Certified Pharmacy Technician Overview

If you are a person who likes to work in an environment where you can with other people on a daily basis, and want to work in the field of healthcare, a job as a certified pharmacy technician may interest you. If you decide to work in this profession, you will be working under the supervision of a pharmacist, and will be required to deal with patients of all ages, providing them with health care products and medications. To put it simply, your primary role will be to prepare prescription medications through tasks such as tablet counting and labelling.

Certified Pharmacy Technician Overview


A more detailed list of pharmacy technician duties are as follows:

- Preparing insurance claim forms

- Keeping patient profiles up-to-date

- Answering the phone

- Undertaking cash register transactions

- Keeping up-to-date with the latest medicines and their availability

- Inventorying over-the-counter medications

- Measuring liquid medicines

- Verifying prescriptions

How to Become a Certified Pharmacy Technician

While individuals who undertake on-the-job training may be able to find jobs as pharmacy technicians, a much better route to go down it to obtain formal training and certification. This is because many more job opportunities will become available to the person, resulting in a higher salary and a higher level of responsibility.

A community college or technical school that offers 9-12 month programs can be enrolled in, in order to obtain a diploma or certificate in Pharmacy Technology. Certified pharmacy technician exams are set and provided by the PCTB (Pharmacy Technician Board) and the ICPT (Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians). As part of the training needed for the exam, medical terminology, pharmacology, math and ethics must be studied, in addition to performing clinical work.

Individuals looking to work in this field must also possess a few vital skills, such as communication skills, recording skills and a strong attdntion to detail. Physical skills are also needed, as pharmacy techs must have the ability to bend, climb, lift and stand as required.

Career Outlook & Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job growth for pharmacy careers is expected to increase by 32%, mainly due to the increasing number of elderly people (baby boomers) needing prescription medications.

Technicians are given a large amount of flexibility in their work as they can either work on a part-time or full-time basis. They typically work a standard 9-5, however, weekends, nights and holidays may need to be worked, although this depends on the employer. The majority of technicians (70%) work in retail pharmacies, grocery stores, mass retailers or department stores. Others facilities include, hospitals, clinics, internet pharmacies and wholesalers of pharmaceutical products.

The average salary for a certified technician depends on a range of factors, including: the employer worked for, size of the facility, experience, geographical location, working hours and the facility worked in. For example, those working in hospitals can expect to earn an average of $13.85 per hour compared to $11.50 for those working in pharmacies. The national average salary is $30,000 per year.

Article Source: Nick Shepherd

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