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  • Working in the US Part time an option?

    Hi,

    I am currently based in the UK with a UK pharmacy degree and 3 years community pharmacy experience. My husband has recently been offered a job in Michigan in the US. I have read all the articles about how to become licensed to work there etc.

    My husband's visa will not allow me to work there, simply live there with him. I would need to get an employer to sponsor me to work. Ideally I would like to work part time in community pharmacy (2-3 days/week). Does anybody know of anyone who has done this successfully? My worry is that it is unlikely that I would be sponsored to work part-time. An employer would want you to commit to full time if they are to go to the expense of sponsoring you.

    Also, I know this is probably on this forum somewhere else but what are the rates of pay like in the US compared to the UK. What are the hours like? I guess a lot of the large chains are open late or even 24hrs? Is it tricky to get a 9-6?

    I would be grateful for any advice.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Working in the US Part time an option?

    Living costs half of Uk. Salaries double. (upto $130k).
    My nephew went to gainesville as associate prof astronomy. His wife very soon got a job so sure will not be any problems.
    johnep

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    • #3
      Re: Working in the US Part time an option?

      I live and work in U.S. As far as getting a community pharmacy position, not a problem. As far as getting a part-time postion, not a problem. As far as getting a company to sponsor an H1b working visa on a part-time schedule, a major problem due to cost/time for them. Your best bet would be to commit to full-time "at first" and then reduce to part time later after negotiating with them. Most of the major chains here sponsor visas. In Michigan, they probably have chains such as Walgreen's, CVS and Rite Aid. I'd start there. Also, as you know, getting licensed here is a different story. It took my wife 4 years total (and she is also from EU). I have elaborated more on this process in the global forum chat. I think it would be tricky to get a 9-6 in a chain, let alone on a part time basis. It may be possible if you included weekends into this scheme. Many are open 24hrs, but not all and they usually have people willing to do the overnight shift (pays more). Shifts in chains can be long (i.e. some people work 4 10hr shifts, some people work 12hr shifts depending on their preference). The salary here is comparable to the UK. For example as Johnep noted: salaries can be up to 130K. More reasonably they may be around 110K. This is in the neighborhood of $55 (guess) per hour. From what I see, the going rate in the UK is around 26-30pounds per hour. This is the same due to the horrible conversion of the dollar right now, you just divide dollar by 2 and you have pounds. So your full-time salary would be around 55-60,000 pounds. The cost of living is not half in the US, this is where I disagree. It depends where you live. I live in Denver which is cheaper than New York, but by all means not cheap. I can tell you Michigan is cheap to live and they recruit alot. In honesty, the reason is because Michigan is very economically depressed, has high unemployment, lots of crime and is not very scenic. It's also cold in the winter/humid and hot in summer. It is very hard to get people to move there. In fact, Detroit was just recently ranked the most dangerous city in America (from a violent crime perspective). That's saying alot considering in Denver I see daily "shootings" on the evening news. My advice would be to make sure you go there and check it out before committing to Michigan. I interviewed there (in Kalamazoo) with my wife and we were both offered pharmacist jobs but hated the place something terrible.

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      • #4
        Re: Working in the US Part time an option?

        Well pharout, my nephews certainly bought large (by UK standard) houses at roughly half the equivalent of the UK at the time when the dollar was riding high.

        Now for something completely different. I have recently seen a publication on Oncology Pharmacy which I was told produced by Colorado uni. looked excellent. Any chance of getting a copy?
        regards.
        John Packham

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Working in the US Part time an option?

          Hi all,
          Thanks for your input. I thought as much with regard to the hours and pay and the fact that I would probably have to start off full time.

          With regard to your comments about Michigan Pharout we would indeed visit before committing to anything. I know Detroit is not a nice place to live, we'd probably be looking at living somewhere like Ann Arbor. I have heard from friends who have been there that it is very nice and have also heard that the countryside around Michigan with its proximity to the lakes and Canada mean that there are plenty of nice places to visit and things to do on the weekends? Main downside for me I think is that it's a bit cold in the winter!! Also, I guess it would be much harder to get a job somewhere like Ann Arbor compared to Detroit. There’s no way I’m working in Detroit.

