to pharmacy, and I think maybe they realized pharmacy isn’t really for them,” she said.

“I’m on the opposite end; I’m passionate about my job as a pharmacist, and I’m on the lower end of the pay scale, and I’m OK with that, as long as I have enough to pay my bills," Rogers said.

She advises those looking into the profession to make sure they are truly passionate about it.

"For people, before they get into this, I really think they should go shadow pharmacists," Rogers said. "Shadow a retail pharmacist, an independent, a hospital pharmacist, just to make sure it’s something you really want."

Click here to view the survey results.

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