Allied Health Career

Pharmacy Technician Salary and Career Outlook

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Becoming a pharmacy technician is actively helping save lives, prolong lives, and help people recover from illnesses and diseases. Like any allied healthcare professional, pharmacy technicians require a level of training to do what they do at the highest level.

If you’d like to pursue a career in this field, you’ll be glad to know that it is one of the most straightforward paths in allied healthcare, with a relatively easy route to enter and begin practicing in facilities of your choice.

Moreover, the salary is also very appealing for its degree category, and the career outlook is quite positive and very well in line with the national average.

Who is a Pharmacy Technician

Before we go into details about how much a pharmacy technician earns and what factors are responsible for the disparity in earnings, it is worth pointing out what a pharmacy technician does in the first place.

A pharmacy technician’s job is to work closely with a pharmacist to ensure optimal health and safety for their patients. They do this by locating and dispensing the appropriate medication for a patient based on their condition(s), often with a pharmacist’s approval.

Along with this, they also collect patient information to make educated decisions on prescriptions while at the same time ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

How Much Does a Pharmacy Technician Earn?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the median annual salary for a pharmacy technician is $36,740. The lower 10 percent of earners in the field take home $28,740 in pay every year, while the top 10 percent earn as high as $47,580.

The bottom 25% earn $29,460, while the top 75% earn $45,850. The exact range in which a pharmacy technician falls depends on several factors, including the state where they practice, city, work experience, and facility type.

Factors Affecting a Pharmacy Technician’s Salary

Geographical Location

Pharmacy technicians earn a disparate amount yearly, depending on where they practice. This is due in one part to the average salary difference from state to state and city to city and another to the cost of living in those places.

Large cities tend to pay more but also have the highest cost of living. Still, cumulatively, pharmacy technicians in those places are known to earn more yearly.

For instance, pharmacy technicians in California earn the highest annual average of $46,830. In contrast, those in Alabama and West Virginia make the lowest, with an average yearly salary of $32,620 and $32,230, respectively.


Education is another crucial factor determining how much you can earn as a pharmacy technician. Those who begin their careers straight out of high school via on-the-job training tend to make less than those with a certificate, while the latter also earn less than those with an associate’s degree.

Thankfully, it is possible for those already working to enroll in online pharmacy technician programs to earn a degree and increase their potential salary and employment opportunities.


Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs) are regarded as having a high level of proficiency in the field and, as such, are in higher demand and are often entitled to a higher salary package than those who are not certified.

Of course, it is possible to have a high level of proficiency in the field without being certified. But without a recognized certification body verifying this through a certification exam, there is no way for an employer to tell for sure.

Pharmacy technicians may get certified through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcare Association (NHA).


Another factor that helps pharmacy technicians earn more is their cumulative years of experience in the field. This is common across most allied healthcare professions and, indeed, occupations in other areas as well.

This is because pharmacy technicians who have been on the job for a long time are expected to have achieved more significant levels of skills, efficiency, and productivity, which are incredibly beneficial to an employer.

Work Environment and Type of Employer

Pharmacy technicians often have a choice regarding where they work, which can also significantly influence how much they earn. For example, those who work in large hospitals may make more than those who work in small retail outlets.

Of course, the opposite can also be confirmed as small retail outlets may opt to pay more to attract more talent to their facilities.

Some establishments where pharmacy technicians can be found include hospital settings, outpatient care facilities, specialized physician’s offices, community pharmacies, and mail-order pharmacies.

Pharmacy Technician Career Outlook

As of 2021, there are about 447,300 pharmacy technicians in the country. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the demand for pharmacy technicians will increase by 5% from 2021 to 2031. This is a favorable projection that is in line with the national average.

The figure also equates to about 43,500 new job openings being created every year in that timeframe.

Understanding the Outlook

There are quite a few reasons for the favorable projection above. One is the movement of current pharmacy technicians into other professions, while some will be retiring altogether.

Another reason is the large number of older people who will consume more prescription medicines as time passes. The younger generation is also experiencing many chronic diseases like diabetes. As such, they will also contribute to the increase in demand for prescription drugs and, subsequently, pharmacy technicians who will dispense these medications.

Lastly, pharmacy technicians are expected to continue taking on more advanced roles in pharmacy operations. Tasks such as collecting patient information, handling prescription transfers, and supervising other technicians will all require more pharmacy technicians in the coming years.