Pharmacy Technicians

AUTOMATION RISK
CALCULATED
73%
risk level
POLLING
66%
Based on 246 votes
LABOR DEMAND
GROWTH
5.0%
by year 2032
WAGES
$40,300
or $19.37 per hour
Volume
460,280
as of 2023
SUMMARY
JOB SCORE
3.3/10

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Automation risk

73% (High Risk)

High Risk (61-80%): Jobs in this category face a significant threat from automation, as many of their tasks can be easily automated using current or near-future technologies.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Assisting and Caring for Others

  • Finger Dexterity

  • Social Perceptiveness

  • Manual Dexterity

User poll

66% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted that it's probable this occupation will be automated. This assessment is further supported by the calculated automation risk level, which estimates 73% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Pharmacy Technicians will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?






Sentiment

The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (yearly)

Growth

Moderate growth relative to other professions

The number of 'Pharmacy Technicians' job openings is expected to rise 5.0% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.

Wages

Very low paid relative to other professions

In 2023, the median annual wage for 'Pharmacy Technicians' was $40,300, or $19 per hour

'Pharmacy Technicians' were paid 16.1% lower than the national median wage, which stood at $48,060

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Volume

Significantly greater range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2023 there were 460,280 people employed as 'Pharmacy Technicians' within the United States.

This represents around 0.30% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 329 people are employed as 'Pharmacy Technicians'.

Job description

Prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. May measure, mix, count out, label, and record amounts and dosages of medications according to prescription orders.

SOC Code: 29-2052.00

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Comments

Eric (Low) says
I am a Chemotherapy pharmacy technician in a hospital. There are certain compounds that will always require a human to hand make and deliver.
Jul 10, 2023 at 02:42 PM
Anon (Highly likely) says
This is because the professional training of pharmacy technicians is already getting automated by existing technology in pharmacies, and this trend will continue to grow.

One other thing is that their medical training is something that can get replaced not only by future technology but also by pharmacists. This will result in this job becoming obsolete within the next few decades.
Jan 11, 2023 at 08:41 AM
RxAndroid says
Techs are already being replaced by automation dispensing units. I don't think there will be a 100% replacement but rather a change in role of technicians in being able to manage machinery and like others have mentioned, handle situations that can not be planned out.

You can either embrace and adapt to technology/change or get replaced by A.I...I sure as hell know that I'll be the one who continues to manage automation dispensing machines. Legislation is the other hurdle to overcome with regards to pharmacist oversight of automation (state laws will dictate over federal)
Apr 24, 2021 at 04:29 PM
Hospital Employee (Uncertain) says
Yes, but you also need technicians to maintain the robots, make deliveries (hospitals), answer phone calls, help customers, billing, medical etc. Thankfully I am an “Automation Specialist” for hospital pharmacy. Pyxis doesn’t take care of itself that’s for sure!
Apr 12, 2021 at 10:17 PM
J Burrows (No chance) says
There are some aspects of the role that can be completely automated but there are others that cannot. For example, as registered professionals in the course of their duties, technicians will encounter situations that cannot be planned for. They have a responsibility to draw upon their knowledge and experience to make a professional judgement that considers the best outcome for their patient(s) and upholds the safety and well being of patients, staff and public society. In some circumstances, this may lead to a decision to contravene normal procedure or regulations if there is reasonably defensible justification. In addition, where automation can be implemented, these processes would still require human supervision by someone with specialist pharmacy training and technicians are best placed to do this. Whilst job numbers may be reduced by automation, the role will not become totally redundant anytime soon.
Feb 02, 2020 at 07:32 PM
Alice (Moderate) says
Techs are likely to be replaced in my opinion. We can say that pharmacists don't like doing tech work, but their feelings really don't matter in this job market. Qualified Pharmacists are struggling to find jobs right now. And with so many pharmacy schools opening, the competition is going to become stiffer and stiffer.

Also low level clerical work (like monitoring diversion of controlled substances) is already highly likely to be automated.
Dec 22, 2019 at 02:23 PM
pharmtekken says
For the regular pharmacy tech I can see automation on the Horizon, but one thing remains certain Pharmacists will always only want to do "pharmacist work" and not want to do "tech work" thats not what they went to school for. Pharmacists enjoy the luxury of not being frontline when dealing with customers i.e. ringing them out at the register, answering non clinical questions at the pharmacy or over the phone. What I would advise the SMART pharmacy technician to do is to get out of retail. There are call centers and hospitals which I feel automation of tech duties would be hard to replace
Aug 17, 2019 at 10:28 AM
Cooper (Uncertain) says
Some techs have other duties, like monitoring diversion by hospital personnel of controlled substances.
Jun 04, 2019 at 07:08 PM

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