Average earning of a particular profession is perhaps one of the most important parameters that help you decide in favor of or against it. And why shouldn’t it be? Who wouldn’t like to take back home decent wages at the end of a hard day’s work? After all, money plays a vital role in shaping the standard of your life. It is important for securing your family’s and your own future. So, whoever said money should not be a consideration while choosing a career has probably never lived without it.
If you are exploring a pharmacy technician career, then this question must be at the top of your head. We’re here to help answer some of your questions regarding how much they earn on an average.
However, before we get into details about pharmacy techs pay, it’s important to understand what the job entails. Because just like money is important, so is enjoying what you do for a living!
Pharmacy Technician Career
Let’s start with what pharmacy technicians can’t do or rather are not supposed to do. They are absolutely forbidden from giving medical advice to patients who visit their pharmacies. They are not qualified to do so; hence they should resist the urge to not just offer medical advice, but also guide patients on what medication may work better for their condition irrespective of how knowledgeable and experienced they think they are.
Although the duties and responsibilities of a them may vary depending on the type of facility they’re employed in, but in general their day-to-day work involves:
Receiving prescriptions and verifying them for accuracy
Filling prescription medications and labeling them correctly
Preparing intravenous mixtures under supervision
Assisting the pharmacist in inventory management
Answering telephone queries from patients
Storing drugs in a safe and secure manner
Maintaining patient records for reference
Preparing and processing insurance claim forms
Interfacing with customers who visit the store
Operating cash register at checkout
Pharmacy Technician Training
It’s best to start training for a pharmacy technician career in high school itself by taking courses in math, biology, chemistry, computers, etc.
Once you’ve laid the ground by taking appropriate courses in high school, you can choose between a college degree and a vocational pharmacy technician course offered at career schools. A college degree will require a minimum of two years for completion, while a career training course can be completed in a matter of few months.
What’s important is to get certified at the end of your academic study or pharmacy technician training program. Although certification is a hundred percent voluntary, having it just enhances your credibility and with it your job prospects. Certifying examinations are held by organizations like the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT).
Pharmacy technician training should ideally include hands-on experience working in a pharmacy. This training could be incorporated in the curriculum of your pharmacy technician program or you may have to request for an intern position at your local pharmacy.
Pharmacy Technician Pay
The exact earnings of a pharmacy tech depend to a great extent on not just the type of facility he or she is employed in, but also other factors like:
The average hourly wages of a pharmacy technician range from $8.03 – $15.56.1 Those who work for a franchise may earn between $7.86 and $13.87 per hour, while pharmacy techs employed in hospitals take home about $9.49 – $19.02. 2
When it comes to experience-level, pharmacy techs with less than one year of experience earn $7.68 – $13.36 per hour, while those with 5-9 years of experience make $9.17 – $17.27 per hour.3