Cities with the Highest Wages
Four out of the five top-paying metropolitan areas for Pharmacy Technicians are in California. The average national wage rate is $13.70 an hour, but the hourly range for the top five metropolitan areas is $18.24 in Santa Cruz to $20.51 in San Francisco. The annual mean wage distribution among the top five metro areas is actually fairly tight with Pharmacy Technician salaries ranging from $37,950 to $42,660 for a 12% difference. Clearly the pay range for Pharmacy Technicians working in large metropolitan areas can be expected to be more than the average for all employees.
When seeking employment, your chances of success are increased by looking in those areas with high employment numbers. For example, the Tacoma area employs 620 Pharmacy Technicians, while the Oakland area employs 1,860 technicians.
How much will you make as a pharmacy technician?
When considering this question, keep in mind that wages for Pharmacy Technicians are determined by location, years of experience, education level and certifications. Though this occupation does not require an advanced degree beyond high school, those who get formal training can command higher pay.
There are many schools available that offer Pharmacy Technician programs leading to a certificate or an associate’s degree. In addition to the formal education, higher paid Pharmacy Technicians also obtain certification through a recognized certifying organization. These organizations include the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians. States usually require registration also.
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. Your exact background will play a role in your income.
Pharmacy Technician Salaries for Metropolitan Areas with the Highest Employment Levels
The areas with the highest concentrations of Pharmacy Technicians are fairly small population areas. It is not surprising, then, that the annual mean wages of four out of the five metropolitan areas are lower than the national mean annual pharmacy tech pay of $28,500. In fact, at $21,960, Gadsden, Alabama pays almost 30% below the national average annual wage . The difference in annual mean wages between Gadsden, Alabama and Madera, California is $9,030 or 41%. Of course, when looking at wages it is necessary to also take the cost-of-living into consideration. It is more expensive to live in California than in Alabama.
Wages for Pharmacy Technicians are clearly affected by the geographic region where the jobs are located. There are other factors that will determine pay also including years of experience and certification. Some Pharmacy Technicians are specializing in medical areas such as chemotherapy and nursing home care, while others are obtaining jobs in pharmaceutical sales where commissions can be earned in addition to straight pay.
The employment opportunities for pharmacy technicians over the next 10 years are expected to be excellent for two primary reasons. The passage of the national healthcare legislation will lead to over 30 million new insured citizens with drug coverage. In addition, the fastest growing population group is found in the group of people over 55 years old.