May 5, 2023
Pharmacy Technician Salary Guide 2024

Becoming a pharmacy technician is a great career option for those who want a healthcare career but don’t want to work in direct patient care or in a bedside role. It is a rapidly growing and rewarding field where you have an opportunity to help patients get the medications they need to stay healthy.  But before you decide to sign up for classes, you probably want to know the average pharmacy technician's salary and how you can make the most money in this role.

If you are exploring a rewarding career as a pharmacy technician and want to understand more about the salary you can expect to earn as one, this article is for you. 

We Found The Following Schools with Online Pharmacy Technician Programs

Part One What Is the Average Pharmacy Technician Salary?

The median average pharmacy technician salary is $36,740 per year or $17.66 per hour, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The job outlook is bright in the profession, with a projection of 5% growth between 2021-2031. 

But, as we'll explore later in this article, how much you can make as a pharmacy technician will depend on a lot of factors, including where you live, where you work, your years of experience, and more.

Part Two Pharmacy Technician Salary Factors

There are a number of things that can impact how much you can make as a pharmacy technician. Let's dig into 3 of the biggest: experience, place of work, and skills.

Years of Experience

According to Payscale, the average pay for a certified pharmacy technician (CPHT) by years of experience ranged from $13.56 per hour for entry-level pharmacy techs to $19.75 per hour for CPHTs with 20+ years of experience.

Pharmacy Technician Salary by Years of Experience

Years of Experience Hourly wage
>1 $13.56
1-4 $14.84
5-9 $17.09
10-19 $18.63
20+ $19.75

Data via Payscale

Place of Work

Where you work plays a significant role in your salary, with many estimates stating that pharmacy techs earn as much as 20% more in a hospital than a drugstore. 

Keep in mind that many hospitals require both prior work experience and national certification to be considered for employment. It might make sense to get your feet in the door and gain experience in a drugstore setting first before making a transition into a hospital.  

Pharmacy Technician Salary by Employer

Place of Work Median Annual Salary
Hospitals $38,270
Pharmacies & Drug Stores $35,940
Food & Beverage Stores $36,090

Data via BLS

Skill Set

According to Payscale, your skill level is a factor that can determine your salary. If you have prior work experience with any of the following skills, you may have an opportunity to make a higher salary.  

  • Billing
  • Aseptic Processing
  • Order Inventory
  • Data Entry
  • Microsoft Office
  • Hospital experience

We Found The Following Schools with Online Pharmacy Technician Programs

Part Three Pharmacy Technician Salary by City and State

Where you choose to live has a lot of influence on your earning potential and has the potential to impact what you earn compared to the national average.

In some cases, pharmacy techs use the following information to decide where it makes the most sense to live and work. 

Highest Paying States for Pharmacy Technicians

Here are the top 5 highest paying states for pharmacy technicians according to the BLS:

  1. California: $24.04 per hour, or $49,990 per year
  2. Washington: $22.52 per hour, or $46,830 per year
  3. Alaska: $22.19 per hour, or $46,160 per year
  4. Oregon: $21.75 per hour, or $45,240 per year
  5. District of Columbia: $21.65 per hour, or $45,030 per year

Pharmacy Technician Salary By State

State Average Hourly Wage Average Annual Salary
Alabama $15.68 $32,620
Alaska $22.19 $46,160
Arizona $18.86 $39,240
Arkansas $15.72 $32,690
California $24.04 $49,990
Colorado $19.50 $40,550
Connecticut $18.29 $38,050
Delaware $16.81 $34,960
District of Columbia $21.65 $45,030
Florida $17.33 $36,040
Georgia $16.45 $34,220
Guam $14.42 $29,990
Hawaii $19.57 $40,710
Idaho $18.37 $38,210
Illinois $17.83 $37,090
Indiana $16.93 $35,220
Iowa $17.15 $35,660
Kansas $17.50 $36,390
Kentucky $16.05 $33,390
Louisiana $16.75 $34,840
Maine $16.93 $35,220
Maryland $18.19 $37,840
Massachusetts $19.42 $40,390
Michigan $17.16 $35,690
Minnesota $20.30 $42,220
Mississippi $16.57 $34,460
Missouri $16.31 $33,920
Montana $18.62 $38,730
Nebraska $17.36 $36,100
Nevada $19.16 $39,850
New Hampshire $17.89 $37,200
New Jersey $17.87 $37,160
New Mexico $18.12 $37,690
New York $18.71 $38,920
North Carolina $16.72 $34,780
North Dakota $20.08 $41,760
Ohio $16.53 $34,390
Oklahoma $16.71 $34,750
Oregon $21.75 $45,240
Pennsylvania $16.71 $34,760
Puerto Rico $11.34 $23,580
Rhode Island $18.47 $38,420
South Carolina $17.26 $35,890
South Dakota $17.90 $37,240
Tennessee $16.76 $34,850
Texas $18.43 $38,330
Utah $19.28 $40,110
Vermont $17.55 $36,500
Virgin Islands $18.47 $38,420
Virginia $17.47 $36,340
Washington $22.52 $46,830
West Virginia $15.49 $32,230
Wisconsin $17.83 $37,080
Wyoming $19.27 $40,090

Source: BLS

Highest Paying Cities for Pharmacy Technicians

Here are the top 5 highest paying cities for pharmacy technicians according to the BLS:

  1. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA:  $28.53 per hour, or $59,340 per year
  2. Napa, CA:  $28.18 per hour, or $58,620 per year
  3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA:  $28.07 per hour, or $58,390 per year
  4. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA:  $27.43 per hour, or $57,060 per year
  5. Santa Rosa, CA: $27.21 per hour, or $56,590 per year

Part Four Ways to Increase Your Salary as a Pharmacy Technician

There are a lot of opportunities for pharmacy techs to earn a higher salary. It is often a matter of putting in a little extra grit and being creative, combined with thinking outside the box. 

Some pharmacy techs have taken on side hustles, but if you want to focus on making more money within your career as a pharmacy tech, here are several ideas for you to earn a higher income:

  1. Ask for more responsibilities and show that you are so valuable that they can’t operate without you.
  2. Ask for a raise.
  3. Get nationally certified. Many institutions will pay a few dollars more per hour because you have the certification to back up your skills. 
  4. Look for per diem pharmacy tech jobs to work on your off days.
  5. Consider being a travel pharmacy tech (explore other areas of the country while getting paid for it!)
  6. Always research the pay scale within your city and surrounding cities. It may make sense for you to move an hour away to be closer to a metropolitan city that can offer you a higher salary.  
  7. Consider living in another state that offers a higher salary, especially states where the cost of living is less expensive. You may find that you will have a higher quality of life, even if the pay isn’t that much higher because it costs so much to live there.  
  8. If you live in an area where the cost of living doesn’t make sense, consider the possibility of moving to a place where it does. For example, many pharmacy techs in California make the highest salary in the country, but the cost is so high that it is driving some to leave the state.  If you can spend less on living expenses, then you just gave yourself a bonus.  

There are multiple factors to consider regarding how much a pharmacy technician can earn. 

It is highly beneficial to know as much about the details that may affect your salary as to make educated decisions about your career.  

By understanding salary ranges based on workplace factors, level of experience, and the state and city where you live, you can maximize your earning potential and make a salary that reflects your hard work and skill level. 

Read Next: How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

We Found The Following Schools with Online Pharmacy Technician Programs

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