Walmart and Sam’s Club are hiking the average hourly wages of more than 36,000 pharmacy technicians to more than $20 per hour, effective this week.
A spokesperson for the retailer told FOX Business that starting pay for its techs will remain the same, ranging from $15 to $22.50, with certified technicians starting at $16.50 and higher.
But the company is introducing a “progressive wage model” that will add up to $4 per hour to pharmacy technicians’ starting base pay over four years. Under the model, pharmacy technicians will get raises every six months their first two years with the company.
“This is the second time we’ve made significant wage investments for this group of associates in the past year, after also increasing their pay last August,” Walmart Health & Wellness Senior Vice President Kevin Host said in a blog post Thursday.
“We are sending a strong signal to pharmacy technicians everywhere that Walmart is serious about attracting top talent and giving them the tools to build a successful career.”
Walmart covers the cost for eligible associates to become certified pharmacy technicians through benefits, including its Live Better U program. The company’s certified technicians can make $3 more per hour than their non-certified peers.
Walmart plans to hire approximately 5,000 additional pharmacy technicians this year.
A survey by the National Community Pharmacists Association last year found that more than a third of independent community pharmacies were having a hard time filling staff positions, with 88% stating that pharmacy technicians were in short supply. This was also leading to increased dispensing times.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians earned a median pay of $36,740 in 2021. Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 4% between 2020 and 2030.
The announcement comes as the nation’s total number of job openings remain near a record high despite falling slightly to 11.4 million at the end of April.
Reuters contributed to this report.