Rural Pharmacists make 59% More
“‘Big-city wages, small-town prices’ is a darn fine business model,” says cartoonist and entrepreneur Hugh MacLeod.
(And of course he didn’t say “darn”, but I’m keeping it clean.)
MacLeod was talking about being a being a loosey-goosey location-independent creative professional, but he could just as easily been talking about being a pharmacist.
A pharmacist does the model one better, though, by working in a rural community. There, a pharmacist can expect to make 59% more than a ‘big-city wage’…while still paying those small-town prices.
I pulled that number straight from our database. Comparing annual salaries + signing bonuses of rural vs city pharmacist jobs, rural pharmacists come out way ahead. The rural pharmacists I’ve recruited have 59% higher salaries than the urban ones.
And more often than not – three times as often! – I’m specifically looking for pharmacists for rural areas. In fact, 75% of the pharmacist employment opportunities for which I’ve recruited were located in rural communities.
Fewer people apply for the rural positions, however. 97% of the pharmacist resumes I receive are in response to an urban opening. Only 3% of pharmacy candidates apply for rural positions.
So even though the numbers work – double big city wages + small town expenses – they don’t work for everyone.
And a candidate for a rural pharmacist job who is strictly in it for the numbers might not stay in the job very long.
That’s why when I recruit for rural positions, I look for people who aren’t in it only for the salary. I’m looking for a person who wants to live in a rural community, who has personal, emotional and family reasons for moving – and staying – in their new community.
I look beyond the resumes I receive and I specifically seek out candidates who are making more than a cost/benefit analysis. Instead, I look for the emotional calculus.
Because those are the factors that predict if a pharmacist will stay- happily – in that great-paying new job.
Because, as always, when we’re talking about business and we’re talking about jobs…
…what we’re really talking about are people’s real lives – not cartoon model s for financial success.
Although, of course, rural pharmacists can have both.
“It was important to us that we find a management pharmacist who was willing to stay in the area for a substantial amount of time but more importantly someone who would enjoy living in the area with their family… Ria was able to understand our needs and the uniqueness of our remote rural location.” – Russ Johnson, Owner, Lakeside Pharmacy