How to Become a Pharmacy Technician
A pharmacy technician is a professional who works in pharmacies and medical fields under the supervision of a certified pharmacist. Their primary tasks include work that does not require professional judgment of a qualified pharmacist. Some of the tasks include packaging, labeling medication, and measuring. Those that work in retail pharmacies take insurance information and prescriptions from customers, arrange consultations, and accept payment.
Usually, the training needed of a pharmacy technician can differ from one state to another. However, all states require that technicians must complete a given training program. It can be a certificate, diploma, or associate degree program. Technical and community colleges provide the training. Some of the courses they take include pharmacy math, customer service, pharmacy computer applications, pharmacology, chemistry, and laboratory skills. Also, they may learn about pharmacy law and ethics, antiseptic techniques, records management, and medical vocabulary.
Licensure or Certification Requirements
Just like the training, licensure requirements vary from one state to another. Some states require the technicians to complete a given college education and pass, while others require registration with the state. Also, you may be required to pay a fee and also pass a criminal background.
Pharmacy Technician Salary
The average salary for pharmacy technicians is about $30,000. The top 10% earned over $42,000 and lowest 10% earned about $20,000. The technicians who worked in hospitals and care centers earned the highest amount.
It is estimated that employment for the pharmacy technicians is likely to grow at 20% for the next three years. The fast growth is attributed to the aging population that requires a lot of care. Usually, as people live longer, they need more medication. Thus, increased access to health care and health insurance is likely to increase the demand for pharmacy technicians. If you want to become one, then you should seek the right training, education, and certification.
As noted above pharmacy technicians work in a wide range of fields. Therefore, your job is not limited to the retail pharmacies. You can look for openings in nursing facilities, outpatient care facilities, and hospitals. During your externship, you are likely to make contacts that can help you get a job upon graduation. Moreover, they can provide you with information about different job opportunities available.