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How Much Do Pharmacy Technicians Make? Salary Guide

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For people who want to work in healthcare but don’t want to be involved in hospital work, being a pharmacy technician is an excellent choice. 

In this article, you will get to know the average salary of a pharmacy technician.

A pharmacy technician, also known as a certified pharmacy technician (CPHT), is an allied healthcare professional who works in a pharmacy and assists with pharmacy-related tasks under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist.

A pharmacy technician is a person who helps a pharmacist prepare prescription drugs for customers. Pharmacy technicians also assist the pharmacist with the specialty pharmacy’s day-to-day operations.

They are most commonly found in pharmacies and drug stores, although they can also be found in hospitals and pharmacies with a pharmacy counter.

Duties of Pharmacy Technicians

A pharmacy technician’s duties include:

1. Retrieve and process prescriptions that have been sent electronically, over the phone, or as a drop-off prescription.

2. Fill prescription bottles with the proper pills and dosages, then label them.

3. Mix medications (if state law and pharmacy policy allow).

4. Give patients their medications and review any directions or any information they need.

5. Assist patients with drug payment.

6. Organize and maintain patient medical records.

Other Duties Includes

1. Keep track of in-house drugs and make sure the stock is up to date.

2. Actively helping and resolving issues with the insurance companies of patients.

3. Obtain permission from doctors to refill prescriptions.

4. Take care of any complaints or difficulties that patients may have.

5. Assist with other tasks connected to the pharmacy.

Pharmacy Technician Salary

Before committing to any professional healthcare position, it’s always a good idea to educate yourself on how much you can earn and the elements that influence your earning potential.

1. Entry Level Positions

Many states enable a pharmacy technician to work without any prior training or experience. Only a high school diploma is necessary for pharmacy technicians in these states.

The pharmacist is usually the one who trains these pharmacy techs. This enables a pharmacy technician to start a new career in healthcare without having completed secondary school.

A beginner pharmacy technician with no training or experience can expect to earn between $10 and $11 per hour. Retail, privately owned, and mail-order pharmacies are all good places to look for these jobs.

2. Certified Pharmacy Technicians

Obtaining certification is the quickest way for pharmacy technicians to increase their earnings immediately. Most retail pharmacies reward certified pharmacy technicians with a raise in compensation.

The ExCPT exam is a standardized test that can be used to achieve pharmacy technician certification. Some people may be able to pass the ExCPT exam with only on-the-job training.

Depending on their experience, education, and company type, certified pharmacy technicians can expect to earn between $10.00 and $16.00 per hour. Small, independently owned pharmacies pay lesser wages than larger retail corporations.

3. Experience Pays

Certified pharmacy technicians (CPHT) with at least 5 + years of experience could expect to earn the highest pay. These people are frequently promoted to Lead Technician. In hospital settings, lead pharmacy technicians often make between $14.00 and $18.00 per hour.

A higher salary usually entails more responsibilities. In retail pharmacies, the head pharmacy technician often prepares the work schedule for all technicians and trains newly hired technicians in addition to their usual responsibilities.

In hospital settings, lead pharmacy technicians often make between $14.00 and $18.00 per hour.

4. In statistical Terms

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of pharmacy technician positions is predicted to expand at a faster-than-average rate of 4% from 2019 to 2029.

In addition, pharmacy technicians employed 422,300 people in 2019, with 437,500 expected by 2029. This is owing to an increase in the number of older citizens throughout that period.

The national average salary for pharmacy technicians was $16.07 per hour in January 2022. Subsequently, the average hourly wage for pharmacy technicians was $11.00 to $15.00. But the bottom 10% of the workforce earned less than $10.00 per hour.

Factors Affecting Pharmacy Technician Salary

The amount of money you can make as a pharmacy technician depends on several factors. Let’s look at three of the most important: experience, workplace, and skills.

1. Years of Professional Experience

As a pharmacy technician, you will have more opportunities to earn more as you advance in the business and accumulate more years of experience.

On the other hand, your employer may even provide incentives or hourly salary increases if you demonstrate a strong work ethic, a willingness to learn as much as possible, and a good attitude.

That is to say, always pay attention to comments, especially if it’s constructive criticism; there’s always something new to learn.

