There is really no other way to go about getting your medication other than at a Pharmacy. Recall the last time you went to pick up some medication: who was the first person you talked to? It was most likely a Pharmacy Technician. While a Pharmacist is usually the person telling you how your medication is going to work to affect you, a Pharmacy Technician has equally important duties behind the scenes. As with most Medical Careers, Pharmacy Technicians are in high demand. People are always getting sick, and as such, they will need medication. Pharmacists cannot do everything, and Pharmacy Technicians are generally there to assist them with many of their routine, yet important tasks. Before you commit yourself to a certain career or educational path, many people are curious as to how much the profession is capable of making upon graduation. So, how much does a Pharmacy Technician really make? Read on to find out!
Why Become A Pharmacy Technician?
Before we get into how much a Pharmacy Technician makes, it can be helpful to know some reasons why you should consider taking the route to become one. If you are already a certified Pharmacy Technician, you will probably be able to relate to some of these very reasons:
- Interaction: Being a pharmacy tech forces you to interact with people on a daily basis, and will teach you the valuable skill of communication.
- Scribbles: Anyone who has ever seen a Doctor’s prescription will agree that generally a Doctor’s writing will look like chicken scratch, or a sea of scribbles. As a Pharmacy Technician, you will gradually learn how to make sense of all that chicken scratch!
- Education: Being a Pharmacy Technician allows you to continue your education if you ever choose to do so. You can go on to become a Pharmacist or take on another facet of the Health Profession. Knowing drug names and purposes is extremely useful.
- Dress: You get to wear a lab coat! There is no doubt you will feel pretty important in one of these.
- Variety: Pharmacy Technicians can have the choice to work in different settings from hospitals to drug stores.
- Helping People: As with any medical profession, you will be rewarded with the feeling of helping others.
How Much Do Pharmacy Technicians Make?
How much a Pharmacy Tech makes will depend on an individual’s level and the location that they are working in. The medium hourly wage for a pharmacy technician is around $13.32 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is about $28,400 per year. Of course, the longer you are employed as a Pharmacy Technician, the more you will make. During your first year of experience, you can expect to earn anywhere from $7 to $13 per hour. After racking up around five years of experience, your salary will generally raise to around $17 per hour.
No matter what the case, if you enjoy being a Pharmacy Technician, be sure to keep working at it to rise to the top!
Best Places for Pharmacy Technicians
Although a Pharmacy Technician’s pay is not as high as some other Healthcare professions, there are certain pharmacy technician jobs that pay more than others. For instance, outpatient care centers tend to pay more, at an average of $38,750 a year in the United States. If you are interested in knowing which cities in the United States to go to for the best paying Pharmacy Technician options, here you go!
- San Jose, California: The median wage here is the highest for all the metropolitan cities in California at an average of $48,100.
- Oakland, California: Oakland clocks in at a hefty $46,450.
- Napa, California: The average salary in wine country is $45,310.
- Madera, California: California’s central valley’s average salary is $44,210
- San Francisco, California: Average salary is $43,970 in this bustling city.
How to Become A Pharmacy Technician
Now that you know upwards to how much a Pharmacy Technician can make, let’s take a look at what you can do to get there – assuming that you have not gone down this path already!
- Education: It is generally required that you graduate from High School or receive a GED. Afterwards, it is recommended to enroll in a Vocational or Technical School that offers a pharmacy technician program. In these programs, you will be able to take the required classes needed to prepare you for a pharmacy technician certificate.
- Certification: Depending on the state or country you live in, the requirements for a pharmacy certificate may differ. You may need a certain amount of hours of working or training in a pharmacy before you are eligible for a certificate. Not only is this good experience, but it also provides training that you can apply at your job down the road.
- Exam: To become a certified pharmacy technician, you will also need to pass the board exam – where the requirements will, once again, differ by state. By passing the exam, you will be awarded with your pharmacy technician’s license.
Once you have completed your certificate and/or licensing exam, it will be time to whip out your resume and get on track to finding a job as a pharmacy technician. It is time to make the money your skills deserve! Speaking of skills, here are the primary skills that employers will look for when hiring a pharmacy technician:
- Communication and customer service abilities
- Specific drug dosage and knowledge
- Alertness and attention to detail
- Problem solving and situation analysis skills
Know Your Worth!
You know what you are worth, you know what it takes, and you know what to do to become and succeed as a Pharmacy Technician. Populations are always growing, babies are being born, and older generations will always need adequate care. That being said, job outlooks for pharmacy technicians are favorable and have a steady growth rate. Time to check out the handy courses that we have to keep you on track and in the know of health care and drug options to help you excel as a Pharmacy Technician!