If you’re thinking about becoming a pharmacy technician, you might be wondering how much you can expect to earn. Here’s a look at what pharmacy techs make in the United States.
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A pharmacy technician is a person who works in a pharmacy and is responsible for various tasks such as customer service, record keeping, dispensing of medications and other health care products, and preparation of prescriptions. The median annual salary for pharmacy technicians was $32,700 in May 2019, which means that half of all technicians earned more than this and half earned less.
What Does a Pharmacy Tech Do?
A pharmacy technician is a healthcare professional who works in a pharmacy, usually under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or patients. They may also perform administrative duties in a pharmacy, such as answering phones, stocking shelves, and running the cash register.
In order to become a pharmacy technician, one must typically complete a formal education program that has been accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Alternatively, some states allow individuals to become certified through on-the-job training or other means. Once certified, pharmacy technicians must then pass a state-specific exam in order to become licensed to practice.
How Much Does a Pharmacy Tech Make?
The average pharmacy technician salary in the United States is $32,780 per year or $15.82 per hour. Entry level positions start at $25,920 per year while most experienced workers make up to $41,290 per year.
Factors That Affect a Pharmacy Tech’s Salary
There are several factors that can affect a pharmacy technician’s salary, including experience, education, certification, and the type of employer.
· Experience: Pharmacy technicians who have been in the field for a longer period of time will typically earn more than those who are just starting out. The more experience a pharmacy technician has, the more valuable they are to an employer.
· Education: Most pharmacy technicians have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, but some employers may prefer candidates who have completed a formal training program from an accredited institution. Those who have earned a certificate or associate’s degree in pharmacy technology will usually earn a higher salary than those without any formal education beyond high school.
· Certification: Although not required in all states, most employers prefer to hire pharmacy technicians who are certified by the National Healthcare Association (NHA) or the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT). Those who are certified typically earn more than those who are not.
· Type of Employer: The type of employer can also affect a pharmacy technician’s salary. Technicians working in hospitals or large retail pharmacies usually earn more than those working in small independent pharmacies.
Job Outlook for Pharmacy Techs
The job outlook for pharmacy techs is positive, with a projected 19% growth in jobs from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth is due in part to expansions in the retail sector, as well as an aging population who will require more medications as they live longer.
While the growth of job prospects is good news for those interested in this career path, it’s important to note that competition for jobs may be high. The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $32,700 in May 2017, which means that half of all pharmacy techs earned less than this amount while half earned more. The top 10% of earners made $45,610 or more annually.
In conclusion, pharmacy techs can make a decent wage, especially when working in larger cities or for prestigious companies. However, like most jobs, the amount of money a pharmacy tech makes is largely dependant on experience and location.