A career as a pharmaceutical technician offers many rewards, from providing a service to patients to earning a respectable wage. However, the range of incomes within this profession varies widely based on a number of variables; thus, it is important to take these factors into consideration when looking for employment or seeking advancement. Of course, salaries will fluctuate from one region to another, with variations based on cost-of-living adjustments; but the primary factors influencing pharmacy tech pay are: the kind of pharmacy you are employed in, your level of education, and your history of related work experience.

The Right Salary at the Right Pharmacy

When seeking employment as a pharmacy technician it is important to consider your personality and what environment best suits your career objectives. Moreover, one must take into account how this decision will affect your bottom line. Inevitably, where you work effects your paycheck, and while working in a small pharmacy that allows more one-on-one interaction with patients and an opportunity to build personal relationships might seem appealing, the income is likely to be decidedly less than that of a pharmacy sharing an affiliation with a clinic or hospital. What is more, opportunities for advancement will be more difficult to ascertain, as smaller pharmacies rarely employ enough staff to warrant management positions outside of the primary licensed pharmacists. On the other hand, larger pharmacies with affiliations to medical facilities tend to necessitate a staff whose size correlates to the number of patients seeking pharmaceutical treatment. This correlation leads to greater starting salaries, a higher number of employees based on longer hours and increased need, and a demand for more supervisors to manage various shifts and departments within the pharmacy.

Potential Salary for Pharmacy Technicians

Although certification and higher education are not required in many states in order to become a pharmacy technician, it certainly makes applicants more employable and offers a better rate of pay. At an hourly rate, pharmacy technicians are reported to make between ten and seventeen dollars. Some statistics report an average starting salary of $19,000 for pharmacy technicians, although other employment statistics state that first year or training pharmacy techs can earn as much as $25,000 annually. Pharmacy technicians' salaries are often reviewed on an annual basis, and after two years, an adjustment resulting in as much as $30,000 annual payment is on average. From this point forward, a technician's ambition will drive their income potential. Generally, to obtain a supervisor or management position within a pharmacy requires certification and five to seven years experience, but it can offer a hefty payoff resulting in salaries at or around $40,000 per year, based on the number of technicians working under you. Unfortunately, short of using your experience to pursue becoming a licensed pharmacist, there is a ceiling for earning and advancement potential for pharmacy technicians.