Furthermore, the average salary for a certified pharmacy technician (CPHT) by years of experience ranged from $14.29 per hour for entry-level pharmacy techs to $18.06 per hour for CPHTs with 20+ years of experience, according to Payscale.

Salary by Years of Experience

Years of Experience

Hourly wage

1-4 $14.29
5-9 $15.87
10-19 $16.99
20+ $18.06

Data via Payscale

2. Place of Work

Pharmacy technicians can earn up to 20% more in hospitals than in a drugstore, according to some estimates.

Meanwhile, keep in mind that many hospitals will only hire people with prior work experience and national certification.

In other words, before transferring to a hospital, it might be a good idea to get your foot in the door and acquire experience in a pharmacy setting.

Salary by Employer

Place of Work

Annual Salary

Hospitals $39,290
Pharmacies & Drug Stores $33,110
Food & Beverage Stores $32,320

Data via BLS

3. Skill Set

Your skill level, according to Payscale, is a criterion that can influence your compensation. You may be able to earn a better income if you have prior experience with any of the following skills.

 Billing

 Aseptic Processing

 Order Inventory

 Data Entry

 Microsoft Office

 Hospital experience

Pharmacy Technician Salary by City and State

Where you reside has a significant impact on your potential earnings and can affect how much you make in comparison to the national average.

However, in some circumstances, pharmacy technicians utilize the information below to choose where it is best to live and work.

According to the BLS, the top five highest-paid states for pharmacy technicians are:

 California: $22.89 per hour, or $47,620 per year

 Alaska: $22.32 per hour, or $46,430 per year

 Washington: $22.31 per hour, or $46,400 per year

 District of Columbia: $22.23 per hour, or $46,240 per year

 Oregon: $20.87 per hour, or $43,410 per year

Pharmacy Technician Salary by State

State

Average Hourly Wage

Average Annual Salary

Alabama $14.89 $30,980
Alaska $22.32 $46,430
Arizona $18.03 $37,500
Arkansas $14.91 $31,010
California $22.89 $47,620
Colorado $18.76 $39,020
Connecticut $17.44 $36,280
Delaware $16.93 $35,210
District of Columbia $22.23 $46,240
Florida $16.77 $34,880
Georgia $15.46 $32,160
Guam $14.10 $29,340
Hawaii $20.34 $42,300
Idaho $17.62 $36,660
Illinois $16.68 $34,700
Indiana $16.44 $34,200
Iowa $16.49 $34,300
Kansas $17.08 $35,530
Kentucky $14.60 $30,370
Louisiana $16.95 $35,260
Maine $16.29 $33,890
Maryland $17.39 $36,160
Massachusetts $18.79 $39,090
Michigan $16.39 $34,090
Minnesota $19.12 $39,770
Mississippi $16.48 $34,290
Missouri $16.19 $33,670
Montana $18.04 $37,520
Nebraska $17.10 $35,570
Nevada $18.94 $39,390
New Hampshire $17.06 $35,490
New Jersey $17.16 $35,700
New Mexico $17.52 $36,440
New York $17.84 $37,100
North Carolina $16.01 $33,300
North Dakota $19.90 $41,390
Ohio $15.63 $32,520
Oklahoma $15.82 $32,900
Oregon $20.87 $43,410
Pennsylvania $15.27 $31,760
Puerto Rico $11.58 $24,090
Rhode Island $18.74 $38,980
South Carolina $16.59 $34,510
South Dakota $17.23 $35,830
Tennessee $16.23 $33,750
Texas $17.79 $37,010
Utah $18.71 $38,920
Vermont $17.25 $35,880
Virgin Islands $17.15 $35,670
Virginia $16.74 $34,810
Washington $22.31 $46,400
West Virginia $15.33 $31,890
Wisconsin $17.20 $35,780
Wyoming $18.91 $39,330

Average Pharmacy Technician Salary

The average salary for a certified pharmacy technician in 2020, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), was $35,100 per year or $16.87 per hour.

However, the profession has a promising future, with a projected growth rate of 4% between 2019 and 2029.

