Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists with the filling and dispensing of prescription medications. They can also help organize inventory and reorder supplies, enter patient and insurance information into the pharmacy’s computer system, collect monies for prescriptions that are picked up or delivered, and help process drug-related insurance claims.
If you’re considering working as a pharm tech, you might have questions about how much someone in this position earns. Here we share information about a pharmacy technician’s wages, including median pay, how average income can vary by state, and other factors that can impact earning potential.
Pharmacy Technician Wages (Annually, Hourly, and Monthly)
The national median wage for a pharmacy technician in May 2021 was $36,740 per year, or $17.66 per hour.1 As the median, one-half of all pharmacy techs nationally made more than this amount and the other half made less. A majority of pharmacy techs work a full-time schedule.2 If earning the national median pay, this would equate to a monthly income of roughly $3,062. Pharmacy technicians working part-time would earn less per year and per month.
The lowest 10% of earners in this role (lowest decile) had annual incomes below $28,740.1 UMA’s graduates in the 2021-2022 cohort of its Pharmacy Technician associate degree program reported to UMA that they earned a median hourly wage that is approximately at or slightly higher than the BLS’s lowest decile.3
Pharmacy Technician Wages by State
A pharmacy technician’s wages can vary based on the state in which they work. Here is a state-by-state breakdown of a pharm tech’s mean (average) annual pay as of May 2021.4
|State||Mean Annual Wages|
Becoming a Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy technicians usually need a high school diploma or equivalent and learn their duties through on-the-job training, or they may complete a postsecondary education program in pharmacy technology before starting in the role. Most states and many employers have some type of regulatory requirements for pharmacy technicians, which can include passing an exam or the completion of a formal education or training program.5
Other Factors That Can Impact a Pharmacy Technician’s Wages
Several additional factors can impact the rate of pay for a pharmacy tech. They include:6
- Amount of experience
- Skill sets, particularly those that are in demand
- Working in an urban versus rural setting
- The demand for pharm techs in that geographical area
Pharmacy Technician Job Outlook
Pharmacy technician jobs are expected to grow by 5% between 2021 and 2031, which would result in the creation of 22,400 new jobs.7 Some of the reasons cited for this average growth rate are an aging population and pharmacists being involved in more patient care activities, increasing the need for assistance from pharm techs.
Ready to Pursue Training for a Career as a Pharmacy Technician?
If this healthcare role sounds like one for which you would like to pursue training, UMA offers a Health Sciences – Pharmacy Technician Associate Degree program. This program is available mostly online while also including a 180-hour on-site externship, the latter of which provides the ability to learn within a healthcare facility.
Topics covered include computer applications, pharmacology, pharmaceutical calculations, and drug or dosage interactions. Completion of UMA’s Health Sciences – Pharmacy Technician Associate Degree program also prepares students to sit for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), if eligible.
UMA is a nonprofit healthcare educational institution committed to not just providing students the education and skills needed to work in their desired roles, but also to helping our grads (or soon-to-be-grads) overcome their career-related challenges. One example of the latter is by assisting with their job search, including holding mock interviews and connecting grads with our trusted employer partners.
Learn more about UMA to discover what we can do for you. You can also contact us to discuss your specific situation, career goals, and needs. Our caring and compassionate staff is here to help in any way they can.
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Pharmacy Technicians. Pay. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-5
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Pharmacy Technicians. Work Environment. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-3
3 UMA’s 2021-2022 graduate earnings estimate is based on wage information obtained for UMA’s graduates from the cohort. Earnings information was typically obtained by a self-report from the graduate, and occasionally from the graduate’s employer or other sources.
4 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. May 2021. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm
5 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Pharmacy Technicians. How to Become a Pharmacy Technician. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-4
6 CareerBuilder. 5 Essential Factors for Determining Compensation. https://resources.careerbuilder.com/staffing/how-to-build-employee-compensation-programs
7 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Pharmacy Technicians. Job Outlook. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-6