Pharmacy technician essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $29,320
- 2011, number of jobs: 353,340
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 32 percent
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
Pharmacy technicians; what they do:
Pharmacy technicians are a pharmacist’s right-hand man, as they work directly with customers and help dispense prescription medication.
Pharmacy technicians typically work in retail pharmacies or in hospitals. A pharmacy technician career includes speaking to customers and to health professionals to obtain the necessary information for filling a prescription. They count tablets, measure medications, compound or mix medications, and package and label prescriptions. A pharmacist reviews all medications a pharmacy technician prepares.
A pharmacy technician working in a hospital prepares a larger variety of medications as well as makes rounds within a hospital distributing medications.
A pharmacy technician career also includes performing general pharmacy office duties, such as accepting payments, working with insurance claims, answering phones, and speaking with customers.
Receive Free Info about a Matching
Online Degree for this Career
Pharmacy technicians job titles:
- Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)
- IV Certified Pharmacy Technician
- Pharmaceutical Care Associate
Pharmacy Technicians Education, Certification and License Requirements
A pharmacy technician career typically requires a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent, although some also attend postsecondary education such as a one-year certificate pharmacy technology program. Pharmacy technicians learn much of their job through on-the-job training.
Pharmacy technicians programs cover subjects such as:
- Ways of dispensing medications
- Pharmacy law and ethics
- Medication names, actions, uses, and doses
Most states have regulations for pharmacy technicians, although the regulations vary between states; most states require all or some of the following: high school diploma or equivalent, a criminal background check, graduation from a formal training program, passing an exam, paying fees, and taking continuing education courses.
Even in states not requiring certification for pharmacy technicians, certification is highly recommended, as it provides an advantage when job seeking. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) provides certification for pharmacy technicians.
Begin a Rewarding Career
Learn about an Online Associate’s Pharmacy Technician Degree
Pharmacy Technicians Job Outlook
Forecast: 32 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for pharmacy technicians, faster than the average for all occupations.
The aging population requires more prescription medications, increasing the demand for pharmacy technicians.
Pharmacy Technicians Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $29,320
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $35,810
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $24,320
- Pharmacies and drug stores
- Hospitals; state, local, and private
- Grocery stores
- General merchandise stores
- Department stores