          I know Ann Arbor is probably more expensive than a lot of places around it but to be honest if I am going to make the move over there I would want to live in the nicest place I could afford, within reason. Coming from the UK we are used to paying stupidly high living costs. At the end of the day the house prices over there are still a steal compared to here. A $350,000 house in Ann Arbor would cost you about £400,000 minimum here for the same size in an equivalent area so you are talking about less than half the price! Rental prices however do seem to be much more similar. Having been to America a number of times I know everything is so much cheaper than here. I'd say day to day living costs must be in the region of 30% less.

          Thanks for your advice guys and anyone else out there with some more words of wisdom or views on Michigan and nice areas to live in please post. We would have to be within a 1 hour commute of West Detroit.

          Thanks

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Working in the US Part time an option?

            I had a wartime penfriend who lived in Saginaw but went to Ann Arbor for uni.
            then went to live in Denver as an asthma sufferer and one day got caught on a corner by a truck when on a bike and killed.

            I have always fancied phoenix. my daughter passed through Denver on way to a riding holiday in Montana.

            Perhaps pharout and you could swop houses and jobs, but would love to welcome them both to this area. Addenbrookes advertising in this week's journal.
            regards to all, off to Las Palmas on Sunday but will keep posting from hotel.
            johnep

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Working in the US Part time an option?

              Originally posted by johnep View Post
              Well pharout, my nephews certainly bought large (by UK standard) houses at roughly half the equivalent of the UK at the time when the dollar was riding high.

              Now for something completely different. I have recently seen a publication on Oncology Pharmacy which I was told produced by Colorado uni. looked excellent. Any chance of getting a copy?
              regards.
              John Packham
              Houses here are certainly "large". I believe you said your nephew moved to Florida? Florida's cost of living is known to be cheaper on the whole (in terms of buying a house) than most places in the country (unless you are buying in Miami). As far as your request, not sure which journal this is? Is it the Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice? Onc is not my area of expertise, however, if you knew the title of the article or authors, I could probably pull it and send it to you. I have access to lots of electronic journals.
              Best regards,
              pharout

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Working in the US Part time an option?

                Originally posted by Harby View Post
                Hi all,
                Thanks for your input. I thought as much with regard to the hours and pay and the fact that I would probably have to start off full time.

                With regard to your comments about Michigan Pharout we would indeed visit before committing to anything. I know Detroit is not a nice place to live, we'd probably be looking at living somewhere like Ann Arbor. I have heard from friends who have been there that it is very nice and have also heard that the countryside around Michigan with its proximity to the lakes and Canada mean that there are plenty of nice places to visit and things to do on the weekends? Main downside for me I think is that it's a bit cold in the winter!! Also, I guess it would be much harder to get a job somewhere like Ann Arbor compared to Detroit. There’s no way I’m working in Detroit.

                I know Ann Arbor is probably more expensive than a lot of places around it but to be honest if I am going to make the move over there I would want to live in the nicest place I could afford, within reason. Coming from the UK we are used to paying stupidly high living costs. At the end of the day the house prices over there are still a steal compared to here. A $350,000 house in Ann Arbor would cost you about £400,000 minimum here for the same size in an equivalent area so you are talking about less than half the price! Rental prices however do seem to be much more similar. Having been to America a number of times I know everything is so much cheaper than here. I'd say day to day living costs must be in the region of 30% less.

                Thanks for your advice guys and anyone else out there with some more words of wisdom or views on Michigan and nice areas to live in please post. We would have to be within a 1 hour commute of West Detroit.

                Thanks
                Harby,
                If I had to move there, I would choose Ann Arbor. We've been there and thought (for Michigan) it was a nice place. It is a university town with a large student population. Typically, these are desirable places to live. I would say jobs in U towns here are tough to get in the pharmacy world. They have a school of pharmacy at the U of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Housing costs in Ann Arbor are probably higher due to the atmosphere. Overall housing costs in Michigan are cheaper than other parts of the country.
                I knew the UK was expensive, but didn't realize things were that expensive!! Pharamcist salaries are comparable between here and there, however, we need to take that into consideration before going there. Do you honestly think my wife and I (and our children) can have a relatively good standard of living on 2 pharmacist salaries in the UK???
                thanks

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Working in the US Part time an option?

                  As average cost of house in south around £k180-£k200stg, believe you could indeed find it hard. My neighbours nephew came over from California to Cambridge and paid nearly k500stg. But as boss of an IT co, guess the company paid.

                  savings would be in health costs and families with children do get grants. however, schooling here very dependent where you live and houses near favoured schools fetch a premium. Unless you definitely wish to immigrate, suggest you rent.

