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Are you interested in building a career where your organizational, customer-facing, and record-keeping skills are utilized? If so, you should take some time to consider a pharmacy technician job description. This career involves working under the supervision of pharmacists to prepare prescriptions, coordinate insurance payments, keep records of patient information, and manage inventory. Read on to learn more about the job requirements, compensation, and projected growth associated with this career.

What Does The Pharmacy Technician Job Description Include?

Pharmacy technicians are responsible for supporting pharmacists and serving customers in a pharmacy, hospital, grocery store, or nursing home.

Preparing Prescriptions

Maintaining Records

Coordinating Insurance

Supporting Customers

Managing Inventory

Handling Money

Preparing Labels

Additional Responsibilities

What Skills Are Necessary To Be A Pharmacy Technician?

Having a successful career as a pharmacy technician requires keen organizational skills, accuracy, and attention to detail. These come into play when taking orders and preparing prescriptions. Math skills and the ability to make accurate measurements are also necessary when measuring amounts. Pharmacy technicians need to have good people skills because they work directly with patients, the pharmacists, and contacts at insurance companies. Basic computer skills are necessary for record keeping and other administrative duties.

One thing to note about this job is that pharmacy techs will need to spend a lot of time on their feet every day. Pharmacy technicians must have the stamina necessary for this aspect of the job.

What Is The Working Environment Like?

The working environment for pharmacy technicians is generally safe and clean. Usually, pharmacist technicians work full time, although there are part-time positions available. Working hours include all times when a pharmacy is open. Working nights and weekends is usually required. Here is where pharmacy technicians worked most in 2018:

  • Pharmacies (52%)
  • Hospitals (17%)
  • Grocery Stores (8%)
  • Other stores (8%)

How Much Do Pharmacy Technicians Earn?

The median salary for a pharmacy technician is $12.32 per hour, or $32,700 annually. Of all the pharmacists working in 2018, 10% had an annual income that was less than $22,740 and 10% exceeded $48,010 in yearly earnings. Pharmacy technicians in hospitals tend to earn more money than pharmacy technicians who work in other places. Having certification can increase the compensation, as can belonging to a union and working overtime.

Earnings By Work Location:

  • Pharmacies ($30,470)
  • Hospitals ($37,390)
  • Grocery stores ($30,640)
  • Other stores ($31,450)

Career Advancement As A Pharmacy Technician

In this field, opportunities for advancement are not numerous. With certification and on-the-job experience, pharmacy technicians can more into supervisor roles and have increased responsibilities. With seniority comes the ability to negotiate working hours, in some cases. With additional training, some pharmacy technicians may become pharmacists. In general, however, pharmacy technicians stay in their role and work under the supervision of pharmacists.

Benefits

Benefits for pharmacy technicians vary by employer. Full-time pharmacy technicians can have vacation time, health insurance, dental insurance, and retirement packages. Paid training is also sometimes available.

Projected Job Growth From 2018 To 2028

This field of work is expected to grow 7% from 2018 to 2028. This is more than the projected growth for most occupations. In 2018, there were 420,400 jobs available for pharmacy technicians. In 2028, experts expect that there will be 451,900 jobs. This is an increase of 31,500 jobs.

Reasons For The Expected Job Growth

The U.S. population is aging, meaning that more people will need prescription drugs. Additionally, a greater percentage of the population now has access to healthcare and medication. Finally, pharmaceutical companies are developing more and more prescription drugs that are becoming available to the population. For this reason, more and more pharmacy technicians are needed to support the demand.

How Do You Become A Pharmacy Technician?

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Educational Requirements

Certification

Registration

Clean Record of Drug Abuse

Additional Information

If you would like to learn more about the pharmacy technician job description, we recommend contacting the following organizations:

Pharmacy Technician Certification Board
2215 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20037-2985
http://www.ptch.org

Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians
2536 S. Old Hwy. 94, Ste. 214
St. Charles, MO 63303
http://www.nationaltechexam.org

American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists
7272 Wisconsin Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814
http://www.ashp.org

National Pharmacy Technician Association
P.O. Box 683148
Houston, TX 77268
http://www.pharmacytechnician.org

Being A Pharmacy Technician

The pharmacy technician career is currently very stable with good projected growth for the future. Pharmacy technicians work in clean, organized environments where they are on their feet, interacting with people, maintaining inventory, and making records. Being a team-player, having good communication skills, demonstrating a strong sense of responsibility, and strong organizational skills are all necessary to have success in this job.

The yearly earnings of most pharmacy technicians are around $32,700 per year, with some benefits, depending on the employer and the employee's full time status. There are not many educational requirements to become a pharmacy technician, nor are there many opportunities for advancement other than by gaining time through seniority. Usually a high school diploma combined with certification, registration, and a job-specific training program are all that is needed to find a job. Once you have obtained a position, daily responsibilities generally entail preparing prescriptions, coordinating with insurance companies, taking account of inventory levels, and otherwise supporting the pharmacist.