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rphfan2009

I have recently taken a position as a pharmacy tech for a retail chain and just received my first paycheck...I'm still in shock about what they pay techs hourly! I feel sorry for anyone who has to make a living off that and support a household--it must be VERY rough! I can't believe that they pay such a low hourly wage for how much stress those people are under to boot!
 

ValeRx

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I have recently taken a position as a pharmacy tech for a retail chain and just received my first paycheck...I'm still in shock about what they pay techs hourly! I feel sorry for anyone who has to make a living off that and support a household--it must be VERY rough! I can't believe that they pay such a low hourly wage for how much stress those people are under to boot!
Yeah, I started off at minimum wage, 7.50 an hour. Can't wait until P1 starts so I can get that intern pay.
 
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rphfan2009

Yeah, I started off at minimum wage, 7.50 an hour. Can't wait until P1 starts so I can get that intern pay.
I hear that one! I personally feel that the money they pay me right now is so minute, it almost feels like volunteer work--no joke. I really feel for those poor techs!
 

Passion4Sci

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The situation would be drastically improved if certification even meant something. Instead, you pay $129 for the exam, go, sleep through it and get your certification.

It's sad, but I can definitely understand why it is the way it is. I get a fairly decent hourly because I work at an independent and my pharmacist is an "old timer" BPharm type that thinks we're all underpaid.


Some of the techs at the hospital I volunteer at make a somewhat livable wage (About $16/hr) but certainly not for the bay area. I don't know how people do it...
 
Jul 20, 2009
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How much is typical intern pay and do you automatically have to get paid that once you start school?
 

koercive

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it sucks even more if you paid tuition to attend a pharmacy tech school when you could have just paid the $129. I have a friend who went through school, now is in debt, and can't even find a tech job that starts at over $10/hour.
 

Passion4Sci

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it sucks even more if you paid tuition to attend a pharmacy tech school when you could have just paid the $129. I have a friend who went through school, now is in debt, and can't even find a tech job that starts at over $10/hour.
Yep... like I was telling Confetti, we had one of those guys at our latest volunteer orientation. He was wearing scrubs with the Western Career College insignia with "Pharmacy Technician Program" underneath it. I couldn't help but ask... $13,900 total with books and everything for their 16 month program.

Of course, I'm sure he would be better in the Pharmacy than I was when I firs started even with my freshly minted CphT crap behind my name. But yeah, talk about a racket...

Could we be saying the same thing about TTT Pharmacy schools in 5 years?
 
Jul 15, 2009
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How much is typical intern pay and do you automatically have to get paid that once you start school?
Depends on location, company, area etc. California will pay a little bit better, but cost of living is a lot more. Some companies pay more, some companies pay less, depends on who you work for and how much commitment you make to them. The area you are working in also determines this on many different factors.

There is technically no set intern salary so whatever you land once you start school is probably what you will get. From research though I would expect $20+ in california for intern pay while in school...but I didn't research that much :confused:
 

confettiflyer

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Yep... like I was telling Confetti, we had one of those guys at our latest volunteer orientation. He was wearing scrubs with the Western Career College insignia with "Pharmacy Technician Program" underneath it. I couldn't help but ask... $13,900 total with books and everything for their 16 month program.

Of course, I'm sure he would be better in the Pharmacy than I was when I firs started even with my freshly minted CphT crap behind my name. But yeah, talk about a racket...

Could we be saying the same thing about TTT Pharmacy schools in 5 years?
I can see the merit of those programs for hospital positions (aseptic technique training, placement, etc...), but never for retail.

One of our techs came from this program and had some deadweight bf who'd spend the day wandering around our strip mall complex, they were both living out of her car. I felt really bad for her, we'd buy her lunch and tell her to pay us back later knowing she probably wouldn't, but we knew she wouldn't take straight charity.

Ended up moving to Arizona and last I heard they were doing better.

You'd think from all those career college commercials that techs at least make a somewhat decent living wage....yeah not so much.
 

confettiflyer

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There is technically no set intern salary so whatever you land once you start school is probably what you will get. From research though I would expect $20+ in california for intern pay while in school...but I didn't research that much :confused:
P-1 = $16.75
add $1 each subsequent year
grad interns ~$21.75

CVS southern california set hourly rates (non-negotiable), about the same for the Bay Area. You're welcome.
 

rxtiger

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P-1 = $16.75
add $1 each subsequent year
grad interns ~$21.75

CVS southern california set hourly rates (non-negotiable), about the same for the Bay Area. You're welcome.
Looks like we get paid a bit less up here in Northern California. UOP students start off at $16/hr for first years and I think it goes up by $2 every year after that.

