Pharmacy Tech positions don’t pay as well as licensed Pharmacists, but it is still an above average income in most states. But, before deciding if this is the best career for you, you’ll want to learn a little more about the job , the prospects and the salary that you could earn.
But before delving into detail about the average salary of a pharmacy technician in the USA, it is important to be cognizant of the fact that the exact figures of the average pharmacy technician salary vary depending on a couple of factors. As such, there is no definite answer as to what the exact salary of a pharmacy is because there are a number of factors that are known to influence the salary of a pharmacy technician. But before getting into specifics about some of these factors that influence the salary of a pharmacy technician, it is equally important to go through the job description of a pharmacy technician so that you can understand what pharmacy technicians do and figure out whether it is worth their salary.
What is a pharmacy technician?
Pharmacy technicians normally work in pharmacies and their primary job is to assist the pharmacists whom they work hand-in-hand with. A pharmacy technician is there to ensure that the pharmacy they work in is not only running efficiently, but it is also organized as well. Some of the common duties of a pharmacy technician include answering the phone, taking inventory, collecting patient information for purposes of insurance billing, ordering and restocking necessary supplies as well as performing other administrative tasks.
Pharmacy technicians can also measure and count medications when they are under the supervision of a certified and licensed pharmacist. However, they must be precise in virtually everything they do and most importantly have unrivaled ability to pay attention to detail. By considering the fact that all the prescriptions that are being turned in must be screened by a pharmacy technician, then it means that pharmacy technicians have to pay thorough attention to detail to ensure that a pharmacist has filled out everything correctly prior to giving a certain prescription.
Pharmacy technicians also interact with drug representatives in order to keep abreast with new studies as well as drugs that have been recently approved. Considering that the daily duties of a pharmacy technician are full of orders/shipments coming into the pharmacy as prescriptions that need to be accurately filled out, refilled and mailed out, then it means that pharmacy technicians have to remain on top of new drugs all the time
Factors that influence the salary of a pharmacy technician
Like it has been mentioned earlier along, there are a number of factors that influence the average salary of a pharmacy technician , and hence it can be difficult to give an exact figure as to what the average pharmacy technician salary really is. Here are some of the factors that determine what a pharmacy technician takes home.
Experience: A pharmacy technician boasting of a wealth of experience under their belt will definitely earn more than their counterpart with limited experience or who has recently graduated from a pharmacy college.
Certification: a pharmacy technician with an additional certification within the profession will definitely earn more than a pharmacy technician who hasn’t earned any certification.
The employer: Like with any other profession out there, the salary of a pharmacy technician will also vary from one employer to the other. Some employers are known to pay well as opposed to others. For instance, if a pharmacy technician is working in a well-funded hospital, then it is apparent that the pharmacy technician will take home a bigger salary than their counterpart who is working for small and individually owned pharmacies.
Geographical location: Differences in geographical locations can also influence the average salary of a pharmacy technician. Pharmacy technicians working in metropolitan areas are likely to earn more than their counterparts who are working in rural places. This is because the former are working in an environment that is conducive towards earning a bigger salary.
The salary outlook for technicians
According to statistics released by The US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2014, the average annual salary of a pharmacy technician is $29,650. However, there are some pharmacy technicians who can take home an average of $ 43,240 per year. But the lowest paid pharmacy technician takes home $20,640 annually. Some sectors such as the federal government pay very well , thanks to the fact that they can provide an average annual salary of up to $40,89o, excluding allowances. Other sectors that pay well include outpatient care centers, which normally provide an average annual salary of $39,050. Pharmacy technicians working in metropolitan areas of California, Oakland, San Jose, Napa and San Francisco earn more than their counterparts working at any other place across the country.
What are the future prospects for pharmacy technician?
Basically, the average salary of a pharmacy technician working in an individual-owned pharmacy is unlikely to rise in the future, thanks to the fact that the career prospects of such a pharmacy technician are limited. However, a pharmacy technician working in a public hospital is likely to rise into a supervisory position. At this point, their salary can range from 40k to 50k.
The fact that pharmacy technicians are considered in-demand professionals, then it means that their salaries is likely to go up over the coming years. As such, there are high chances that the average salary of a pharmacy technician will go up over the coming years.
But for pharmacy technicians without a pharmacy technician certification, there are chances that their salaries will not go up over the coming years. As such, it is prudent for every pharmacy technician out there to obtain a pharmacy technician certification if they are really looking forward to getting a salary increment over the coming years. Apart from certification, the other option for pharmacy technicians who aren’t satisfied with their salary prospects would be to further their education so that they can become fully-fledged pharmacists in the future. Such pharmacists have a higher average salary than the average salary of a pharmacy technician.
Now that you have an idea of the kind of salary to expect once you become a pharmacy technician in the USA, then it is apparent you will not have problems answering the difficult ‘What are your salary expectations?’ question during interviews with potential employers.
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