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What should be the average salary for Pharmacy Technicians in Retail settings?

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by Rxnupe, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Rxnupe

    Rxnupe Membership Revoked
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    I am just curious to what you guys think avg salary should be for a certified retail technician. I had one tech who once told me that she believed the tech pay should be about 1/2 the pharmacist salary since the "techs" do majority of the work. Of course that's nonsense, but I do feel that both CVS and WAGS have under payed techs.

    I honestly wish my company would do more to take care of the techs because the pay they offer them is very low compare to the Supermarket chains and many Independents.
     
    #1 Rxnupe, Aug 18, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
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  3. nnguyenc

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    IMO no experience techs should start off at $10/hr
     
  4. Aznfarmerboi

    Aznfarmerboi Senior Member
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    8 starting for somebody with no experience.
    9 for somebody in college or have retail experience, but no pharmacy experience.
    10 for a properly trained tech.
    12 for an inventory specialist with 2-3 years of experience.
    15 max for super technician.
     
  5. Digsbe

    Pharmacist 7+ Year Member

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    A certified tech shouldn't be making half that of the pharmacist. The tech didn't receive a PharmD nor do they have the extensive drug knowledge that the pharmacist has.

    In my opinion uncertified technicians should make around $9-10 per hour. A certified tech should make $14-16 per hour.
     
    #4 Digsbe, Aug 18, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  6. CUpharmD2013

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    I pretty much agree with this, maybe add a dollar or two to each level. I think a pharmacy tech should be paid more than a front store worker or run of the mill mall/retail worker. But, since you don't need any kind of college education to make it to that super tech level, I don't think that you can rationalize it going much higher than like $17/hour which equates to about $35k/year. Although, I'm pretty sure techs in a hospital setting surpass $20/hour (correct me if I'm wrong).
     
  7. ValeRx

    ValeRx PharmD
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    Techs at my chain start at 7.50 no matter what. It's laughable a tech thinks they should receive 50% pharmacists pay due to them doing the "work." What they don't realize is that they have NO accountability, hence the lower pay.
     
  8. LazyMooch

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    My question is, considering how much retail pharmacy sucks, what incentive to good techs have for staying with a company. There is no chance for advancement or career development and the pay is terrible. I feel awful for techs because their job is very stressful and the compensation is laughable.

    If a lot of pharmacist are miserable in retail making +100k a year, think how the techs feel at 28k (not sure exact yearly salary, but you get my drift).

    Unless you are unable to find another job, I would never recommend becoming a tech to a family member. It's a dead end job.
     
  9. npage148

    npage148 Senior Member
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    Techs are super underpaid and it's obvious by the quality of people I typically work with (nothing against them though). If we paid them more, we get better people applying and sticking around. I'd start a no-experience tech at like 12/hour and build to 20/hour as they get better. It's pretty shameful what chains pay them. 1 quality tech is easily better than 2 iffy ones. Hell, I'd even take a paycut to pay techs more. Dump my salary down to 40$/hour and give me more/better help
     
  10. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 imagine sisyphus happy
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    Ideally? If it is their careers, I'd say they should have the opportunity to work up to $22 an hour with pension and benefits. That's probably what they get in magical places like Germany where they still have a strong, functional middle class...oh and pensions...haha...I forgot, this isn't 1967...
     
  11. Rx MPLS

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    One friend of mine works for a supermarket chain as a tech. She's been there for over 10 years and has extensive knowledge of how to handle insurance rejections, but she's the first to admit she likes that she's not on the hook for liability. She receives wage increases every year, but the chain pays all techs the same amount, regardless of their work history, so new techs start at the same wage. It's a decent wage (close to $20/hour) with benefits, but she's arguably worth more to a pharmacist than a brand new tech.
     
  12. ValeRx

    ValeRx PharmD
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    Techs at the VA make around 20 an hour.
     
  13. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun
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    Techs at Costco who had been there for like 10-15 years were making like $25-30/hr + benefits.

    Also, graduate interns at Costco made $39/hr.
     
  14. Rockinacoustic

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    Funny, I just read a commentary on this topic yesterday: http://drugtopics.modernmedicine.com/drugtopics/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=730685

    In my opinion retail techs are paid what they are because much of their worth is garnered and proven by on the job training, mostly thanks to PTCB certification being a joke.

