Pharmacy technicians must be licensed with the State Board of Pharmacy before they can begin to work in California.
There is a tremendous projected growth in career opportunities for pharmacy technicians over the next several years. Orange County has a projected growth of nearly 32% in pharmacy technician job openings between 2006 and 2016 (source: California EDD). Many of those employment opportunities will be in retail or community pharmacies, especially with the chain drug stores. An article in the April 2009 edition of the OC Register listed Pharmacy Technician as number 6 of the 25 Top Jobs of 2009.
Pharmacy technicians working in retail pharmacies generally begin earning between $12 and $14 per hour. Technicans can earn $19 per hour working at hospital settings. Entry-level salaries depend on the previous experience and the technical ability of the applicant. The median salary for pharmacy technicians in California in 2005 was approximately $16 per hour, with more experienced technicians earning $18 per hour, according to the California EDD. The top earning technicians in the state were paid over $21 per hour, up to $28. Benefits (healthcare, 401k) are included for full time employees.
Note that many retail pharmacies also employ pharmacy clerks. Pharmacy clerks are not licensed by the California State Board of Pharmacy and there are no specific educational requirements for clerk jobs. Students who are enrolled in the Pharmacy Technology program are encouraged to apply for clerk jobs to gain additional experience in the pharmacy workplace. Pharmacy clerks generally earn between $9 and $11 per hour, though experienced clerks may earn $12 per hour or more.
Pharmacy technicians also work in acute care (hospital), home infusion, and compounding pharmacies. These pharmacies may pay at a higher rate because they demand a more advanced level of technical skill. Students who want to work in one of these practice sites must complete the ASHP-accredited certificate or the associate degree program.
Pharmacy technicians can expect to work varying shifts. Many pharmacies are open seven days a week, with daytime and evening hours. Some pharmacies provide 24-hour service. Part-time and per diem (on-call) positions are also available for pharmacy technicians.
Additional information on pharmacy technician salaries can be found at www.salary.com
. Pharmacy technician salaries can be found under the "Pharmaceutical" or "Healthcare Technicians" job category. Choose the location where you want to work. Select either the Pharmacy Technician I or Pharmacy Technician II job title and click "create salary report".