Pharmacy Technician Salary: How Much They Make Hourly & Annually

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, how much do pharmacy techs make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians earned a median annual salary of $37,790 or $18.17 per hour in 2022 nationwide. 

Of course, experience, certifications, and location can make a big difference in a pharmacy technician'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 2022, the median salary for a pharmacy technician working full-time in the United States was $33,790 per year, which comes out to $18.17 per hour. This salary varied from as low as $29,640 for the lowest 10% to as high as $50,640 per year for the highest 10%.

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. You can see average salaries of pharmacy technicians in common places they work here.
  • 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

State Median Hourly Wage Median Annual Salary # Jobs
Alabama $16.97 $35,310 7,980
Alaska $22.78 $47,380 790
Arizona $20.00 $41,590 11,540
Arkansas $16.26 $33,830 4,520
California $23.10 $48,050 38,780
Colorado $20.80 $43,250 5,870
Connecticut $17.58 $36,560 4,500
Delaware $18.07 $37,590 1,190
District of Columbia $21.68 $45,090 720
Florida $17.70 $36,810 38,970
Georgia $17.33 $36,050 14,380
Hawaii $18.57 $38,620 1,350
Idaho $18.41 $38,300 2,520
Illinois $18.45 $38,370 21,370
Indiana $17.88 $37,190 10,330
Iowa $17.82 $37,070 4,750
Kansas $18.28 $38,020 4,210
Kentucky $16.94 $35,230 9,910
Louisiana $17.70 $36,820 6,490
Maine $17.85 $37,140 2,190
Maryland $18.11 $37,660 7,240
Massachusetts $19.34 $40,230 8,730
Michigan $17.76 $36,940 14,890
Minnesota $21.14 $43,980 7,880
Mississippi $16.98 $35,320 3,990
Missouri $17.42 $36,230 10,040
Montana $18.78 $39,070 1,320
Nebraska $17.61 $36,620 2,570
Nevada $19.20 $39,940 4,430
New Hampshire $17.93 $37,300 2,160
New Jersey $18.07 $37,590 11,890
New Mexico $18.60 $38,680 2,620
New York $17.74 $36,910 23,550
North Carolina $17.74 $36,900 16,370
North Dakota $21.50 $44,720 830
Ohio $17.55 $36,500 16,920
Oklahoma $16.84 $35,030 5,070
Oregon $22.06 $45,880 4,470
Pennsylvania $17.46 $36,310 20,580
Rhode Island $19.09 $39,710 1,540
South Carolina $17.52 $36,440 7,560
South Dakota $17.68 $36,770 1,170
Tennessee $17.43 $36,260 12,820
Texas $18.44 $38,360 36,870
Utah $20.09 $41,790 4,550
Vermont $17.88 $37,200 920
Virginia $18.00 $37,440 10,440
Washington $23.44 $48,740 7,600
West Virginia $16.64 $34,610 3,490
Wisconsin $17.98 $37,390 8,190
Wyoming $19.77 $41,130 590
Guam $14.45 $30,050 130
Puerto Rico $11.16 $23,210 5,520
Virgin Islands $17.60 $36,610 60

Pharmacy Technician Salary by City

Metro Area State Median Hourly Wage Median Annual Salary # Jobs
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA NY $18.16 $37,770 24,060
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI IL $19.18 $39,900 16,140
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA CA $22.98 $47,800 14,230
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX TX $18.48 $38,440 10,970
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL FL $18.04 $37,530 10,830
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD PA $17.88 $37,190 10,100
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ AZ $20.00 $41,590 8,700
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX TX $19.09 $39,700 8,470
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA GA $17.49 $36,380 7,740
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI MI $17.60 $36,610 6,660
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH MA $21.33 $44,370 6,550
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL FL $17.37 $36,130 5,840
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL FL $17.78 $36,990 5,840
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV DC $20.43 $42,500 5,590
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI MN $21.68 $45,080 4,930
St. Louis, MO-IL MO $17.99 $37,430 4,780
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA CA $22.43 $46,660 4,200
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA WA $24.23 $50,390 4,140
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA CA $27.74 $57,710 4,130
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN TN $18.29 $38,050 4,070
Pittsburgh, PA PA $17.76 $36,940 3,920
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN IN $18.08 $37,610 3,810
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD MD $17.91 $37,260 3,700
San Juan-Carolina-Caguas, PR PR $11.37 $23,640 3,550
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC NC $18.00 $37,440 3,540
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV NV $19.13 $39,790 3,480
Cleveland-Elyria, OH OH $18.19 $37,830 3,380
Kansas City, MO-KS MO $18.63 $38,750 3,280
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX TX $18.44 $38,350 3,250
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN OH $17.63 $36,680 3,220
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA CA $23.09 $48,040 3,200
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO CO $21.73 $45,190 3,180
Columbus, OH OH $17.77 $36,960 2,970
Austin-Round Rock, TX TX $20.13 $41,880 2,840
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA OR $22.97 $47,770 2,750
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN KY $17.70 $36,820 2,660

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

For example, medical assistants earn $37,190 per year, nursing assistants earn $30,290 per year, phlebotomists earn $37,380 per year, and dental assistants earn $44,820 per year. 

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. 

It's also worth noting that the job outlook of pharmacy technicians is double that of the national average—a good sign that pharmacy technician salaries should continue to grow.

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

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