Pharmacy Technician Career

What You Do in This Career

Pharmacists may get the glory, but pharmacy technicians do the real work: preparing prescription medications (counting pills), speaking with customers, taking prescription orders, stocking shelves, and doing administrative work. Some work in mail order pharmacies, which reduces the customer service aspect. If you liked measuring things out in high school chemistry, or even if you’ve always been good at baking which also requires accurate weights and measures, this might be the career for you. What they don’t do is answer questions about prescriptions, drug information or health matters; that is the pharmacist’s job. The work is simple, the pay rate is good, and the hours are regular.

Salary and Career Path

Hourly wages for pharmacy technicians average around $13.32, although the highest 10% earn over $19 per hour. Certified technicians earn more than non-certified technicians. The increasing numbers of middle-aged people who use more prescription drugs than other age groups ensures that this career will be in demand for a while, so job security is another plus for this career. Unfortunately, since the job is so simple, opportunities for advancement are few unless you want to go into managerial or supervisory roles.

What Kind of Degree or Coursework You Need

There are no formal training requirements for pharmacy technicians, but job seekers will find that having formal training, certification and experience will be to their advantages. Most pharmacy technicians receive on the job training from between 3-12 months, but for those who want more education to boost their resumes, community colleges, vocational schools and the military offer programs from 6-12 months long. Classes include medical and pharmaceutical terminology, medical technology, pharmaceutical calculations, recordkeeping, pharmacy law and ethics. Technicians also have to learn the names of each drug and what each drug does, along with dosages. Because technicians are often required to do office work as well, taking courses in Excel might also be useful.

Top Online Health Services Programs

Herzing University
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Herzing University — With a 45 year history, Herzing University is an accredited university that offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees as well as diplomas in over 45 different programs. The AS in Medical Assisting program builds on the online diploma program by incorporating the general education requirements required for this level of degree. Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Adventist University of Health Sciences
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Adventist University of Health Sciences — Founded in 1992, the Adventist University of Health Sciences is formerly the Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences, a school focused on privding higher education in the several fields of healthcare. The BS in Health Information Technology program prepares students to become radiologic technicians. Adventist University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Pima Medical Institute
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Pima Medical Institute — Pima Medical Institute, founded in 1972, is a private, regionally accredited career university offering certificates, associate, and bachelor's degrees for careers in the healthcare industry. The BS in Radiologic Sciences program prepares students to perform the duties and responsibilies of a radiologists. Pima is accredited by organizations in several fields of healthcare including the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology

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