Entry-Level Pharmacy Technician Salary: Starting Annual & Hourly Pay

If you’re thinking of becoming a pharmacy technician, you may be wondering what the entry-level pharmacy technician salary is. 

Of course, this will depend on your previous work experience, education and certifications, and location. However, it is good to get an idea of what the average entry-level pharmacy technician in the United States earns each year. 

A pharmacy technician with less than 1 year of experience can expect to earn an average of $14.11 per hour or $28,220 per year. Pharmacy techs with more certifications and previous healthcare experience or those who live in big cities can expect to earn more. 

This guide will go over how much you can expect to earn as an entry-level pharmacy technician, how salary can change based on where you live and work, and how to maximize your earnings. 

Entry-Level Pharmacy Technician Salary Overview

The average income for a brand-new pharmacy technician in the United States is $14.11 per hour. The salary range for entry-level pharmacy technicians is between $11.13 and $17.63 per hour. 

This wide range of salaries is proof that there are many other factors that determine pay than just years of experience. Pay varies based on the following: 

  • Type of facility you work in. Hospital pharmacy technicians usually earn more than those who work in retail pharmacies. This is because they have more responsibilities and handle more dangerous medications. 
  • Location. Salaries vary widely based on the state and city you live in. For example, entry-level pharmacy technicians in California earn about $18 per hour, while those in Kentucky earn closer to $14 per hour. 
  • Certification. While pharmacy technicians in some states are required to earn their certification, earning extra certifications may help you earn more money. Certified pharmacy technicians often earn more per hour than uncertified technicians, and certifications in advanced skills such as compounding or chemotherapy medication handling can increase your earning potential even more. You can learn more about pharmacy technician certifications here.
  • Previous healthcare or customer service experience. Having some previous healthcare experience will make you more valuable to potential employers. Knowing your way around a hospital or having experience working with customers means that your employer will not have to spend as much time and effort on your training. 

Pharmacy technicians have many opportunities to increase their salary over time. The median pharmacy technician salary nationwide is $40,300 annually and $19.37 hourly.

They also enjoy great job security and can find work all around the country. Pharmacy technician jobs are expected to grow by 6% over the next decade, which is faster than the national average. 

Starting Pharmacy Technician Pay by State

The following table shows the 10th percentile of salaries for pharmacy technicians by state. While these aren’t necessarily entry-level salaries, it’s around what you can expect to make if you’re just starting out:

State Hourly Annual
Alabama $13.85 $28,810
Alaska $17.89 $37,210
Arizona $17.13 $35,630
Arkansas $14.16 $29,460
California $18.45 $38,370
Colorado $17.81 $37,030
Connecticut $16.91 $35,160
Delaware $16.50 $34,320
District of Columbia $18.87 $39,260
Florida $16.25 $33,800
Georgia $14.49 $30,130
Hawaii $16.85 $35,040
Idaho $17.22 $35,820
Illinois $16.59 $34,500
Indiana $16.63 $34,580
Iowa $15.57 $32,390
Kansas $14.39 $29,920
Kentucky $14.14 $29,420
Louisiana $14.69 $30,550
Maine $15.38 $31,990
Maryland $16.71 $34,760
Massachusetts $17.44 $36,280
Michigan $14.78 $30,740
Minnesota $18.02 $37,480
Mississippi $14.33 $29,810
Missouri $14.45 $30,060
Montana $17.50 $36,400
Nebraska $15.41 $32,060
Nevada $16.98 $35,330
New Hampshire $15.08 $31,360
New Jersey $15.12 $31,440
New Mexico $16.47 $34,250
New York $16.84 $35,030
North Carolina $15.68 $32,620
North Dakota $17.80 $37,020
Ohio $14.90 $31,000
Oklahoma $14.25 $29,650
Oregon $18.25 $37,950
Pennsylvania $14.33 $29,800
Rhode Island $17.00 $35,360
South Carolina $14.94 $31,080
South Dakota $16.53 $34,380
Tennessee $14.38 $29,900
Texas $16.42 $34,160
Utah $17.50 $36,400
Vermont $17.22 $35,820
Virginia $15.20 $31,610
Washington $19.14 $39,800
West Virginia $14.00 $29,130
Wisconsin $15.10 $31,410
Wyoming $14.80 $30,780
Guam $10.79 $22,430
Puerto Rico $9.53 $19,830
Virgin Islands $13.55 $28,190

Starting Pharmacy Technician Pay by City

The following table shows the 10th percentile of salaries for pharmacy technicians in major metropolitan areas. While these aren’t necessarily entry-level salaries, it’s around what you can expect to make if you’re just starting out:

Metro Area Hourly Annual
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA $14.66 $30,490
Austin-Round Rock, TX $17.95 $37,330
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD $16.59 $34,500
Birmingham-Hoover, AL $13.97 $29,060
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC $16.25 $33,800
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI $17.10 $35,580
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN $14.86 $30,920
Cleveland-Elyria, OH $15.15 $31,510
Columbus, OH $15.51 $32,260
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX $16.65 $34,630
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO $18.59 $38,660
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI $15.63 $32,510
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX $17.06 $35,470
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN $17.29 $35,960
Jacksonville, FL $16.48 $34,270
Kansas City, MO-KS $15.89 $33,050
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV $16.93 $35,210
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $18.69 $38,870
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN $15.11 $31,420
Memphis, TN-MS-AR $14.67 $30,510
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL $17.38 $36,160
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI $14.76 $30,710
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI $18.26 $37,970
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN $14.82 $30,820
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA $17.07 $35,510
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL $16.78 $34,900
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD $14.42 $30,000
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ $17.13 $35,630
Pittsburgh, PA $15.13 $31,480
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $18.95 $39,420
Raleigh, NC $16.52 $34,360
Richmond, VA $16.74 $34,820
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA $18.35 $38,160
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA $18.37 $38,220
St. Louis, MO-IL $15.31 $31,840
Salt Lake City, UT $17.83 $37,090
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX $17.47 $36,330
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA $18.12 $37,700
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $22.20 $46,180
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $21.45 $44,610
San Juan-Carolina-Caguas, PR $9.79 $20,360
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $22.46 $46,720
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL $15.54 $32,330
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC $15.00 $31,190
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV $17.43 $36,250
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH $17.64 $36,700

How Quickly Do Entry-Level Pharmacy Technicians Start Making More Money

Pharmacy technicians who do their job well, are reliable, and stay up to date on their requirements can usually expect a small 2% to 3% raise every year.

If you hope to start earning more money faster, there are some things you can do to start moving up the career ladder and earning more money

Volunteering to work less-desirable shifts like nights, weekends, and holidays can earn you a pay raise immediately. Most companies offer shift differentials for working the more undesirable schedules and hours. 

In addition, many companies will offer raises as their employees earn more certifications and complete training. For example, pharmacy technicians who progress through programs like Walgreens or CVS can expect a pay raise after earning their certification, usually within 6 weeks of starting. 

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