Pharmacy Technician Salary
March 22, 2011
According to the United States Department of Labor, the median hourly wage of a pharmacy technician as of the year 2008 is around $13.32 per hour. The lowest ten percent of the population earned less than $9.27, the middle 50 percent get around $10.95 to $15.88 and the smaller percentage that belong to only the top 10 percent gets paid more than $18.98. In most cases it is the pharmacist who determines the pay check of a technician. During their first years of employment, the average pharmacy technician salary ranges from $25,000 to $35,000 per year. Typically a pharmacist technician will need to get at least ten years of experience before they can expect a significant increase in their pay. Senior pharmacy technician salaries can see upwards of $40,000 or more in a year.
Just like any other career in the medical field, the salary of a pharmacy technician depends on the industry and level of experience. The American Medical Association stated that the average salary for these technicians should start at $19,000 per year. If it is calculated on a per hour basis, it should be around $10 to $17. This means that they should earn a starting salary of up to $24,954 annually. Certified pharmacy technicians earn a lot more as compared to those who are not. In North Carolina, they pay their technicians a minimum of $10 per hour. In Ohio, on the other hand, pharmacy technicians get paid $9.50 an hour. In other states like Utah, they require a person to present a certificate with internship hours first before an individual is hired to work for a pharmacy. Of course, this follows that they pay more for their pharmacy technicians. The starting pay is around $12 per hour and some even earn as high as $15 to $16. In Georgia they pay $7.50 per hour for non-certified technicians and some pharmacies give their employees a 50 cent raise every year. Texas has shown a very low average salary for pharmacy technicians and these are certified ones. The state only pays around $14.95 per hour for a person who is already 10 years in his or her position. Plus, this person no longer receives any bonuses or incentive pay.
It is very rare for a pharmacy technician to earn around $20 per hour, but it is also not impossible. A person armed with 9 years of experience in this industry is currently earning around $19.45 per hour. This individual is currently working in a particular hospital in Washington. Washington is one state that requires a license from their technicians. Some of the employees are even nationally certified. This follows that they also get higher pay that ranges from $15 to $23 per hour. But with the pharmacy chains being nearly congested, the ones who get this kind of salary are usually pharmacy interns and not technicians. The technician salary really depends on a lot of factors. The following are the basis for the variations in the wage of a pharmacy technician: years of experience, certifications from the government and state of residence, educational attainment and customer service skills. A person must be proficient in courses such as math, algebra, biology, chemistry, pathology and a lot more. It is an added incentive to be successful in this industry if a person is patient and willing to learn at a quick pace. The starting salary for this fast track career is low, just like the entry-level positions in other careers. However, this is not a permanent set back as the pay will increase when an individual becomes more experienced and gains seniority for their job position.
Pharmacy Technician Training
Pharmacy technician is one of the most sought after occupations in the health care industry today. With the increasing demand for employment, more and more newly graduates are getting hired by hospitals and pharmacies. To be a certified pharmacy technician, one has to complete a program offered by many different pharmacy technician schools. The training program usually lasts around six months to two years. This includes instructions on medical topics, pharmaceuticals and customer service. Some of the classes included in a typical pharmacy technician course are chemistry, pharmacology, medical and pharmaceutical terminology, dosage calculations, drug reactions, pharmacy record keeping, interpreting prescriptions, pharmacy law, dosage forms, drug preparation and compounding of prescribed medications. As part of the degree program, students are given the time to participate in an externship. This is their chance to utilize their classroom knowledge and apply it in a live setting such as a hospital or retail pharmacy. Of course, they will be under the supervision of a certified pharmacist of manager. After finishing the said course program, the students have the option to get certified or not. They can get the certification by passing the written exam from either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board or the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians. Although some states allow pharmacy techs to work even without the certification, those who passed the exam are sure to earn higher than those who haven’t. Plus, it is always an advantage in landing a better job.
Pharmacy Technician Job Description
The primary task of a pharmacy technician is to receive and fill prescription requests for patients. Their assignment includes retrieving prescription orders, counting, pouring, measuring and weighing of tablets and medications, mixing medications, choosing the proper prescription container and making prescription labels. Once they are done filling the prescription, they put a price to it and file it. A licensed pharmacist will be the one in-charge of checking the completed prescription before it is released to the patient. A pharmacy tech is also tasked to fulfill some non-medical related duties. Some of these are preparing insurance claim forms, recording patient profiles, completing cash register transactions, making an inventory of over-the-counter medications and being up-to-date with the latest medications and their availability. There are also rare occasions wherein they are asked to advise patients about diet and health requirements. And this is the reason why most pharmaceutical establishment prefer technicians who are certified.