I know that Kaiser pays their interns a lot more (in the 21-22/hr range), but they also have union dues to pay, so it comes out about equal.
 

confettiflyer

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Looks like we get paid a bit less up here in Northern California. UOP students start off at $16/hr for first years and I think it goes up by $2 every year after that.

I know that Kaiser pays their interns a lot more (in the 21-22/hr range), but they also have union dues to pay, so it comes out about equal.
is this CVS also? probably reflects COL, things tend to be cheaper up there, but i had a feeling the two were close.
 

Kirbypuff

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I can see the merit of those programs for hospital positions (aseptic technique training, placement, etc...), but never for retail.

One of our techs came from this program and had some deadweight bf who'd spend the day wandering around our strip mall complex, they were both living out of her car. I felt really bad for her, we'd buy her lunch and tell her to pay us back later knowing she probably wouldn't, but we knew she wouldn't take straight charity.

Ended up moving to Arizona and last I heard they were doing better.

You'd think from all those career college commercials that techs at least make a somewhat decent living wage....yeah not so much.
Aww that's so sad. Where did she shower? I always wonder.
 

Passion4Sci

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At a homeless shelter? At friends' houses?
 
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rphfan2009

Yep... like I was telling Confetti, we had one of those guys at our latest volunteer orientation. He was wearing scrubs with the Western Career College insignia with "Pharmacy Technician Program" underneath it. I couldn't help but ask... $13,900 total with books and everything for their 16 month program.

Of course, I'm sure he would be better in the Pharmacy than I was when I firs started even with my freshly minted CphT crap behind my name. But yeah, talk about a racket...

Could we be saying the same thing about TTT Pharmacy schools in 5 years?
Wow, I wouldn't waste the $13,000 to become a CPHT. I'm currently getting paid minimum wage at my tech job....its such a joke because I was making more $$$ at my last job and I was a bartender...I keep telling myself that its just work experience for my resume and to ignore my paycheck amount.

I hear interns make like $16-17/hour--thats definitely more reasonable pay to me.

Here's another joke: I'm working an 8 hour shift tomorrow and what I get paid for the whole day is what a pharmacist gets paid for 1 hr of work (I'm not complainig because I know they deserve it though). Sometimes I wonder if the techs actually know what the pharmacists make and if not, they would probably go completely nuts if they knew. Its so sad in the long run for them.
 

Passion4Sci

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Yeah, I don't know.

The techs I see can fall into three distinct categories:

1. They're life-time techs and don't want to/can't go to pharmacy school and are fine with topping out around $20/hr.

2. They're techs who are aspiring to go to pharmacy school and will leave as soon as they can.

3. They're techs who want to be pharmacists, but never can seem to find the right time to start taking pre-requisite classes and such.

I think people who get into programs like Maric, WCC and the like do so because they think it'll be like radiological technicians or respiratory therapists (Where you can easily make 80 or 90 grand a year in the right area and with differentials, etc) and are horribly misinformed.
 

SHC1984

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Wow, I wouldn't waste the $13,000 to become a CPHT. I'm currently getting paid minimum wage at my tech job....its such a joke because I was making more $$$ at my last job and I was a bartender...I keep telling myself that its just work experience for my resume and to ignore my paycheck amount.

I hear interns make like $16-17/hour--thats definitely more reasonable pay to me.

Here's another joke: I'm working an 8 hour shift tomorrow and what I get paid for the whole day is what a pharmacist gets paid for 1 hr of work (I'm not complainig because I know they deserve it though). Sometimes I wonder if the techs actually know what the pharmacists make and if not, they would probably go completely nuts if they knew. Its so sad in the long run for them.
There is no reason to take any classes to be a tech. I had no experience and found jobs easily in a few days, so those classes are absolutely useless for anyone.

However there is no reason for you to feel sorry for anyone. Pharmacy techs, like cashiers, waitress, cooks, etc. are mostly doing this as a temporary job. Kinda like a stepping stone to bigger and better things. Its only for a few months/years until they find something better to do and anyone can do whatever they want if they really want it bad enough.

Everyone's life is based on his or her own choices, no pity needed.
 
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rphfan2009

Yeah, I don't know.

The techs I see can fall into three distinct categories:

1. They're life-time techs and don't want to/can't go to pharmacy school and are fine with topping out around $20/hr.

2. They're techs who are aspiring to go to pharmacy school and will leave as soon as they can.

3. They're techs who want to be pharmacists, but never can seem to find the right time to start taking pre-requisite classes and such.

I think people who get into programs like Maric, WCC and the like do so because they think it'll be like radiological technicians or respiratory therapists (Where you can easily make 80 or 90 grand a year in the right area and with differentials, etc) and are horribly misinformed.
I totally agree...I've met all 3 types--lol.
 

Kirbypuff

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Yeah, I don't know.

