Job Outlook for Certified Pharmacy Technicians


by Edgar Galvan

NPTA recently hosted the virtual Pharmacy Technician Student Summit event this past May that garnered various notable figures from within pharmacy. One in particular was Kevin Mero, who covered the topic of Job Outlook for Pharmacy Technicians.

One of the biggest key points that Mero pointed out was the fact that as time has progressed, so has the job openings for technicians, whether it be in retail or in hospital settings!

For Retail Pharmacy Technicians in particular, Mero points out that there was a slight increase in the pay structure from 2019 and 2020. With a median hourly pay of $14.50, it results in roughly $30,160 annually in 2019. According to Mero, this pay increased in 2020 to $15.67 hourly, which results to roughly $32, 594 annually.

That’s nearly a $2,400 increase in pay within the time period of a year, which is quite promising for the retail pharmacy technician role.

Mero states that there was about an 8.1% increase in the base salary from 2019, with a 29% increase in the short term incentives for that same year.

But what does this mean for technicians not working in a retail setting?

Well Mero covered pharmacy technicians in hospitals, PBM/managed care, and specialty technicians as well.

The biggest increase in pay comes from those working as Specialty Pharmacy Technicians. In 2019, Mero points out that there was a median hourly pay of $19.24, whereas in 2020, that median hourly pay shot up to $22.84. In the long run, that additional $3.60 plays an important part in not only increasing pay for an individual technician, but also setting a precedent for other positions in pharmacy.

The more that the increase in job opportunities goes up with these median hourly pay rates, the better the job outlook presents itself for technicians looking for opportunities!

The projected outlook for job opportunities in the future job significantly according to Mero. In 2016, there were around 402,500 pharmacy technician jobs. In 2019, that number jumped up to 422,300 jobs available.

It is projected that in 2026, there will be a massive increase in available jobs as that number is expected to jump up around 450,100.

This is great for the job outlook in the future of pharmacy technician job opportunities. If the availability continues to grow, the pay can be expected to do the same.

NPTA has job board for certified pharmacy technicians, you can check that out here.

And remember, there are so many different hidden job opportunities in pharmacy that you may not even know about.