The job of a pharmacy technician is to assist pharmacists that are licensed in giving out prescribed medication. They are usually going to be working in either hospitals or a retail setting. The job duties of a pharmacy technician can range from taking customer information or getting information from doctors, as well as counting the tablets that are put into the bottles of prescription medication. They can also deal with the labeling and packaging of the bottles too, all of the way to the selling of the prescription medication.
A pharmacist technician is going to be under the direct supervision of a pharmacist, who will go through and look at every prescription before it is given to the consumer. Usually is a customer has a specific question about the medication, the pharmacist technician will then arrange a meeting between the consumer and the pharmacist so that they can get their questions answered by a licensed professional. Those technicians that work in hospitals might take on extra duties such as making the rounds and giving the medication to patients.
There were well over 300,000 jobs held in the pharmacy technician field in 2010, and that number has increased slowly over the last few years. The majority of those jobs were in drugstores and pharmacies. The rest are spread out over a retail and hospital setting. The majority of the work that pharmacy technicians do is on their feet, standing a majority of their day at work. You can expect to work any hours such as nights or weekends, since most places that sell prescription drugs are open 24 hours or often late at night and early in the morning.
Becoming A Pharmacy Technician
Just about every state is going to require you to have at least a high school diploma before you can become a pharmacist technician. The rest of the requirements that may or may not be put in place are going to vary from state to state. The education is going to vary as well, but most of the time pharmacy technicians either learn on the job or attend a program through a college or vocational school that gives them the necessary education to become a pharmacy technician.
Most of the states will require some sort of regulation and test taking in order to become a pharmacy technician however. You will also most likely have to take a drug test and pass a background check as well. Then you will have to go through continuing education most of the time, but most pharmacy technicians choose to go back to school to further their education regardless. There may also be states that are going to require potential pharmacy technicians to be certified. You will have to check on your states pharmacy and health website.
There are also some qualities and skills that you need to have that can’t really be taught as much as you might think. Good customer service is the first and one of the most important in this business. You need to have great interaction with customers while handling their requests. You also need to have attention to detail, since the tasks that you do on a daily basis with the medications are going to be extremely important.
Pharmacy Technician Salary
In 2010, the average annual salary for a pharmacy technician was $30,000. There were some that earned under $30,000 and there were some that earned over $40,000 a year. Those pharmacy technicians that worked in hospitals made significantly more than those that worked in a retail environment. Most health jobs tend to average more than pharmacy technicians, but often those jobs require a lot more training and education as well. There is a large amount of new drugs being introduced all of the time through research, and therefore the demand for pharmacy technicians hasn’t gone down at all. In the decade from 2010 to 2020, the jobs in the pharmacy technician field are set to climb over 30%. Those that have some sort of formal training are going to always have a better chance at long-term and higher paying employment