Certified Pharmacy Technician Salary Data

A pharmacy technician salary varies based on several factors. Location, industry, experience, and training all affect pharmacy technician wages. The more training and experience you have, the higher your pay. Different locations throughout the U.S. pay different wages. In most cases, metropolitan areas pay higher than rural areas. And different industries have different pay scales.

The good news is that the demand for pharmacy technicians has not slowed, in fact the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 12% growth from 2016 to 2026 which makes it the fastest growing occupation. The latest recorded average wage for a pharmacy technician ranges between $10.93 - $23.08 depending on the pharmacy setting. For those that complete an approved pharmacy technician training program and pass the relevant certification exams salaries can go in the upwards of $50,000 a year.

Pharmacy Technician Salary: Entry-level, Average & Best-Paid

An entry level pharmacy technician salary with no formal training or certification with only a HS Diploma or G.E.D.  and receiving on-the-job-training averages between $9-$10 per hour.

The average pharmacy technician salary across all states is $15.72 per hour. 

The best paid pharmacy technician earns in the upwards of $23.08 per hour. 

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Average Pharmacy Technician Wages vs. Other Health Jobs

In comparing the average pharmacy technician pay against other health-based jobs, the average pay appears lower. For example, medical billers and coders earn $40,350 per year, massage therapists make $41,420 per year and surgical technicians earn $47,300.

The pharmacy technicians average wage of $32,700 is comparable to medical assistants ($33,610) and phlebotomists ($34,480).

Surgical Technician $47.3K
Massage Therapist $41.4K
Medical Billers & Coders $40.3K
Phlebotomists $34.4K
Medical Assistants $33.6K
Pharm. Technician $32.7K

How Much Do Certified Pharmacy Technicians Make?

Most states in the US require pharmacy technicians to be registered with the State Board of Pharmacy. Passing the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam and maintaining the CPhT opens up more pharmaceutical opportunities. Certified pharmacy technicians earn more than those without and the majority of employers will favor candidates who have successfully attained certification. Furthermore being certified a pharmacy technician can apply for hospital positions. To apply for hospital pharmacy technician positions without hospital experience try and see if you can work as a volunteer in a hospital setting.

Whilst a certified pharmacy technician can earn in the upwards of $45,000 it appears to be capped at that even with certification and 5 years experience. To achieve the highest earnings technicians should aim to seek employment in hospital settings and outpatient care centres. Furthermore, PTCE or ExCPT certification is often a requirement in advertised hospital vacancies.

​Typically you will earn between $9-$10 with no formal training or licensure whilst certified/registered pharmacy technicians earn around $13-$15 bumping to around $18-$20 after a number of years experience.

Which employers pay the most?

The industry with the highest level of employment for pharmacy technicians is "Health and Personal Care Stores." They consist of pharmacies, drug stores, cosmetics, beauty supplies, perfume stores and optical goods stores.

Other pharmacy settings you can seek work in and salary expectations for these are:


Annual Wages

Federal Government


Outpatient Care Centres (e.g. Hospitals)


Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation)


Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories


Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools


Top 5 Paying States

Looking at the top five paying states for pharmacy technicians, it becomes clear that pharmacy tech' salaries are similar across the nation. There is only a 1.3% spread between the average salary for a pharmacy technician in Alaska, with its high cost of living, and California on the other side of the country.

Though there is only a difference of $680 between the mean wages of Alaska and Washington, the employment figures tell a different story. As of 2018 there were only 570 pharmacy technicians employed in Alaska and 6,950 employed in Washington. Some pharmacy technicians seek employment as pharmacy aides while completing their education and to gain a foothold in obtaining a job as a pharmacy technician in a desired location.

The table below shows the states paying the highest pharmacy technicians salaries (OES 2018 Wage Data).


Mean Wage









District of Colombia


State salaries are often dependent on overall population needs and the cost of living. Since these are average (mean) salary ranges, you can gain a higher salary with more education and skills.

What Does Your State Pay?

Research salary data, certification and licensure requirements along with accredited training programs by selecting the state you wish to work in from the map below.

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