How Much do Pharmacy Techs Make?

If you are considering a career as a pharmacy technician, then you need to know “How much do pharmacy techs make?”

According to the average pharmacy technician wage in the United States as of July 2011 is $34,000.

If you are thinking about becoming a pharmacy technician, you probably have a lot of questions about the career.  It is important to better understand the career so that you know you are making the correct career choice.  If you want to learn about the duties that you will have to perform, required education and how much money you will make, you are in the right place.

Take a look at the following guide to get a better idea of what a pharmacy technician career will entail.

Overview of Job They Perform

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists in a variety of ways.  Some of these duties include taking prescriptions and ensuring their accuracy, counting pills, printing prescription labels, rotating medications, and answering customer questions.  All of these duties help to make sure that a pharmacy is running smoothly.

There are a variety of environments that a pharmacy tech may work in.  Hospitals, pharmacies, medical stores, assisted living facilities and nursing homes all employ pharmacy techs.  There is a high demand for pharmacy technicians, and employment continues to grow.

Required Training and Certifications

You may be wondering if you will need special education to become a pharmacy technician.  Some pharmacy techs are able to get a job with only a high school diploma.  They rely on the on-the-job training to be their form of education.  It is recommended that you get your Pharmacy Technician certification.  By taking the time to become educated, you will be more attractive in the job market and may be able to have more opportunities and make more money.

There are many different pharmacy technician training programs to choose from.  You can usually complete these programs within 2 years.  If you are looking to enter the career world soon, this can be a great option.  An increasingly attractive option for busy people are online colleges.  Although it is not a requirement, getting your pharmacy technician certification is a good idea.

Pharmacy techs are required to become licensed in their state.  License requirements vary by state.  Many states allow some of the requirements to be achieved through on the job training.

If money is tight you can look into getting a student loan.  There are a number of federal loan options available and many colleges offer student loans.

Employment and Salary Outlook

Many people want to become a pharmacy technician because they are hoping to make a decent living.  Salary ranges are typically based on experience, but they can vary depending on the employer, the job location and your level of skill and training.

So, how much do pharmacy techs make?

An entry level pharmacy tech may make between $8-10 hourly rate. The average pharmacy technician makes about $14 an hour.  An experienced technician can make $18-$20 an hour.  As a technician gains more on the job experience and skill, they will likely see their earnings grow.

Average hourly Pharmacy Technician salary per hour:

(According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2010)

- Chicago $14.92
– Houston $14.64
– New York $16.19
– Los Angeles $17.56
– Philadelphia $13.98
– Dallas $15.09
– Atlanta $13.79
– St. Louis $13.26
– Phoenix $14.83
– Minneapolis $$15.24

Top-paying states in 2010 for Pharmacy Technicians:

(average hourly rates)

- Alaska $18.85
– Washington $17.93
– California $17.92
– Hawaii $16.79
– District of Columbia $16.75

Pay According to Employer, Location and Specific Skills

One of the highest paying employers for pharmacy technicians is the United States Government; specifically those pharmacy techs that serve in the United States Military.  It is not so much that the pay is so much more than other technicians so much as that the training is paid for and they are also eligible for the other perks (such as tuition assistance) that come with being a member of the armed forces.  But the military is by no means the only option available.

Most of those who become pharmacy technicians go to work in retail pharmacy positions, primarily because retail pharmacy positions offer a higher starting pay to their certified technicians (anywhere from $27,514 to $45,781 depending on their location and experience). Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is another popular skill set and runs a close second to retail pharmacy with jobs starting between $24,900-$41,644, again depending on location.

Currently the highest paying pharmacy tech positions are to be found in Houston Texas (starting pay between $23,583-$50,000) followed by Los Angeles ($21,600-$43,500) with Miami bringing up the rear with pay between $19,533-$44,219.  Interestingly enough, however, Philadelphia Pennsylvania offers an even higher average pharmacy technician pay for inexperienced technicians ($28,079) though they do not go up high for the more experienced techs.

As you can see, the average pharmacy technician pay in the U.S. is relatively high.  So if you want a job that takes little training and pays well, then becoming a pharmacy technician might be just the thing for you!

Bright Career Outlook

Since there is a need for pharmacy technicians in the medical world, the career outlook is good.  There are many different career opportunities available for both new and veteran pharmacy techs.

If you are looking for a new career option, consider becoming a pharmacy technician.  You will have a busy career that allows you to help a lot of people.

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