Pharmacy Technician


October 30, 2016

Health, Jobs

Job Description

Pharmacy technicians are required to assist the pharmacist in regular tasks that keep the pharmacy operating efficiently. These tasks may include counting pills or mixing medications, labeling medications, and dispensing the medications to customers at the pharmacy. The pharmacy technician will also complete administrative tasks such as keeping updated patient records in a computer system. The pharmacy technician may also be available to answer customer questions that pertain to both prescription and over-the-counter medications.


The average median salary for a pharmacy technician in the United States is $32,165. Many factors can affect the average salary of a worker including the location, the hours worked, overtime and the level of experience. Generally, a pharmacy technician will make about $10 per hour to start and this pay rate will often increase with experience. The average pharmacy technician supervisor who has 5 years of experience will make about double the starting pay and can earn as much as $38,000 or more per year.

Below are charts that display the average annual salary for a pharmacy technician and the median salaries for this career choice.

Pharmacy Technician Salary Statistics as of 2015

Median annual salary for a Pharmacy Technician is salaryMedian based on statistics in the U.S. as of 2015. The highest salary recorded was $37,231. The lowest salary reported was $17,577. These figures will vary on a state to state basis as these are averages across all 50 states.

Median hourly wage for a Pharmacy Technician is $12 based on statistics in the U.S. as of 2015. The highest hourly wage recorded was $16. The lowest hourly wage recorded was $8. These figures will vary on a state to state basis as these are averages across all 50 states.

Bonuses for a Pharmacy Technician are based on the years of experience using statistics from the U.S. as of 2015. The biggest bonus recorded was $0 from someone with 15+ years of experience. The smallest bonus recorded was $0 from someone with under 1 year of experience.

These are the top 5 highest paying states for a Pharmacy Technician. These numbers are based off the median annual salary as of 2015.
1. California – $20,134 – $56,171
2. Texas – $16,164 – $48,388
3. Illinois – $17,879 – $40,851
4. New York – $15,101 – $41,370
5. Florida – $15,480 – $50,684

These are the top 5 highest paying cities for a Pharmacy Technician. These numbers are based off the median annual salary as of 2015.
1. Houston, Texas – $16,341 – $37,084
2. Chicago, Illinois – $19,998 – $36,250
3. New York, New York – $15,126 – $30,521
4. Tampa, Florida – $18,224 – $32,694
5. Vancouver, Washington – $16,381 – $31,900

This chart outlines the median annual salary of a Pharmacy Technician from the past 5 years.

Specialized Fields

While there are not necessarily any specialized fields of pharmacy technicians, there are some additional experiences that may come with the job. For instance, a pharmacy technician may work in a hospital pharmacy and this career would come with additional responsibilities above and beyond the scope of those which are typical of a standard pharmacy. Generally, the duties that are assigned to a pharmacy technician will be based upon qualifications and experience. Those who have greater experience can expect to handle additional responsibilities, but the primary responsibility will always be to assist the pharmacist in daily operations of the pharmacy itself.

Two of the most common specialized fields for a pharmacy technician include:

  • Chemotherapy technicians
  • Nuclear pharmacy technicians

Work Environment

Most pharmacy technicians are full-time workers who are employed by a pharmacy to work 35-40 hours per week. The job may be located in a hospital, health clinic, nursing home, grocery store pharmacy, retail store pharmacy or assisted living facility. Anywhere that there is a pharmacy, there is a need for pharmacy technicians to assist with routine operations.

Depending on the hours of the pharmacy, there can be varied opportunities for work hours. The low stress field of pharmaceuticals distribution allows for a generally happy work environment. Pharmacy technicians spend their time indoors and can expect very little stress except in the event that there is a disgruntled customer. Unhappy customer cases are seldom and the pharmacist will usually take over in the event that a customer is inconsolable.

Job Outlook

As with many other medical fields, the outlook for pharmacy technicians is quite good. Employment is expected to increase by more than 30 percent from the current time until 2020. Advancement opportunities, although generally limited, can be found in major pharmacies and health systems such as hospitals where a pharmacy technician with proven experience may secure a higher paying job as a supervisor.

Several factors contribute to the expected career growth for pharmacy technicians. Some of these factors include:

  • the active role that pharmacists are taking in patient care and the need for pharmacy technicians to handle additional tasks that are typically performed by the pharmacist
  • a greater demand for prescription medications due to longer life expectancies and more illness
  • an increase in the number of treatments and medications that are being offered by healthcare professionals for various conditions

How To Become a Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians require significantly less schooling and training than a pharmacist. Most are required to seek Pharmacy Technician Certification and to pass a state mandated test of knowledge in the field. Many vocational schools, colleges, hospitals and pharmacies provide training and certification programs that will prepare workers to become pharmacy technicians. These programs typically last up to one year and will prepare the worker for certification by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.

A high school diploma will be required prior to beginning any training or education in the field of pharmacy technician. Once the Pharmacy Technician Certification exam is passed, on-the-job training should begin to fulfill the experience in the industry. Although some pharmacies will hire a pharmacy technician without previous training or certification, most will require the worker to have proper certification within a specified period of time during employment.

An Associate Degree in Pharmacy Technology, though not a requirement, can provide a competitive advantage in the career field. These programs are typically offered at both the community college and University level and will take approximately two years to complete if attending full-time.

Gender Statistics

Pharmacy Technician Health Benefits



Based on our stats gathered across the U.S. 22% of Pharmacy Technicians were females while 78% were males. These numbers are based on averages across all states combined. Some individual states may have a much different ratio however.
Health: 55%
Dental: 44%

Eye: 33%
None: 42%

Pharmacy Technician Jobs




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