The techs I see can fall into three distinct categories:

1. They're life-time techs and don't want to/can't go to pharmacy school and are fine with topping out around $20/hr.

2. They're techs who are aspiring to go to pharmacy school and will leave as soon as they can.

3. They're techs who want to be pharmacists, but never can seem to find the right time to start taking pre-requisite classes and such.

I think people who get into programs like Maric, WCC and the like do so because they think it'll be like radiological technicians or respiratory therapists (Where you can easily make 80 or 90 grand a year in the right area and with differentials, etc) and are horribly misinformed.
4. They're just working a "high-paying" part time job as a college/post-hs student. $10-15/hr sure beats the typical $7-9/hr at other retail places like clothing or food chains.
 
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P-1 = $16.75
add $1 each subsequent year
grad interns ~$21.75

CVS southern california set hourly rates (non-negotiable), about the same for the Bay Area. You're welcome.
thanks for the correction and insight
 
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rphfan2009

4. They're just working a "high-paying" part time job as a college/post-hs student. $10-15/hr sure beats the typical $7-9/hr at other retail places like clothing or food chains.
I agree with that
 

ValeRx

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How much is typical intern pay and do you automatically have to get paid that once you start school?
The company I work for pays interns the following:

P-1 = 12/hr
P-2 = 14/hr
P-3 = 16/hr
P-4 = 30/hr

Once you graduate and get your PharmD, you are paid the full pharmacist salary even before you get your license.
 

Monalyce

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I guess I was lucky...they started me at $12/hour as a senior in high school, uncertified tech at my retail joint. Even just working seasonally I was up to $14/hour after 2 1/2 years! Some of the techs who had been there 10+ years were up to ~$20/hour.
 
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I'm currently getting paid minimum wage at my tech job....its such a joke because I was making more $$$ at my last job and I was a bartender...I keep telling myself that its just work experience for my resume and to ignore my paycheck amount.
In the exact same boat at $7.5/hr, just working to build resume. I made more coaching middle school sports after school. Also seems like nothing because I play online poker for quite a bit more than what i make in a 2 week paycheck.
 
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rphfan2009

In the exact same boat at $7.5/hr, just working to build resume. I made more coaching middle school sports after school. Also seems like nothing because I play online poker for quite a bit more than what i make in a 2 week paycheck.
:) I should probably start going to casinos on the weekends and playing some slots to supplement my income--lol
 

pharm B

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Yeah, I don't know.

The techs I see can fall into three distinct categories:
Way to hit the nail on the head. We have all three in my pharmacy. I'm the pharmD applicant (applying in Spring of '10). I'm working with a dude who's been a tech for 9 years who's trying to "finish up his pre-reqs." And we have a woman who (due to low cost of living) has worked for the company 15 years and makes about $17/hr.

I remember seeing the commercials for the CPhT programs and thinking "but I can just take the test, right?"

Makes you want to get a PharmD/MBA and open your own training CPhT training program. :laugh:
 

delano2000

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The situation would be drastically improved if certification even meant something. Instead, you pay $129 for the exam, go, sleep through it and get your certification.

It's sad, but I can definitely understand why it is the way it is. I get a fairly decent hourly because I work at an independent and my pharmacist is an "old timer" BPharm type that thinks we're all underpaid.


Some of the techs at the hospital I volunteer at make a somewhat livable wage (About $16/hr) but certainly not for the bay area. I don't know how people do it...

I hear ya on that one. In Texas I think they start out about $10/$11 an hr FT in retail (and even in the hospital FT), and if you work at the hospital PT with the shift differential you can make anywhere from $14-$16.50 an hr based on the shift you work
 
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rphfan2009

Way to hit the nail on the head. We have all three in my pharmacy. I'm the pharmD applicant (applying in Spring of '10). I'm working with a dude who's been a tech for 9 years who's trying to "finish up his pre-reqs." And we have a woman who (due to low cost of living) has worked for the company 15 years and makes about $17/hr.

I remember seeing the commercials for the CPhT programs and thinking "but I can just take the test, right?"

Makes you want to get a PharmD/MBA and open your own training CPhT training program. :laugh:
I don't have any techs that are that ambitious that I work with--Lol. I'm the only college educated one and working on my pre-reqs for pharmacy school. The rest of the techs are old ladies who have been there for years or younger kids who never went to college or have any other plans for there life. I feel pretty isolated and only talk to pharmacists...they are probably the only people that I can relate to at this point.
 
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rphfan2009

I hear ya on that one. In Texas I think they start out about $10/$11 an hr FT in retail (and even in the hospital FT), and if you work at the hospital PT with the shift differential you can make anywhere from $14-$16.50 an hr based on the shift you work
I wish that I worked in a hospital pharmacy sometimes