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Walmart launches new approach to pharmacy tech wages with more frequent raises

Our Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacy technicians have proven time and time again how much they mean to the communities they serve. They were front and center during the pandemic as we tested millions of customers and members, and many went above and beyond to help administer vaccines across the country. These associates delivered heartfelt moments of care under extraordinary circumstances, and they did it with a smile on their face and the calm, professional attention that builds trust and keeps patients coming back.

Simply put, our pharmacy technicians are heroes in their communities. They also play a critical, day-to-day role in the continued growth of our Health & Wellness business. Now, for the second time in the past year, Walmart is making significant investments in higher wages and career progression for our pharmacy technicians – with a goal of creating additional pathways of growth and opportunity for them.

Here’s what we’re doing:

  • Raises for current associates: Effective this week, we are raising pay for our more than 36,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacy technicians, increasing their average hourly wage to more than $20 an hour.

    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. That’s by design. 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.

  • More frequent raises: Pharmacy technicians will get more frequent, automatic pay raises as we introduce a new, progressive wage model designed to set us apart from the competition. For example, new pharmacy technicians get raises that can add up to $4 to their starting base pay over the course of four years. Pharmacy technicians will get raises every six months in their first two years with the company.

    We believe we are among the first large retailers to incorporate this kind of model – an approach that’s commonly seen in health care systems. This will help associates increase their pay more quickly as they build their careers and continue working at Walmart.

  • Free pharmacy tech certification: The investments work in tandem with our long-standing commitment to pay for eligible associates to become certified pharmacy technicians through benefits like Live Better U and related programs. Walmart certified technicians can make $3 more per hour than their non-certified peers, which means earning a certification can make a big difference for associates and their families. To remove any roadblocks, Walmart covers the costs for getting certified to be a pharmacy technician – from career diplomas, on-the-job training and test prep, to paying the certification exam fee.

These investments can be life-changing and lead to unlimited growth opportunities with the company. Take Soham Patel, for example. Soham emigrated from India to the U.S. in 2015, a year after getting married, and began working at Walmart as a pharmacy technician shortly after. When her husband tragically passed away in 2017, she went through different stages of grief: feeling lost, questioning her purpose in life and worrying about going into debt if she pursued a degree to support herself.

But she found her path, thanks to her own hard work and determination. Walmart helped Soham turn her ambition into growth by paying for her to become a certified technician and paving the way for the next steps in her career. She’s also using LBU to obtain a degree in computer science, and her career has changed course – she now works as a project manager on our Home Office Health & Wellness team. That’s the great thing about working at Walmart: You can start in one place, work hard and build whatever career you want.

Soham is just one example. That same opportunity is available to all our pharmacy technicians.

Our business is growing, and we’ll continue to make investments across our entire Health & Wellness team to help drive that growth. We also plan to hire approximately 5,000 additional pharmacy technicians this year to support our vision of providing best-in-class health care.

If you’re interested in joining our team of heroes, making a difference in peoples’ lives every day and building the career you’ve always wanted, go to careers.walmart.com.

This article was written by Kevin Host, Senior Vice President, Walmart Health & Wellness, Pharmacy and Sean Jackson, Senior Vice President, Sam’s Club GMM, Health and Wellness/Consumables for Walmart.

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