You may have noticed more people behind the counter at your local pharmacy recently – who are all those people? Mostly likely your pharmacy, whether it be a hospital or retail pharmacy, has expanded their team to include more pharmacy technicians. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for pharmacy technicians is expected to grow at 12% from 2016 – 2026, which is above the 7% projected of all other jobs and just below the 14% growth projected for health technologists and technicians.
The growing demand and employment of pharmacy technicians is due to several factors, including:
- Increase in demand for pharmaceuticals due to an aging population and increased rates of chronic illness
- Pharmacists are taking on more hands-on patient care, such as administering flu shots, which is leading to technicians taking an increased role in pharmacy operations
- Additionally, in several states, pharmacy technicians are now able to do more than they have been permitted to do in the past – three states now even boast technician only pharmacies
Of course, this demand has an impact on what employers need to pay for technicians. And, depending on the type of facility, the base pay and employer needs to offer in order to be competitive varies. According to Mercer’s 2018 US Pharmacy Compensation Survey, a pharmacy technician within a hospital setting can expect to make 54% more than their counterpart in a retail setting. Location will also have an impact on the base pay rate – Central and Western states are paying at least 5% more than the national median for retail pharmacy technicians with several locations in California paying more than 50% above the national median.
And, it’s not just pharmacy technicians that are experiencing positive movement in pay – other pharmacy support roles are as well.
One thing is for sure, as demand continues to be strong, pay will continue to rise for pharmacy technicians, making it a great job choice for those entering the workforce.
For more information about this and over fifty additional other pharmacy roles check out Mercer’s US Pharmacy Compensation Survey.