Pharmacy technicians work in a pharmacy where they help licensed pharmacists prepare prescription medications, provide customer service and perform administrative duties. Although certification through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT) is optional, some states and employers require certification, and a certified pharmacy technician usually has better job prospects and earns a higher salary.
Government Salary Data
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the May 2009 median annual salary for all pharmacy techs was $28,070, with 50 percent earning between $23,020 and $33,820. The BLS notes that certified pharmacy technicians earn more than non-certified techs. The BLS also reports that the highest paying states are Alaska, California, Washington, Hawaii and Nevada.
National Salary Range
According to PayScale.com, as of December 2010, the salary range for a certified pharmacy technician with less than one year of experience is $21,376 to $34,567, while the range for 20 years or more experience is $29,376 to $43,863.
Salary by Employer Type
Payscale.com reports salary ranges by employer type as follows: hospital, $24,667 to $36,001; state and local government, $24,030 to $37,100; federal government, $29,608 to $37,600; franchise, $24,705 to $34,937; private practice or firm, $28,773 to $36,380; non-profit organization, $25,031 to $37,748; and college or university, $22,382 to $45,987.
Salary by State
Payscale.com provides the salary ranges for the following states: California, $24,901 to $41,058; Texas, $21,204 to $36,164; Florida, $24,825 to $34,879; North Carolina, $22,190 to $34,691; New York, $25,476 to $39,847; Tennessee, $23,600 to $34,327; and Virginia, $22,461 to $35,375.
Salary by City
Payscale.com provides the salary ranges for the following cities: Houston, Texas, $24,147 to $35,697; Phoenix, Arizona, $29,955 to $36,438; Miami, Florida, $25,000 to $38,000; San Francisco, California, $31,444 to $60,025; and Los Angeles, California, $20,000 to $48,000.