How Much Does a Pharmacy Tech Make?

Pharmacy Technicians work under the supervision of Pharmacists. They work in drug stores, pharmacies, and even in general merchandising stores.

Any retail setting that requires a Pharmacist must have at least one Pharmacy Technician. This means that a single pharmacy or drug store can have 1 or 2 Pharmacy Techs.

If you would like to become a pharmacy tech, click here to read our guide.

Pharmacy Tech Salary

How much does a Pharmacy Tech make?  The average pharmacy tech salary is $32,700 or an equivalent of $15.72 per hour. The lower 10% of Pharmacy Techs earns an annual average salary of $22,740 while the upper 10% earns an annual average salary of $48,010.

A pharmacy tech’s starting salary depends on the industry he/she is working in. Pharmacy Technicians working in hospitals enjoy the biggest salary of $37,390. This is followed by general merchandise stores with a salary of $31,450, food and beverage stores with $30,640 and pharmacies and drug stores with an average salary of $30, tech salary

Pharmacy tech salaries also depend on the amount of hours worked. They must adhere to the schedule of the retail store – which means a lot of technicians work at nights, over weekends, and even during holidays. Most work full time while others work part time.

Top 5 Paying States

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Washington FlagWashington2.48$19.38$40,300
Alaska FlagAlaska2.04$19.22$39,980
California FlagCalifornia2.21$19.09$39,710
Hawaii FlagHawaii2.49$17.50$36,400
Oregon FlagOregon2.84$17.44$36,270

Top Paying Industries

IndustryPercent of industry employmentHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Federal Executive Branch0.30$19.94$41,480
Outpatient Care Centers0.55$19.11$39,750
Scientific Research and Development Services 0.01$18.98$39,480
Offices of Physicians0.24$18.39$38,250
Computer Systems Design Services$18.33$38,120

Pharmacy Tech Job Description

what does a pharmacy tech doWhat does a pharmacy tech do? Basically, pharmacy techs help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers. They are often the first people customers meet when buying their medicines at a drug store. Because of this, pharmacy techs need to have very good customer-service skills since they are placed at the forefront of the drug store or pharmacy. They interact with customers most of the time so they must be polite and friendly.

Pharmacy techs also need to be detail oriented and have good listening and math skills. Part of their job involves packaging and labeling prescription medication. The slightest mistake can lead to serious health consequences so a pharmacy tech needs to be meticulous, have great communication skills, and have excellent math skills to be able to analyze and compute dosages, as well as money.

A pharmacy tech must also have good organizational skills since it will be his or her job to keep track of inventory, and inform the pharmacist for lack of supply.

Among other duties and responsibilities include taking information needed to fill a prescription from customers, measuring amounts of medication, processing insurance claims, and accepting payments.

pharmacy tech job descriptionMost states also allow pharmacy techs to mix medications. They can also work in hospitals where they give medication to health professionals, as well as facilitate intravenous medications.

A pharmacist tech career can give a person several choices in terms of the industry he/she wants to work in. As of 2016, 52% of pharmacy techs worked in pharmacies and drug stores, while 16% worked in hospitals, 10% worked in general merchandise stores, and 8% in grocery stores.

Pharmacy Tech Job Outlook

About 47,600 jobs for pharmacy technicians are seen to be created during the years 2016 to 2026. The projected increase is seen at 12% – which is faster than most occupations.

There are several factors that lead to this projected rise in employment. One of the reasons is that the general population of the United States is aging. The older a person is, the more medication he/she needs especially if that person has a chronic disease. Advances in the pharmaceutical industry will also bring in more demand for pharmacy techs.

And with the increasing number of people having health insurance through federal health insurance reform will make medicine more accessible – increasing the demand for more pharmacy techs. The high demand will make the industry more appealing for those looking to have a stable and long-term job.

Those who have formal training, certification, and experience are more likely to have better job prospects.

