Pharmacy Technician Salary Guide: How Much Does a Pharmacy Tech Make?

Learn about the typical pharmacy technician salary and how to increase your pay.
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Updated on September 28, 2023
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  • Pharmacy technician jobs pay less than other careers on average.
  • Many factors impact pharmacy technician salaries, such as the state and employer.
  • Pharmacy techs may increase their salary by working in an outpatient care center.

Pharmacy technician salaries reflect the relatively low educational and licensing requirements. There are ways to increase your salary and advance your career. Learn about the states and areas with the highest pharmacy technician salaries and other ways to earn a higher salary. Explore more today to see how you can increase your income.

What Is the Average Pharmacy Technician Salary?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that pharmacy technicians earn an average of $40,260 per year. This salary falls below what the average U.S. worker makes by about $9,000.

Aspiring pharmacy technicians can learn about the profession to discover ways to earn more. Payscale reports that experienced professionals may make $10,000 more annually than the profession's average salary. Other opportunities include exploring different industries, gaining in-demand skills, or moving to higher-paying locations.

Pharmacy Technician Salaries Compared to Other Professions

Pharmacy technician salaries are considerably lower than other healthcare salaries. These are some other healthcare roles and the annual average salary. The highest-paid roles require several years of college, including graduate school.

Job Growth for Pharmacy Technicians

The BLS projects 6% job growth for pharmacy technicians between 2021-2031, which is faster than average.

Prospective pharmacy technicians may also want to consider related healthcare careers. One option includes pharmacy assistants, who focus on clerical duties, such as maintaining paperwork and answering phone calls.

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How Much Do Pharmacy Technicians Make By State?

As with other careers, pharmacy technician salary varies by state. BLS data shows workers on the West Coast made more than their peers in the Midwest and South. Pharmacy technician jobs in California paid the most in 2022.

Many factors affect why pharmacy tech salary varies, such as demand. High demand for experienced professionals often leads to a more competitive salary. Employers also tend to align compensation with their state's cost of living.

View Salary Data for All States

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Pharmacy Technician Salary by State
State Average Hourly Wage Average Annual Wage
Alabama $16.69 $34,720
Alaska $23.18 $48,210
Arizona $20.36 $42,360
Arkansas $16.74 $34,820
California $25.04 $52,090
Colorado $20.98 $43,630
Connecticut $19.14 $39,810
Delaware $18.57 $38,620
District of Columbia $21.75 $45,240
Florida $18.40 $38,270
Georgia $17.79 $37,000
Hawaii $20.29 $42,210
Idaho $19.48 $40,510
Illinois $19.67 $40,910
Indiana $18.30 $38,050
Iowa $18.45 $38,370
Kansas $18.29 $38,040
Kentucky $16.99 $35,340
Louisiana $17.93 $37,300
Maine $18.12 $37,690
Maryland $19.50 $40,550
Massachusetts $21.07 $43,830
Michigan $18.22 $37,890
Minnesota $20.88 $43,420
Mississippi $16.79 $34,910
Missouri $17.44 $36,280
Montana $19.42 $40,380
Nebraska $18.08 $37,610
Nevada $20.08 $41,760
New Hampshire $18.78 $39,070
New Jersey $18.87 $39,250
New Mexico $19.21 $39,950
New York $19.64 $40,860
North Carolina $18.07 $37,590
North Dakota $20.75 $43,150
Ohio $17.93 $37,290
Oklahoma $17.03 $35,420
Oregon $22.49 $46,770
Pennsylvania $17.74 $36,890
Rhode Island $19.75 $41,070
South Carolina $17.73 $36,870
South Dakota $18.19 $37,840
Tennessee $17.69 $36,790
Texas $19.53 $40,620
Utah $20.33 $42,290
Vermont $18.70 $38,900
Virginia $18.60 $38,690
Washington $23.81 $49,530
West Virginia $16.93 $35,210
Wisconsin $18.74 $38,970
Wyoming $20.06 $41,730
Source: BLS

Where Can I Make the Most Money as a Pharmacy Technician?

Highest-Paying States for Pharmacy Technicians

Many pharmacy technicians living on the West Coast and in Washington D.C. made more than the U.S. median salary in May 2022. Reasons include a large population and high costs of living.

Pharmacy technicians should research the cost of living before relocating. All of the highest-paying states for pharmacy technicians had some of the high costs of living in the U.S., according to the Missouri Economic and Research Information Center.

