Pharmacy Technician Salary Guide

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Median Annual Pharmacy Tech Salary

When you’re considering pursuing a healthcare career, you’ll certainly weigh one important factor: salary. Pharmacy technicians earn a median salary of $37,790 annually in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Take a look at median annual pharm tech salaries by state.

Pharmacy Technicians

National data

Median Salary: $37,790

Projected job growth: 5.6%

10th Percentile: $29,640

25th Percentile: $34,590

75th Percentile: $45,710

90th Percentile: $50,640

Projected job growth: 5.6%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $35,310 $28,070 $43,950
Alaska $47,380 $37,840 $61,540
Arizona $41,590 $32,420 $49,420
Arkansas $33,830 $28,550 $45,760
California $48,050 $36,770 $75,960
Colorado $43,250 $34,680 $53,560
Connecticut $36,560 $31,140 $50,840
Delaware $37,590 $28,650 $48,510
District of Columbia $45,090 $37,490 $60,110
Florida $36,810 $30,110 $46,810
Georgia $36,050 $28,960 $46,530
Hawaii $38,620 $30,450 $56,780
Idaho $38,300 $30,130 $49,770
Illinois $38,370 $29,420 $49,200
Indiana $37,190 $30,530 $45,870
Iowa $37,070 $30,110 $46,970
Kansas $38,020 $27,580 $48,640
Kentucky $35,230 $28,370 $45,870
Louisiana $36,820 $28,930 $46,630
Maine $37,140 $29,570 $47,270
Maryland $37,660 $31,230 $50,870
Massachusetts $40,230 $32,290 $61,130
Michigan $36,940 $28,800 $47,340
Minnesota $43,980 $35,670 $54,690
Mississippi $35,320 $28,210 $44,290
Missouri $36,230 $27,620 $47,550
Montana $39,070 $31,460 $48,300
Nebraska $36,620 $30,230 $46,920
Nevada $39,940 $30,240 $52,980
New Hampshire $37,300 $28,860 $48,700
New Jersey $37,590 $29,920 $50,530
New Mexico $38,680 $30,030 $50,270
New York $36,910 $31,370 $56,450
North Carolina $36,900 $29,320 $47,020
North Dakota $44,720 $33,930 $56,700
Ohio $36,500 $28,200 $47,480
Oklahoma $35,030 $28,540 $46,900
Oregon $45,880 $36,360 $59,500
Pennsylvania $36,310 $28,410 $46,070
Rhode Island $39,710 $29,910 $50,070
South Carolina $36,440 $28,960 $45,940
South Dakota $36,770 $30,850 $46,100
Tennessee $36,260 $28,600 $47,070
Texas $38,360 $29,780 $48,850
Utah $41,790 $34,600 $50,630
Vermont $37,200 $31,400 $47,440
Virginia $37,440 $29,340 $49,330
Washington $48,740 $36,810 $62,030
West Virginia $34,610 $28,070 $44,980
Wisconsin $37,390 $29,410 $48,680
Wyoming $41,130 $32,660 $50,260

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2022 median salary; projected job growth through 2032. Actual salaries may vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

A pharmacy technician salary depends on many variables. By taking steps to advance your career, you can also increase your earning potential and competitiveness for in-demand jobs.

In this Article

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Factors That Can Impact a Pharmacy Technician’s Salary

Many factors influence a pharmacy technician’s salary. “Certainly, more education and experience translate to higher pay,” explains Glen Gard, CPhT, CSPT, director of sterile compounding compliance at the infusion services company Option Care Health. Those are just two variables.

As you consider becoming a pharmacy technician, weigh these factors that impact pay:

  • Place of employment
  • Education
  • Certification(s)
  • Type of role
  • Location where you work
  • Years and type of experience

Highest-Paying Metropolitan Areas for Pharmacy Technicians

Some cities and metropolitan areas pay very well. Interestingly, the 10 top-paying locations in the U.S. are all in California, according to the BLS. In fact, the Golden State is the highest paying in the country.

Before you pack your bags to move to one of these high-paying cities, remember that salary isn’t everything. Take-home pay doesn’t stretch as far in more expensive locations. Living expenses can take a big bite out of your salary, so weigh all financial aspects when considering where to work as a pharmacy technician.

Metro Area Median Annual Salary
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $58,640
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $57,710
Napa, CA $55,390
Santa Rosa, CA $53,370
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $52,760
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $50,390
Olympia-Tumwater, WA $49,340
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA $49,220
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA $48,990
Fairbanks, AK $48,440

Where You Work

“There are so many settings and paths for pharmacy technicians to pursue,” Gard says. Settings vary in the number of pharmacy technicians they employ.

