How to Become a Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy technicians usually need a high school diploma or equivalent and learn their duties through on-the-job training, or they may complete a postsecondary education program in pharmacy technology. Most states regulate pharmacy technicians, which is a process that may require passing an exam or completing a formal education or training program.
Education and Training for Pharmacy Technicians–
- Pharmacy technicians usually need a high school diploma or equivalent and typically learn their duties through on-the-job training. The training periods vary in length and subject matter according to the employer requirements.
- Pharmacy Technicians enter the occupation after completing postsecondary education programs in pharmacy technology. These programs are usually offered by vocational schools or community colleges. Most programs award a certificate after 1 year or less, although some programs last longer and lead to an associate degree.
Licenses and Certifications for Pharmacy Technicians–
Most states regulate pharmacy technicians in some way. Consult state Boards of Pharmacy for particular regulations. Some states and employers require pharmacy technicians to be certified. Even where it is not required, certification may make it easier to get a job. Two organizations offer certification. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) certification requires a high school diploma and the passing of an exam.
Requirements for pharmacy technicians include for the following:–
- High school diploma or GED
- Formal education or training program
- Continuing education
- Criminal background check
Important Qualities for Pharmacy Technicians–
Customer service skills- Pharmacy technicians spend much of their time interacting with customers, so being helpful and polite is required of pharmacy technicians in a retail setting.
Detail oriented– Serious health problems can result from mistakes in filling prescriptions. Although the pharmacist is responsible for ensuring the safety of all medications dispensed, pharmacy technicians should pay attention to detail so that complications are avoided.
Listening skills– Pharmacy technicians must communicate clearly with pharmacists and doctors when taking prescription orders. When speaking with customers, technicians must listen carefully to understand customers’ needs and determine if they need to speak with a pharmacist.
Math skills– Pharmacy technicians need to have an understanding of the math concepts used in pharmacies when counting pills and compounding medications.
Organizational skills– Working as a pharmacy technician involves balancing a variety of responsibilities. Pharmacy technicians need good organizational skills to complete the work delegated by pharmacists while at the same time providing service to customers or patients.
Pharmacy Technician Salary-
The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians is $30,920. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,370, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $45,710.
Pharmacy Technicians Career and Opportunities-
- Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 12 percent over the next ten years, faster than the average for all occupations. Several factors will lead to increased demand for prescription medications.
- The population is aging, and older people typically use more prescription medicines than younger people. Higher rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes among all age groups also will lead to increased demand for prescription medications. .
- Technicians will need to perform tasks such as collecting patient information, preparing more types of medications, and verifying the work of other technicians, tasks formerly done by pharmacists.