Pharmacy Technician Salary: Expert Insights
What do pharmacy technicians make? This is one of the most common questions we are asked by those interested in this career. There are many different sites that report average pharmacy technician salary. Unfortunately, this information is widely varied depending on the source. One of the most valid sources of wage information is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We’ve done a thorough analysis of their data and are happy to provide some important insights on pharmacy tech salary.
The average pharmacy technician salary as of May 2019 was $33,950 annually, or $16.32 per hour. This doesn’t tell the full story, however. The average wage can differ substantially depending primarily on location and sector of pharmacy. To help improve the data, we’ll review region variances and sector variances. We’ve also modeled the regional variations and sector information into our own salary estimation tool. Check it out at the end of this article!
Pay Varies Across Regions
Like many industries, there are wide disparities in pay across the U.S. California ticks in at the highest average pharmacy technician salary: $21.73 per hour. Alaska and Washington state come in at second and third with mean hourly wages of $21.29 and $21.11. On the other end of the spectrum, the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and Guam take the last two spots at $11.13 and $13.71 per hour. The lowest paying state in America is Kentucky at an average hourly pay of $14.44. This data can be viewed in the interactive map below; just hover over each state to see average hourly pay. Salaries tend to be higher in the west and northeast, and lower in the mid U.S. and southeast.
Pharmacy Technician Setting Impacts Pay
Setting plays a big role in determining the average pharmacy technician salary. Pharmacy technicians working in hospitals or health system-based outpatient pharmacies tend to make more than techs working in retail pharmacies. The highest pay ranges are seen in the educational services sector, with an average hourly pharmacy technician wage of $20.23.
Impact of National Certification
There isn’t great information available on the impact of earning the CPhT credential on salaries. There are many reports of companies offering incentives and raises to technicians who earn their national certification. Importantly, many states require certification as part of general licensure or for certain roles; this can result in higher tiering in both licensure and pay. You can read more about the certification process at the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board website.
Estimating Pharmacy Technician Salary
To get a better estimate of salaries, we’ve modeled the variance in state and sector-wide pay ranges to provide a combined estimate. The tool below provides an estimate of pay ranges from the 10th percentile to the 90th percentile based on this information. Keep in mind this is based on data collected in May 2019. We will update this tool once the BLS publishes its annual update on wages.