Pharmacist lands fifth on the list of best professions in the country, according to the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report. The profession earns its spot based on strong demand despite the tough job market, relatively high pay, and the promise of job growth due to structural changes in the health care system.
“With an aging population of baby boomers, more Americans expected to seek health services due to the Affordable Care Act, and increased demand for prescription medications, industry growth will likely remain high for years to come,” observes U.S. News, which has partnered with Pharmacy Times for the last 2 years to release a ranking of pharmacists’ top recommendations for more than 1000 OTC products.
The median salary for pharmacists in 2012 was $116,670, up from $113,390 in 2011. The 75th percentile of pharmacists in terms of salary made $133,700, while the 25th percentile in terms of salary made $103,350.
U.S. News rates upward mobility and stress level above average for pharmacists and flexibility below average. (Stress levels are particularly high when pharmacists must deal with a large number of customers or with difficult customers.) Approximately 40% of pharmacists work in pharmacies or drugstores, but an increasing number are going to work for mail order or Internet pharmacies or wholesalers.
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