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Become A Pharmacist Technician

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Working As A 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

  • $31,882

    Average Salary

What Does A 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 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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The Life of a Wal-mart Pharmacy Tech

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Pharmacist Technician Career Paths

Pharmacist Technician
Technician Service Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Account Executive Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Assistant Director Director Of Food And Beverage
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Security Officer Account Manager
Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Operator Office Manager
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Recruiter Career Counselor
Career Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Pharmacist In Charge Staff Pharmacist
Director Of Pharmacist
10 Yearsyrs
Office Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Office Manager Operations Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Technician Service Technician Service Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Staff Pharmacist
Pharmacist Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Pharmacist Technician Pharmacist Staff Pharmacist
Pharmacist Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Unit Secretary Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Specialist Material Handler Quality Control Inspector
Quality Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Technician Service Technician
Service Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Technician Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Security Officer Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Staff Pharmacist 6.0 years
Retail Pharmacist 4.8 years
Pharmacist 4.5 years
Pharmacist Clerk 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Pharmacist Technician
Cashier 17.3%
Internship 5.4%
Teller 4.9%
Volunteer 3.4%
Server 2.8%
Waitress 2.5%
Manager 2.4%
Pharmacist 2.0%
Top Careers After Pharmacist Technician
Cashier 7.0%
Pharmacist 6.1%
Internship 4.1%
Teller 3.6%
Technician 3.4%
Server 2.9%

Do you work as a Pharmacist Technician?

Pharmacist Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

74.2%

Male

23.7%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

59.8%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

9.3%

Unknown

4.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.0%

French

7.0%

Hindi

6.1%

Arabic

4.9%

Vietnamese

3.7%

Urdu

3.1%

Russian

2.5%

Chinese

2.4%

Gujarati

2.3%

Mandarin

2.2%

Portuguese

2.1%

German

1.9%

Korean

1.8%

Cantonese

1.7%

Italian

1.6%

Tagalog

1.2%

Hmong

1.1%

Japanese

1.0%

Polish

0.8%

Bengali

0.7%
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Pharmacist Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.1%

Remington College

6.8%

Kaplan University

6.6%

Temple University

6.2%

Everest Institute

5.6%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

5.0%

Ashford University

4.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.5%

University of Illinois at Chicago

4.5%

Wayne State University

4.0%

Liberty University

3.8%

University of Connecticut

3.5%

Grand Canyon University

3.3%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.2%

University of Central Florida

3.2%

University of Houston

3.2%

University of South Florida

3.2%

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences

3.2%

Strayer University

3.1%

University of Louisville

3.1%
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Majors

Pharmacy

34.3%

Business

10.4%

Nursing

8.0%

Biology

7.3%

Health Care Administration

5.5%

Psychology

4.7%

Medical Assisting Services

4.5%

Criminal Justice

3.1%

General Studies

3.0%

Chemistry

2.8%

Accounting

2.4%

Medical Technician

2.0%

Liberal Arts

1.9%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.8%

Education

1.5%

Health Sciences And Services

1.5%

Management

1.4%

Communication

1.4%

Nursing Assistants

1.3%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

1.3%
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Degrees

Other

33.0%

Bachelors

29.2%

Associate

13.6%

Certificate

8.1%

Masters

6.8%

Diploma

4.4%

Doctorate

3.5%

License

1.4%
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Pharmacist Technician Videos

Pharmacy Technicians Job Description

Pharmacy Technician Wages

The Life of a Wal-mart Pharmacy Tech

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Real Pharmacist Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Pharmacy Technicians Franrem Pharmaceuticals, LLC Baltimore, MD Jun 27, 2014 $46,958 -
$73,045
Pharmacy Technician Chinraj, LLC Neptune, NJ Oct 01, 2010 $40,000
Pharmacy Technician Manager Bayside Ems Pharmacy Corp NY Sep 20, 2013 $39,653
Pharmacy Technician Golden Living Inc. San Diego, CA Apr 04, 2011 $38,735
Pharmacy Technicians H&J Pharmaceuticals Inc. New York, NY Aug 28, 2009 $36,523
Pharmacy Technicians San Pedro Pharmacy New York, NY Aug 28, 2009 $36,523
Pharmacy Technicians H&J Pharmaceuticals Inc./San Pedro Pharmacy New York, NY Aug 28, 2009 $36,523
Pharmacy Coordinator/Technician Klein Pharmacy, Inc. Pelham, NY Mar 18, 2013 $36,168
Pharmacy Coordinator/Technician Klein Pharmacy, Inc. Pelham, NY Mar 18, 2010 $36,168
Pharmacy Technicians House of Arnold Inc. Baltimore, MD Sep 17, 2014 $35,672
Pharmacy Technician Kanhi Systems LLC Passaic, NJ Sep 01, 2014 $35,479 -
$48,001
Pharmacy Technicians Inwood Pharmacy and Surgical Supply Inc. Inwood, NY Sep 30, 2008 $35,360
Pharmacy Technicians ASF Pharmacy, Inc. New York, NY Mar 07, 2014 $33,821 -
$35,000
Pharmacy Technicians ASF Pharmacy, Inc. New York, NY Mar 20, 2014 $33,821
Pharmacy Technician ASF Pharmacy, Inc. New York, NY Feb 28, 2014 $33,821
Pharmacy Technician Mott Haven Pharmacy and Surgical, Inc. New York, NY Jun 01, 2011 $33,392
Pharmacy Technician M4G LLC Scottsdale, AZ Sep 02, 2014 $32,469
Pharmacy Technician M4G LLC Scottsdale, AZ Sep 04, 2014 $32,469
Pharmacy Technicians Goodcare Pharmacy, Inc. Washington, DC Jan 22, 2014 $30,576
Pharmacy Technician Vital Health Tech Clifton, NJ Dec 17, 2009 $30,303
Pharmacy Technician MGFN, P.C. D/B/A The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy New London, CT May 22, 2008 $30,262
Pharmacy Technician New Hollis Inc. NY Oct 01, 2011 $30,000
Pharmacy Technician New York College of Health Professions Syosset, NY Oct 01, 2009 $30,000
Pharmacy Technician H & J Pharmaceuticals, Inc. New York, NY Feb 02, 2012 $30,000
Pharmacy Technicians Phamco Inc. DBA Colonial Drugs and Surgicals Greenport, NY May 21, 2010 $29,844

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Top Skills for A Pharmacist Technician

  1. Assist Pharmacist
  2. Filling Prescriptions
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assist pharmacist regarding patient co-payments and overriding co-payments when necessary for insurance purposes.
  • Detail oriented individual that pays special attention to highly sensitive products to ensure complete accuracy when filling prescriptions.
  • Dispensed and delivered patient medications to patients throughout the hospital -Provided friendly customer service at prescription drop-off and pick-up counters.
  • Communicated with health professionals and insurance companies.
  • Provided input and consultation, regarding company policies and procedures for newly hired Pharmacy Technicians.

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Top 10 Best States for Pharmacist Technicians

  1. Alaska
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Wyoming
  4. Oregon
  5. North Dakota
  6. Washington
  7. Montana
  8. Nevada
  9. Minnesota
  10. Hawaii
  • (63 jobs)
  • (127 jobs)
  • (56 jobs)
  • (389 jobs)
  • (83 jobs)
  • (727 jobs)
  • (118 jobs)
  • (191 jobs)
  • (607 jobs)
  • (103 jobs)

Top Pharmacist Technician Employers

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Jobs From Top Pharmacist Technician Employers

Pharmacist Technician Videos

Pharmacy Technicians Job Description

Pharmacy Technician Wages

The Life of a Wal-mart Pharmacy Tech

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