First, let's start off with the definition of a pharmacy technician. I will translate this title so it's easily understood. Pharmacy technician = Pharmacy aide/assistant/slave to the pharmacist on duty, by this I mean you will end up doing the grunt work of a pharmacist.
For example, counting pills, anwsering phones, entering prescription data into the computer, performing drive thru service, stocking the pharmacy with bottles, caps, bags,etc and ringing of the register.
I just outlined the main job duties associated with this field along with standing on your feet for 6 -8 hours a day.
You will deal with sick/angry/rude customers, let me translate another keyword. The word fast-paced environment means high stress, just so you are aware of that catch phrase.
Secondly, lets talk about the salary, thats right the measly salary they want to pay you for all this gruntwork.
$9.00 - $10.00 an hour for unexperienced, unlicensed pharmacy technicians
$11.00 - $12.00 an hour for certified/registered pharmacy technicians.
When you really think about it, isn't this what unskilled labor earns and this is without all the paperwork such as sitting for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam and registering with the state you want to practice in.
Think about the salary long and hard, it's under $20.00 an hour with no room for advancement. Trust me you can't raise a family off of pharmacy technician wages.
Nevertheless support yourself without working insane hours. In most states you need to earn at least $15.00 an hour to afford health benefits and barely support yourself.
Yes! Absolutely.... I passed this exam based on my experience when the exam first came into existence. I was however a person who always made it a point to continually educate myself and learn from others around me. ( this was before everyone had a home computer) I studied from package inserts & bought calculation workbooks from a nursing student at a yard sale! I also studied with Rx interns. I was highly motivated. I later parlayed my retail experience ( 1200 scripts a day store) to a position learning to mix IV’s ... and finally to a more clinical position in a home infusion pharmacy. While my classmates were paying HUGE school loans off... I had bought my own home and was self sufficient. Later I did return to finish a college degree, but frankly that was because I married and no longer HAD to work. I was much better off monetarily on the path I was on.
I would disagree, I know techs who started at 15.50 and the max is 22.50. Of course this is in inpatient pharmacy, however it’s not hard to get into these positions. I got this job with no experience and no certification! All on the job training and a certification requirement within a year. Hospitals are hurting for staff and techs too! The pessimism here is unreal! You’re doing a job that is so important for patients, and you know when you get into it roughly what you’re going to be making. I guess lesson learned for you, don’t become a pharmacy technician if you don’t care about your job.
I would disagree, I work as a pharmacy technician in inpatient pharmacy. No certification, no experience and I’m getting trained on the job and have to get my certification within a year. I met someone I barely knew who talked to me about the job and I applied and got it based on my other healthcare experience. It was easy for me to get in and others that they have hired with no experience or certification they hired solely on their personality and willingness to learn. I think people need to stop being so negative!
Meh... you complain about people complaining... isn't that just complaining as well. Doesn't change the fact that Pharmacy Technician pay has stayed around the same for almost a decade now while most other unskilled jobs have increased in pay. Wife was a tech for 10 years before deciding to go to Pharmacy school of which she will be graduating this May and making bank compared to what she used to pay, deservingly so. The average tech pay in Texas for example is around $15. And that really means $15 for hospital position and $10~12 for retail start pay. Being that for retail you need to be certified with two entities and maintain bi-yearly education that is not a reasonable pay. Hospital goes even further requiring a third certification and once again not a reasonable pay. When you have a regular retail location such as Target starting people of at $12 with no education, experience, no certifications you can see why this is an issue. Retail tech start pay for the CVS my wife was a tech at 10+ years ago was $10ish and now ten years on is still $10ish. When you pay this people so low for such a crucial job you end up with an unqualified pool of employees. Sorry but just my personal thought. Sure it is not okay to just complain but to put people concerned about their unreasonable income is just as bad. So stop being so high and mighty and take a peak at the actual facts. Next time you are paying a visit to a local hospital keep in mind that the IV medication that will probably be saving your life will be made by a happy qualified tech or an unhappy unqualified tech.
