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Become A Pharmacist Associate

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Working As A Pharmacist Associate

  • 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

  • $42,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Pharmacist Associate 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 Pharmacist Associate

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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Pharmacist Associate Career Paths

Pharmacist Associate
Pharmacist Technician Pharmacist Staff Pharmacist
Pharmacist Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Technician Technician Team Leader
General Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Technician Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Assistant Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Store Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Registered Nurse Supervisor Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Patient Care Coordinator Office Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Specialist Consultant
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Coordinator Buyer
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Staff Pharmacist Pharmacist Manager
Director Of Pharmacist
10 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Staff Pharmacist
Pharmacist Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Technician Shift Leader
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Technician Production Supervisor
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Executive Assistant Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Consultant Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Consultant Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Pharmacist Technician Billing Specialist Accountant
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Pharmacist Technician Specialist Research Associate
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Certified Pharmacist Technician Specialist Foreman
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Pharmacist Associate?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Drug Clerk 2.2 years
Pharmacist Aide 2.2 years
Pharmacist Clerk 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Pharmacist Associate
Cashier 18.3%
Internship 5.2%
Volunteer 3.6%
Associate 2.6%
Server 2.5%
Clerk 2.4%
Top Careers After Pharmacist Associate
Cashier 12.9%
Internship 3.8%
Pharmacist 3.1%
Server 3.1%
Associate 3.1%
Volunteer 3.1%
Manager 1.9%

Do you work as a Pharmacist Associate?

Average Yearly Salary
$42,000
Show Salaries
$23,000
Min 10%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Magellan Health
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
1.8 years
How much does a Pharmacist Associate make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Pharmacist Associate in the United States is $42,920 per year or $21 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $23,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $78,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Pharmacist Associate?

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Top Skills for A Pharmacist Associate

  1. Pharmacy Inventory
  2. Customer Service
  3. Insurance Companies
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained pharmacy inventory by checking pharmaceutical stock to determine inventory level anticipating needed medications and removing outdated drugs.
  • Provided consistently high quality and timely customer service to achieve individual goals and targeted performance levels.
  • Established relationships with insurance companies and doctors offices for coverage concerns and clarification.
  • Assist Pharmacist with filling prescriptions, referencing data base information to ensure accuracy of orders and updating customer records when necessary.
  • Fax doctor re-fill authorization requests, Fax insurance information, Verify insurance, data entry for insurance and personal information

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Pharmacist Associates

  1. Alaska
  2. Oregon
  3. Wyoming
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Washington
  6. Arizona
  7. Montana
  8. North Dakota
  9. Nevada
  10. Hawaii
  • (34 jobs)
  • (250 jobs)
  • (34 jobs)
  • (103 jobs)
  • (465 jobs)
  • (426 jobs)
  • (91 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (110 jobs)
  • (74 jobs)

Pharmacist Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

68.4%

Male

22.1%

Unknown

9.5%
Ethnicity

White

59.0%

Hispanic or Latino

15.6%

Black or African American

12.5%

Asian

8.8%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.5%

Hindi

5.9%

German

5.9%

French

5.0%

Russian

4.0%

Korean

3.0%

Bengali

3.0%

Italian

3.0%

Japanese

3.0%

Urdu

3.0%

Gujarati

2.0%

Ukrainian

2.0%

Portuguese

2.0%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Hmong

1.0%

Armenian

1.0%

Cantonese

1.0%

Kurdish

1.0%

Nepali

1.0%

Filipino

1.0%
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Pharmacist Associate Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.8%

Temple University

7.1%

Burlington County College

6.4%

Pennsylvania State University

5.7%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

5.7%

Kaplan University

5.7%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

5.0%

State University of New York Stony Brook

5.0%

Liberty University

5.0%

Bryant and Stratton College

5.0%

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

4.3%

Montgomery College

4.3%

Strayer University

4.3%

Berks Technical Institute

3.5%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.5%

Erie Community College

3.5%

Kennesaw State University

3.5%

Onondaga Community College

3.5%

Northeastern University

3.5%

Hinds Community College

2.8%
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Majors

Business

16.8%

Pharmacy

16.5%

Nursing

10.0%

Health Care Administration

8.1%

Psychology

7.2%

Biology

6.9%

Medical Assisting Services

6.1%

Criminal Justice

4.0%

Accounting

3.0%

Chemistry

2.9%

General Studies

2.8%

Liberal Arts

2.4%

Medical Technician

2.2%

Finance

1.8%

Communication

1.7%

Sociology

1.7%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.6%

Education

1.6%

Management

1.4%

Computer Science

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

33.0%

Other

30.1%

Associate

16.8%

Masters

6.8%

Certificate

6.1%

Diploma

3.7%

Doctorate

3.2%

License

0.3%
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