    And being a small fish in the big pond of retail chain pharmacy doesn't help either. I could give 110%, my co-worker could give 50%, yet we both still get that same 2% raise.
     
  15. rxlea

    rxlea Almost a unicorn
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    Techs at the hospital make between 18-28/hr depending on years of service and experience. I see nothing wrong with that. Techs with no experience but are certified should start @ 15 IMHO. Health benefits should be an option as well + PTO/vacation time + sick days.
     
  16. PumpkinSmasher

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    There is still a few hospitals, state govt hospitals and clinics, public health service and kaiser that offer pensions.
     
  17. spacecowgirl

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    I think up to $25/hr is fair. It's funny because when I was a tech I thought I did everything the pharmacist does. Now that I'm a pharmacist, I realize how wrong I was. There is a lot to be said about the buck stopping with you.
     
  18. farmadiazepine

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    When I was a tech I was started at $7.25/hour for the first 3 months. I used to work my butt off and get a small little pay check every week. Then it went up to $9/hr, and then every year in pharmacy year that I completed, it went up.

    I know that certain techs in retail get paid decent. I know one who gets $19 an hour because he is effin excellent doing drop off, fixing insurance rejections, fixing coupons, dealing with difficult customers and making them happy, and doing all the complicated work easily.

    If your doing register all day long, then you are going to be stuck in the low range, which I guess is anywhere between $8 to $10 an hour.
     
  19. R2pharmD2

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    I think certification is a bit overrated. The most valuable techs are those who understand their pharmacy's computer system, can solve various types of problems (especially insurance rejects), enter prescriptions quickly and accurately, know some of the basics about drugs and can manage inventory. Certification doesn't tell you much about how good a tech is at any of those things, so I think that certification should only play a minor role in determining rate of pay. Ability and experience should be the major determining factors, IMO, although I realize that ability can be difficult to quantify.

    I don't see any problem with a tech making half of what a pharmacist does if they're experienced and highly skilled at what they do.
     
  20. Chris co2012

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    I would have laughed in that tech's face if he/she told me they deserved half of a pharmacist's salary.
    There is no appropriate pay. It's up to the employer. The tech can either take it or leave it. It also depends on where you live, the experience of the tech, etc.
     
  21. rxlea

    rxlea Almost a unicorn
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    A lot of "career technicians" have gone to vocational school. They don't necessarily see being a tech as a stepping stone to becoming a pharmacist. I think there is something to be said about techs going through a training program and becoming certified; it certainly merits more pay, IMHO. This is their career and I think 30-40K is a reasonable salary to expect for someone who has gone through the training.

    As someone mentioned, it is up to the employer but I believe that technicians are grossly underpaid in some settings. It can be a stressful job and it does necessitate some critical thinking/problem solving ability. I don't think it is the same as, say, being a janitor. Not that being a janitor couldn't be a great career but you don't really have to go through training or do CEs every year or keep up with an evolving industry every year to keep your licensure and job.
     
  22. R2pharmD2

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    I think that's fair. There should be a substantial difference between a tech who completes a training program and one who picks up a book and studies on their own for a bit before taking the exam (which is what I had in mind). I know I'd be pissed if I paid the money for that kind of program and started out making the same thing as somebody with zero training or experience.
     
  23. Ackj

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    ptcb is a big joke for sure. I worked in a hospital as a tech for a few months and passed the exam easily my freshman year of high school. If you do a training program, hopefully that should give you better understanding, but a lot of it comes down to knowing your store. You could be excellent with one store's computer system, but if you go somewhere else or the system changes, you have to pick it up and learn the new one quickly too. We've had "experienced techs" come in and be completely lost because they didn't get it. You also need to know how to handle the patients (ghetto store vs. ritzy suburbs, the two different definitions of "entitled").

    In general, I dislike the concept of seniority. Being a bad worker for 20+ years means you're better than someone who busts their ass for 2 years. Just because you managed to hang around the company for so long doesn't mean you should be getting paid more. I've worked with a tech who was like that, couldn't do the computer well, even had troubles with the register, but they got paid more than some peppy college kids who had their act together and could do it all.
     

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