What does a pharmacy technician do?
In traditional “product oriented” practice environments, such as retail and hospital settings, pharmacy technicians may participate in many of the following tasks:
Simply put, the average pharmacy technician assists the pharmacist in the preparation and distribution of pharmaceutical and other healthcare products. Much of the pharmacy technician’s responsibilities will depend on the regulations of the state in which they live and on their relationship with their supervising pharmacists.
• collection of information from the patient
• collection of information from the prescriber
• receiving drug orders and refills in person or by telephone, fax, or electronic means.
• entering the drug order in the pharmacy computer system
• preparing and packaging the drug product
• distributing the finished product to the patient or the nursing unit
• processing third party billing
• collection of funds at the cash register
• compounding of preparations such as creams, ointments, suppositories, and more
• compounding intravenous and other sterile products
• maintaining files of pharmacy records
• ordering, receiving, and maintenance of pharmacy inventory and supplies
• monitoring drugs for expiration dates
• communicating with patients and healthcare providers via the telephone
• package drug products into unit dose containers
• insuring pharmacy cleanliness and security
In non-traditional roles, pharmacy technicians may work in areas such as:
• law enforcement
• insurance auditor
• disease state management
• hospice care
• healthcare administration
• nuclear pharmacy
There has never been a more exciting time to become a pharmacy technician! With so many career paths available, you are sure to find one that you will love.
What is the job outlook for pharmacy technicians?
According to the United States Department of Labor studies, the pharmacy technician profession is expected to experience faster than average growth through the year 2018. The rising age of the population coupled with the shortage of pharmacists and a health care system that is being forced to become evermore cost conscious, has thrust the pharmacy technician position into the limelight. Pharmacies that once might have used two pharmacists are now using one pharmacist and two or three pharmacy technicians. Estimates for growth in the profession have run as high as 31% growth over the next few years.
Opportunities are especially bright for those pharmacy technicians who choose to become nationally certified. More and more states are requiring certification as a prerequisite to technician practice, and the possibility of this becoming a nation wide requirement is real.
What do employers look for in a pharmacy technician applicant?
First and foremost...training. An employer is not necessarily interested in previous pharmacy experience, but training. Believe it or not, most retail employers would prefer an applicant who has gone through a good preparatory program and demonstrates other personal characteristics like friendliness and attention to detail over a technician with experience from another retail chain.
Why would that be? Well, if they were to hire the applicant who has experience at another chain, the employer would need to retrain the new associate and break old “habits” from the other workplace. Often these old “habits” are harder to break than to train a brand new associate, if the applicant has the basic pharmacy skills under their belt already. PharmacyTrainerSchools will give you these skills!
What does a pharmacy technician earn?
According to the United States Department of Labor studies, the median
wage of ALL pharmacy technicians across the country was $13.65 in 2010 (their last published survey).
Since that time, wages have continued to move upward.
You rate will vary based on your practice setting, your experience, and
whether or not you are a certified pharmacy technician. Certified pharmacy
technicians generally are paid more than their non-certified counterparts.
We are in 2012 now, and in metro markets where we conduct our live classes (such as Chicago and Indianapolis), we are finding the following:
|Practice Area||Non-Certified||Certified||Hospital technicians||$12 to $16 /hr||$13 to $19 /hr
||Retail technicians||$11 to $14 /hr||$12 to $16 /hr
As with any occupation, the more knowledge and specialization you accumulate, the more valuable you will be to your employer and generally, the more you will be paid. As a pharmacy technician, you will reap from the job what you sow with training and effort.
PharmacyTrainerSchools + PTCB Certification = Your Best Chance to Land the Job You Want
To find out more about the range or median rate of pay in your area, you may contact your state workforce commission or department of labor.
How can I become a pharmacy technician?
Individual states vary widely on their requirements to become a pharmacy technician. In many areas, technicians are licensed or registered. In others, technicians are merely given on-the-job training by their supervising pharmacists.
Most states that require training will have an exemption for technicians who have passed the national certification examination administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). All of our students are highly encouraged to take the PTCB Examination! For instance, in California there are several ways to qualify as a technician. One way includes passing the PTCB examination. No mandatory college. No mandatory internship. Simply pass the PTCB! PharmacyTrainerSchools can allow you to take this money saving path to your future!
The best way to get a technician job today is to show your potential employer that you have skills that will minimize their training expenses. The PharmacyTrainerSchools program does just that! We will train you in the skills and duties you will need and see in your daily work environment. We relieve the employer from basic training such as learning abbreviations, reading prescriptions, pharmacy calculations, and pharmacy law. Your new employer can then spend a minimal amount of training time on their own proprietary policies and computer system.