Working in Retail Pharmacy VS Hospital Pharmacy

Retail pharmacies and hospitals are the largest employers of pharmacy technicians in the country. Depending on where you choose to work, there could be some pros and cons. While, a retail pharmacy technician enjoys benefits of flexible work schedules, a hospital pharmacy technician on the other hand earns a higher salary. The following information will help you compare the advantages and disadvantages of a pharmacy technician working in retail as against a hospital pharmacy.




You can start working in retail pharmacy right after high school.

Although a few states do require retail pharmacy technicians to be certified and trained, majority do not.
To work in a hospital pharmacy you must complete your pharmacy technician training from an ASHP approved school and get certified by PTCB or NHA. On-the-job work experience also counts when you are looking for employment in hospitals. In a hospital, you are expected to have greater knowledge of medical terminologies as you are required to read and update patient charts. You must know how to compound medications, IV fluids and nutritional mixtures.
DutiesIn a retail pharmacy your primary duty will be processing prescriptions and performing administrative duties such as data entry, tallying accounts and inventory management.Pharmacy technicians in hospitals are responsible to fulfil medicine dispensing duties as well perform intravenous compounding.
SalariesIn a retail pharmacy you may start with low wages which range from $8 to $9 per hour, with the average hourly wage being $14. On an average in a retail pharmacy you can expect to earn $30,950, annually. In hospitals usually you may earn between $14 and $18 per hour. You also enjoy benefits such as health insurance and paid time-off. Being the highest pharmacy technician payers, annually, you can expect to take home a pay package of $38,850.
Employment OpportunitiesWalgreens, Albertsons Companies, CVS Health, Rite Aid, RPh on the Go, Atria Senior Living, Kroger Stores, Shopko, United Health Group, King Soopers, SuperValu Inc., Rx Relief, Meijer & Giant Eagle, Inc. are the prominent retail pharmacies in the country where you can find employment.New York Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center, Florida Hospital, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, Baptist Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center - Moses Division Hospital, Methodist Hospital, Orlando Regional Medical Center, Methodist University Hospital and The Cleveland Clinic are some of the renowned hospitals where you can look out for a job.
Job OutlookRetail pharmacies are the largest pharmacy tech employers, with a 219,070 strong pharmacy technician workforce. Hospitals employ 13% of pharmacy techs working in the country today. There are 63,360 pharmacy technicians working in hospitals and in-patient settings.
Stress FactorPharmacy technicians working in retail pharmacies often report less stress, however this can be debated. Retail pharmacy technicians on part-time jobs generally enjoy a work-life balance, but this translates into lower wages with hardly any employment benefits. Full-timers, on the other hand, can have a stressful work day as they have extended tasks to complete. At the end of it all salaries in retail pharmacies are lower than the national average, which can be a probable stress factor. Pharmacy technicians in hospitals deal with more stress as they deal with a more broader range of drugs, such as chemotherapy medications, biological agents and parental drugs which require utmost level of accuracy while preparing and delivering the right drug to the right patient each time. Notwithstanding the dynamic work environment in a hospital, the salaries they earn are the highest. So, it may turn out to be a favourable proposition for many.

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