Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians provide medication and healthcare to patients under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Technicians perform many tasks that include receiving and ensuring the accuracy of patient prescriptions, and establishing and updating prescription files. Approximately 75 percent of pharmacists work in retail pharmacies. However, a number of technicians are employed in hospitals, wholesale and online pharmacies, and government agencies.

The employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to increase by 31 percent over the next ten years. Though there are no national requirements to become a pharmacy technician, those with certifications and formal training have access to better employment and advancement opportunities than those who do not.

Voluntary certification for pharmacy technicians can be earned through nationally recognized private institutions, such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the Institute of the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT). These certifications are not required by most states, but are highly favored by employers.

More Information About Pharmacy Technicians:

  • The employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to increase by 31 percent over the next ten years.
  • Approximately 75 percent of pharmacists work in retail pharmacies.
  • Even though on-the-job-training is provided, technicians with formal training can expect to earn a higher salary.
  • Pharmacy technicians have better advancement opportunities in larger pharmacies, where they could advance to supervisory positions.
  • Technicians can also advance into specialty positions such as chemotherapy or nuclear technician.
  • Voluntary certification can be earned through institutions like PTCB and ICPT.

Pharmacy technicians assist the pharmacist in preparatory prescription procedures, maintaining prescription files, and providing accurate medications to customers. Pharmacy technicians programs can be completed within six months to a year, in addition to on-the-job training. The job outlook is expected to increase, but those with certification and formal training will have access to better employment and job advancement opportunities.

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