How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

How to become a Pharmacy Technician

The Basics on How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

Are you investigating how to become a Pharmacy Technician? The main job of a Pharmacy Technician is to measure, mix, count out and label correct dosages of medications as indicated by a prescription order, they do this under the supervision of a Pharmacist. They may also answer simple questions that a customer might have, maintain patient profiles, ensure medications are properly stocked and prepare and process insurance claim forms.

In general, you do not need to earn a post-secondary degree in order to become a pharmacy technician, however, some candidates may complete a post-secondary program such as a diploma or a certificate. In fact, O*NET reports that 14% have some sort of post-secondary certificate. In 2012 it was reported that there were 213 ASHB fully accredited programs – including a few offered by drug stores.[ii]

What Are Hurdles to Becoming A Pharmacy Technician?

The biggest hurdle I found was getting any relevant experience in the field. Most pharmacies look for staff with relevant experience, which reduces the chances of taking on someone new to pharmacies. I managed to apply as a counter person, which allowed me to at least work in the pharmacy environment even if not dispensing medicine. I used this experience to my advantage to leverage my way into the pharmacy technicians role and negotiating with the company to put me through my training.
Michelle McConnell - Pharmacy Technician
Click To Tweet!click to tweet
- Michelle McConnell, Pharmacy Technician at DrFelix

A Pharmacy Technician's Salary Potential

Average Salary for a Pharmacy Technician
[ABOVE] National Salary Averages for a Pharmacy Technician[iii]

Top States with the Highest Salary Averages[iv]

StatesLowest 10th% SalaryHighest 90th% Salary
Washington$30,210$51,020
Alaska$28,910$51,920
California$26,500$55,880
Oregon$25,890$45,570
District of Columbia$25,620$71,720

How Do Your Skills Stack Up?

Day to day life of a Pharmacy Technician

As reported by O*NET, these types of tasks are conducted every day or are important in this role – would you feel comfortable performing these tasks as part of the day to day life of a Pharmacy Tech?[i]

What Will You Learn with an Associate – Pharma Technician Degree?

An associate pharma technician degree may cover courses such as:

  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacy Calculations
  • Basic Clinical Procedures

Associate in pharma technician degrees usually include both general education requirements—such as English or science courses—and a variety of medical and pharmaceutical technology courses. In addition to the fundamentals of pharmacology, topics covered may include medical office practice; pharmacy maintenance, safety, and quality; and administrative inpatient and outpatient practices. In some cases, students may also complete a capstone project that highlights the skills and experience they gained through their studies.

Did You Know

According to O*NET, here are a few interesting pieces of information:

  • This job requires the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it, 80% of the time
  • 58% said that it is extremely important to repeat the same physical activities (e.g., key entry) or mental activities (e.g., checking entries in a ledger) over and over, without stopping, to performing this job
  • 63% said they are exposed to diseases or infections on a daily basis
  • 53% said they encounter conflict situations once a week or more but not every day

FAQs About How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

What is the average Pharmacy Technician salary?

Do Pharmacy Technicians need to be Certified?

What skills do Pharmacy Technicians Possess?

What job titles are similar or the same as a Pharmacy Technician?

What are common types of software I would have to learn as a Pharmacy Tech?/h5>

What types of personalities are a good fit for becoming a Pharmacy Tech?

 

Sources:[i] O*NET | [ii] bls.gov | [iii] bls.gov/oes | [iv] BLS Salary Data | Job information sourced from O*NET