Home Jobs & Education How Much Does a Pharmacy Tech Make?

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pharmacy-techniciansPharmacy technicians assist licensed pharmacists by receiving vital information from patients or other health professionals necessary for prescriptions to be accurately filled.

Under the supervision of pharmacists, technicians typically are responsible for counting tablets, measuring amounts of medications, mixing medications, and labeling prescription bottles. Pharmacy technicians are also the front-line personnel that complete routine pharmacy tasks, including answering phone calls, processing payments from customers, and keeping records of insurance claims.

Salary
How much do pharmacy techs make? According to the May 2012 records from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual pharmacy tech salary is $30,430, which is equivalent to a $14.63 mean hourly wage for the profession. Percentile wage estimates indicate that the lowest ten percent earn an average of just $20,580, while the top ten percent pharmacy technician salaries is $42,400.

The annual salary of a pharmacy technician highly depends on the industry through which they are employed. For instance, technicians employed in pharmacy and drug stores earn $28,940, while those that work within general medical or surgical hospitals make an average salary of $34,410. The highest-paying industries for this occupation are the federal government at $40,650 and outpatient care centers at $38,750 per year.

Furthermore, there are some states that stand out among the others as being the top-paying regions for pharmacy technicians. Those employed in the District of Columbia earn the top annual salary of $40,560. Pharmacy technicians also earn more than average in Washington at $39,630, Alaska at $39,520, and California at $39,150. Depending on the industry and state of employment, pharmacy technicians can earn more lucrative salaries above the average.

State Hourly Wage Average Salary Number of Jobs
Alabama $12.38 $25,750 6,530
Alaska $19.00 $39,520 620
Arizona $15.50 $32,240 6,740
Arkansas $12.59 $26,190 3,640
California $18.82 $39,150 30,540
Colorado $15.57 $32,380 4,120
Connecticut $15.54 $32,310 3,470
Delaware $13.30 $27,670 830
Florida $13.66 $28,410 23,490
Georgia $13.07 $27,180 10,830
Hawaii $17.77 $36,960 1,260
Idaho $14.62 $30,400 1,530
Illinois $14.40 $29,950 15,740
Indiana $13.24 $27,530 9,280
Iowa $13.60 $28,280 4,140
Kansas $13.79 $28,680 4,040
Kentucky $12.26 $25,510 6,480
Louisiana $14.03 $29,180 5,660
Maine $13.91 $28,930 2,150
Maryland $15.21 $31,640 6,380
Massachusetts $15.50 $32,240 7,540
Michigan $13.39 $27,840 13,190
Minnesota $15.46 $32,150 6,810
Mississippi $12.65 $26,310 3,580
Missouri $13.38 $27,820 9,870
Montana $15.41 $32,060 1,080
Nebraska $13.35 $27,770 2,380
Nevada $16.46 $34,240 2,330
New Hampshire $13.60 $28,290 1,440
New Jersey $15.31 $31,850 8,150
New Mexico $14.65 $30,460 2,490
New York $14.91 $31,010 16,260
North Carolina $13.34 $27,740 11,840
North Dakota $15.76 $32,770 730
Ohio $13.19 $27,430 14,510
Oklahoma $12.67 $26,350 4,800
Oregon $16.75 $34,840 4,880
Pennsylvania $13.87 $28,840 14,230
Rhode Island $14.63 $30,440 1,180
South Carolina $13.59 $28,260 6,170
South Dakota $13.68 $28,460 1,240
Tennessee $13.68 $28,450 11,970
Texas $15.13 $31,460 27,660
Utah $14.98 $31,160 3,290
Vermont $14.50 $30,160 650
Virginia $14.11 $29,350 8,940
Washington $19.05 $39,630 7,150
West Virginia $12.30 $25,580 3,160
Wisconsin $13.83 $28,770 7,010
Wyoming $16.16 $33,610 540
Data courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Work Environment
Pharmacy technicians hold around 353,340 jobs in the United States, with 54 percent of these forms of employment being within a pharmacy or drug store. Technicians are also employed at state, local, or private hospitals, supermarkets, department stores, and other general stores that have pharmacy departments. Since pharmacies may be open throughout the overnight hours, some pharmacy technicians may have to work night and weekend shifts. Most technicians are on their feet working full-time, while many others do work part-time schedules.

Job prospects are currently excellent for pharmacy technicians in most work environments, especially those that have completed formal training or have gained extensive experience. Employment for pharmacy technicians is predicted to grow much faster than average at a rate of 32 percent between 2010 and 2020. This comes as the result of advances in research, an aging baby boomer population, and increased use of prescription medications.

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