Agree. I've never seen so many people whining and complaining about something in my entire life. You have to do your homework which means researching what you think you want to do. You should also be willing to move to get a better job and accept the fact that not every job pays well.
If you went to school and feel cheated, well, that's on you for failing to research it. I decided to give it a try in addition to other tech jobs that fit my college degree. Don't limit yourself. Now, to even take the PCTB, they want you to have attended a program or have 500 hours of work experience. I met a former pharmacy tech the other night who went to school and did the job for 6 years before deciding it was a waste of time. She's now back working as a clerk at Walgreens. :facepalm:
She griped about how badly pharmacists treated her. Again folks, that's on you. The younger you are the more likely you are to be pushed around and to crack under pressure. At my age? I'd shrug it off, complain, or quit. That's where age and experience come in. She said there were no jobs. She didn't look very well before returning to a much lower paying position! There's no future in it, she said. There's money to be made if you know where to look and have a plan! As long as I make good money with benefits I don't care about a job title.
It seemed like everything out of her mouth was negative and she came across as slow on the uptake. A person like that is going nowhere. Today, if you aren't working with computers and software, you're only going to qualify for low level jobs going forward. Even pharmacies have robots now in many hospitals. They aren't close to replacing humans (they count pill fragments for example as whole pills) but they're here. Go to college and spend time and money on working with software. Bottom line: If you don't live in a city with a high demand for pharmacy techs paying well above minimum and if you don't have a lot of work experience, find another profession.
I don’t agree. Imma nurse and nursing has been good to me. I went to a community college for my nursing degree and worked my way through school. I just got a raise to 48.71 an hour.
Go into nursing instead. It isn’t easy and you have to pay your dues, but it’s worth it in the end. I started out as a pharmacy tech and then later surgical tech. My first tech job paid me 9.80 an hour. 22 years later I’m making 48.71 an hour and I still have my ADN only.
I'm sorry I have to agree and disagree. I'm a Certified Pharmacy Technician. At my last job, I made 20.57 hr. This job was Long Term Care Pharmacy. I worked Overnights, and sat down for 10 hrs a day. I worked 7days on and 7 days off. I wish I never lefted. I only left for school. I wanted to further my education. So I say this, yes you will make less money starting off in the field but if your good at your job you will find a better paying job. Everything takes time.
Phone Number hours is what employers are hiring for pharm tech. Its hard to live on part time wages. Two or more jobs to make a livable wage.
Leave the Medical field for diehard altruistic person.
Anything less than $30/hr is trash. You want a job with a high ceiling for growth and personal profit.
Leave the Medical field for diehard altruistic person.
I never went to a pharmacy tech school. I began working in a pharmacy as a cashier and just gained enough experience to pass the exam.
I worked in retail pharmacy for 8 years and with the ExCPt certification, I made a max of $15/hour.
I now work as a pharmacy tech for an insurance company and with my PTCB certification I make $22/hour.
I think if you explore, there's more jobs for techs than just counting pills.
I got my training in the United States Air Force. After my apprenticeship I worked at medical center pharmacies in Texas, Washington DC, Japan and Korea. I saw so many interesting things and people and got to do things not possible in civilian life. Computers were just becoming to be a thing in pharmacies at that time so the Air Force sent me to computer training.
When I got out of the military after five years I was in a very good employment position with all of training and knowledge. Because I already had training in pharmacy automation I continued to focus on that. At one point in my career the computer vendor for our pharmacy hired me away to work for them developing and testing software modules for their system. I also traveled all over the United States demoing, selling and installing the system. Again, so many cool experiences were had! By this time I was supporting and family and doing quite well.
I finished my last 18 years at a medical center pharmacy. A large percentage of my duties were related to computers and automation. Whenever new technology was introduced in the pharmacy, either in regard to dispensing units, robotics or IV preparation I made myself indispensable. It's what I loved doing and I got pretty good at it. The vendors always asked for me because I made their jobs easier. I was made several offers to go to work for them, but by this time in my life I was trying to cut back on hours to be with my family more.
