What Salary Does a Pharmacy Tech Make?
Becoming a pharmacy tech can provide you with a stable income working in the medical field. You work in a pharmacy, assisting customers and the pharmacist with duties related to filling prescription medications.
As a pharmacy tech, you can expect your salary to vary by certain factors such as certification and experience. This guide will give you an idea of what your annual salary could be in this profession and factors that can affect your wage range.
Mean Annual Wage of Pharmacy Technicians
In 2018, the mean annual wage for this occupation was $34,020, which breaks down to $16.35 per hour. This has increased from $33,060 in 2017. Nonetheless, just like in any professional, not everyone makes the same income.
Pharmacy technician income can vary by your experience level, your state, your employer and other factors. The wages range from $22,740, or $10.93 per hour, in the lowest 10th percentile to $48,010, or $23.08 per hour, in the 90th percentile.
Type of Industry and Employer
The industry and workplace play a major role in the pay level of pharmacy techs. The highest paying industries for this field are:
- Federal executive branch: $44,900 annual mean wage
- Outpatient care centers: $42,260 annual mean wage
- Local government: $41,720 annual mean wage
- Medical/diagnostic laboratories: $41,470 annual mean wage
- Higher education: $41,100 annual mean wage
Your amount of pay also varies by the type of workplace. As of 2018, the annual mean wage for the following workplaces was:
- Hospitals: $38,920
- Merchant wholesalers: $35,010
- General merchandise stores: $33,280
- Health and personal care stores: $31,940
- Food and beverage stores: $31,460
So you can see that you could expect to make more by working as a pharmacy tech at a hospital, while you would generally make the least amount in the pharmacy at a health and personal care store or a food and beverage store.
Nonetheless, your pay level could vary based on factors individual to you. You could potentially make more money through obtaining certification or education, by adding specialized skills, by becoming a lead technician and by gaining years of experience in the field.
Your state also plays a significant role in your potential pharmacy technician income. However, you have to weigh your wage compared to the cost of living in the area. These are the states where pharmacy technicians make the most in the nation:
- Alaska: $43,150 annual mean wage
- California: $42,610 annual mean wage
- Washington: $42,470 annual mean wage
- Oregon: $40,920 annual mean wage
The District of Columbia also has a high annual mean wage at $39,980. Other states that fall into the highest annual mean wage range include Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii and Colorado.
On the other end of the spectrum, the states in the lowest annual mean wage range include Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.
Compared to Similar Professions
You may want to consider the wage of pharmacy technicians compared to similar occupations in the health field. In 2018, pharmacy technicians made a median annual wage of $32,700. This is lower than similar positions.
Health technologists and technicians made a median annual wage of $44,700; medical assistants made $33,610; medical records and health information technicians earned $40,350; medical transcriptionists made $34,770; and dental assistants earned $38,660. This is one factor you can weigh when comparing one position to another.
Knowing more about your potential salary as a pharmacy technician can help you learn whether this career is right for you. Keep in mind that there is the opportunity for increasing your income through means such as gaining certification, gaining experience and switching to a different industry or workplace. If desired, you could also use a job as a pharmacy tech as a starting point to transition to a different job in the healthcare field.