Pharmacy Technician Salary By Experience
|Experience Level||Low Hourly||High Hourly||Low Annual||High Annual|
|10 Years +||$9.72||$24.99||$20,213.00||$51,980.00|
The pharmacy technician, also known as a pharmacy tech, is an employee whose tasks include assisting the supervising pharmacist by supplying medicines and other products to patients, managing the inventory of the pharmacy, and performing administrative tasks such as filling forms, billing and crediting patients. Pharmacy techs are usually found in hospitals and community pharmacies, although there are several opportunities found outside these sectors.
According to the a 2011 survey, registered pharmacy technicians amounted to 343,550 across the United States. The median pharmacy technician salary is $28,940 per year, or about $13.91 an hour. The bottom 10% bring home $19,840 a year at the most, while those who belong to the top 10% enjoy a salary of over $41,880.
Many pharmacy technicians find employment in health and personal care stores. As of 2011, there were 186,010 registered pharmacy techs working in commercial pharmacies and groceries, earning a standard rate of $13074 an hour, or about $28,580 a year. General, medical, and surgical hospitals come next, employing about 56,050 pharmacy technicians and paying them an average of $33,830 per annum, which is significantly higher compared to those working in general merchandise stores (24,730 workers paid at an average $28,080).
Pharmacy technicians working in Federal executive branch (OES designation) are the highest paid of the lot, raking in an average wage of $40,350 a year. Job prospects are also quite favorable, with 5,730 pharmacy techs employed nationally. Much rarer jobs in management, scientific and technical consulting services come second, with an average pharmacy tech salary of $38,850 yearly. Other big payers consist of outpatient care centers ($37,980), computer systems design and related services ($37,980), and colleges, universities, and professional schools ($37,120).
In the United States, there is no consistent standard for pharmacy tech training. That being said, almost all employers are keen on hiring individuals who have finished high school and have completed on-the-job training courses. Most of these courses typically last between 3 and 12 months. Most States in the country require pharmacy techs to be registered with the State Board of Pharmacy.
Formal training is also available and can be acquired in community colleges, vocational schools, hospitals, the military, and other various organizations. Formal courses tackle various subjects that include pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacy recordkeeping, pharmaceutical techniques, and pharmacy law and ethics. Training sessions are divided between classroom work and actual laboratory and pharmacy hands-on teaching.
Most States require certifications from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT). It is important that you check with your state requirements and see which organization your State recognizes. To maintain certification status, you must be recertified every 2 years. Within the 2-year period, you must undergo 20 hours of continuing education, which is offered in community colleges, universities, pharmacy associations, and pharmacy technician training programs. Being certified will have a great effect on your career as a pharmacy tech, especially on your pharmacy technician salary.
As stated in the Occupational Outlook Handbook by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment prospects for the average pharmacy tech are described as good.
Most entry-level positions will open up in the commerce sector, which includes commercial pharmacies, groceries, and malls. Also expected to provide opportunities in the said occupation are hospital pharmacies.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 31% increase in positions in a 10 year span from 2008 to 2018. As of May 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics tallied around 326,300 employed pharmacy tech and projected the figure to balloon up to 426,000 by 2018, which means there will be a 99,800 job openings.
This projected growth is attributed mainly to the increasing role of the pharmacy in the community and in the medical world. More and more people are getting conscious about their health and this leads to the rise and expansion of pharmacy stores in the country.
There is limited advancement for people in this profession. That said, pharmacy technicians with adequate skills, experience, and significant training may find themselves promoted to supervisory positions. Others may branch out to specialized fields such as chemotherapy pharmacy technician or nuclear pharmacy technician. Some could also move to other industries and become medical representatives and marketing coordinators for pharmaceutical companies. A pharmacy technician can also go for advanced learning and opt to become a pharmacist. This move will obviously open several doors of advancement as well as opportunities for wage increase.
Positions in complex areas such as academics, research and development, and drug manufacturing are attainable for pharmacy technicians. However, the competition is relatively high and chances of nailing a job in the mentioned industries are very low.
If you want a career in the medical and healthcare field but are not sure about becoming a pharmacy technician, you may also want to consider the following related occupations:
A pharmacy technician's job is growing in terms of significance in this modern world. With people now becoming conscious about their health, the role of the pharmacy has been bolstered. More and more pharmacies are expected to grow in order to cater to the demands of the community.
This news will have a great effect on pharmacy technicians and more professionals will be hired in the next few years. Simply put it is a stable occupation that pays a decent salary. However, options for advancement are limited and therefore, you will need to work hard if you want to better your career position as a pharmacy technician.