What is a Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy technician (also known as Pharmaceutical Technician, Certified Pharmacy Technician or Pharmacy Laboratory Technician) is a health care worker responsible for preparing and dispensing medications under the supervision of a pharmacist. For more on job description, please visit pharmacy technician job description page.
Over 50% of all pharmacy technicians work in retail pharmacies and drug stores, 18% work in hospitals, and 12% work in grocery and department stores. Pharmacy technicians are expected to be on their feet during most of their shift.
Pharmacy technicians are expected to work any time of the week, including evenings and weekends, depending on the pharmacy’s hours of operation. Technicians working for insurance companies, government agencies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, computer software companies, and long term care facilities will have more regular business hour shifts.
Mean Annual Pharmacy Technician Salary
The average annual pharmacy technician salary is $30,430. The average salary is calculated by adding all the wages within the occupation and dividing that value by the total number of employees. While the lowest 10% of individuals within this profession can expect to bring home less than $20,580 each year, those who find themselves in the upper 10% of the pay bracket can expect to earn $42,400 or more.
Pharmacy Technician Salary: Quick Summary
|2012 Mean Salary||$30,430 per year
$14.63 per hour
|Top 10% Salary||$42,400 per year
$20.38 per hour
|Bottom 10% Salary||$20,580 per year
$9.89 per hour
|Number of Jobs, 2012||353,340|
Pharmacy Technician Job Outlook and Prospects
The growing demand for pharmacy technicians is only becoming stronger each and every year. As a matter of fact, from 2012 to 2022, the growth rate of positions in the industry is expected to increase by 20%, resulting in almost 70,700 new jobs. Because only a high school education is required to perform the essential tasks of this profession, it is an easily attainable position for those looking for work after obtaining a high school diploma or GED equivalent. However, it should be noted that some states do require formal training programs prior to being eligible for employment, making it slightly more difficult to secure a job in this industry.
A career in the pharmacy field is very promising as the whole pharmaceutical industry is expected to grow about 10% per year for the next decade. Rising numbers of people diagnosed with chronic diseases, especially in younger adults, and the constant innovation of new pharmaceutical drugs all play a factor in this growth. Job opportunities are especially good for those with previous experience, formal training, or certification.
What Affects The Pharmacy Technician Salary
The essential role of a pharmacy technician is assisting a licensed pharmacist in the dispensing of prescription medication. Of course, this implies that these individuals can find work wherever there is a pharmacy, specifically within grocery stores, drug stores, and even in hospitals. Because of the prevalence of pharmacies in these many locations, the growth rate of jobs in the industry comes as no surprise, giving individuals the opportunity for advancement as well.
Like many other professions, there are a number of factors that together exert significant influence over the salary of pharmacy technicians. Just some of these factors to consider include training, industry, and various components related to location.
Experience and Training
Although it is not absolutely necessary to receive any special training to become a pharmacy technician in some states, in others this can make a difference in employment opportunities and starting salary. Employers typically prefer to hire individuals with proper certification over those who has no prior experience in the field. Mainly because those who possess certifications require less initial training, and are expected to be more proficient at their job. Training and experience is highly valued in any industry, and pharmacy technicians are no different. A new graduate are start out at $9.80 per hour while those with more than 20 years of experience can expect hourly salary of $20 or more per hour.
Because of the number of pharmacies found in health care and personal stores, it comes as no surprise that over half of all pharmacy technicians are employed in this location, earning just under the annual salary of $30,430. Of course, individuals with more experience are likely to find jobs in industries necessitating more experience, including the Federal Executive Branch and outpatient care centers. This span of industry employment can designate an average difference in yearly salary of almost $10,000, demonstrating how significant an impact that industry can have.
Top-paying states for this profession are primarily focused around the West coast, although the highest levels of employment are overwhelmingly within the Midwest and on the East coast. This suggests that states with lower levels of employment in relation to population totals are those that are more likely to pay pharmacy technicians at least $36,000 each year.
8 of the top 10 metropolitan districts with the highest earning pharmacy technicians are all found within California, suggesting that high demand for experienced professionals within specific towns significantly increases an individual’s opportunity to bring home anywhere from $41,210 to $48,100 and more each year. Relatedly, smaller nonmetropolitan areas are most likely to offer the highest pay to pharmacy technicians, many of which can also be found within California and other East coast states like Washington and Alaska.
Pharmacy Technician Salary: Top 5
Top Paying Cities
Top Paying States
Top Paying Industries
States with Highest Employment Level
|San Jose, CA: $48,100||District of Columbia: $40,560||Federal Executive Branch: $40,650||California (30,540 jobs): $39,150|
|Oakland, CA: $46,450||Washington: $39,630||Outpatient Care Centers: $38,750||Texas (27,660 jobs): $31,460|
|Napa, CA: $45,310||Alaska: $39,520||Offices of Physicians: $37,040||Florida (23,490 jobs): $28,410|
|Madera-Chowchilla, CA: $44,210||California: $39,150||Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools: $36,960||New York (16,260 jobs): $31,010|
|San Francisco, CA: $43,970||Hawaii: $36,960||Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services : $36,630||Illinois (15,740 jobs): $29,950|