According to the US Bureau of Statistics, there are 415,310 pharmacy technicians employed throughout the United States. As the worst of the pandemic recedes and the economy bounces back, these employment figures are expected to rise and, with it, pharmacy technician salary expectations.
Technician salary depends upon a wide number of factors, including:
More than ever, employers are preferring to hire PTCB certified technicians. Since the new syllabus was introduced in January 2021, it has become more pharmacy-centric; in the sense that there is a greater focus on the day-to-day, practical side of working in pharmacy rather than learning information that is not directly related in the same way. Employers recognize the value of this PTCB certification, and are willing to pay more accordingly.
Starting off, technicians with no prior training or experience can expect to earn approximately $10-11 per hour. The average take-home salary is $25,400 per annum. Technicians working in hospital environments tend to earn more.
Of course, as we have alluded to, entry-level pay depends on the state, company, and industry in which you are employed. Salaries are higher in states such as California and New York, but the cost of living is also considerably higher too. Many technicians prefer to opt for cities where the salary expectations fall within the average or above-average, and where the cost of living is not as high as what you find on the east or west coasts.
Though working as an entry-level pharmacy technician is not as high as other healthcare professions, salary does grow with experience and responsibility; and growth within the industry is enormous. The demand for pharmacy technicians in the United States continues to grow and, with that, opportunities are aplenty. Furthermore, technicians can expect to earn a higher pharmacy technician salary if they work in the retail setting or hospital industry.
Over the long-term, you also have the opportunity to specialise, again, adding to both salary and long-term career prospects.
PTCB certified pharmacy technicians earn more than non-PTCB certified technicians.
With certification, pharmacy techs can expect their salaries to rise faster. You can also expect to earn a higher starting salary, too. Depending on which city, your experience and type of healthcare employer, technicians can expect to earn up to $16 per hour.
The average 2022 pharmacy technician salary is $35,100.
The bigger the retail pharmacy chain, the more technicians can expect to earn. As with entry-level positions, hospital and nursing home pharmacy technicians can expect to earn that much more.
As a certified pharmacy tech, salaries rise faster. Employers also have the peace of mind that they are taking on an employee who has studied and passed the PTCB exam; a candidate who has the knowledge to work safely, accurately, and effectively in the pharmacy setting.
As with any job, experience matters.
The pharmacy tech salary you can expect to earn matters not only on the experience you’ve gained, but the type and quality of that experience.
According to the US Bureau of Labor, the top 10% average pharmacy technician salary is more than $48,010.
To put this in context: in May 2018, the average annual wage for pharmacy techs was $32,700.
Again, pharmacy technician pay is higher for hospital pharmacy employees – up to $18 or greater per hour.
Pharmacy technician salaries depend upon demand.
The greater the demand, the greater their value and the more pay that – on average – they will be paid. This is a universal principle of employment.
The US Bureau of Labor reported that between 2018-2028, there is expected to be a 7% growth in demand for pharmacy techs throughout the United States.
In real terms, that translates into 250,000 positions (faster than normal growth rate).
Part of the reason for this growth related to purely economic demand, whereas other factors include the increased demand for prescription medicines throughout the country. More technicians are needed to meet this increased demand. As the COVID-19 pandemic comes to a close, the demand for pharmacy technicians is expected to rise.
This enormous growth should prove appealing for aspiring technicians. As it only takes less than 1-year to become a PTCB certified tech, technicians can take advantage of the demand that this profession now carries.
Below, we have put together a table of the US cities with the highest earning 2022 salaries for pharmacy technicians.
Remember – though a city may have a higher pharmacy technician salary, it may also come with higher rental costs and a generally higher cost of living. Always conduct research into the local area before deciding whether to take employment in one city or town over another.
|SAN FRANCISCO, CA||$29,500||$48,500||$72,300|
|LOS ANGELES, CA||$24,500||$38,000||$55,500|
|SAN DIEGO, CA||$21,000||$36,200||$52,300|
|SALT LATE CITY, UT||$26,600||$36,100||$47,200|
|LAS VEGAS, NV||$25,300||$35,600||$48,900|
|SAN ANTONIO, TX||$24,200||$34,100||$45,400|
|NEW YORK, NY||$21,200||$33,300||$48,600|
If you have the relevant skillset, there is no reason why you cannot advance quickly within this profession. It takes less than 1-year to become a certified pharmacy technician, meaning you can begin to earn these types of salaries in a comparatively short period of time.
This is ideal for people who are perhaps opting for a change career. It’s also a great career choice for those who just left high school and are searching for a rewarding career in healthcare that delivers a competitive salary. PTCB certification also means you can earn more if you have already been working as a technician over the past number of years; improving both your salary and career prospects.
As we have discussed, the pharmacy technician salary you can expect to earn depends upon a variety of factors:
Pharmacy technician salaries in 2022 will become more competitive compared to the last two years. As the economy bounces back from the pandemic, demand for technicians – especially PTCB certified technicians – will continue to grow; offering enormous opportunities in the months and years ahead.
If you would like to learn more about how to study and pass the PTCB exam, check out our leading self-paced, online course tailored to the needs and demands of the 2022 syllabus.