Highest-Paying States for Pharmacy Technicians
State Average Hourly Wage Average Annual Wage
California $25.04 $52,090

Washington $23.81 $49,530

Alaska $23.18 $48,210

Oregon $22.49 $46,770
District of Columbia $21.75 $45,240
Source: BLS

Highest-Paying Metropolitan Areas for Pharmacy Technicians

The metropolitan areas with the highest pharmacy technician salaries are all in California and among the most expensive places in the country to live. Consider the local economy and how much a pharmacy technician salary can buy when comparing regional salaries.

Highest-Paying Metropolitan Areas for Pharmacy Technicians
Metropolitan Area Average Hourly Wage Average Annual Wage
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $29.87 $62,140
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $29.60 $61,570
Napa, CA $28.62 $59,540
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $27.81 $57,840
Santa Rosa, CA $27.70 $57,620
Source: BLS

Highest-Paying Nonmetropolitan Areas for Pharmacy Technicians

The highest-paying non-metro areas for pharmacy technicians are located in Alaska, California, and Oregon. Be sure to consider the local cost of living and your potential salary.

Highest-Paying Nonmetropolitan Areas for Pharmacy Technicians
Nonmetropolitan Area Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Salary
Alaska $24.23 $50,400
North Valley, California $23.80 $49,500
Eastern Sierra-Mother Lode, California $23.68 $49,260
North Coast, California $23.37 $48,610
Central Oregon $22.15 $46,080
Source: BLS

Highest-Paying Industries for Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy technician salaries are highest in outpatient care centers and lowest in general medical and surgical hospitals. Relatively few pharmacy technicians work in scientific research and development services, with most pharmacy technicians working for pharmacies and drug stores and for hospitals.

Highest-Paying Industries for Pharmacy Technicians
Industry Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Salary
Outpatient Care Centers $27.52 $57,240
Scientific Research and Development Services $25.42 $52,870
Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) $24.23 $50,400
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation) $24.01 $49,950
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $22.57 $46,950
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $22.32 $46,430
Source: BLS

How Can I Increase My Salary as a Pharmacy Technician?

  1. 1

    Obtain a Postsecondary Degree

    The BLS reports that professionals with an associate degree in 2020 made about $150 more per week than workers with only a high school diploma. A typical associate degree takes two years for full-time students to earn. Other aspiring pharmacy technicians may make more by earning an online certificate or diploma.

  2. 2

    Consider Relocating

    Relocating may improve pharmacy tech salaries significantly. Jobs in California, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington D.C. paid workers more than positions in other states in May 2022. However, these states' costs of living exceed the national average.

    Consider the best and worst states to change careers before relocating. Georgia, New Hampshire, and Utah offer many advantages for job-seekers.

  3. 3

    Change Work Settings

    Changing work settings is less drastic than relocating. It also provides a chance to increase your pharmacy technician's salary. A work setting that requires more experience or customer service can pay more. Even if the requirements are not significantly different, 60% of people who change jobs say they earn more at the new job.

  4. 4

    Gain Experience

    According to Payscale data from August 2022, the average hourly pharmacy technician salary for a worker with 20 or more years of experience is $20, compared to $14 for those without experience. Even some exposure makes a difference, as the average pharmacy technician salary for workers with 1-4 years of experience is $15.

  5. 5

    Build In-Demand Skills

    You can also increase your pharmacy technician salary by building the skills employers need. Computer and math skills, customer service skills, and a strong eye for detail are in demand. Being the first to master new software, for example, can make you very valuable and somebody your employer will want to keep.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pharmacy Technician Salaries

Is it worth it to be a pharmacy technician?

If you want to enter the healthcare field without needing multiple licenses or certifications or many years of college, becoming a pharmacy technician can be worth it. However, pharmacy technician salaries are lower than jobs that require more education or training.

How can a pharmacy technician make more money?

Pharmacy technicians can make more money by learning new skills, gaining experience, and demonstrating that they have in-demand computer, technology, and customer service skills.

What industry pays pharmacy technicians the most?

The industry that pays pharmacy technicians the most is outpatient care. The average pharmacy technician salary at an outpatient care center is $57,240, according to the BLS.

What states pay pharmacy technicians the most?

California is the state that pays pharmacy technicians the most, with an average annual salary of $52,090. Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia have the next-highest pharmacy technician salaries. However, the cost of living is higher in these areas, so a pharmacy technician's salary may not go as far.

What is the highest salary a pharmacy technician can make?

The top 10% of pharmacy technicians earn a median annual salary of $50,640, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, salary can vary depending on your experience and location. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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