Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist and help pharmacists distribute medicines. This involves taking information and filling up a prescription, counting tablets and measuring other prescription medicines, mixing medications and preparing creams or ointments, and prepares various other intravenous medications.
Thus, the role of a pharmacy technician is as important as other jobs in the medical field. Considering the tasks and responsibilities of a pharmacy technician, how much salary does one make in a year?
For those who are just beginning with their career as pharmacy technician, the salary can start at $7-$8 an hour, while those who have longer years of experience in the field can earn up to $13-$15 per hour. Roughly, that is $26,000-$29,000 annually.
Factors Affecting Compensation
Various factors help determine the salary of a medical practitioner such as location of practice, industry, years of service, and credentials considering that there are also technicians who earn up to $40,000 per year.
Salary according to State
According to studies, average rate for pharmacy technicians is from $12-$16 per hour, and among the highest paying States are:
- Alaska - $18.75 per hour ($39,100 per annum)
- Washington, California, and District of Columbia - $18.50 per hour ($38,500 per annum)
- Hawaii - $17.00 per hour ($35,300 per annum)
- Oregon and Nevada - $16.50 per hour ($34,300 per annum)
- Wyoming and Connecticut - $16 per hour ($33,500 per annum)
On the other hand, following are States that pay the least for pharmacy technicians:
- Puerto Rico - $9.60 per hour ($20,000 per annum)
- West Virginia - $11.90 per hour ($24,900 per annum)
- Mississippi, Alabama, and Kentucky - $12.20 per hour ($25,300 per annum)
- Virgin Islands, Arkansas, and Oklahoma - $12.40 per hour ($25,800 per annum)
- Ohio - $12.90 per hour - ($26,800 per annum)
Even though the above States pay lower than most other States, one thing that must be taken into account as well is that the above States have lower cost of living, thus, the per hour rates are still competitive especially after taxes and other fees have already been deducted.
Salary according to Industry
On the average, those who found employment in hospitals are said to receive higher pay than those working in pharmacies and drugstores.
- Hospital - $32,500
- Grocery Stores - $28,800
- Pharmacies and drug stores - $27,000
- Department stores (drugstores in malls) - $25,800
- Other stores - $25,400
As mentioned earlier, experience and credentials also determine the salary of practitioners. On the average, pharmacy technicians who have 3-7 years of experience can enjoy additional 10% salary increase per year, while those technicians who pass their certification can earn a one-time additional 10% increase on top of the regular salary. These are just a few of the reasons on how a pharmacy technician can earn up to $60,000 annually.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, career prospects for these health professionals is positive and is expected to experience job growth by 32% of its current population of 335,000 practitioners until 2020 - that is about 110,000 job openings for pharmacy technicians.
Therefore, now is the best time to decide whether this is the best job for prospective students or professionals who want a career change.