Pharmacy Tech Salary by State

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alabama FlagAlabama3.911$12.94$26,920
Alaska FlagAlaska2.04$19.22$39,980
Arizona FlagArizona3.337$15.99$33,270
Arkansas FlagArkansas2.955$13.14$27,330
California FlagCalifornia2.207$19.09$39,710
Colorado flagColorado1.879$16.02$33,320
Connecticut FlagConnecticut2.083$15.60$32,450
Delaware flagDelaware2.4$14.60$30,370
Florida FlagFlorida3.302$13.90$28,900
Georgia FlagGeorgia3.022$13.46$27,990
Hawaii FlagHawaii2.488$17.50$36,400
Idaho FlagIdaho2.392$15.16$31,530
Illinois FlagIllinois3.126$13.95$29,020
Indiana FlagIndiana3.07$13.82$28,750
Iowa FlagIowa2.886$14.10$29,320
Kansas FlagKansas2.939$13.80$28,700
Kentucky FlagKentucky3.83$13.06$27,170
Louisiana FlagLouisiana3.046$14.39$29,920
Maine FlagMaine3.472$14.17$29,480
Maryland FlagMaryland2.429$15.40$32,030
Massachusetts FlagMassachusetts2.523$15.29$31,800
Michigan FlagMichigan2.736$14.02$29,160
Minnesota FlagMinnesota2.49$15.34$31,900
Mississippi FlagMississippi3.013$13.36$27,780
Missouri FlagMissouri3.555$13.73$28,560
Montana FlagMontana2.954$16.06$33,410
Nebraska FlagNebraska2.646$13.87$28,840
Nevada FlagNevada2.295$16.15$33,600
New Hampshire FlagNew Hampshire2.164$13.63$28,350
New Jersey FlagNew Jersey2.333$15.21$31,650
New Mexico FlagNew Mexico3.07$14.92$31,030
New York FlagNew York1.882$15.40$32,030
North Carolina FlagNorth Carolina3.058$13.50$28,080
North Dakota FlagNorth Dakota1.455$17.36$36,120
Ohio FlagOhio2.839$13.43$27,930
Oklahoma FlagOklahoma3.548$13.68$28,450
Oregon FlagOregon2.841$17.44$36,270
Pennsylvania FlagPennsylvania2.578$14.19$29,510
Rhode Island FlagRhode Island2.644$15.05$31,300
South Carolina FlagSouth Carolina3.087$13.76$28,620
South Dakota FlagSouth Dakota3.03$14.15$29,430
Tennessee FlagTennessee4.377$14.24$29,630
Texas FlagTexas2.679$15.30$31,830
Utah FlagUtah2.69$16.32$33,940
Vermont FlagVermont1.835$15.67$32,600
Virginia FlagVirginia2.36$13.88$28,860
Washington FlagWashington2.476$19.38$40,300
West Virginia FlagWest Virginia4.347$12.75$26,510
Wisconsin FlagWisconsin2.863$14.21$29,550
Wyomin FlagWyoming1.896$16.29$33,880

Top paying metropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Oakland/Fremont/Hayward – CA Metropolitan Division2.30$24.05$50,030
San Francisco/San Mateo Redwood City-CA Metropolitan Division1.57$22.29$46,350
San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara – CA1.80$21.76$45,260
Napa, CA1.41$21.72$45,190
Santa Rosa / Petaluma, – CA 2.01$21.67$45,070

Top paying nonmetropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Far Western – North Dakota – nonmetropolitan area0.84$20.21$42,040
Southeast Alaska – nonmetropolitan area 1.77$19.45$40,460
Northern Mountains – Region of California – nonmetropolitan area 2.70$19.32$40,190
Mother Lode – Region of California – nonmetropolitan area 2.43$19.29$40,130
North Coast – Region of California – nonmetropolitan area 3.29$18.81$39,130

Pharmacy Tech Career Video

Noel Griffith, Ph.D.
Noel Griffith is a Doctor of Philosophy with a strong interest in educational research. He has been an editor-in-chief of since 2014. Noel is an avid reader (non-fiction), enjoys good food, live theatre, and helping others make wiser career decisions.

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