Pharmacy technicians continue to be in demand as the healthcare industry grows at an amazing speed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the pharmacy technician field is expected to grow much faster than the average, by 34 percent between 2010 and 2020. Technicians also get to enjoy a median hourly salary of $14.63, which totals for $30,430 annually.
Interested in becoming a Pharmacy Technician? We shall provide answers to some of the frequently asked question about the profession below:
- Am I a great fit for the job? What should I expect from the work load and environment? It depends on your job preferences. As we’ve said in our job profile for pharmacy technicians, this type of work is most suitable for people who are very comfortable in communicating with a lot of people throughout the day. You should expect to work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, who will instruct you to measure and combine medications, and keep a record of all medications dispensed. You will also be required to do rounds (if you work in a hospital) and coordinate with patients, nurses, and physicians to verify prescription orders. Physically, you have to be fit, because the job requires you to stand at the pharmacy counter for long hours.
- What about the salary? Can I live comfortably on a pharmacy technician salary? The Bureau of Labor Statistics has detailed pharmacy technician salaries in a page based on jurisdiction. Nationally, the hourly wage for pharmacy technicians average at $14.63. However, some states offer higher compensation for pharmacy technicians. For example, the District of Columbia, Washington, Alaska, California and Hawaii offer pharmacy technicians an annual median salary of $37,000 to $40,000 (about $19 per hour).
- How do I become a pharmacy technician? How do I get my pharmacy technician certificatio? Different requirements and policies apply to pharmacy technicians, especially for residents of the states of Florida, Nevada, Indiana, Utah and South Carolina. The State Boards of Pharmacy of these states may impose a different set of requirement for pharmacy technician training. Washington and North Dakota do not honor Meditec’s pharmacy technician training program. If you want to enroll in a pharmacy technician course, the first thing you have to do is to verify whether your training program of interest satisfies your state board of pharmacy’s requirement prior to enrollment. (Visit the National Association of State Pharmacy Boards website to know more of the said requirements.) Training programs usually prepare you for the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) exam or National Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam. In order to apply for these certification exams, you have to be 18 years of age and hold a highschool diploma or GED (General Education diploma). You also have to pass a local background check conducted by law authorities, and pass a pharmacy training program like ours. As for experience or internship, you may have to prove future employers that you have enough background in the field prior to employment. Some employers require job candidates to have 20-40 hours of internship/work experience.
- What should I expect from a pharmacy technician program? A basic pharmacy technician training program spans 300 clock hours of instruction, which takes about three to four months to complete. Our technician career training involves a comprehensive study of pharmacological terminology, pharmacy technician skills training, calculations, and exam review.
- What are my career options? Can I cross-over to another allied healthcare career easily? Your fundamental knowledge in medical terminology can help you transition easily into other allied healthcare career fields; although you have to note that you still have to undergo training for your new field of interest.
Becoming A Pharmacy Technician: Career Opportunities
Pharmacy technicians play an essential role in the healthcare industry. Their job includes preparing prescription medication for patrons and they are also responsible for maintaining mixing, measuring, counting and labeling standards. This ensures that customers get precise dosages of the medication they need.
Some of the tasks they are responsible for include:
- Managing medication for prescriptions
- Taking care of over the counter and prescription orders
- Managing and taking care of medical insurance issues for customers
- Following up with physicians and patients for refills
- Managing and taking care of customer complaints and issues.
As a pharmacy technician you can expect to earn $13 per hour on the job and make up to $28,000 on a yearly basis. The pay you get will depend on your experience, knowledge, professionalism and skills.