How Much Does a Pharmacy Technician Earn?

Average earning of a particular profession is perhaps one of the most important parameters that help you decide in favor of or against it. And why shouldn’t it be? Who wouldn’t like to take back home decent wages at the end of a hard day’s work? After all, money plays a vital role in shaping the standard of your life. It is important for securing your family’s and your own future. So, whoever said money should not be a consideration while choosing a career has probably never lived without it.If you are exploring a pharmacy technician career, then this question must be at the top of your head. We’re here to help answer some of your questions regarding how much they earn on an average.However, before we get into details about pharmacy techs pay, it’s important to understand what the job entails. Because just like money is important, so is enjoying what you do for a living!Pharmacy Technician CareerLet’s start with what pharmacy technicians can’t do or rather are not supposed to do. They are absolutely forbidden from giving medical advice to patients who visit their pharmacies. They are not qualified to do so; hence they should resist the urge to not just offer medical advice, but also guide patients on what medication may work better for their condition irrespective of how knowledgeable and experienced they think they are.Although the duties and responsibilities of a them may vary depending on the type of facility they’re employed in, but in general their day-to-day work involves:
Receiving prescriptions and verifying them for accuracy
Filling prescription medications and labeling them correctly
Preparing intravenous mixtures under supervision
Assisting the pharmacist in inventory management
Answering telephone queries from patients
Storing drugs in a safe and secure manner
Maintaining patient records for reference
Preparing and processing insurance claim forms
Interfacing with customers who visit the store
Operating cash register at checkout
Pharmacy Technician TrainingIt’s best to start training for a pharmacy technician career in high school itself by taking courses in math, biology, chemistry, computers, etc.Once you’ve laid the ground by taking appropriate courses in high school, you can choose between a college degree and a vocational pharmacy technician course offered at career schools. A college degree will require a minimum of two years for completion, while a career training course can be completed in a matter of few months.What’s important is to get certified at the end of your academic study or pharmacy technician training program. Although certification is a hundred percent voluntary, having it just enhances your credibility and with it your job prospects. Certifying examinations are held by organizations like the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT).Pharmacy technician training should ideally include hands-on experience working in a pharmacy. This training could be incorporated in the curriculum of your pharmacy technician program or you may have to request for an intern position at your local pharmacy.Pharmacy Technician PayThe exact earnings of a pharmacy tech depend to a great extent on not just the type of facility he or she is employed in, but also other factors like:
Skill-level
Experience
Certification
Location
The average hourly wages of a pharmacy technician range from $8.03 – $15.56.1 Those who work for a franchise may earn between $7.86 and $13.87 per hour, while pharmacy techs employed in hospitals take home about $9.49 – $19.02. 2When it comes to experience-level, pharmacy techs with less than one year of experience earn $7.68 – $13.36 per hour, while those with 5-9 years of experience make $9.17 – $17.27 per hour.3

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Ten Reasons to Become a Pharmacy Technician

So, you’ve been in the job market or plan to hit it soon and are looking for promising professions to join. While one solid reason often suffices to start a career in a particular field, we can give you ten reasons for becoming a pharmacy tech.But before that, let’s try and understand what exactly is it that a pharmacy technician does. Pharmacy technicians are allied healthcare professionals trained in performing administrative, clerical and pharmacy-related tasks under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist.You could call them the eyes and ears of a pharmacist as they provide a range of support services that help pharmacists fulfill their primary responsibilities. Here are top ten reasons why becoming a pharmacy technician may be a smart career move:Reason #1Positive job outlook: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a much faster than average growth in the employment of pharmacy technicians over the next decade. According to the bureau, the growing number of older people requiring medication and advances in pharmaceutical research are expected to cause a 32 percent increase in the employment of pharmacy techs in the 2010-20 period.*Reason #2Minimal training requirement: Although pharmacy technicians do not have any formal educational requirements and can be trained on the job, but judging by the current employment trends, it’s best to complete a post secondary pharmacy technician training program and get professional certification to enjoy maximum opportunities. Career training in the field is available at vocational schools as well as community colleges. The training, depending on the program you choose, can last from a few months to a year.Reason #3Attractive remuneration: Pharmacy technicians enjoy attractive compensation, especially considering the fact that the educational prerequisites for the job are rudimentary at best compared to some of the other healthcare professions like nursing. According to the latest payscale.com data, pharmacy technicians make an average of $8.04 – $15.56 per hour or $16,773 – $35,199 per year in total pay, which includes annual salary, hourly wages, bonuses, overtime, tips, commissions, profit sharing, and other types of cash earnings.**Reason #4Online career training: Many schools offer online pharmacy technician training courses that are not just a flexible and convenient alternative to classroom training, but also accepted by employers as valid educational programs.Reason #5Flexibility in work schedule: Since a lot of pharmacies, especially the ones in hospitals, function round the clock, pharmacy techs may enjoy the flexibility to pick a work schedule that suits them. If you have other commitments during the day, you can request your employer for a late work shift.Reason #6Many work opportunities are available: Pharmacy technicians work in a variety of settings including hospital-based pharmacies, retail pharmacies, local drug stores, grocery and departmental stores, insurance companies, pharmaceutical research facilities, etc.Reason #7Opportunity to develop career skills: The job of a pharmacy technician can be a platform to develop important career skills that are also transferable from one job to another.Reason #8Work in clean environment: People with this job usually work in extremely clean and pleasant environment. In fact, part of their job is to keep the space they work in uncluttered and sanitized, so patients and/or their families can get their prescriptions filled without having to worry about contracting infections.Reason #9Potential to grow: With experience and further training, pharmacy technicians can rise up the ranks to supervisory roles. The work also provides an excellent training ground for pursuing advanced education in the field.Reason #10Become a part of the healthcare vertical: Becoming a pharmaceutical technician will provide you a chance to be a part of the flourishing healthcare sector and enjoy the prestige, stability, and gratification it offers. Not only will you receive the perks that come with being a healthcare professional, but you will also return home each day satisfied and content with having helped people at their time of need.Sources:*bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-6**payscale.com/research/US/Job=Pharmacy_Technician/Hourly_Rate