Are you considering a career in pharmacy technology, but wondering how much money you can expect to make? Pharmacy technicians are an essential part of the healthcare industry, and they typically receive competitive wages and benefits.
In this article, we’ll explore what pharmacy techs make on average, as well as the factors that could affect their salary. We’ll also look at some of the most lucrative states and cities for pharmacy techs.
What Is A Pharmacy Tech?
A pharmacy technician is a healthcare professional who assists pharmacists with tasks like filling prescriptions, preparing medications, and answering patient inquiries.
They also help maintain records and keep the pharmacy stocked with supplies. To become a pharmacy tech, you must complete an accredited program and pass a certification exam.
What Do Pharmacy Techs Make?
The average salary for a pharmacy technician in the U.S. is $31,750 per year or $15.27 per hour. This number can vary greatly depending on the state you work in and the experience level of the pharmacy tech.
For example, those who have more experience may earn a higher salary than those just starting out in the field.
What Factors Impact How Much A Pharmacy Tech Makes?
There are a number of elements that have an impact on the average wages of pharmacy techs, and these include:
Location is one of the most important factors in determining a pharmacy tech’s salary. Those who work in urban areas typically make more than those in rural locations, as salaries tend to be higher in large cities with higher levels of competition.
Additionally, some states have higher pay scales for pharmacy technicians than others.
For example, California and Washington are two of the highest-paying states for pharmacy techs, offering around $49,000 and $46,000 per year respectively, while the lowest-paying state is Arkansas, with a median salary of just $29,000 per year.
Years Of Experience
The next major factor in determining pharmacy tech wages is the experience level of the technician. Those with more years of experience in the field typically earn a higher salary than those who are new to the profession.
As an average, techs with 1-4 years of experience will earn around $14 per hour, and techs with 5–9 years of experience can command around $15-$16 per hour.
At the higher end, techs with 10–19 years of experience will generally be on around $17-$18 per hour, while techs with over 20 years of experience can earn around $19-$20 per hour.
Education And Certification
The educational background and certification level of a pharmacy tech also plays an important role in their salary. Those who hold a degree or certification from an accredited program will generally make more money than those who do not.
For example, those with an associate’s degree in pharmacy technology can usually command higher wages than those with only a high school diploma.
Additionally, techs who hold certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) will typically make more than those without certification.
Job Type And Setting
The type of job and setting may also affect the salary of a pharmacy tech. For example, those who work in retail pharmacies typically make less than those who work in hospitals or other medical facilities (see also “How Much Do Paramedics Make?“).
Additionally, pharmacy techs who specialize in compounding medications may earn more than those who are primarily responsible for filling prescriptions.
How Can I Become A Pharmacy Tech?
If you’re interested in becoming a pharmacy technician, there are several steps you’ll need to take. First, you must complete an accredited pharmacy tech program.
This typically involves taking classes in subjects like pharmacology, medical terminology, and chemistry. You will also need to pass a certification exam, which is usually administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
Once you have obtained your certification, you can begin searching for a job. You can search for jobs on job boards like Indeed or Glassdoor, as well as on pharmacy-specific websites like the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).
What Skills Does A Good Pharmacy Tech Need?
Wondering whether this is the role for you?
Good pharmacy technicians must be adept at following instructions from pharmacists and physicians, as well as any other healthcare professionals they may interact with.
Pharmacy techs must be able to keep track of large amounts of information, such as patient records and prescription details. They must also stay organized in order to ensure that medications are prepared correctly and efficiently.
Pharmacy techs must be able to communicate clearly and effectively with patients, pharmacists, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. They must also be able to explain instructions in a clear and concise way.
Pharmacy techs must be comfortable using computer systems, as most pharmacies use electronic medical records and automated prescription filling systems.
Attention To Detail
Pharmacy techs must be very detail-oriented, as they are responsible for preparing and dispensing medications. They must pay attention to even the smallest details in order to ensure that medications are filled and administered correctly.
Pharmacy techs must be able to follow instructions given by pharmacists, physicians, and other medical professionals. They must understand the directions of others and be able to execute them accurately.
This is especially important when preparing medications for patients, as any mistakes could be dangerous for the patient’s health.
Good pharmacy techs are also highly adaptable. As the healthcare field is constantly changing and evolving, pharmacy techs must be able to quickly learn and adjust to new systems, processes, and technologies.
The salary of a pharmacy tech depends on many factors, including job type and setting, education level, certification status, and individual skills. Those with higher levels of education and certification will typically earn more than those without.
If you have the skills needed, and the desire to work in the pharmacy field and make a real difference in the health of patients, then becoming a pharmacy tech could be a great career move.
With the right training and experience, you can become an important member of any healthcare team.