Pharmacy Technician Salary

Pharmacy Technician Salary Information

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Pharmacy Technician Job Description
Pharmacy Technician Training and Education

The pharmacy technician plays a supportive role, assisting a licensed pharmacist in a retail or hospital care setting. The technician will interact with patients, prepare prescribed medications, and assist with administrative tasks like answering phones and keeping records. Pharmacy techs who work in hospitals or medical facilities will typically have a greater range of duties, often including making hospital rounds to deliver medicines and preparing a greater variety of medications such as IV admixtures. At all times, pharmacy technicians must work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist who will review all prepared medications before they are dispensed to patients.

The Skinny on Salaries

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technician—Army Medicine (Flickr.com)

Though there is a large, and ever-increasing demand for trained pharmacy technicians, salaries in this field are far lower than in most other health care professions. Further education and experience can lead to a slightly higher salary over time; however, the profession hovers on the low end of the pay scale. The most recent numbers put forth by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that pharmacy technicians make an annual average of $30,020, or $14.43 hourly.

Determining Factors

Experience is the single greatest factor when it comes to determining a pharmacy tech’s starting salary. If you’re coming into the job market fresh out of school, most of the opportunities you find will be entry level positions in commercial and hospital pharmacies. Until you’ve gained three or four years of experience, your salary will remain on the low end of the scale, averaging between $17,000 and $27,000 annually.

As you gain experience, opportunities in other fields or higher positions will open up to you – along with a bigger salary. Within the first nine years of your career, you can expect your annual salary to reach as high as $35,000. After ten years in the industry, you’ll be considered a senior pharmacy technician and you’ll be in a position to demand a higher salary – in some cases as high as $42,000.

Education does also play a role. Although in many cases you can start working as a pharmacy technician without any formal training, you’ll almost certainly earn more if you’ve received the proper training and certification. Certain employers will actually offer on-the-job training and certification, after which time you should be eligible for a raise. In other cases, it will be up to you to get the training and certification you need for the field.

Continuing your education will also significantly add to your worth in the eyes of employers. Since there are constantly new developments, new discoveries, and new regulations in the world of pharmaceuticals and medicine, you can’t afford to stagnate in your learning. The more you put into your career, the more you can hope to get out of it.

Industry Breakdown

By looking at the comparisons below, you’ll see that there’s a direct correlation between your salary and the sector you choose to work in. Of course, as we mentioned earlier, certain career paths may only open up to you as you gain years of experience. Specialty hospitals and outpatient care centers rank high on the pay scale, offering between $36,000 and $38,000 per annum on average. On the other end of the spectrum, general retail settings like department stores and grocery stores typically pay between $27,000 and $29,000 annually.

INDUSTRY

AVERAGE HOURLY

AVERAGE ANNUAL

Outpatient Care Centers

$18.26

$37,980

Ambulatory Health Care Services

$17.35

$36,080

Offices of Physicians

$16.99

$35,330

General Medical and Surgical Hospitals

$16.26

$33,830

Nursing Care Facilities

$15.98

$33,230

Drugs & Druggists’ Sundries Merchant Wholesalers

$15.16

$31,540

Electronic Shopping & Mail-Order Houses

$14.52

$30,200

Grocery Stores

$13.96

$29,040

Health & Personal Care Stores

$13.74

$28,580

Department Stores

$13.13

$27,300


Geographic Breakdown

As in most other fields, your geographic location does play quite a significant role in how much you can expect to earn as a pharmacy tech. Maryland leads the pack with an average annual salary of $39,190, closely followed by New Jersey ($39,090) and Alaska ($39,010). West Virginia, on the other end, trails at quite a distance, with pharmacy technician salaries averaging out at $24,830 annually.

 

STATE

AVERAGE HOURLY

AVERAGE ANNUAL

Alabama

$12.12

$25,220

Alaska

$18.75

$39,010

Arizona

$15.41

$32,050

Arkansas

$12.41

$25,810

California

$18.45

$38,380

Colorado

$15.18

$31.580

Connecticut

$15.78

$32,830

Delaware

$12.84

$26,700

District of Colombia

$18.37

$38,200

Florida

$13.56

$28,190

Georgia

$13.27

$27,590

Hawaii

$16.94

$35,230

Idaho

$14.36

$29,870

Illinois

$14.44

$30,030

Indiana

$13.06

$27,170

Iowa

$13.31

$27,690

Kansas

$13.45

$27,980

Kentucky

$12.34

$25,660

Louisiana

$13.68

$28,450

Maine

$13.99

$29,090

Maryland

$14.99

$39,190

Massachusetts

$15.30

$31,830

Michigan

$13.24

$27,530

Minnesota

$15.43

$32,090

Mississippi

$12.17

$25,300

Missouri

$12.97

$26,980

Montana

$14.73

$30,640

Nebraska

$13.09

$27,220

Nevada

$16.42

$34,150

New Hampshire

$13.15

$27,350

New Jersey

$14.95

$39,090

New Mexico

$14.54

$30,230

New York

$15.04

$31,290

North Carolina

$13.17

$27,390

North Dakota

$15.34

$31,900

Ohio

$12.87

$26,770

Oklahoma

$12.34

$25,660

Oregon

$16.48

$34,280

Pennsylvania

$13.80

$28,710

Rhode Island

$14.29

$29,730

South Carolina

$13.14

$27,330

South Dakota

$13.89

$28,990

Tennessee

$13.53

$28,140

Texas

$14.87

$30,940

Utah

$14.82

$30,820

Vermont

$14.32

$29,790

Virginia

$14.06

$29,250

Washington

$18.46

$38,390

West Virginia

$11.94

$24,830

Wisconsin

$13.74

$28,570

Wyoming

$16.03

$33,350

 

4 Responses to Pharmacy Technician Salary

  1. Ty Tansil on June 26, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Nice!

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    • Bob Rapp on July 7, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      Hi Ty,

      Thanks for the feedback. Best of luck with your Healthcare Staffing business.

      All the best,

      Bob

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