Becoming A Pharmacy Technician – discover an exciting new field

What Is A Pharmacy Technician

A pharmacy technician is a title-protected, licensed health care provider who performs pharmacy-related functions, working collaboratively with a licensed pharmacist.

Pharmacy technicians work in a variety of locations (usually in community, retail, and hospital pharmacies), but can also work for long-term care facilities, pharmaceutical manufacturers, third-party insurance companies, computer software companies, or in government or teaching.

Job accountabilities include dispensing prescription drugs and other medical devices to patients and instructing on their use

They may also perform administrative duties in pharmaceutical practice, such as reviewing prescription requests with doctor’s offices and insurance companies to ensure correct medications are provided and payment is received.

Pharmacy technicians often take on the role of Compounding Supervisor, overseeing day to day sterile and non-sterile dose preparation while meeting standards required by regulatory bodies


What Are The Tasks Of A Pharmacy Technician?

A pharmacy technician assists licensed pharmacists with tasks like formulating, labeling, and dispensing medications, along with maintaining patient profiles and performing other routine tasks. Unlike a pharmacist, a pharmacy tech does not attend medical school, and his or her job is usually restricted. The required qualifications for this job vary from country to country, and the market for trained technicians is generally very good, as are markets for other health professionals.

Some people go to school to become a pharmacy technician. Certification classes include courses in anatomy, chemistry, and other basic medical concepts. Certification can be useful for job seekers who want to impress potential employers with their level of education and skills

The job duties of this profession vary. In many cases, pharmacy technicians handle a great deal of the routine clerking in a pharmacy; they accept and double check prescriptions, for example, or maintain patient records in computerized systems.

The technician may also fill a prescription by dispensing pills or liquids, and make up a label for that prescription. A pharmacy technician may also talk with a pharmacist about potential drug interactions or other risks which the prescribing doctor may have missed. A licensed pharmacist still needs to check the work to ensure that it has been done correctly,

In a hospital, technicians fill prescription orders, record administered medications in patient charts, and sometimes assemble prescription packets for nurses to give to their patients. Again, this work is supervised by a licensed pharmacist who must sign off on it before medications can be given out. This double checking process ensures that the correct medications are dispensed. Double checking in general is a routine part of the medical profession, as errors with things like medication can be fatal.

A good pharmacy tech can often command a decent salary, along with benefits, especially if he or she works in a hospital environment. The work is not very physically taxing, although technicians do spend a lot of time on their feet, and they may need to lift heavy boxes. This profession is also not advised for people who may have ethical or moral issues with dispensing certain medications.

How To Become A Pharmacy Technician

As Baby Boomers continue to age and health coverage expands in the wake of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the demand for healthcare services has skyrocketed. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2015) reports that among the fastest growing sectors in the economy, the top five are all related to healthcare.

As part of this ballooning market, openings for pharmacy technicians are expected to swell 9 percent between 2014 and 2024, faster than the average growth projected for all occupations during that time period (7 percent).

Another force that has been contributing to the demand for these healthcare professionals is the overall rise of prescription drug use. In a 2014 report, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) illustrated how Americans’ use of prescription drugs has increased substantially during the past four decades.

Survey respondents were asked if they had used at least one prescription drug within the previous 30 days. Between 1988 and 1994, 39.1 percent of respondents stated “yes,” and that figure shot up to 47.3 percent between 2009 and 2012.

Furthermore, the percentage of Americans using five or more prescription drugs has more than doubled between those time intervals (4 percent and 10.1 percent of Americans, respectivelyContent goes here.

So what do pharmacy technicians do? The BLS (2015) states that these professionals perform a variety of functions under licensed pharmacists such as measuring medications; labeling and packaging prescriptions; acting as liaisons between customers and healthcare workers; delivering medicine to patients, nursing stations, or surgical rooms; managing and organizing pharmaceutical inventories; and accepting payment for medications

. Many of the duties are learned on-the-job, and these technicians may work in drugstores, grocery stores, nursing homes, hospitals, or other medical settings. Since some pharmacies are open 24 hours per day, some of these professionals work nights and weekends, although with increased seniority, they may have more control over their schedules.

Although regulations for this profession are always evolving, pharmacy technicians generally have at least a high school diploma. According to O*NET (2015)—a partner of the US government’s American Job Center—60 percent of working pharmacy technicians have a high school education as their highest completed degree, and 14 percent held postsecondary certificates. That said, it may be advisable to pursue postsecondary education in this field. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB 2015) has stated that beginning in 2020, PTCB will require its certification candidates to complete an accredited pharmacy technician program in order to qualify.

Average Salary

According to U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics on an average a Pharmacy technician, makes $33,060 annually and the average wage per hour was estimated to be $15.90. While the best paid earned $ 49,540 the lowest earned $ 27,900 annually.


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