                  Hospital jobs sometimes come with subsidised housing. community pharmacies are also attached to houses in the country or have a flat.

                  With regard to the Oncology Pharmacy book, believe published by pharmacy dept at Colorado. Please do not worry, I will have a look on their website and may be able to obtain here via amazon.
                  johnep

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Working in the US Part time an option?

                    Originally posted by johnep View Post
                    As average cost of house in south around £k180-£k200stg, believe you could indeed find it hard. My neighbours nephew came over from California to Cambridge and paid nearly k500stg. But as boss of an IT co, guess the company paid.

                    savings would be in health costs and families with children do get grants. however, schooling here very dependent where you live and houses near favoured schools fetch a premium. Unless you definitely wish to immigrate, suggest you rent.

                    Hospital jobs sometimes come with subsidised housing. community pharmacies are also attached to houses in the country or have a flat.

                    With regard to the Oncology Pharmacy book, believe published by pharmacy dept at Colorado. Please do not worry, I will have a look on their website and may be able to obtain here via amazon.
                    johnep
                    Johnep,
                    Sorry to keep dwelling on this, but just trying to clarify. I think we would plan to live there permanently. Am I completely way off to assume a pharmacist's salary would be around 50,000 pounds (don't have the symbol on my keyboard)? By my estimation based on the tax structure and National health insurance there, this would be roughly a net income of 35,000 pounds per annum. Does this sound right to you, as I'm simply going off of what I've read? I've also read the "average" mortgage payment there is around 1200 p/month, does that sound right? I just don't want to make the wrong move, but if these figures are "ballpark", then with two of these incomes I think we could do ok. Let me know.
                    thanks,

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Working in the US Part time an option?

                      You and your wife can be taxed separately. tax is roughly 20% total upto 34kstg, then 40% above. Pension payments are deducted before tax so in effect Govnmt are paying a percentage.

                      It may be that I am just an old cynic, but 400,000 Britons have left recently to live abroad. I would strongly advise googling for US living in UK to get their opinions. Weathy people like it in Uk as kidnapping and serious crime well below that of USA.

                      I did have a gun pulled on me in Miami, but otherwise have had no problems at all when in US.By the way it was a garage where I pulled in to ask directions and they must have thought I looked a bit strange.

                      If I was a young man and was going to work in retail (I was in industry) then Florida or California do sound attractive on a cold wet day.

                      johnep

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Working in the US Part time an option?

                        Originally posted by pharout View Post
                        Johnep,
                        Sorry to keep dwelling on this, but just trying to clarify. I think we would plan to live there permanently. Am I completely way off to assume a pharmacist's salary would be around 50,000 pounds (don't have the symbol on my keyboard)? By my estimation based on the tax structure and National health insurance there, this would be roughly a net income of 35,000 pounds per annum. Does this sound right to you, as I'm simply going off of what I've read? I've also read the "average" mortgage payment there is around 1200 p/month, does that sound right? I just don't want to make the wrong move, but if these figures are "ballpark", then with two of these incomes I think we could do ok. Let me know.
                        thanks,
                        Try this site it is reasonably accurate to see how much you have left for yourself!
                        The Salary Calculator - Take-Home

                        Once you get your net salary, the government in the UK nibble away at it again and again every time you try to spend, save or even die. If it were criminal activity it would be called extortion, but here we call it Taxes.
                        47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
                        2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
                        How times change.

                        If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

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                        • #13
                          Some of the comments above are extremely useful, I'd definitely like to stress the fact that whilst salaries are higher in the U.S there will more likely be more expenses. Living costs/rental prices are a lot higher, then you need to consider that you won't be able to access free healthcare there like you can in the U.K under the NHS.

                          I know a few people who have made the move, but have done so only because the job they have there pays extremely well. If I were you I'd honestly sit down and weigh up all options. Compare how much you're left with to live on now and compare that to that in the U.S. This site may be useful for you:

                          Wishing you all the best

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                          • #14
                            Gosh, the first post for 10 years in this old thread.
                            johnep

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Pharmacists are treated worse in the USA than here by the big chains. Universities opening pharmacy courses everywhere, excess pharmacists, fewer jobs. Very difficult for foreign pharmacists unless you are prepared to pay visa fees yourself and undercut homegrown pharmacists wage demands significantly.

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