Pharmacy Tech Career PTCB Test Prep

Pharmacy Technician Salary in 2021 | What Can You Earn?

Nov 15th, 2019
pharmacy technician salary

Not sure what the average pharmacy technician salary is in 2021?

Here, we provide much-needed light on this question – detailing what type of salary you can expect as a certified pharmacy technician, as well as which cities throughout the United States offer the best pay.

Let’s get started!

Entry-Level Pay

First, pay depends on experience. The more experience you have, the greater you can expect to earn. Responsibility matters, too. As you gain more experience, you will be expected to adopt greater responsibilities within the pharmacy. The better you perform, the better you can expect to be paid.

That’s where entry-level pay comes in.

Whilst you cannot reasonably expect to earn a lot of money to begin with, you must – as with all professions – think ahead. If your long-term goal is to advance within this esteemed healthcare profession, pharmacy technicians can expect to make quite a lot of cash. There’s no question about it.

Starting off, though, technicians with no prior training or experience can expect to earn approximately $10-11 per hour. Technicians working in hospital environments tend to earn more.

Certified Pharmacy Technician

To become a certified pharmacy technician, you must pass the PTCB exam. Often, this takes less than a year.

With certification to hand, pharmacy techs can expect their salaries to rise considerably faster. Depending on which city you work in, your experience and type of healthcare employer, technicians can expect to earn up to $16 per hour. 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 can rise much faster with the greater responsibilities you can now take on.

With 5-Years’ Experience

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. Clearly, an individual who has demonstrated greater skills for the pharmacy and community has greater value to provide than a technician who doesn’t quite reach that level.

According to the US Bureau of Labor, the top 10% average pharmacy technician salary is more than $48,010.

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.

Salary Prospects for Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy technician salaries are dependent upon demand. The greater the demand for technicians, the greater their value and the more pay that – on average – they will be paid. This principle applies to every profession.

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. 

That enormous growth should prove appealing for aspiring technicians. Again, as it only takes less than 1-year to become a certified tech, technicians can take advantage of the optimum demand for this profession.

Top 25 Highest Earning Cities

Below, we’ve put together a table of cities with the highest earning salaries for pharmacy technicians.

If you are already living in one of these cities, consider yourself lucky. If not, perhaps consider moving to a nearby city, or perhaps even another state, if you wish to take advantage of these higher salaries.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA $29,500 $48,500 $72,300
SEATTLE, WA $32,500 $43,200 $56,000
SACRAMENTO, CA $28,000 $42,000 $60,000
PORTLAND, OR $30,000 $39,000 $49,250
LOS ANGELES, CA $24,500 $38,000 $55,500
RIVERSIDE, CA $25,200 $37,100 $52,100
MINNEAPOLIS, MN $25,200 $37,100 $49,300
SAN DIEGO, CA $21,000 $36,200 $52,300
SALT LATE CITY, UT $26,600 $36,100 $47,200
DENVER, CO $25,400 $36,000 $48,100
LAS VEGAS, NV $25,300 $35,600 $48,900
HOUSTON, TX $24,000 $34,500 $45,900
BOSTON, MA $22,100 $34,100 $49,100
SAN ANTONIO, TX $24,200 $34,100 $45,400
WASHINGTON, DC $22,200 $33,700 $48,500
PHEONIX, AZ $22,300 $33,500 $45,800
MEMPHIS, TN $22,100 $33,400 $46,500
NEW YORK, NY $21,200 $33,300 $48,600
PROVIDENCE, RI $22,500 $33,000 $48,000
CHICAGO, IL $22,100 $33,000 $46,200
DALLAS, TX $23,000 $33,000 $45,700
AUSTIN, TX $23,100 $32,700 $42,500
MIAMI, FL $22,400 $32,500 $44,800
MILWAUKEE, WI $21,000 $32,300 $45,000
BALTIMORE, MD $21,500 $32,000 $44,100

Pharmacy Technician Training

One of the great advantages of becoming a pharmacy technician is that it doesn’t take that much time to become qualified.

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 short period of time. This is ideal for people who are perhaps opting to 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.

As we have discussed, the pharmacy technician salary you can expect to earn depends upon a variety of factors:

  • Your training thus far
  • Where you live – the city or town
  • Where you work – hospital, retail, nursing home etc.
  • Relevant experience – both in terms of years / quality of experience

Whatever your experience, location or training to date, there is no question that becoming a pharmacy technician has become one of the most desired professions to join.