Industries with the Highest Wages
The largest number of Pharmacy Technicians were employed in 2008 by hospitals. Hospitals employed 54,350 technicians, while the Federal government employed 5,130. But the middle three employers – department stores, merchandise stores, grocery stores – employed 55,300 Pharmacy Technicians.
The difference between the mean annual wages paid to federal employees compared to the mean annual wages paid to department store employees is $11,510 or 44% proving once again that working for the government usually nets higher pay. The range of hourly wages in the top 5 highest employing industries is $12.49 to $18.02.
Department stores ($12.49) and merchandise stores ($12.82) pay similar hourly wages, both of which are below the $13.70 mean hourly wage for all Pharmacy Technicians. When it comes to the pharmacy technician pay scale, grocery stores ($17.70, hospitals ($15.47) and the federal government ($18.02) pay higher hourly rates. Future employment opportunities are expected to be very good.
Pharmacy Technicians have more skills and usually more education and certifications than Pharmacy Aides. The technician normally works for a Pharmacist in a variety of settings that include doctor and dental offices, grocery store and free standing pharmacies, hospitals and nursing homes, laboratories, and mass retailers like mail-order drug businesses.
Pharmacy Technicians accept and fill prescription orders, mix medications and label prescription bottles under the direct supervision of a Pharmacist. There is a growing trend within the profession for Pharmacy Technicians to work more closely with patients also. Starting pay, along with the level of pharmacy tech salaries achieved over time, is largely dependent on years of experience and types of certifications the Pharmacy Technician holds.
Pharmacy Technician Salaries for Industries with the Highest Employment Levels
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average Pharmacy Tech salary is $28,500 paid annually. Looking at the chart, clearly it’s possible to make much more depending on the industry chosen. For example, the annual mean wage for Pharmacy Technicians working in dental offices is $43,930. This is 54 percent higher than the annual mean wage for all those employed in this particular health care occupation.
Many of the highest paid Pharmacy Technicians across all the industries work in areas of research and diagnostic laboratories. Pharmacy Technician pay at the low end of the range goes to those who work in retail stores. Hourly Pharmacy Tech pay rates are widely dispersed and range between $9.27 per hour for the lowest-paid 10% to $18.98 per hour for the highest-paid 10%.
The job opportunities for Pharmacy Technicians are projected to be excellent with an additional 99,800 employed between the years 2008-2018. This is a 31% increase in total number employed. This number is much likely to be even higher with the passage of the health care legislation that will add millions to the insurance rolls. In addition, an aging population will also lead to an increased need for Pharmacy Technicians because senior citizens use more drugs than other age groups.
Many of the Pharmacy Technicians who are commanding higher salaries have some education beyond high school or an associate’s degree. The pay range for Pharmacy Technicians is also determined by the type of certifications held such as those conferred by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians.