I have been a pharmacist for nearly 4 years. I have been a technician in the state of West Virginia for about 3 years now. I have worked on a wide variety of medications, including pills, tablets, and even tablets. Since I’m a pharmacist, I have taken medication for a variety of ailments including heart problems, diabetes, lung disease, and so on. I’ve been a pharmacist for 4 years now, and I have been a technician for some time now.
Pharmacist-level pay is in the $22.00 – $28.10 range, and technicians (at least those that work on tablets/pills) pay between $18.00 – $26.40. Doctors and nurses make $17.00 – $22.40. The difference between the two is not huge. I know there are other technicians who have been working in the field for a little longer than me, but I feel like they’re getting paid more.
When I started working at the pharmacy back in the early 2000s, I was making just about $8 an hour. Now if I look around, I see that these days pharmacy technicians make about $38-40 an hour. I find it hard to believe that the paychecks have been so stagnant.
In the early 2000s, medicine was so cheap that you could get a decent salary if you were a doctor. Nowadays, the average doctor makes about 9.5-10x more than the pharmacist. Even doctors who haven’t had to work long hours, like neurologists, are making more than the pharmacy technicians.
Of course, the pay of pharmacy technicians (and doctors) has been stagnant because of the high demand for medical services. There are only so many hours in the day, so there are only so many doctors on the market. If you are willing to take on a lot of hours in the day, then the pharmacy technician is the ideal choice.
I was a pharmacy technician for a while, and the pay was about the same as the pharmacy clerk. The only difference was that I took care of the medical side of it in the ER. I did it for a few years, and my pay went up because I was being paid differently. I don’t think that’s the case with the pharmacy technicians though.
As it turns out, the pharmacy technician job is a dead-end job at best. I think that the pay is high enough that a lot of people would be willing to get out of bed in the morning to take care of patients, but they can’t even get a part-time job that gives them the same pay as a pharmacy technician. So they have to pick between taking care of patients while they work, or taking care of patients themselves.
I don’t know why, but there seems to be a disconnect between the actual job and what most people think about the job. I really don’t know the answer to that, but I think it might be a case of how we view it is influenced by how we view the job itself and what we think we know about what the job is.
Pharmacy techs are often hired through agencies that use a one-size-fits-all formula for determining salary. This one-size-fits-all formula usually ends up being fairly meaningless as a result. People generally don’t know what the formula really means, so it can be hard to get a fair representation of what the pay is.
I think the job description at most agencies is the first step, and a lot of agencies will try their best to look like you can easily tell where the pay is based on just reading the job description. This may mean that salary is a little high, but if you are trying to get a job at a small company trying to grow, the idea that it might be a little high is what is most frustrating.