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Pharmacy Technician

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What is a Pharmacy Technician?

Occupation Description Prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. May measure, mix, count out, label, and record amounts and dosages of medications according to prescription orders.

Life As a Pharmacy Technician: What Do They Do?

  • Clean and help maintain equipment or work areas and sterilize glassware, according to prescribed methods.
  • Prepack bulk medicines, fill bottles with prescribed medications, and type and affix labels.
  • Restock intravenous (IV) supplies and add measured drugs or nutrients to IV solutions under sterile conditions to prepare IV packs for various uses, such as chemotherapy medication.
  • Answer telephones, responding to questions or requests.
  • Supply and monitor robotic machines that dispense medicine into containers and label the containers.
  • Receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.

What a Pharmacy Technician Should Know

When polled, Pharmacy Technicians say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

  • Compounding Technician
  • Pharmacy Technician (Pharmacy Tech)
  • Drug Coordinator
  • Pharmacy Laboratory Technician
  • Lead Pharmacy Tech, Certified Pharmacy Technician (Lead Pharmacy Tech, CPhT)

Pharmacy Technician Employment Estimates

In the United States, there were 402,500 jobs for Pharmacy Technician in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 47,600 new jobs for Pharmacy Technician by 2026. The BLS estimates 37,500 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Pharmacy Technicians in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Pharmacy Technician are Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Illinois, or Wisconsin. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Pharmacy Technician

The typical yearly salary for Pharmacy Technicians is somewhere between $22,740 and $48,010.

Salary Ranges for Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy Technicians who work in Alaska, Washington, or Oregon, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Pharmacy Technicians in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $30,040
Alaska $43,150
Arizona $35,090
Arkansas $29,640
California $42,610
Colorado $36,880
Connecticut $34,530
Delaware $34,470
District of Columbia $39,980
Florida $32,090
Georgia $30,240
Hawaii $38,720
Idaho $35,920
Illinois $33,140
Indiana $31,160
Iowa $32,560
Kansas $32,940
Kentucky $29,270
Louisiana $32,700
Maine $31,690
Maryland $33,880
Massachusetts $37,110
Michigan $32,660
Minnesota $37,670
Mississippi $31,440
Missouri $32,090
Montana $34,780
Nebraska $33,270
Nevada $37,620
New Hampshire $32,370
New Jersey $33,070
New Mexico $33,710
New York $34,640
North Carolina $30,890
North Dakota $39,770
Ohio $30,500
Oklahoma $30,790
Oregon $40,920
Pennsylvania $30,000
Rhode Island $37,410
South Carolina $31,530
South Dakota $32,720
Tennessee $32,980
Texas $34,290
Utah $37,190
Vermont $34,070
Virginia $32,370
Washington $42,470
West Virginia $28,650
Wisconsin $32,750
Wyoming $37,460

What Tools & Technology do Pharmacy Technicians Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Pharmacy Technicians:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Database software
  • MEDITECH software
  • Medical condition coding software
  • Point of sale POS software
  • Inventory management software
  • Pyxis MedStation software
  • Patient record maintenance software
  • Prescription processing software
  • Label-making software

How do I Become a Pharmacy Technician?

What education or degrees do I need to become a Pharmacy Technician?

Pharmacy Technician Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Pharmacy Technician?

Pharmacy Technician Work Experience

Where do Pharmacy Technicians Work?

Pharmacy Technician Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Pharmacy Technicians employed by various industries.

Pharmacy Technician Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being a Pharmacy Technician may also be interested in:

Career changers with experience as a Pharmacy Technician sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: Ryan Conroy via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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