When considering a career as a pharmacy technician, it is important to know what the salary levels are. The job is not always about the salary, but there should be some consideration for the pay levels available. Looking at salaries may be a factor where employment is chosen. A high pressure, busy and demanding pharmacy may pay more than the quaint pharmacy in a not so populated area.
Geographic areas also play a role in dictating salaries. Areas of dense population tend to have a higher cost of living and salaries will reflect that. On the other hand, less densely populated areas will have a lower cost of living and the salary will also reflect that, as well.
Salaries Depend On Education
Salaries depend on several things, and they include education, certifications and years of experience. Education does not always mean the initial degree, diploma or certificate of completion. It means staying current with the latest in pharmaceutical trends and medical technologies that effect what kind of medication is prescribed and at what intervals for it to be effective.
Those who become certified will be required to complete a certain number of hours of continuing education to remain certified. Education is not always about attending classes. It is about subscribing to the industry trade magazines and becoming members in the industries professional organizations.
Becoming certified and keeping that certification current is important to your professional status as a pharmacy technician. It also demonstrates to an employer you are serious about your career choice and serious employees are often more reliable and dedicated than one who lets their certification lapse, or who does not bother becoming certified because it is not required.
Nothing can take the place of experience. There are no shortcuts to gaining years of experience, except to outright lie about it and then there will come a time when that lie will catch up with you and add a black mark to your career. As your years of experience expand, expect to see an increase in salary. The less an employer has to teach an employee, the better they like it.
Experience also means years of on the job learning and using that knowledge to do a better job and stay on the forefront of the changing needs and demands of pharmaceuticals. Experience also brings efficiency to the job, and that is something that takes time to learn.
Certified Pharmacy Technician Salary
The numbers below are the national average based on a salary study conducted in early 2011. There are factors that will affect the actual salary such as the supply and demand of qualified pharmacy technicians, geographic location and supervisory status.
- an entry level pharmacy technician with 0 to 1 years of experience may see a salary of $22k to $39k per year
- 1 to 4 years of experience will bring with it a salary of $22k to $36k
- 5 to 9 years of experience range will see a salary of $24k to 35k
- 10 to 19 years of experience will bring a salary of $28k to $40k
- 20 years or more will translate to $29k to $48k per year.