Pharmacy technician salary depends mainly on experience and qualification levels. There are many pharmacy technicians who do not have a formal qualification, preferring to learn on the job under a pharmacist, and these generally receive lower salaries than those with a formal qualification or certificate in pharmacy technician.
Salary levels of a pharmacy technician for new or trainee level technicians averages around $25,000 per year, until they have gained some additional work experience, at which time the expectation is for a salary of around $30,000 per year.
This salary can increase further with experience, with a technician with 10 years of experience expecting a salary of around $40,000 annually. Average annual starting salary for pharmacy technicians as reported by the American Medical Association is $19,000.
Technicians who are registered or certified can expect to receive higher salaries.
Another factor affecting the level of salary expectation will be the nature of the actual employer. For example, a pharmacy technician working for a pharmacy within a large chain store such as Walgreens or CVS may begin on the lower end of the pay scale, while those working for a larger corporation such as Kaiser Permanente could possibly start around $40,000 per year.
Geographic location is important when considering who to apply to for work, as the level of income expectation can vary by a wide margin by state. For example at both ends of the scale, pharmacy technicians in Hawaii can expect an average salary of around $22,000, while those working in New York can expect to earn about $38,000 a year. Obviously there are also differences in standard and cost of living to be taken into account in relation to location.
Gaining accredited qualifications and certification/registration is one of the best ways to demonstrate to a potential employer that you have the right level of training and skills to be considered for a higher paid position. Many pharmacy technicians start their careers without an associate degree and relevant additional accreditation, but look to gain this while working, in order to maximize their earning and progression potential.
The increase in dependence on the health care sector will see a continued increase in demand for positions across the industry. Because of this, the demand for pharmacy technicians is quite good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a much faster than average growth in this job sector between 2010 and 2020.
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