Top 5 States to be a Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technician

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that as of May 2013, there were 362,690 pharmacy technicians employed across the United States. Career opportunities for pharmacy technicians exist in every state, and, according to Projections Central, are estimated to increase everywhere (except the Virgin Islands) from 2010 to 2020.

However, some states come out on top in terms of employment numbers and salaries. Let’s take a look.

Top Five States for Pharmacy Technician Employment Levels

Since pharmacy technicians are an essential part of the healthcare world, they can be found working in practically every geographic location. According to the BLS, the top five states in terms of the highest number of employed pharmacy technicians (as of May 2013) are:

California: 31,750 pharmacy technicians

Texas: 28,910 pharmacy technicians

Florida: 24,700 pharmacy technicians

Illinois: 18,510 pharmacy technicians

New York: 16,770 pharmacy technicians

Perhaps this comes as no surprise. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Table 14 from 2012 (“State Population-Rank, Percent Change and Population Density: 1980 to 2010”), in 2010, California, Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois  were the five most populous states, respectively.

Thus it is also important to look at the concentration of jobs for pharmacy technicians per state.

Top Five States for Concentration of Pharmacy Technicians

The BLS has also calculated concentration of jobs (i.e. the proportion of employment that is held by pharmacy technicians in a state.) You could think of this as the density or how common it might be to “encounter” a pharmacy technician in an area. As follows are the five states, as of May 2013, with the highest concentration of pharmacy technicians:

Tennessee: 4.51/1,000 jobs

West Virginia: 4.30/1,000 jobs

Missouri: 3.80/1,000 jobs

Alabama: 3.79/1,000 jobs

Kentucky: 3.65/1,000 jobs

Also the above five states have location quotients that range from 1.65 to 1.33, according to the BLS. “A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average,” adds the BLS.

Top Five States for Pharmacy Technician Salaries

According to the BLS, the average salary for pharmacy technicians in the U.S. was $30,840/year, as of May 2013.

You might automatically assume that the top five paying states for pharmacy technician coincide with cost of living. This is not exactly the case.

According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, in 2013, Hawaii, District of Columbia, New York, Connecticut and Alaska had the highest cost of living. A 2012 Reuters article reported Hawaii, New York, Washington D.C., New Jersey and Maryland were the most expensive places to live.

See how these findings compare to the five top paying states for pharmacy technicians (according to the BLS, May 2013 average salary data):

District of Columbia: $42,910/year

Washington: $39,910/year

California: $39,570/year

Alaska: $39,520/year

Hawaii: $36,810/year

Opportunities across the United States

Even if the state you live in or plan on living in to hasn’t made any of the top five lists, this does not mean opportunities for pharmacy technicians do not exist.

According to the BLS, the job outlook for pharmacy technicians across the country is projected to increase by 20% from 2012 to 2022—this is “faster than the average for all occupations.”

Even in states with a relatively low number of pharmacy technicians, the outlook is still positive. For example, Projections Central estimates for the 2010-2020 period, 9.7% growth with an average of 60 pharmacy technician openings per year in Wyoming; and 22.2% growth with an average of 30 openings per year in North Dakota.

Find a Pharmacy Technician Program in Your Area

No matter where you live or plan on living, you have access to accredited pharmacy technician training programs either online, on campus or both.

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