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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

  • $28,000

    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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Pharmacist Technician Jobs

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Pharmacist Technician Career Paths

Pharmacist Technician
Pharmacist Staff Pharmacist
Pharmacist Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Assistant Manager
General Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Store Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Technician Field Service Technician
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Foreman Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Foreman Supervisor
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Consultant Assistant Manager
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Consultant Office Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Consultant General Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Patient Care Coordinator Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Patient Care Coordinator Office Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Teacher Executive Assistant Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Teacher Executive Assistant Project Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Staff Pharmacist Pharmacist Manager
Director Of Pharmacist
10 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor Case Manager
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Pharmacist In Charge Staff Pharmacist
Pharmacist Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist Accounts Receivable Supervisor
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Instructor Research Associate
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Pharmacist Aide 2.2 years
Pharmacist Clerk 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Pharmacist Technician
Cashier 20.4%
Internship 5.2%
Server 3.6%
Volunteer 3.3%
Manager 2.3%
Waitress 2.3%
Pharmacist 2.0%
Technician 1.8%
Top Careers After Pharmacist Technician
Cashier 9.8%
Pharmacist 5.8%
Internship 3.6%
Server 3.4%
Technician 3.0%
Volunteer 2.4%

Do you work as a Pharmacist Technician?

Pharmacist Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

67.9%

Male

22.7%

Unknown

9.5%
Ethnicity

White

60.1%

Hispanic or Latino

15.7%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

8.5%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.6%

French

6.5%

Arabic

4.9%

Hindi

4.8%

Vietnamese

3.5%

Russian

2.8%

Urdu

2.4%

Chinese

2.2%

Portuguese

2.1%

Mandarin

2.0%

Korean

1.8%

Gujarati

1.8%

Cantonese

1.7%

German

1.6%

Italian

1.4%

Tagalog

1.3%

Japanese

1.0%

Hmong

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Bengali

0.6%
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Pharmacist Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.5%

Remington College

9.2%

Everest Institute

7.7%

Kaplan University

5.6%

Temple University

5.0%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

4.9%

All American Career College

4.8%

University of Illinois at Chicago

4.1%

University of South Florida

4.0%

Ashford University

4.0%

University of Houston

3.9%

Wayne State University

3.6%

University of Central Florida

3.5%

The Academy

3.4%

Ohio State University

3.4%

University of Cincinnati

3.3%

San Joaquin Valley College

3.2%

Baker College

3.1%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.0%

University of Florida

3.0%
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Majors

Pharmacy

37.6%

Business

9.8%

Nursing

8.2%

Biology

7.0%

Health Care Administration

5.3%

Medical Assisting Services

4.7%

Psychology

4.3%

General Studies

2.8%

Criminal Justice

2.8%

Chemistry

2.4%

Accounting

2.3%

Medical Technician

1.9%

Liberal Arts

1.8%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.6%

Health Sciences And Services

1.4%

Education

1.4%

Management

1.3%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

1.2%

Communication

1.2%

Public Health

1.1%
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Degrees

Other

32.2%

Bachelors

28.1%

Associate

14.5%

Certificate

8.5%

Masters

6.0%

Diploma

5.6%

Doctorate

3.4%

License

1.6%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$28,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$19,000
Min 10%
$28,000
Median 50%
$28,000
Median 50%
$28,000
Median 50%
$28,000
Median 50%
$28,000
Median 50%
$28,000
Median 50%
$28,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
PharMerica
Highest Paying City
Seattle, WA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.1 years
How much does a Pharmacist Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Pharmacist Technician in the United States is $28,621 per year or $14 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $19,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $41,000.

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 H&J Pharmaceuticals Inc./San Pedro Pharmacy New York, NY Aug 28, 2009 $36,523
Pharmacy Technicians San Pedro Pharmacy New York, NY Aug 28, 2009 $36,523
Pharmacy Coordinator/Technician Klein Pharmacy, Inc. Pelham, NY Mar 18, 2010 $36,168
Pharmacy Coordinator/Technician Klein Pharmacy, Inc. Pelham, NY Mar 18, 2013 $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 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 Technician New Hollis Inc. NY Oct 01, 2011 $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 in coordination and scheduling preparation of sterile mixtures.
  • Completed paperwork related to filling prescriptions and input customer and prescription data into the computer system
  • Provided exemplary customer service through extensive communication from physicians and pharmacists to provide patients the medication they needed.
  • Communicated with insurance companies to troubleshoot claims and communicate with medical staffs to verify prescriptions and refills.
  • Performed general pharmacy technician procedures in a retail pharmacy environment on a daily basis.

What is it like to work as a Pharmacist Technician

1.0

Doing all the job and gaining nothing

September 28, 2019 on Zippia

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Very low salary, stressful conditions and working with crazy pharmacists.. Show More

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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)

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