Like many other careers in the health care industry, pharmacy technicians are in high demand. While employers generally prefer to hire certified pharmacy technicians, there are some who will offer on-the-job training. If you are thinking about becoming a pharmacy technician, it is ideal to have a good understanding of how much you can expect to make. Here is some information about average pharmacy technician earnings.
Average Pharmacy Technician Earnings
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy techs earn $13.32 an hour, on average. Some pharmacy technicians may earn less than $9.27 an hour and others may earn more than $18.88 an hour, also according to the BLS. There are several factors which can determine an entry-level pharmacy tech’s earnings.
Pharmacy technicians who have completed a program at a community college or technical school and have passed a national certification examination are likely to earn more than those who receive on-the-job training. In addition to earning more, certified pharmacy techs are in higher demand. It can pay to complete a training program and become certified prior to entering this job.
2. Work Setting
A pharmacy tech’s work setting can determine his or her earnings. Most find employment in drug or grocery stores, though each chain of stores generally has its own pay scale. Pharmacy technicians who work in hospitals are likely to have higher earnings. There is also generally a variation in earnings for techs who work in mail-order pharmacies, where they do not need to deal with customers face-to-face, but will generally need to answer telephones.
3. Geographic Location
As with many other careers, a pharmacy tech’s geographic location can affect his or her earnings. Techs who work in metropolitan areas are likely to earn more money than those who work in rural areas. Pharmacy technicians who work in the north generally have higher earnings than those who work in the south.
For the right individual, a career as a pharmacy tech can be an ideal option. Training programs at colleges or technical schools can take six months or less to complete, though it is possible to earn an associate’s degree in this area. On-the-job training usually ranges from three to 12 months. Pharmacy techs generally need to have good mathematics skills, as they will need to understand conversions. They should also be familiar with pharmaceutical terminology, as they will need to know the names of various medications.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Pharmacy Technicians and Aides.”