The average annual median pharmacy technician salary (pharmacy tech salary) is reported to be about $32,000 in the United States or about $15 per hour. The bottom 10th percentile of pharmacy techs reported a salary of about $26,000 or less per year which is about $13 per hour. The top 10th percentile of pharmacy technicians reported a salary of about $38,000 or more per year which is about $18 per hour. The middle 50 percent of the profession reported wages of between $28,000 and $36,000 per year which is about $14 to 17$ per hour.
Some employers give benefits to pharmacy technicians. These benefits may include social security, healthcare benefits, bonuses, 401K, paid time off and pension benefits. When these benefits are added to the base salary, a pharmacy tech salary can amount to a total median compensation package of about $48,000.
Pharmacy technicians that are certified may earn more than those that are not.
Job description of a pharmacy technician
What does a pharmacy technician do? They work primarily under the supervision of a qualified pharmacist. Their primary duty is to help prepare and distribute medication to patients. They count tablets and pills, label bottles and fulfill prescriptions. They sometimes talk to patients and send back information to pharmacists.
Pharmacy technicians working in a hospital setting may have extra duties. They may be required to read patient charts and prepare and give medication to patients. This must be done under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Technicians record information about the prescription onto patient’s profile. They spend a long time preparing medication supplies for different patients. This is usually to meet the patient’s daily dose needs. This includes counting, weighing, mixing and labeling medications. The preparation is stored in the patient’s medication cabinet. A supervising pharmacist will then check this for accuracy before it is delivered to the patient.
How to become a pharmacy technician (pharmacy tech)?
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The education requirement to become a pharmacist is not very difficult. All that is needed is for you to acquire a high school diploma. A lot of pharmacy technicians acquire their skills through on-the-job training.
There are pharmacy technology programs offered by vocational schools and community colleges. You can acquire a certificate in pharmacy technology by completing such programs. The duration of these courses is usually less than 12 months. The program generally teaches the math used in pharmacies, book and recordkeeping, ways to fulfill and dispense prescriptions, how to read prescriptions, how to label medication ethics and pharmacy law. Some of the programs will offer internship where students gain hands-on experience in a pharmacy.
There are a few states that may require pharmacy technicians to be certified. Even in places where it is not required, obtaining certification will enhance your chances of landing an employment. You can get certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Pharmacy technician salary (pharmacy tech salary) in other countries (Canada, UK and Australia)
In the United Kingdom (UK) a pharmacy technician salary ranges between £18,000 and £28,000.
In Australia a pharmacy tech salary ranges from AU$30,000 to AU$48,000 per year.
In Canada, the average hourly pharmacy technician salary is reported to be CA$14 per hour. The range for Canada is between CA$11 to CA$17 per hour.
Verdict on pharmacy technician salary (pharmacy tech salary).
The wages received in this profession is not going to make you rich. It is however a good profession to use as a stepping stone to bigger things. You don’t need much education to get into the profession and the job outlook is very good.