Highest Paying Cities for Pharmacy Technicians

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following cities have the highest pay for pharmacy technicians:

 San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, CA:  $27.22 per hour, or $56,620 per year

 San Francisco/Oakland/Hayward, CA:  $26.93 per hour, or $56,020 per year

 Santa Rosa, CA:  $25.39 per hour, or $52,810 per year

 Stockton-Lodi, CA:  $24.45 per hour, or $50,860 per year

 Vallejo-Fairfield, CA: $24.32 per hour, or $50,580 per year

Ways to Increase Your Salary as a Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians can earn greater pay in a variety of ways. But, it’s usually a matter of putting in a little more effort and being inventive, as well as thinking outside the box.

Subsequently, some pharmacy technicians have pursued side hustles of some sort, but if you want to focus on making extra money in your current position as a pharmacy technician, here are a few alternatives for you to consider:

 Request extra duties and demonstrate that you are so important that they can’t function without you.

 Submit a request for a raise.

 Most importantly, obtain national certification. Because you have the qualification to back up your skills, many institutions will pay you a few dollars more per hour.

 On your off days, look for per Diem pharmacy tech jobs.

 Consider working as a travel pharmacy technician (you’ll get paid to travel around the country!)

Other Ways includes

 Always do your homework on the salary scale in your city and the neighboring areas.

 It can make logical sense for you to relocate an hour away to be closer to a major metropolis that can pay you more.

 In the same vein, consider moving to a state with greater pay, especially one with a lower cost of living. Because it costs so much to live there, you may discover that you enjoy a higher quality of life even though the compensation isn’t that much higher.

 If you live in areas where the cost of housing is prohibitive, consider relocating to a location where it is.

For example, many pharmacy technicians in California get the highest pay in the country, but the cost of living is so expensive that some are forced to leave. You just got yourself a bonus if you can save money on living expenses.

How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

Previously, practically all pharmacy technicians received their training on the job. They would first apply for a job at a local pharmacy.

To clarify, the pharmacist would teach them how to type labels, count pills, and enter all of the relevant patient and insurance information after they learned how to use the cash register and stock shelves.

Though that path is still open, most pharmacy technicians now engage in established training programs that provide them with the precise information and abilities they need to offer high-quality customer service and patient safety.

To become a pharmacy technician, you can take one of two route options:

 Certificate or Diploma Program

 Associate’s Degree Program

1. Pharmacy Technician Certificate or Diploma Program

The fastest route to becoming a pharmacy technician is through a certificate or diploma program.

On the other hand, these take around two semesters, or one year to complete. Some states will require you to pass a certification exam after your program.

Before entering into a pharmacy technician training program you may need:

 High school diploma or GED

 Placement test scores

 Transcripts

 Background check

 Application

Certification Curriculum Programs Includes

 Pharmacy Law

 Drug Classifications

 Community Pharmacy Practice

 Institutional Pharmacy Practice

 Introduction to Health Professions

 Pharmaceutical Math

 Compounding Sterile Preparations

2. Pharmacy Technician Associate’s Degree Program

Pharmacy technician associate’s degree programs provide a greater depth of study in the pharmaceutical sciences and management and customer service, as well as gen ed classes.

That is to say, associate’s degree programs take approximately two years to complete.

Therefore, before entering into the program you may need:

 High school diploma or GED

 Placement test scores

 Transcripts

 Background check

 Application

To clarify, the courses offered in an associate’s program are more rigorous than those offered through certificate and diploma programs. Some programs also include in-person clinical training and a pharmacy practice internship.

Which Pharmacy Technician Program is Right for You?

1. Aspiring pharmacy technicians who plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the future should consider an associate’s degree since many of their credits can be transferred to a bachelor’s degree.

2. Graduates of an associate’s degree program may find themselves in higher demand or be eligible for more lucrative pay. Degree holders are frequently in a better position to advance.

3. The decision between these two courses will be based on your ambitions and the amount of money you have to put into your education, but it is critical to choose a recognized program.

4. Pharm tech training programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

5. An accreditation seal from one or both of these organizations tells your future employers that your degree program aligns with pharmacy standards and best practices.

Certification & Licensing

You will almost certainly need to become certified or licensed after completing your training program.  However, this will be determined by the state where you work.

