Knowing what the pharmacy tech salary is in various industries that employ pharmacy techs may help you to decide whether or not this is a career you want to pursue. Keep in mind, however, that no matter what the state of the economy, health related jobs are consistently on the rise. The market for pharmacy tech jobs is experiencing a faster than average growth and the outlook for employment is very good. One reason for this is because the demand for pharmacy workers is expected to increase due to the increasing number of elderly and middle-aged people in need of medications. Another reason is that more and more grocery stores are now offering pharmacy services, increasing the need for people to fill pharmacy tech jobs.
In addition to being a high demand occupation with great job growth and employment opportunities, the career also offers a competitive pharmacy technician salary. The median pharmacy technician pay is $13.65 per hour or $28,400 per year with the top pharmacy tech salary being $19.57 per hour or $40,710 per year.
Factors that can determine a pharmacy tech salary:
In general the less the education level, the less the pay will be. Those who have only a high school diploma may gain employment but will be paid much less than those who have gone through a formal pharmacy technician training program and received their certification. Many who only hold a high school diploma may earn as much as $9 to $10 per hour as a starting pharmacy tech salary, while the pharmacy technician pay for those who have obtained more educational qualifications will be more. Being certified as a pharmacy technician takes about one year and is likely to boost salary rates.
Years of Experience
The more experience a pharmacy tech gains, the higher the pharmacy technician pay. Nationally, the less experienced with one to four years of experience may expect to earn about $21,948 to 35,000 per year. Those with five to nine years of experience may expect to earn approximately $23,820 and $35,399 per year. And the pharmacy technician pay for those with 10 or more years of experience can be $45,463 per year or more.
Company Worked For
The pharmacy tech salary average in some companies is higher than others. For example, Kaiser Permanente pays a salary range of $28,966 to $55,000 yearly while Walgreens Pharmacy pays between $29,163 and $39,305 per year. CVS Pharmacy pays between $20,971 and $38,957 per year while Wal-mart Stores pay between $15,000 and $29,492 yearly salary.
A company’s size is a major factor in determining the pharmacy tech salary. Typically, companies with 200-1999 employees tend to pay the best with salaries topping out at about $50,000 per year. Meanwhile, companies with greater than 2,000 employees struggle to pay more than $45,000 as the top pharmacy technician pay. And those companies with fewer than 200 employees pay between $19,771 and $40,967. It would seem that to earn the best pharmacy tech salary, you should look for employment with a company which employs between 200 and 1999 employees.
Region of Employment
Where you live in the US also influences the pharmacy tech salary that can be achieved. Generally, Alaska, Washington State, and California offer a higher annual salary than other states. There are a variety of online resources which may help in determining which areas of the country offer the best pharmacy tech opportunities which meet your individual needs and salary. More detailed information can be found here US Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
How to Achieve the Best Pharmacy Tech Salary
In order to get paid what you are worth, the first thing to do is to acquire formal pharmacy technician training. Taking certification courses and then passing the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam is a great first step to earning the title of “Certified Pharmacy Technician”. It is also important to gain pharmacy experience while still in school. This will increase your experience level, helping you to get hired faster and be paid more.
You may want to research which companies and regions pay more and then apply for employment accordingly. Remember, companies of 200-1999 employees generally pay the best while companies smaller or larger pay less. Also, regardless of size, some companies just pay more than others.
It is also recommended that, once hired, a pharmacy technician should keep up to date with the proper education and re-certify every two years. With the right combination of experience, education, and association with the right hiring company, you can achieve the best pharmacy tech salary possible for your area.