Learn about a pharmacy tech salary before you decide to become a
technician. Here, a pharmacy technician provides important statistics
you need to know.
By Lynda Johnston, CPhT
Before you decide to become a pharmacy technician, make sure to do your research. One thing you definitely want to look into is what kind of pay you can expect.
A pharmacy tech's salary varies from state to state and from one employer to another. Throw your training and experience into the equation and you are looking at a very broad range of pay.
The best ways to increase your earning potential are by education and certification. National certification requires you to pass an exam, as well as to earn 20 units of continuing education every 2 years.
You can also become certified in compounding, IV sterile products, and chemotherapy. Most hospitals require a technician to be certified in one or all of these areas.
A pharmacy tech's salary will also depend on your employer. Expect your annual earnings to be around 20% to 25% higher in a hospital than in a retail or chain pharmacy. There are many types of companies that hire pharmacy technicians such as pharmaceutical companies, long-term care facilities, and government institutions.
Make sure to research the companies and types of jobs that interest you. Find out about benefits such as health insurance, sick leave, and retirement. Also check on their promotion policy and if they will assist you in continuing your education. All of these things contribute to your earning potential. Make sure you know as much about the company as possible.
Experience will also play a major role in where you can work and how much you will make. Most hospitals require 1 to 2 years of experience as a technician. A retail or chain pharmacy will hire new technicians. This is a good place to gain experience and move up to a better-paying position. Some retail pharmacies will even pay for your certification and provide promotion opportunities.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, the national median pharmacy tech salary (hourly wage) is $13.65. Here is a state-by-state breakdown.
These pharmacy tech salary figures are the median hourly wages across all types of technician positions and will also vary by city and metropolitan area. Remember that your earning potential is based on many factors. Subscribe to pharmacy technician newsletters and join forums so you can stay updated on the industry and read about other technicians’ experiences. It also helps to be affiliated with organizations such as the PTCB, NPTA, and ASHP. Get involved and stay informed.