Being a pharmacy technician is a great job for people who want to work in the medical field. Pharmacy technicians learn how different medications work, help people stay healthy, and earn decent pay.
Pharmacy technicians often go back to school to become pharmacists or other more advanced healthcare providers. They are able to earn a living wage while preparing themselves for a well-respected and in-demand career.
So, what is the average pharmacy technician salary?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians earned a median annual salary of $36,740 or $17.66 per hour in 2021 nationwide.
Of course, experience, certifications, and location can make a big difference in a person’s salary.
This guide goes over over average pharmacy technician salaries by state and in major cities, how to earn more as a pharmacy technician, and more.
Pharmacy Technician Salary Overview
As of May 2021, the median salary for a pharmacy technician working full-time in the United States was $36,740 per year, which comes out to $17.66 per hour. This pay varies from as low as $28,740 to as high as $47,550 per year.
Here are some things that affect how much pharmacy technicians make:
- Level & type. There are three main levels of pharmacy technicians and many different types. Level III pharmacy techs make the most, while level II makes more than level I. In addition, certain types of pharmacy techs make more, such as informaticists and benefits managers.
- Years of Experience. While you may start out earning closer to the lower end of the pharmacy technician salary range, your pay should increase as you gain more experience. Pharmacy technicians with 5 to 9 years of experience earn up to $9,000 more per year than brand-new employees.
- Type of Facility. Pay varies based on the type of facility you choose to work in. Pharmacy technicians in hospitals earn an average of $38,270 per year. Those working in food and beverage stores earn about $36,090, and drugstore pharmacy technicians earn about $35,940.
- Location. For all healthcare workers, location is one of the things that will impact pay the most. For example, pharmacy technicians working in California earn much more than those working in Utah.
- Certifications. Most states require a certification or license for pharmacy technicians. In those that do not require it, certified pharmacy technicians may be paid more than those who are not certified.
- Type of Job. There are different kinds of jobs you can work as a pharmacy technician, such as a retail pharmacy technician, informaticist, program director, and instructor. You can learn about the highest-paying pharmacy technician jobs here.
Pharmacy Technician Salary by State
Pharmacy Technician Salary by City
Do Pharmacy Technicians Make Good Money?
For the amount of training required, pharmacy technicians earn a decent wage. While their salary is lower than the national average, pharmacy technician pay is comparable to other entry-level healthcare jobs.
All of these comparable jobs require a high school diploma and either a certificate or on-the-job training. Accepting a job at a hospital in a high-paying city, earning a certificate, and getting some years of experience can all help you earn good money as a pharmacy technician.
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting a Better Pharmacy Technician Salary
The highest-paid pharmacy technicians earn nearly $20,000 more per year than the lowest-paid ones. There are several things you can do to improve your chances of earning a higher salary as a pharmacy technician, including:
Get more certifications
Not all states require pharmacy technicians to receive special training or earn a certification. However, almost all employers will pay more for a certified pharmacy technician. You can learn how to become a certified pharmacy technician here.
In addition to earning a pharmacy technician certification, you can make yourself more valuable by taking a course on vaccine administration or even phlebotomy.
Stay on top of the industry & learn about new technologies
In addition to earning more certifications, you can impress your boss and give yourself a better chance of getting a raise by keeping up with the latest technology and advancements in pharmacology and improving your pharmacy technician skills.
Rather than doing the bare minimum at work, help your team come up with ideas to be safer, more efficient, and save money. All of these things are sure to earn you some respect from your employer and hopefully a larger paycheck.
Ask your manager about opportunities for advancement
As you gain experience and knowledge, you may be able to ask your manager about opportunities for advancement.
Many pharmacy technicians who do a good job can become shift managers or even manage the entire pharmacy staff. Management positions usually come with a significant pay raise.
Work the odd hours
While pharmacies are usually open during regular business hours, there are those that stay open all night, on weekends, and on holidays. Volunteering to work the night shifts, weekends, and holidays will usually come with some sort of pay differential.
Stick with your job
As you gain more experience, you will almost certainly start to earn more money. Sticking with the same career for several years can help you earn thousands more each year.
Advance your education
Many pharmacy technicians advance their education to eventually become pharmacists. While a doctor of pharmacy earns a lot more than a pharmacy technician, they have to complete about 6 years' worth of schooling, rather than a certificate.
Weigh your options carefully to decide which choice is right for you.
>> Read More: How to Become a Pharmacy Technician