How To Become A Pharmacy Technician
A pharmacy technician helps to fill medications for customers in a pharmacy or drug store. They are trained in the field of pharmacy.
Pharmacy technicians work as an assistant to a pharmacist, making sure the orders are filled promptly and correctly. They talk with patients and answer questions about their prescription or medication that they are taking.
Why Become A Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy technicians are responsible for helping keep patients healthy. They work with a pharmacist, assisting them and learning about the field of pharmacy. A pharmacy technician typically works in a local drugstore, grocery store or pharmacy. They receive new prescription requests during the day.
Pharmacy technicians measure medications, package them, and label the prescriptions. They get prescriptions ready for patients. A pharmacy technician is available to answer questions about the medications you are taking. During the day, they input customer medical information and answer phone calls from doctor offices, hospitals and customers.
This job requires having amazing attention to detail, having great customer service skills, and enjoy working in health care. If you enjoy all of this, you may like a job as a pharmacy technician.
Pharmacy Technicians should possess the following qualities and skills:
- Customer Service
- Enjoys Healthcare
- Good Communicator
- Attention to Detail
Pharmacy Technician Work Environment
Almost all pharmacy technicians work in a local pharmacy or drug store. Occasionally they may be employed in a hospital, merchandise store, or grocery store.
In the pharmacy, they spend their day filling orders for prescriptions as they arrive. They help place orders for medications for customers. When customers come to pick up their medications, they help answer any questions a person may have.
This job involves interacting with customers on a daily basis. It involves working with a team of other pharmacy technicians. It involves standing on your feet and walking for long periods of time.
Pharmacy Technician Salary
The median annual salary for pharmacy technicians was $30,920, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Lake many occupations, the business that a person works for can influence their salary. Pharmacy technicians who are employed by hospitals earn slightly higher than average salaries, earning about $35,000 per year.
Those employed by local grocery stores or pharmacies earn less, approximately $28,000 on average. Pharmacy technicians with more experience may be able to earn a higher salary in their field.
Average Pharmacy Technician Salary
- Executive pharmacy technicians (Top 10%) earn $45,710 ($21.98 an hour)
- Senior pharmacy technicians (Top 25%) earn $37,780 ($18.16 an hour)
- Mid Level pharmacy technicians (Median) pay is $30,920 ($14.86 an hour)
- Junior of pharmacy technicians (Bottom 25%) earn $25,170 ($12.10 an hour)
- Entry Level of pharmacy technicians (Bottom 10%) earn $21,370 ($10.27 an hour)
Pharmacy Technician Salary By State
|Rank||State||Hourly Rate||Annual Salary|
|#7||District of Columbia||$17.32||$36,020|
Pharmacy Technician Career Outlook
Employment for pharmacy technicians is expected to increase by 12 percent, which is faster than average growth compared to other occupations within the United States.
There has recently been a surge of interest in people wanting to take care of their health and make sure they are as healthy as possible. New healthcare laws make it possible for people to visit the doctor and receive quality health insurance.
Advancements in technology and medicine have people living longer than ever, and the larger elderly population will require medicines to keep them healthy against illnesses and injuries. Pharmacy technicians will be needed to help people make educated choices about their medications and live healthy lives.
Pharmacy Technician Degree
If you want to become a pharmacy technician, read below for more information.
An associates degree is highly recommended to become a pharmacy technician. Many pharmacies and drug stores have positions available working as a pharmacy technician. In this position, you will receive on-the-job training, learning about the job as you work. You will learn from a pharmacist and other pharmacy technicians.
It is not required to have any formal education to pursue a career as a pharmacy technician. There are pharmacy technician programs available at community colleges and online schools for those who would like formal training. In these programs, you will gain advanced knowledge of the field. You will learn more about medicine and decide if a career as a pharmacy technician is perfect for you.
Pharmacy Technician Coursework
If you choose to obtain a formal degree as a pharmacy technician, here are some of the courses you can expect to enroll in.
Medical Terminology: In this class you will learn to identify medical terms by their component parts. You will understand the structure of the human body, including the many systems and organs that make up the body. You will learn the terms for major illnesses and injuries. Understanding the proper language in medicine is an important part of the healthcare field.
Pharmacy Calculations: This course allows students to understand the calculations and measurements used in the pharmacy field. Students will learn about dosages, ratios, proportions, dilutions, concentrations, density, and flow rates. At the completion of this class, students will learn how to perform the medical calculations necessary in order to dispense a medication. Math is required to succeed in this class.
Anatomy and Physiology: Students will gain an intricate understanding of how the body works together. You will learn about the structure and the function of the human body. You will learn about the many complex systems of the body. You will learn about everything from organs, all the way to how the smallest cells keep our bodies running. This course will help you understand the complexity of the human body and how it all works together.
Insurance: Any healthcare professional should understand how the healthcare system works today. A course in insurance procedures will help you understand health insurance and the role that insurance plays in helping patients to receive their medications.
Pharmacy Technician Career Path
(The point of this section is to show what you can do with each level of education that you get, how far it will take you in a career. Pharmacy technician only requires a high school diploma so this section will look better with a career that requires more advanced education).
|Overview||This person works as an assistant in a pharmacy or drugstore. They help out the pharmacist.||A pharmacist is a healthcare professional who is formally trained in the field of pharmacy.|
|Responsibilities||Customer service, filling prescription orders, answering telephones.||Answer patient questions, check for contraindications in medications, educate patients about their health, assist technicians.|
|Education Required||High school diploma. It takes four years to graduate from high school.||Doctor of Pharmacy|
|Benefits||You can receive a job directly from high school. You can enter the work force immediately. You will be trained on the job.||You will earn a lucrative salary. You will have a lifelong career and more job security.|
Related Pharmacy Technician Careers
Pharmacist: What is the next step after being a pharmacy technician? Becoming a pharmacist. A pharmacist is a healthcare professional who has spent many years educating themselves in the field of pharmacy. If you love this career path, becoming a pharmacist may be a good next step for you.
Medical Assistant: A medical assistant works in a doctor’s office or clinic. They are given responsibilities that include both clinical duties and administrative professional duties. They are tasked with talking to the patient, taking a medical history, examining their weight, height and blood pressure, collecting any specimens or doing any tests. They also are in charge of administrative duties such as medical billing and answering telephones.
Medical Record Technician: A medical record technician is responsible for accurately transcribing the information found on a person’s medical record. After a patient’s appointment with a doctor, a medical record technician reviews the notes and puts them into the permanent medical record. This is important in order to keep track of diagnoses and for insurance and billing.
Phlebotomist: A phlebotomist is trained to draw blood from patients. They draw blood, which is then used in medical testing. A phlebotomist works in a hospital or doctor’s office.