Pharmacies and drug stores account for more than half the employment (51%) of pharmacy technicians, according to the BLS. Hospitals employ 17%, and pharmacies in retail grocery stores employ 9%.

Your place of employment can influence your income, too.

Type of WorkplaceAverage Salary
Outpatient care centers$57,240
Research and development services$52,870
Medical and surgical hospitals$46,430
General retail stores$41,720
Retail: Health and personal care stores$37,680

Roles and the specific pharmacy technician job descriptions within these settings also affect salary. As a general rule, the more specialized the position, the higher the pay, Gard says.

In addition, staff that belongs to a union usually earn more.

As you consider a career in this field, you’ll want to know where pharmacy technicians are in highest demand. These cities have the highest employment for pharmacy techs, according to the BLS:

Metropolitan Areas Employment
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 24,060
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 16,140
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 14,230
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 10,970
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 10,830
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 10,100
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 8,700
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 8,470

Your Education

Some people can get started with a pharmacy technician career with nothing more than a high school diploma or GED. That track is becoming less common, though. “There’s a growing expectation in the field that requires some component of additional education,” Gard says.

Training as a pharmacy technician can follow three educational paths: a diploma or certificate, an associate degree, or on-the-job training provided by an employer.

When you consider which route is best for you, know that “more education will increase your salary,” Gard says.

Education beyond a high school diploma or GED also makes you more competitive for jobs. It is becoming more common for employers to require postsecondary education or training.

Your Certifications

Certifications are mandatory in some, but not all, states in the U.S. You will need to research what is required where you live.

Certifications will help your career just about everywhere you work, though, explains Gard. “About half of states now require national certification—such as CPhT—and more states are beginning to require it,” he says. “Certification shows you have gone through a training program or on-the-job training, and that you understand the basics needed to be a pharmacy technician.”

Earning a certification does more than expand your options of where you can work; it can also boost your pay.

Options for certifications include:

Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)

Certified Compounded Sterile Preparation Technician

Advanced Certified Pharmacy Technician

Specialty certifications are designed to show advanced and specialized knowledge within a field. As you gain experience, you might consider these specialty certifications:

Medication History Certificate

Technician Product Verification Certificate

Hazardous Drug Management Certificate

Billing and Reimbursement Certificate

Pharmacy Tech Salaries Compared to Other Allied Health Salaries

If you are researching how to become a pharmacy technician, you likely have a passion for helping people. Many other careers within healthcare fulfill that drive, too.

It is important to know the difference between a pharmacy technician and a pharmacist—often a source of confusion. While they work together closely, these roles are separated by crucial differences.

Pharmacists oversee a pharmacy technician’s work, ensuring orders and dispensed medications are correct. While pharmacy techs often have direct contact with patients (when taking information or payment for prescriptions, for example), pharmacists answer patients’ questions and advise them on how to safely and effectively take medications.

When exploring the many career options ahead of you, you will want to consider what you can earn in each job. Take a look at how pharmacy technicians’ pay compares to the median annual salaries of other healthcare jobs.

Career Median Annual Salary
Pharmacy Technicians $37,790
Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians $57,380
Medical Records Specialists $47,180
Medical Secretaries and Administrative Assistants $38,500
Pharmacists $132,750

How Can I Increase My Pay?

You already know that experience, additional education, and certifications can raise your income as a pharmacy technician. Specializing is one of the best ways to boost your salary, Gard says.

“Specialized roles tend to make more than an average technician,” he adds.

His advice: “As you go through the process of becoming a new pharmacy technician, and as you gain experience, figure out your niche.” You may want to concentrate on becoming a purchaser, a medical reconciliation technician, a patient service representative, or a worker at an accreditation agency.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for pharmacy technicians is strong, Gard says. The BLS foresees job growth of 5.6% through 2032—as fast as average for all positions within the U.S.

As the population in the U.S. ages, people will likely need more care—including medications, Gard says. Chronic diseases requiring ongoing medications are also becoming more common, leading to increasing demand for pharmacy technicians.

The bottom line: Pharmacy technicians are, and will continue to be, integral to ensuring patients get the best care they need.

catherine gregory

Written and reported by:
Catherine Ryan Gregory
Contributing Writer

glen gard

With professional insight from:
Glen Gard, CPhT, CSPT
Director of Sterile Compounding Compliance, Option Care Health