Becoming a pharmacy technician or `PT` can be a rewarding career choice for anyone who likes a fast-paced environment, has attention to detail and wants to work in the ever-growing medical industry.
While there is little to no patient interaction involved, it is still a very important, specialized profession that is indispensable in any medical setting.
Those interested in this type of position should do careful research on the educational requirements and types of positions available however, because things like education and qualifications will directly affect pharmacy technician pay scales.
Average Pharmacy Technician Pay
The average salary for a PT will typically depend on a number of different factors such as location, education, certification and prior job experience as follows:
Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) – Anyone in the US who is certified and has passed either certification testing from an in-depth, approved vocational program or has their Associates’ Degree with PT emphasis will have the most variety in job positions (hospital, inpatient, outpatient, and specialty pharmacy settings, etc.) and can earn the highest salaries across the board.
With certification, salaries can start at $9 per hour in entry-level retail positions (with a range up to as high as $15 per hour depending on the retail employer, experience and position), though the more specialized jobs tend to start over $11 per hour for entry-level.
Non-retail CPhTs can earn upwards of $65,000 per year in certain positions, though the average seems to be around $45,000-$48,000 per year. Also, major cities tend to pay higher in this and many other medical fields, as do government positions.
Registered Pharmacy Technician
In the UK and many other countries in Europe, pharmacy technicians who are registered, having fulfilled all registration testing and work experience requirements, are able to apply for the more specialized pharmacy positions including those that are outside of the general retail environment.
The title of PT is available only to those who are currently registered and salaries for this employment level typically starts at Band 3 or 4 pay level of between £15,610 and £21,798, and they have the ability to work upward to Band 7, which pays a range of £30,460 to £40,157 depending on experience and position.
Again, the bigger, busier cities and government positions pay at the highest end of the scale and in some cases above it.
Non-Certified Pharmacy Technician
Those without a CPhT, and who have either attended a short vocational program or have not had any formal education, will be limited in the positions they can be hired for.
Most non-certified pharmacy positions are in retail environments, which start lower on the pay scale – as low as minimum wage – but there is room for advancement with experience and time on the job.
It is possible for a non-certified pharmacy technician to earn upwards of $12 to $14 an hour in some cases depending on the company, but it is rare that salary would go higher.
Dispensing Technicians or Accredited Checking Technicians – While these are also titled positions in the UK, they have much less education and work experience requirements than the registered PT does, and much less job responsibility. Job salaries start at Band 1 and 2 level (£13,653 – £16,753) and increase from there with experience and time on the job.