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Pharmacy Technician Programs

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Are you researching Pharmacy Technician programs? You might ask, 'What type of training do I need?', or 'Do I need a certification?'. We have answers for you!

Pharmacy Technician Programs Frequently Asked Questions:

Pharmacy technician programs and jobs growth rate by 2022 is 20%

What is a Pharmacy Technician?

Working under the supervision of pharmacists, a Pharmacy Technician assists pharmacists in dispensing prescription medication to customers and health care professionals. Pharmacists review prescriptions before they are dispensed to patients. Technicians may operate automated dispensing equipment and, in some cases, can mix certain medications.

What type of job responsibilities does a Pharmacy Technician typically have?

Pharmacy Technicians may help pharmacists by doing the following:

  • Packaging and labeling prescriptions
  • Measuring amounts of medication for prescriptions
  • Entering customer or patient information into a computer system
  • Arranging for customers to speak with pharmacists if customers have questions about medications
  • Maintaining proper storage and security conditions for drugs
  • Receiving and storing incoming supplies
  • Receiving written prescription or refill requests and verify that information is accurate

The average Pharmacy technician salary is $29,320Where do Pharmacy Technicians work?

Along with hospitals, a Pharmacy Technician may work in retail pharmacies, drug stores, grocery stores, and ambulatory health care services.

What Pharmacy Technician courses will I want to take?

Here is a list of some of the classes that a Pharmacy Tech may take while enrolled in a Pharmacy Technician certification program:

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacy Math
  • Pharmacy Laboratory Skills
  • Fundamentals of Chemistry
  • Pharmacy Law and Ethics
  • Medical and Pharmaceutical Terminology

How can you pursue a career as a Pharmacy Technician?

You may pursue a career as a Pharmacy Technician by first completing postsecondary pharmacy technician programs in pharmacy technology at a community college or vocational school. Programs might award certificates in as little as a year or less unless you enroll in a two year associate’s degree program.[i] Topics like recordkeeping, pharmacy law, ways of dispensing medications, and learning the names, doses, and uses of various medications are learned. You may also gain clinical experience by hands-on learning opportunities in a pharmacy setting.

Check with your state’s Board of Pharmacy for specific regulations since most states oversee pharmacy technician certification in some manner.ⁱ Basic requirements may be: High school diploma or GED, criminal background check, formal education or training program, exam, fees, and continuing education.

Certification may be a necessity in some states and with certain employers so it is a good idea to find out more about how to become certified. It could even make it easier to find a job!ⁱ Potential employers might even pay for their Pharmacy Technicians to sit for the certification exam.ⁱ  The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) each offer certifications.ⁱ

Pharmacy Technician Salary Potential

A Pharmacy technician salary might fluctuate a bit but some statistics are below:

  • Median annual wage for pharmacy technicians is $29,320.[ii]
  • Job outlook is anticipated to grow 20% from 2012 to 2022- faster than the average for all occupations.[iii]

Even during the recession, health care employment grew.[iv] States with the highest employment levels within this occupation are: California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and New York.[v]

[i] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-4 | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-5 | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-6 | [iv] bls.gov/spotlight/2009/health_care/ | [v] bls.gov/oes/current/oes292052.htm

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