Pharmacy Technician Jobs

While you may not realize it, you probably run into pharmacy technicians each time you fill your prescription at a drug store such as CVS or Walgreens. They answer the phone, count out the medication, and check your prescriptions to ensure accuracy. The job of a pharmacy technician is essential—it helps the pharmacy run as efficiently and effectively as possible. But what are the ins and out of a pharmacy technician? And what exactly would you have to do to gain the title?

Pharmacy Technician Job Description

A pharmacy technician’s primary job responsibilities may vary depending upon where they work. For example, a tech who works at a drug store such as Rite Aid’s pharmacy will most likely have some different tasks than one who works in a nursing home or hospital. Additionally, a pharmacy tech’s responsibilities can vary depending upon the state that he or she is working in. However, there are some general duties that pharmacy technicians are responsible for, including:

  • Check to ensure that prescriptions are correct once they’re received
  • Fill and price the prescriptions
  • Help to prepare the prescriptions by labeling bottles, mixing, and counting out the pills
  • Communicate with doctors regarding questions related to the prescription medications
  • Handle insurance claims
  • Handle patient paperwork and forms
  • Help prepare ointments, creams, and IV mixtures
  • Get medication approval from the pharmacist
  • Maintain medication inventory and stock prescriptions

Some pharmacy technicians may also be tasked with stocking and taking inventory of over-the-counter drugs as well as cashier duties.

Pharmacy technicians are not able to advise patients regarding which medications are compatible or judge the suitability of a patient’s prescription. This is where the actual pharmacist would come in.

Pharmacy Technician Job Schools, Training, and Certification

In order to become a pharmacy technician, you would need to get proper training from a proper pharmacy technician school. Thirty states in the USA require a pharmacy technician to be certified in order to hold the job title.

A wide variety of institutions provide pharmacy technician training and certification courses including hospitals, technical and community colleges, proprietary schools, and vocational colleges. Additionally, you can take courses from an online school in order to obtain proper certification.

Some of the courses that you can look forward to taking during your pharmacy technician training include:

  • Chemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical terminology
  • Pharmacy law

For the most part, pharmacy technician schools and certification programs are extremely affordable and can take as little as three months for the student to complete.

Pharmacy Technician Job Salary

In May 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the average annual salary of the countries more than 330,000 pharmacy technicians was $29,330. The lowest ten percent of technicians earned $19,840 each year, and the top ten percent enjoyed a high pay of $40,710.

A Great Career Decision

In conclusion, it’s important to note that pharmacy technician jobs are very desired throughout the United States. At the time that this article was written, CareerBuilder listed over 1,300 pharmacy technician jobs that were available.

If you enjoy working with people, like the pharmaceutical industry, and want to be part of a career that’s in demand and offers good pay, then consider becoming certified as a pharmacy technician.

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