Top 10 US Cities for Pharmacy Technicians

If you've ever wondered where the best places are to work as a pharmacy technician, look no further.

If you’ve ever wondered where the best places are to work as a pharmacy technician, look no further.

Using a combination of datasets, I have ranked nearly 400 cities to find the best places for pharmacy technicians. Scores were calculated using weighted percentages of each city’s average annual salary, number of pharmacy technician jobs, cost of living index, and location quotient—a factor used to suggest the demand for workers in a particular region. Cities that made Livability’s 2016 Top 100 Best Places to Live were given a bonus score based on where they ranked on that list.

Here are the top 10 US cities for pharmacy technicians:

1. Memphis, Tennessee (89%)

The world-renowned “Home of the Blues” tops the list. Although Memphis has the second-lowest average annual pharmacy technician salary ($33,420) among the top 10 cities, it has as extremely low cost of living, high number of technician jobs, and above-average concentration of employed technicians.

2. Spokane, Washington (81.4%)

Spokane is the perfect combination of a city with a high technician salary ($39,280), low cost of living, and above-average demand for technicians.

3. Ogden-Clearfield, Utah (80.8%)

The metropolitan area of Ogden and Clearfield employs more than 700 technicians and provide a respectable salary ($33,970) and reasonable cost of living.

4. Burlington, North Carolina (80.7%)

Despite employing just 170 pharmacy technicians, Burlington offers an average technician salary just outside the top 50 in the country and has a low cost of living.

5. Yakima, Washington (78.9%)

As the second city in Washington State to make this list, Yakima employees 300 pharmacy technicians at a respectable salary and relatively low cost of living.

6. Iowa City, Iowa (78.6%)

Despite ranking in the bottom 5% on the best US cities for pharmacists, Iowa City’s high annual technician salary ($35,050) places it on this list for pharmacy technicians, and the city also slots at #9 on Livability’s 2016 Top 100 Best Places to Live.

7. Santa Cruz, California (77.6%)

Santa Cruz has the highest cost of living among the top 10 cities, but it also has the sixth-highest technician salary nationwide at $44,740. It is also the second city on this list to make Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live, coming in at #19.

8. Edison-New Brunswick, New Jersey (77.3%)

The cities of Edison and New Brunswick represent the lowest salary on this list at just $32,670, but they employ more than 2000 pharmacy technicians combined. The cities also have one of the lowest cost of living scores in the country.

9. Stockton, California (76.8%)

Stockton offers technicians an above-average salary of $38,990. The city also ranked as the 47th best US city for pharmacists, making it one of the more balanced places on this list.

10. Yuba City, California (76.4%)

As the third California city on this list, Yuba City offers a high average technician salary of $40,680 and above-average concentration of employed technicians.

Here’s how the top 10 cities for pharmacy technicians compared on all measures:

Rank

City

Jobs

Location Quotient

Salary

Cost of Living

Livability

Top 100

Score

1

Memphis, TN

2420

1.49

$33,420

73

-

89%

2

Spokane, WA

550

0.99

$39,280

91

-

81.4%

3

Ogden-Clearfield, UT

730

1.29

$33,970

87

-

80.8%

4

Burlington, NC

170

1.10

$34,610

84

-

80.7%

5

Yakima, WA

300

1.35

$35,340

92

-

78.9%

6

Iowa City, IA

310

1.28

$35,050

105

#9

78.6%

7

Santa Cruz, CA

260

1.10

$44,740

199

#19

77.6%

8

Edison-New Brunswick, NJ

2020

0.74

$32,670

80

-

77.3%

9

Stockton, CA

690

1.23

$38,990

106

-

76.8%

10

Yuba City, CA

150

1.43

$40,680

111

-

76.4%

Here’s how notable US cities ranked for pharmacy technicians:

City

Rank

Jobs

Location Quotient

Salary

Cost of Living

Livability

Top 100

Score

Rochester, MN

15

410

1.45

$32,570

101

#1

75.7%

Phoenix, AZ

25

6100

1.22

$33,940

99

-

73.8%

Sacramento, CA

27

2290

0.98

$40,280

113

-

73.6%

San Antonio, TX

33

2650

1.06

$32,880

92

-

72.5%

Oakland, CA

38

2360

0.84

$50,030

156

-

71.7%

Seattle, WA

45

4120

0.86

$41,510

154

-

71%

Portland, OR

49

2910

1.01

$37,570

123

-

70.1%

Anchorage, AK

55

440

0.91

$40,500

143

-

69.7%

Honolulu, HI

56

1190

0.97

$35,980

199

#37

69.7%

San Francisco, CA

58

4060

0.70

$48,490

243

-

69.6%

St. Louis, MO

60

4300

1.21

$30,510

84

-

69.5%

Las Vegas, NV

70

2010

0.85

$33,670

99

-

68.3%

Houston, TX

80

6160

0.79

$33,030

98

-

67.4%

Salt Lake City, UT

82

1600

0.88

$34,200

115

#55

67.2%

Baltimore, MD

84

2910

0.82

$31,730

88

-

67%

Los Angeles, CA

85

11760

0.78

$38,070

164

-

66.9%

Dallas, TX

101

8500

0.98

$32,680

106

-

64.9%

Oklahoma City, OK

106

2660

1.62

$30,200

89

-

64%

San Diego, CA

108

2720

0.75

$36,020

164

-

63.9%

Denver, CO

110

2440

0.67

$34,530

115

-

63.6%

Philadelphia, PA

120

6740

0.91

$31,560

96

-

62.7%

Milwaukee, WI

123

2500

1.12

$30,050

85

-

62.2%

Detroit, MI

124

5450

1.07

$29,410

73

-

62.1%

Indianapolis, IN

132

2900

1.13

$30,180

89

-

60.6%

New York, NY

134

9340

0.63

$34,290

168

-

60.3%

Newark, NJ

138

2720

1.04

$32,320

122

-

59.1%

Little Rock AR

147

1140

1.25

$29,690

88

-

58%

Minneapolis, MN

152

4080

0.82

$31,880

108

-

57.6%

Cleveland, OH

167

2640

0.95

$29,130

79

-

56.1%

Providence, RI

170

1500

0.99

$31,160

106

-

55.9%

Pittsburgh, PA

174

2790

0.90

$29,530

84

-

55.8%

Washington D.C, VA

183

5070

0.63

$32,480

154

-

54.8%

Boston, MA

188

5990

0.85

$31,850

161

-

53.8%

Miami, FL

199

7530

1.17

$30,320

119

-

52.9%

Nashville, TN

216

3670

1.64

$29,320

99

-

50.8%

New Orleans, LA

217

1750

1.18

$29,650

99

-

50.5%

Cincinnati, OH

222

2660

0.96

$28,830

83

-

50%

Tampa, FL

246

4570

1.42

$28,460

90

-

46.1%

Chicago, IL

267

12890

1.07

$29,260

103

-

43.6%

Kansas City, MO

282

3260

1.19

$28,420

94

-

41.3%

Orlando, FL

301

3370

1.14

$27,970

92

-

38.3%

Atlanta, GA

305

6640

1.02

$28,410

97

-

37.6%

Methodology

Scores were calculated using weighted percentages from the following categories: mean annual salary, number of jobs, cost of living, location quotient, and placement in Livability’s 2016 Top 100 Best Places to Live.

Annual salary from 391 cities was collected from US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2014 data. This category was weighted most to reflect the importance of salary when searching for employment.

Cost of living scores collected from Sperling’s Best Places compare each city’s cost of food, housing, utilities, transportation, and health care with national averages. The lower the cost of living score, the lower the cost to live in that particular city versus the national average.

Location quotient was included to measure the concentration of pharmacy technicians in one particular city compared with the national average. Thus, a smaller location quotient may suggest a lower demand for pharmacy technicians in a region, while a higher number may correlate with a higher demand.

The number of pharmacy technician jobs per city was weighted least but included to reward cities that employed a higher number of pharmacy technicians.

Finally, cities that made Livability’s 2016 Top 100 Best Places to Live were given an up to 10% multiplier bonus, depending on where they ranked on that list. Livability’s rankings were created from 45 data points across 8 categories.

It’s important to note that BLS groups some of its datasets into multiple cities. For example the “Los Angeles” grouping also includes data from Long Beach and Santa Ana; for simplicity’s sake, however, it was included in the table as just “Los Angeles.”