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How Much Do CVS Techs Make?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by NYCGuy86, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. NYCGuy86

    NYCGuy86 7+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2010
    New York City
    Hi all,

    So I'm seriously considering applying to Pharmacy school, after considering medical school for quite some time. I feel that pharmacy provides the best options for me in relation to my interests in drugs, industry/research, and clinical practice.

    So with that, I've been thinking that perhaps it might be best to find a job as a pharmacy technician. I'm currently a patient care associate, and make $19/hr. The thing I'm worried about right now is that becoming a tech would be a pay cut. So I'm wondering, how much do CVS techs typically make? I'm in NYC if that makes a difference. I say CVS because after looking at a few hospitals in the area, it seems that they all ask for completion of a tech course, which I really can't fit into my current schedule with work and school. CVS seems to do on the job training, and then you take the certification exam (correct me if I'm wrong). My current hospital doesn't list any openings on the HR site, but maybe I should just ask one of the pharmacists I know?

    Thanks for the help!
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  3. R2pharmD2

    R2pharmD2 Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 20, 2010
    I'm not from NYC, so take this with a grain of salt, but I've only heard of a handful of instances where a tech made that kind of money. They were all in hospital pharmacy and had experience measured in decades as well. I would expect to take a pretty massive pay cut if I were you.
  4. Illinette2012

    Illinette2012 2+ Year Member

    Sep 26, 2011
    I've been working part-time as a pharmacy technician at CVS for almost 4 years & I'm at $11.40/hour with a yearly raise of 2%. Definitely a big pay cut from your current job. I started in high school at the bottom of the pay scale so I can't complain about making that much while being a college student. I'm not sure what the older career technicians make, but I can't imagine they make more than you're making at your job.
  5. Dnic


    May 2, 2010
    I work in a nuclear pharmacy as a technician and make about $18 an hour. I draw patient doses into syringes each morning in a laminar flowhood alongside a pharmacist who checks my work. You do not have to be certified as a technician to work as a nuclear technician, which is quite surprising, but true. Only downside, my workday starts at 3am.
    Rxwithm likes this.
  6. dancingallday

    dancingallday 2+ Year Member

    Sep 15, 2011
    I worked at CVS for a year and a half. Starting pay was $8.30, and the raise that they promised me for becoming certified? Never happened!! So yeah...the pay is crap. I jumped ship and weasled my way into a hospital pharmacy.
  7. PhoenixFire

    PhoenixFire 5+ Year Member

    Apr 10, 2011
    Totally depends on the location.

    Same here. But I had a certification when I started.
  8. Indypharm

    Indypharm 2+ Year Member

    May 19, 2011
    In Indiana, I made 8.50 starting at CVS and was given a rase of .25 for becoming Nationally Certified. At least CVS paid for my test, which I'm not sure they do now. I also jumped ship after getting a year's experience. Retail pay sucks for techs. Sorry. What about inquiring at the hospital you are currently employed?

  9. NYCGuy86

    NYCGuy86 7+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2010
    New York City
    Thanks everyone for the replies. Wow that really sucks, I feel like techs should definitely be making more than that! I'll try asking at my hospital and see what they say...
  10. tlt2796

    tlt2796 7+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    I think Walmart pays more than CVS does. I work at WM Southern California as a clerk starting at $8.4 for a year then I got certified and license. The pay rate was increased to $12.8.
  11. xtsukiyox

    xtsukiyox Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    May 19, 2009
    On the upside, the rumors I hear say that Wags has a good training program (including paying for your PTCB exam).

    I know more than one person who trained at Wags & used the 6 months of experience to get a better job elsewhere.
  12. tokenwoken

    tokenwoken 5+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    Target Pharmacy pays $14.00/hour with certification
  13. phileesha

    phileesha 5+ Year Member

    Sep 1, 2011
    Southern California
    I started off at CVS without any experience and was paid around minimum wage. After 6 months, they pay for you to take your certification exam to become a technician, which is nice. Once I got my license, they increased my pay to around $11. I've only been working there for a little over a year though. I don't know how much older techs and lead techs get paid.
  14. twizzlers713

    twizzlers713 2+ Year Member

    Aug 30, 2011
    I work at CVS in central PA near Harrisburg, I make 8.75 after two years. I should be getting a raise soon, prolly up to 9.00 =/
  15. eekOMG

    eekOMG 7+ Year Member

    Oct 8, 2009
    CVS pays you the least and works you the most.

    I'm a 2nd year pharmacy student with 3 years experience at CVS. I get paid less than my friends with no experience at other companies. I also get worked much harder than they do.

    Stay away if you can.
  16. amt811

    amt811 2+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 2011
    I'm a tech for CVS and they started me at $9.50 an hour because I had experience. Without experience, my store seems to be hiring techs at $9.00 an hour. My pay was bumped up to $10.00 an hour after I finished my training. And I'm supposedly getting a 25 cent raise in a few weeks, since it's almost a year that I've been there. CVS isn't the place to be if money is a concern, but I guess it's good for the experience to put on your resume when applying to pharmacy school.

    I worked at Walgreens and they paid me 11.25 or 11.50 an hour, but that was because they considered me an "intern" because I was pre-pharm at the time. I think Walgreens starts techs at $9.75 an hour.
  17. techinstilettos

    techinstilettos tech/future pharmacist 2+ Year Member

    Nov 8, 2011
    I'm at $8.50/hour and I'm seriously pulling teeth with the PIC, store manager, and our pharmacy supervisor to get my pay up, even though I just had my review and got certified. And yes, CVS does still pay for exams. If after all this effort I find out that my pay only goes up $0.25, I'll probably consider jumping ship as well. It's ridiculous for the work we're doing! Especially considering that, at least at my store, front store gets a higher starting wage than us in the pharmacy.

    You will not find $19/hour in retail, i can guarantee that. Unless, of course, you worked at the company for like, 20 years.
  18. tred1293


    Aug 19, 2010
    Consider all of yourselves lucky, Rite Aid in philadelphia completely screws you. They hire you as a pharmacy "cashier" to do all the work of a technician and get paid $7.35 an hour. and no raises because "we're a union, we don't give raises". just like cvs they promise that they'll offer certification but never happens.
  19. techinstilettos

    techinstilettos tech/future pharmacist 2+ Year Member

    Nov 8, 2011

    Hmm, why don't you try to find out on your own about getting certified? CVS obviously didn't come to me for it...I just said "hey, I think I want to get certified soon." (Mostly because I wanted a raise, and was sick of being paid the least out of everyone at my store when I do the exact same work. :mad:)
    I told my PIC and she emailed our supervisor, and he gave me the information to sign up and take the test. CVS just pays for it, they don't actually set up the registration or keep offering it to you.

    Same thing though...without certification at CVS, you're a "pharmacy service associate." I have heard that Rite Aid is hell though...
  20. JonPrePharmD

    JonPrePharmD 5+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2011
    How can you be so sure? I most likely make less than you as a tech ($7.50) and I'm the only tech on with a pharmacist and I do around 25rx/hr while answering phones, ringing up patients, etc. Other pharmacies are just as stressful and crappy, trust me. Just be lucky CVS has all those computers and stations for individual work, neat flashy software that makes everything easy and fast. Our software is outdated by decades it seems. You'd probably quit my pharmacy week one. :laugh:

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