California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Pharmacy Technicians in California

May also be called: Pharmacy Technologists; Pharmacy Laboratory Technicians; Pharmacist Technicians; Certified Pharmacy Technicians; Pharmaceutical Care Associates; and Pharmacist Assistants

What Would I Do?

Pharmacy Technicians work under the direct supervision and control of a licensed pharmacist. They perform repetitive, routine tasks related to the processing of a prescription in a pharmacy; however, they cannot do the work that is restricted to the pharmacist. Pharmacy Technicians may count tablets; measure, mix, pour, and record amounts and dosages of medications; label bottles; and package pharmaceuticals.

Pharmacy Technicians typically work in retail or hospital settings that are clean, organized, well-lit, and well-ventilated. They spend most of their work day on their feet and may work 8 hours or more per day.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Pharmacy Technician will appeal to those who enjoy working with people and performing duties that are organized, clearly defined, and require accuracy and attention to detail. This occupation satisfies those with conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines where the lines of authority are clear.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2021 for Pharmacy Technicians in California was $46,005 annually, or $22.12 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

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Annual Wages for 2021Low
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Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2021 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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Benefit packages vary among employers and generally include paid vacation, sick leave, medical and dental insurance, and retirement plans. Many hospitals pay vision insurance.

What is the Job Outlook?

Good job opportunities are expected for full-time and part-time work, especially for Technicians with formal training or previous experience. Employment of Pharmacy Technicians is expected to grow because of the increased pharmaceutical needs of a larger, older population.

How Do I Qualify?

Pharmacy Technicians must be licensed to practice in California by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Board of Pharmacy. To obtain a license, they must submit a Pharmacy Technician application, meet specific educational requirements, pass a criminal background check, and obtain a Live Scan fingerprint clearance.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Hospitals frequently advertise openings in newspaper ads and some also recruit through private employment agencies. Job seekers should also apply directly to hospital personnel departments throughout California. Applicants that apply for Veterans Administration Hospital positions, as well as other government job openings, must first pass a Federal or State civil service examination.  Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

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