States with the Highest Wages
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 3% spread between the average salary for a Pharmacy Technician in Alaska, with its high cost of living, and the District of Columbia on the other side of the country.
The U.S. Department of Labor projects that employment opportunities are excellent for Pharmacy Technicians through 2018. Before the passage of the new health care bill, employment was expected to show a 31 percent increase over a ten year period. With millions of people who are not currently covered but will likely be obtaining drug coverage in the coming years. the employment growth rate for Pharmacy Techs could go even higher.
Though there is only a difference of $140 between the mean wages of Alaska and California, the employment figures tell a different story. As of 2008 there were 570 Pharmacy Technicians employed in Alaska and 27,470 employed in California. 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.
Pharmacy Technician Salaries for States with the Highest Employment Levels
Pharmacy Technicians have excellent employment opportunities as more people gain prescription drug coverage over the next 8 years. In addition, the general population is aging and that will lead to more demand for increased pharmacy services. Three-quarters of Pharmacy Technicians currently work in retail settings with another 16% working in hospitals.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts a growing role in the health care industry for Pharmacy Technicians over the next decade in order to meet the needs of the aging population coupled with increased insurance coverage for currently uninsured. Pharmacy Technicians may take on more patient responsibilities in areas like documentation and delivery of medications as the position duties expand.
As the chart shows, there is a significant difference in the average salary for a pharmacy technician paid by state when considering the highest concentration of workers. Missouri has 10,620 Pharmacy Technicians while Delaware has 1,440. Yet Missouri pays an annual mean wage of $24,560 and Delaware pays $27,350 for an 11% difference. West Virginia, Kentucky, and Alabama pay similar wages with only a 3% difference from low to high.
The wage paid is dependent on the technician's years of experience, his or her educational level, the type of certifications obtained, and the location of the job. Pharmacy Technicians can work in retail settings, hospital pharmacies, special health care facilities like nursing homes, and wholesale mail-order drug businesses. Some Pharmacy Technicians also specialize or move into supervisory positions.