For those who enjoy science and want to enter the pharmaceutical industry but would prefer to avoid spending a number of years in school just to get a doctorate degree, a career as a pharmacy technician may be an ideal option. During your pharmacy technician course, you will learn all you need to know about FDA drug safety, basic compounding, and pharmacology while acquiring practical skills in prescription processing, pharmacy procedures, keyboarding, and computer applications.
If this sounds like something you would enjoy, the news only gets better — simply by completing a 40-hour course and passing an examination, you will be fully qualified to work at pharmacies across Texas. Still unsure? Check out how much you can expect to earn as a pharmacy tech.
Pharmacy Technician Salary
In May 2014, the median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $29,810 and the median hourly wage $14.33. This means that half of all workers earned more than this (with the top 10 percent earning more than $42,400 a year or $21.10 per hour) and half earned less (with the bottom 10 percent earning under $20,580 a year or $9.97 per hour), reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Pay is mainly influenced by industry; for instance, those working in federal executive branches, outpatient care centers, scientific research facilities, and physicians’ offices earned the highest — between $38,250 and $41,480 per year, or $18.39 to $19.94 per hour, according to mean wages from the BLS.
Another factor that influences pharmacy technician salary is qualifications. Technicians must hold the Pharmacy Technician Certification (PTCE), but other certifications, like the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS): Word, can also be beneficial.
Finally, those with experience are able to earn more than graduates who have never before worked in a pharmacy. For this reason, many schools in Texas include internships in their courses, to give their students a head start.
Job Outlook for Pharmacy Technicians
In 2012, there were 355,300 pharmacy technician jobs across the country and that number is expected to increase by 70,700 by 2022. Job growth is at 20 percent, faster than the average for all occupations, due to increased demand for prescription medications.
The Situation in Texas
Around 30,080 pharmacy technician jobs were based in Texas in May 2014. Salaries tend to be higher than the average for the entire country, with a mean hourly wage of $15.30 and mean annual wage of $31,830, according to the BLS.
Start your career as a pharmacy technician on the right track by studying at a school that will provide you with the experience you need to find a good job after you graduate. Look for trade schools in Texas that not only train you to pass the PTCE but also teach you skills necessary for the job, allow you to learn in a hands-on environment, and offer internships as part of the program.