You can work at the state level with a license from your state’s Board of Pharmacy, but certification is universal.

1. License

In some states, working as a pharmacy technician necessitates obtaining a license. That is to say, this license will be issued to you by a government agency and will demonstrate that you are capable of performing the job requirements.

2. Certification

Another option to demonstrate that you’ve completed the appropriate education and acquired the relevant abilities to work in this field is to obtain certification.

For instance, a certificate, unlike a license, is issued by a third-party agency rather than your state’s government.

As a result, these two associations issue pharmacy technician certificates:

1. Pharmacy Technician Board (PTCB)

2. National Health career Association (NHA)

Subsequently, both will require you to pass a Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) to be certified. Your certification will last two years. Therefore, even if you don’t work in a state that requires you to get a license, you’ll likely want to attain your national certification.

Pharmacy Technician License & Certification Requirements by State

States where pharmacy technicians must be registered or licensed

1. California

2. Nebraska

3. Oklahoma

4. Minnesota

5. Missouri

6. Arkansas

7. Michigan

8. Indiana

9. Ohio

10. Kentucky

11. West Virginia

12. Tennessee

The other States Includes

1. Alabama

2. Georgia

3. South Carolina

4. Florida

5. Maryland

6. Washington D.C.

7. New Jersey

8. Connecticut

9. Rhode Island

10. Massachusetts

12. New Hampshire

13. Maine

14. Alaska

States Where Pharmacy Technicians must be Nationally Certified and Registered or Licensed

1. Washington

2. Oregon

3. Idaho

4. Montana

5. Nevada

6. Wyoming

7. Utah

8. Arizona

9. New Mexico

10. Colorado

Others Include

1. North Dakota

2. South Dakota

3. Kansas

4. Texas

5. Iowa

6. Illinois

7. Louisiana

8. Mississippi

9. Virginia

10. North Carolina

11. Vermont

12. Puerto Rico

States Where There are no Requirements for Pharmacy Technician Licensing

1. Hawaii

2. Wisconsin

3. New York

4. Pennsylvania

5. Delaware

Source: PTCB

Where to Learn More about Becoming a Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technician programs are available at several community institutions. Make sure your program is accredited by the ACPE or the ASHP once more.

In addition, visit the ASHP website, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) website, or the National Pharmacy Tech Association website for more information on programs and what the vocation entails (NPTA).

Furthermore, talking to pharmacy technologists on LinkedIn or other social media platforms is another way to learn more about them. Alternatively, if you happen to be in a drugstore during a dull period, why not inquire about the life of a pharmacy technician?

Frequently Asked Questions

How much are pharmacy technicians paid?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a pharmacy technician’s average salary in 2020 was $35,100 per year or $16.87 per hour.

How much does a pharmacy tech make?

The average salary for a certified pharmacy technician is $17.27 per hour in the United States.

Why are pharmacy technicians’ salaries so low?

The supply is comparatively high – more than the demand – since the needs are modest.

The new certification criteria will raise compensation a little, but as long as only a high school diploma and a few hours of training are necessary, there will be a surplus of applicants and low pay.

How much do uncertified pharmacy Technicians make an hour?

In the United States, the average non-certified pharmacy technician gross compensation is $36,400, or $18 per hour.

They also receive a $440 bonus on average. Salary projections based on salary survey data from anonymous employees and employers in the United States.

Is pharmacy tech a dead-end job?

It depends on Oneself; if you are satisfied with just being a pharmacy technician, you could consider it a dead end job;

However, if you decide that you want to advance, you could enroll in college to pursue a pharmacy technician degree, work toward a specialized nursing degree, or even return to school to pursue a certificate.

What do pharmacy technicians do?

1. Retrieve and process prescriptions that have been sent electronically, over the phone, or as a drop-off prescription.

2. Fill prescription bottles with the proper pills and dosages, then label them.

3. Mix medications (if state law and pharmacy policy allow).

4. Give patients their medications and review any directions or any information they need.

5. Assist patients with drug payment.

6. Organize and maintain patient medical records.

Was this helpful? If yes, don’t hesitate to share with friends and loved ones. Also, drop a comment on the comment box if you are not fully cleared. Keep visiting our page for more career guides.

source CSN Team.

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