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    The Top 10 Worst States to Be a Pharmacist

    Looking for a new location? You should probably avoid these states.


    Earlier this month we presented our list of the Top 10 Best States for Pharmacists. Naturally, there are two questions that such an article evokes. First: Did my state make the list? Second: If those are the Ten Best, when what are the Ten Worst states for pharmacists?

    We’ve already answered the first question, so here is the answer for the second.

    In compiling our ranking of all 50 states, we looked at a dozen variables, ranging from how much money pharmacists make to crime levels to overall well-being. The 12 metrics we used were:

    • Mean annual wage for pharmacists (the national average was $122,230)
    • Number of pharmacists per state (there were about 297,000 nationwide in 2016)
    • Location quotient of the industry (the local concentration of pharmacy techs as compared to the national average)
    • The state’s cost of living
    • Overall crime statistics
    • Pharmacy robbery rates (including armed robbery, employee pilferage and night break-ins—there were 632, nationwide)
    • Population’s overall well-being
    • Population’s health insurance rates
    • Pharmacy job openings
    • Population’s financial savviness
    • Stress (including work-related, family-related, money-related, and health-and-safety related stress)
    • Population’s education level

    We looked at each state using these criteria and then gave each state a ranking from 1 to 50, 1 being very good and 50 being the worst. We then compiled the 12 criteria rankings for each state to give that state a total and ranked the states from 1 to 50 based on that final score to give us the 10 worst states to be a pharmacist.

    As with the 10 Best list, a lone factor or two rarely swung a state’s ranking. For instance, pharmacists in Iowa ranked number 49 in total mean wage, but that ranking did not stop them from coming in third place, overall. There are other factors to consider, as well. For another example, the average pharmacist in Alaska made more money than anyone in the country, but Alaska appear on this list.

    With that scoring in mind, here are the bottom 10 states in our ranking:

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