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Pharmacy technician job outlook: a rapidly growing field

Written by Ashworth College on Tuesday, 25 September 2018. Posted in Career, Healthcare

What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do?

About once every eight seconds another Baby Boomer turns 55 years old. By the year 2029, all surviving Boomers – who numbered 75 million when they were born between 1946 and 1964 – will be older than 65. Perhaps that’s one reason the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) expects demand for pharmacy technicians to rise faster than other occupations over the next decade.

For many people, aging brings with it a host of physical ailments – from arthritis to heart trouble. Today’s pharmaceutical industry can treat many of these common conditions with pills, inhalers, and other types of medications, but these prescription drugs must be dispensed by registered pharmacists and the technicians they work with. So, with rising demand for prescription meds comes a corresponding rise in demand for certified pharm techs.


Our Pharmacy Technician Career Diploma program was recently ranked as one of the 10 Best Online Pharmacy Technician Programs for 2018

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Occupational outlook for pharmacy technicians

In 2016, the DOL pegged total pharmacy technician employment at about 402,000 people. This represents the total number of pharm techs working in all settings. You might be most familiar with the pharmacy technicians who serve you at your local drug store (because 72% of all techs work in retail pharmacies), but pharm techs work in a wide variety of other settings that include:

  • Hospitals (17%)
  • Ambulatory healthcare settings, such as physician or dentist offices and urgent care centers (3%)
  • Home healthcare organizations (0.5%)
  • Educational organizations, including private schools, colleges, and universities (0.4%)
  • Veterinary services (0.1%)

Where do pharm techs work

The DOL expects demand for pharm techs, in general, to increase 12% over the next decade. That means the sector will add nearly 50,000 jobs during that timeframe, and many of those new positions surely will be in the retail pharmacy sector.

However, the DOL projects other sectors to grow at a rapid pace, too. Some work settings you might consider as a pharm tech include:

  • Home healthcare services – nearly 50% growth
  • Offices of physical, occupational, and speech therapists – 41% growth
  • Outpatient care centers, such as specialty hospitals and telemedicine centers – 40% growth
  • Retirement and assisted living facilities – 32% growth
  • Medical and diagnostic laboratories – 27% growth
  • Veterinary services – 21% growth

As you can see, earning a pharmacy technician certification can open doors to some interesting jobs with a high potential for growth.

How much does a pharmacy technician make?

Now that you’re excited about the occupational outlook for pharm techs, maybe you’re wondering what the pay is like. Well, good news! The pharmacy technician median pay on an annual basis runs about $31,000, according to the DOL. However, it’s worth noting you might make even more than that if you are paid an hourly wage and work overnight or weekend shifts that offer a premium rate.

Why become a pharmacy technician

People become pharm techs for many reasons: a desire to help people live more healthfully, an interest in chemistry and pharmaceuticals, a longing for a stable job in a growth industry. If any of those reasons appeal to you, check out how you can take advantage of our flexible online program to earn a pharmacy technician certificate and launch a new career.

Learn more about the online pharmacy technician program at Ashworth College by requesting information or talking to an Admissions Advisor today.

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Ashworth College

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