Working as a Pharmacy Tech: Are Pharmacy Technicians in High Demand?

So far, the pharmacy technician job seems to be taking the right path. In 2016 alone, the total number of pharmacy technicians in the United States was at 402,500. A 10-year projection rates the growth to fall at 12 percent which is more than the average shown. With this projection, it is estimated that the above figure will grow to 450,100 by the end of 2026.

Walgreens pharmacy technicians refilling prescriptions

Pharmacy Technicians seen here filling prescriptions.  Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch

With the significant growth in the pharmacy technician (PT) profession, the United States estimates a total of 37,500 job openings each year. This is quite impressive considering that it one of the occupations with few requirements. With a high school diploma and no relevant work experience, one can already start working as a pharmacy technician.

The question of whether pharmacy technicians are in high demand gets the answer with the above figures as stated by the United States Department of Labor. On the same note, the expected growth shows a bright look at job opportunities for pharmacy technicians.

Salary range for a pharmacy technician

The figures vary depending on the low, median and high when it comes to how much a pharmacy technician scoops. The low range in the United States for a pharmacy technician rates at $10.58 per hour. It is quite on the lower side as some states have a higher rate at this range. For instance, Texas has an $11.31 pay per hour rating at the low range.

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The median range has an average pay of about $15.26 per hour of work in the United States. This rate is around what most states pay pharmacy technicians with some going slightly higher and others lower. In our example of Texas, the average pay is $15.82 per hour which is slightly higher than the United States rate.

The high range on the other side attracts quite a difference among states. The United stated estimated rate lies at $22.58 which marks higher than Texas as the example. For some countries, the high pay goes beyond the above estimate with some scoring a significant difference in all the ranges.  Like hourly wages, annual incomes also bring about the differences as seen. For example, the lowest paid pharmacy technician attracts an estimated yearly salary of $22,000. These figures go higher and lower for the different states. It is essential to note, however, that the hourly pay might not show a significant difference as it is the case with the annual incomes.

Which industry hires the most pharmacy technicians?

Regarding the highest levels of employment, health and personal care stores seem to take the lead in the number of employment opportunities. In mid-2017, this category of employers recorded over 219,000 jobs rating at 20.42 percent of the industry employment. General medical and surgical hospitals follow with a job network of about 63, 360 as recorded in 2017. This group takes only 1.15 percent of the total industry employment. The discrepancy between the two employers is major, and this shows the vast growth of drugs stores and personal care centers.

When it comes to industries with the highest concentration of employment for pharmacy technicians, health and personal care stores still carry the day. That means, one is likely to get a pharmacy technician job easily in health and personal care stores that the other groups of employers. Following with a significant difference between the two are the merchant wholesalers and non-durable goods group. It takes about 3.06 percent of the total industry employment. This explains that even though the numbers aren't the highest, there is a concentration in this group of employers.

Touching up on the top paying in the industry, it is clear that Federal Executive Branch leads the way. With just over 6, 300 jobs as recorded in 2017, this group pays an average hourly rate of $21.02 taking a 0.31 percent of the industry employment. Medical and diagnostic laboratories follow with a mean hourly wage of $19.48 taking 0.03 percent of the industry employment.

Which state employs the most pharmacy technicians?

The different states feature various terms of employment with some going higher and lower than the United States rate. This is terms of the job opportunities, hourly and annual incomes. The leading state regarding the highest employment level for pharmacy technicians happens to be California. It is as stated in a 2017 survey by the United States Department of Labor. The state showed a total of 36,920 opportunities in 2017 indicating a 2.21 percent employment per a thousand jobs. More to this, the state recorded a mean hourly wage of $19.66 which makes it among the highest paying after Washington.  Annually, a pharmacy technician expects an income of $40,890 which is quite an impressive rate compared to low paying states.

Oklahoma happens to be among the few states with the lowest annual income rate. Pharmacy technicians in this state scoop about $29,910 which is quite on the lower side compared with most of the states. However, it shows a 3.21 percent employment per a thousand jobs with a total of 5,050 as tallied in 2017. The difference between the countries is significant for each and shows the rapid growth of the pharmacy technician profession in coming years.

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  • Updated December 17, 2018
  • Career