How Much Does a Pharmacy Technician Make

How Much Does a Pharmacy Technician Make?

– As of 2020, there was an estimate of 419,300 employed pharmacy technicians.

– More than 210,520 pharmacy technicians are employed in health and personal care stores.

– The state of California has the highest rate of employed pharmacy technicians at 376,100.

Have you decided that you want to become a pharmacy technician?

If so, you’re probably wondering what kind of salary and benefits you’ll be getting as well as the hours you might be working and what kind of work environments you can work in.

Being a pharmacy tech means that you will be working with people from all backgrounds both in person and over the phone. You’ll also be able to work in a variety of environments and may even have different work hours. Many pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies or drug stores and most work a full-time schedule. There are some pharmacies that are open 24 hours per day which means that some techs may have to work nights and weekends.

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What Does a Pharmacy Tech Do?

Secrets of the PTCB Exam Study Guide
Secrets of the PTCB Exam Study Guide

Pharmacy techs are usually supervised by licensed pharmacists and are responsible for assisting the pharmacist in preparing and dispensing prescription drugs to patients. In some states, pharmacy technicians can compound some medications as well as call the patient’s physician for authorizations on prescription refills. You’ll act as a liaison between the public and the pharmacist.

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As a pharmacy technician, you’ll also have more responsibilities that can include:

• Package and label prescriptions
• Supply medications to patients
• Measure medications, count pills and assemble the medications for prescriptions
• Set up consultations and recommendations for patients with the pharmacist
• Run registers and accept payments
• Organize and stock inventory
• Collect information from the patient such as insurance information
• Answer phone calls from patients

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Where Can a Pharmacy Tech Work?

As a pharmacy tech, you’ll be able to work in a variety of environments. About 70% of pharmacy techs work in retail pharmacies and drug stores such as Walgreens and CVS or even in mass retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target. Working in retail pharmacies allows you to have flexible work hours but may also require you to work weekends. Some retail pharmacies are open 24 hours which may mean that you will be required to work nights.

How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

Flashcards Study System for the PTCB Exam
Flashcards Study System for the PTCB Exam

Being a pharmacy technician means that there will be a lot of knowledge that you’ll need to learn such as pharmacy law, record keeping and also the names and uses of various medications. Because there is so much information that you’ll need to know to be successful in your career, you’ll need to go through training.

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Pharmacy Technician Requirements

Here’s the education and training that you’ll need to become a pharmacy tech:

• You’ll need to have a high school diploma or a GED

• Complete a Pharmacy Technician Program
Although there is no formal education needed to become a pharmacy tech, it’s always in your best interest to complete a pharmacy tech program. Many employers prefer applicants that have gone through and completed a pharmacy technician program over applicants that have not completed one.

• Become certified.
Not all states require pharmacy technicians to be certified, but many employers prefer that they are. One of the main national certifications is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board or the PTCB. To find out if your state requires you to become certified, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy to see if you need to be certified.

• Maintain an active certification
Your pharmacy technician certification from PTCB must be renewed every two years which also requires the completion of 20 continuing education units (CE).

In your pharmacy technician program, and once you take your PTCB exam, you will cover topics including:

• Pharmacology Law
• Pharmacology
• Medication Safety
• Pharmacy Quality Assurance
• Billing and Reimbursement
• Information Systems Application
• Order Entry and the Fill Process
• Sterile and non-sterile compounding

Pharmacy Technician Salary – How Much Does a Pharmacy Technician Make?

If you’ve decided to become a pharmacy technician, you’re probably wondering how much you will make or what is a pharmacy tech salary.

According to BLS.gov, as of 2020, a certified pharmacy technician makes a median income of $35,100 per year, which comes out to be $16.87 per hour. The lowest 10% of pharmacy technicians make $25,400 per year or $12.21 per hour. The highest 10% of pharmacy technicians make $50,430 per year or $24.25 per hour. The top-paying industry for a pharmacy technician is in the Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) with an annual wage of $47,690.

What is the Job Growth for a Pharmacy Technician?

According to BLS.gov, the job growth for a pharmacy technician will grow 4% through 2030, which is slower than the average growth for all occupations.

Pharmacy Technician Pay – Pharmacy Technician Employment and Wages

Pharmacy Tech Employment and Wages

The total employment for pharmacy technicians across the United States is 419,300. The average hourly wage is $17.52 making the average annual wage $36,450.

Bottom 10%:

Average Hourly Wage: $12.21
Average Annual Wage: $25,400

25%:

Average Hourly Wage: $13.99
Average Annual Wage: $29,090

50%:

Average Hourly Wage: $16.87
Average Annual Wage: $35,100

75%:

Average Hourly Wage: $20.03
Average Annual Wage: $41,660

Top 90%:

Average Hourly Wage: $24.25
Average Annual Wage: $50,430

Areas With the Highest Pharmacy Technician Employment

Areas With Highest Employment

Health and Personal Care Stores

210,520 total pharmacy technicians employed with 21.80% of employment in the industry.
Average annual wage of $34,420 with an average hourly wage of $16.55.

General Medical and Surgical Hospitals

66,240 total pharmacy technicians employed with 1.18% of employment in the industry.
Average annual wage of $41,180 with an average hourly wage of $19.80.

Food and Beverage Stores

41,960 total pharmacy technicians employed with 1.44% of employment in the industry.
Average annual wage of $33,000 with an average hourly wage of $15.87.

Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses

8,690 total pharmacy technicians employed with 2.11% of employment in the industry
Average annual wage of $38,120 with an average hourly wage of $18.33.

Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods

14,260 total pharmacy technicians employed with 3.80% of employment in the industry.
Average annual wage of $37,410 with an average hourly wage of $17.99.

Top Paying Areas for Pharmacy Technicians

Areas with Highest Pharmacy Technician Employment: Health and personal care stores, General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Food and Beverage Stores, General Merchandise Stores, Merchant Wholesalers

Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)

6,560 / 0.32% total employment
Average annual wage of $47,690 with a $22.93 hourly wage

Outpatient Care Centers

6,650 / 0.69% total employment
Average annual wage of $49,690 with a $23.89 hourly wage

Local Government, excluding schools/hospitals

1,350 / 0.02% total employment
Average annual wage of $43,730 with a $21.02 hourly wage

Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories

160 / 0.06% total employment
Average annual wage of $43,960 with a $21.14 hourly wage

Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools

1,590 / 0.05% total employment
Average annual wage of $43,990 with a $21.15 hourly wage

States With Highest Pharmacy Technician Employment

Pharmacy Tech Top Paying States

California

36,100 / 2.20% total employment
Average annual wage $47,620 / $22.89 hourly wage

Alaska

610 / 2.08% total employment
Average annual wage $46,430 / $22.32 hourly wage

Washington

7,740 / 2.42% total employment
Average annual wage $46,400 / $22.31 hourly wage

Washington, D.C.

660 / 0.97% total employment
Average annual wage $46,240 / $22.23 hourly wage

Oregon

5,020 / 2.78% total employment
Average annual wage $43,410 / $20.87 hourly wage

Published by

Jay Willis

Jay Willis joined Mometrix as Vice President of Sales in 2009, and has developed several key strategic relationships that have enhanced the distribution of Mometrix products. With nearly 20 years of sales experience in the publishing industry, his dedication to providing the highest quality experience for customers, coupled with his sales and marketing expertise, has resulted in significant growth of the Institutional Sales division. Learn more