Lisbon – The unemployment rate among pharmacists is lower than the national average (4.4 per cent vs. 6.8 per cent), with more than eight out of ten finding employment within a maximum of three months after finishing the job. course, a study reveals.
The study was carried out by the Order of Pharmacists (OF), through the Observatory of Employability in the Pharmaceutical Sector and the Teaching-Profession Platform, the study aimed to make a diagnosis of the different areas of professional practice and characterize the employability and access to the labor market in the pharmaceutical sector .
According to the study, which took place in October 2018 and involved 1,502 pharmacists, mostly women (79 per cent), corresponding to 10 per cent of OF members, the unemployment rate among pharmacists is lower than the national average and is even lower among professionals with less than 30 years, not exceeding 2.8 per cent.
When asked how much time had elapsed since they completed their training, 82.1 per cent of the respondents said they had waited for a maximum of three months, 8.5 per cent between three and six months, 4.7 per cent between six and 12 months, and two , 4 per cent between one and two years, according to the study that Lusa agency had access to.
However, younger pharmacists today have greater difficulties in accessing the labor market than those experienced by their senior colleagues (between the ages of 30 and 60).
Among the youngest, 71.5 per cent said they started activity in less than three months, a figure lower than those who are now between 30 and 60 years old (about 90 per cent).
Pharmacists over 60 reported that it took more than three months, and even two years, to find their first job.
About 30 per cent of the respondents said they felt some kind of difficulty in entering the labor market, justified by the limited supply in the professional area and the pharmaceutical market in general, but also by the lack of professional experience and job offers in the area of residence.
Among the various areas of intervention of pharmacists, the “Community Pharmacy” is the one with the highest demand by recent graduates, but it is also the one with the largest number of unemployed pharmacists.
According to the study, more than 60 of unemployed pharmacists reside in the northern region of the country.
Seven out of 10 respondents reported that they were able to get into the area they wanted, the study said, adding that men and young people were the most difficult to get to work immediately in their professional area of choice.
The results also show a direct relationship between the initial employment relationship and the age of the professionals, that is, the younger the age, the greater the percentage of individuals who had a bond at the beginning of their professional career equal to or less than one year.
The study indicates that 40 per cent of pharmacists earn between 1,000 and 1,700 euros gross monthly. Although residual, there are still professionals receiving the national minimum wage (in the “Teaching and Research”, “Hospital Pharmacy” and “Community Pharmacy”).
It also reveals that pharmacists in the area of ”Clinical Analyzes and Human Genetics” have had a longer time since the conclusion of higher education, which explains some aging of the professional area, for example, with the “Community Pharmacy”, where more professionals with shorter time since the conclusion of the course.
Half of the respondents felt that they were relatively well prepared to take up the profession early in their careers, but 82.1 per cent said that there are gaps and areas of discipline that are poorly explored in graduate education, in particular the practical component of professional practice and management.
Regardless of gender, age or professional area, 75.4 per cent of pharmacists attributed high importance to continuing education, with 46.7 per cent attending post-graduate studies in recent years.
The percentage is lower among professionals who have in their “Community Pharmacy” their main professional area, with 30 per cent reporting on the frequency of postgraduate studies conferring academic degree.
Most pharmacists said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the profession, with industry pharmacists being most satisfied with their professional status, as opposed to hospital pharmacists, who report lower overall satisfaction rates.