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Become A Licensed Pharmacist Technician

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Working As A Licensed Pharmacist Technician

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Processing Information
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $36,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Licensed Pharmacist Technician Do

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals. They work in retail pharmacies and hospitals.

Duties

Pharmacy technicians typically do the following:

  • Collect information needed to fill a prescription from customers or health professionals
  • Measure amounts of medication for prescriptions
  • Package and label prescriptions
  • Organize inventory and alert pharmacists to any shortages of medications or supplies
  • Accept payment for prescriptions and process insurance claims
  • Enter customer or patient information, including any prescriptions taken, into a computer system
  • Answer phone calls from customers
  • Arrange for customers to speak with pharmacists if customers have questions about medications or health matters

Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of pharmacists, who must review prescriptions before they are given to patients. In most states, technicians can compound or mix some medications and call physicians for prescription refill authorizations. Technicians also may need to operate automated dispensing equipment when filling prescription orders.

Pharmacy technicians working in hospitals and other medical facilities prepare a greater variety of medications, such as intravenous medications. They may make rounds in the hospital, giving medications to patients.

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How To Become A Licensed Pharmacist Technician

Becoming a pharmacy technician usually requires earning a high school diploma or the equivalent. Pharmacy technicians typically learn through on-the-job training, or they may complete a postsecondary education program. 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

Many pharmacy technicians learn how to perform their duties through on-the-job training. These programs vary in length and subject matter according to the employer’s requirements.

Other 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’s degree. They cover a variety of subjects, such as arithmetic used in pharmacies, recordkeeping, ways of dispensing medications, and pharmacy law and ethics. Technicians also learn the names, uses, and doses of medications. Most programs also include clinical experience opportunities, in which students gain hands-on experience in a pharmacy.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) accredits pharmacy technician programs that include at least 600 hours of instruction over a minimum of 15 weeks. In 2015, there were 286 fully accredited programs, including a few in retail drugstore chains.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states regulate pharmacy technicians in some way. Consult state Boards of Pharmacy for particular regulations. Requirements for pharmacy technicians in the states that regulate them typically include some or all of the following:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Formal education or training program
  • Exam
  • Fees
  • Continuing education
  • Criminal background check

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. Many employers will pay for their pharmacy technicians to take the certification exam.

Two organizations offer certification. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) certification requires a high school diploma and the passing of an exam. Applicants for the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certification must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, and have completed a training program or have 1 year of work experience. Technicians must recertify every 2 years by completing 20 hours of continuing education courses.

Important Qualities

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.

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Licensed Pharmacist Technician Career Paths

Licensed Pharmacist Technician
Certified Pharmacist Technician Pharmacist Staff Pharmacist
Pharmacist Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Pharmacist Technician Pharmacist Pharmacist Manager
Director Of Pharmacist
10 Yearsyrs
Certified Pharmacist Technician Registered Nurse Team Leader
General Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Staff Pharmacist
Pharmacist Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Staff Pharmacist Pharmacist Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Staff Nurse Team Leader
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Team Leader Assistant Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Clinical Pharmacist Pharmacist Manager District Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Clinical Pharmacist Clinical Coordinator Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Clinical Pharmacist Clinical Coordinator Nurse Manager
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Specialist Consultant
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Technician Field Service Technician
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Lead Teacher Assistant Manager
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist In Charge Pharmacist Supervisor Operations Manager
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist In Charge Store Manager Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist In Charge Store Manager Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor Supervisor
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Senior Technician Specialist Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Patient Care Coordinator Office Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Teacher Instructor Research Associate
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Licensed Pharmacist Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Retail Pharmacist 5.0 years
Technician 2.7 years
Pharmacist Clerk 2.2 years
Pharmacist Aide 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Licensed Pharmacist Technician
Cashier 11.4%
Pharmacist 6.5%
Internship 5.7%
Volunteer 3.8%
Server 2.1%
Top Careers After Licensed Pharmacist Technician
Pharmacist 8.5%
Cashier 5.6%
Internship 4.3%
Server 2.9%
Volunteer 2.7%

Do you work as a Licensed Pharmacist Technician?

Licensed Pharmacist Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

68.0%

Male

22.8%

Unknown

9.2%
Ethnicity

White

60.3%

Hispanic or Latino

13.0%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

10.8%

Unknown

4.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.4%

French

8.7%

Vietnamese

6.5%

Hindi

6.5%

Russian

4.3%

Korean

4.3%

Urdu

3.3%

Mandarin

3.3%

Arabic

3.3%

Chinese

2.2%

German

2.2%

Greek

2.2%

Gujarati

2.2%

Bengali

2.2%

Portuguese

1.1%

Filipino

1.1%

Ilocano

1.1%

Japanese

1.1%

Amharic

1.1%

Persian

1.1%
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Licensed Pharmacist Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.8%

University of Illinois at Chicago

7.8%

University of the Sciences

6.7%

Virginia Commonwealth University

6.1%

Wayne State University

5.0%

Chicago State University

5.0%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

5.0%

Ashford University

4.5%

Temple University

4.5%

Auburn University

4.5%

University of Connecticut

4.5%

University of Florida

3.9%

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences

3.9%

University of Rhode Island

3.9%

University of Houston

3.9%

University of Memphis

3.9%

Towson University

3.9%

Everest Institute

3.4%

Middle Tennessee State University

3.4%

University of Maine

3.4%
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Majors

Pharmacy

34.6%

Business

10.8%

Biology

9.5%

Psychology

6.7%

Nursing

6.4%

Health Care Administration

4.0%

Chemistry

3.2%

General Studies

3.0%

Medical Assisting Services

2.8%

Criminal Justice

2.5%

Accounting

2.3%

Medical Technician

1.9%

Management

1.8%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.7%

Health Sciences And Services

1.6%

English

1.5%

Public Health

1.4%

Education

1.4%

Liberal Arts

1.4%

Communication

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.0%

Other

24.5%

Associate

12.2%

Doctorate

9.9%

Masters

7.1%

Certificate

5.9%

Diploma

2.2%

License

1.3%
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Top Skills for A Licensed Pharmacist Technician

  1. Retail Pharmacy
  2. Filling Prescriptions
  3. Insurance Companies
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Serviced Customers in a retail pharmacy setting
  • Assisted staff pharmacist in preparing and filling prescriptions, provided customer service and performed administrative functions as needed
  • Communicated regularly with physicians, nurses, insurance companies and managed care organizations.
  • Developed customer service, conflict resolution, and organizational skills.
  • Received certification to become Licensed Pharmacy Technician in February 2012.

How Would You Rate Working As a Licensed Pharmacist Technician?

Are you working as a Licensed Pharmacist Technician? Help us rate Licensed Pharmacist Technician as a Career.

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