At the end of my career I was making $50,000 a year with good benefits. My wife was making more as a newspaper reporter but in 2008 she was given a separation package. I was busier than ever.
So the job is basically what you make it. The more you put in, the more you get out.
I started out in retail with Walgreens and left after a few years due to the lack of available hours, insufficient pay ($10.50/hr.), and due to mismanagement.
I went to a mail order pharmacy where I was guaranteed 40 hours with some mandatory OT requirements which depended on the department. The OT requirements and realization that I made as much as a CPht as I would as biomed tech for a hospital resulted in me dropping out of college.
After working in several departments I switched my mindset to work smart not hard which resulted in landing a process improvement analyst position. As an entry level analyst you start around $48,000. Two years later and i'm now a consultant which start out around $70,000.
Best culmination of advice I can pass on would be to always be consistent, never let anger get the best of you, keep a positive mindset, use your intelligence to work hard not smart not hard, always defer to logic when in doubt, absorb information from pharmacist consults, read drug pamphlets, take notes, take self learning initiative, avoid management paths (it's a bottle neck involving too much backstabbing), don't date coworkers, avoid accumulating necessary college debt, recognize companies value experience over degrees (especially if they are irrelevant for your work), surround yourself with those whom you wish to emulate (successful people); and learn from them.
To conclude I recommend the following:
Go retail and stick with it if you want to be a pharmacist.
Go hospital if you want to advance to a nurse or more. Expect it to be extremely hard to get into.
Go mail order if you intend to get into business. In most cases will need retail or hospital experience first.
I usually earn $600 a month with it, while I work as a Pharmacy Tech full time.
I have 13 years experience in pharmacy and certified as a CPht. When you say switched over to insurance, are you referring to pbm? That's definitely a switch of pay status! I want to know more!
Becoming a CPhT is not a long term-career, its more of a short term job, something to have in the meanwhile as you work towards something else (eg. pharmaceuticals, becoming a pharmacist etc..)
FOR ANYONE TAKING A PHARM TECH PROGRAM DONT DO IT unless your unearthly stupid or want to spend tons of money and graduate with afat debt.
I just took the PTCB a couple weeks ago and passed on my first try, didn't take a program, probably know just as much as the ones that did. You're probably asking how? I SELF STUDIED- for 2 weeks with one book.
So please, save yourself the money and debt, don't do a program, just self study.
And again people. this is NOT a career. I am a full time college student who will soon be working part time as a CPhT to use the money on school expenses and what not, where my long term goal is becoming a pharmacist .
Must also mention that anyone interested especially the young and naive listen to the warnings of the most experienced workers this jobs has various downsides.. low pay, need to be certified, customer service and to me the most important that crushed my dreams, you are not helping no one many are "legal" addicts as i call them, many take pills like they are candy. this is Big Pharma they are customers nothing more nothing less and you are a cog in their wheel.
The experience that broke my heart was in Walgreen in Puerto Rico i wont mention the town... this customer had throat cancer he was dying and coulnt pay for his analgesic Walgreen turned him away.. about 2 months later i switched to a community farmacy and i saw the same patient and this time since it was community not a part of a evil corp, the Pharmacist in charge gave him the pills free of charge, only time i felt good in a pharmacy,he later died.
Another experience i had there was this female older lady(about 60-65) who i am not kidding took like 10-12 different pills..She died later one..i studied in a community college so i talked whit people from other courses and i had friends as embalmers and being a small town news travel quickly, so i told my embalmer friend about this lady(we knew her name) and he told me when they open her stomach to take out fluid and other stuff her whole stomach lining was stuck whit pills like macabre mosaic.... we knew she died from taking so many unnecesary pills since she complained a lot about stomach problems.
Certified... i seriously dont know why we need a certification that job can be done by anyone.