What is a Pharmacy Technician?
In short, it’s one of the fastest-growing professions in health care. Through the next decade, the United States will see an unprecedented population of senior citizens who depend on prescription medicine. This is merely one factor contributing to the growing need for pharmacy techs.
Every day, prescription drug companies are discovering new medicines used to treat a variety of illnesses and conditions. Naturally, this means more people than ever are visiting the pharmacy and the need to have qualified and certified technicians is rapidly growing.
What is a Pharmacy Technician Salary Potential?
The potential salary of a technician depends on several factors. For example, a tech certified by the Pharmacy technician Certification Board (PTCB) up to $3 more per hour than an uncertified technician. In fact, it will be much harder to get a job in this field without the proper certification and education.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, techs earned an average of $28,000 per year. However, technicians who worked in state, local and private hospitals had a median wage of $32,400 – slightly above those working in pharmacies and drugstores.
What is a Pharmacy Technician Work Environment Like?
Pharmacy techs working in hospitals and some storefront pharmacies may be expected to varying hours, including nights and weekends. While the majority of techs work full-time, there are many who are employed part-time. Techs are expected to spend the majority of a shift on their feet.
Technicians support and work under the direction of a licensed pharmacist. They do customer intake and assist with a variety of customer service and administrative duties to ensure everything runs smoothly and customers receive the proper prescriptions.
What Does it Take to Become a Pharmacy Tech?
The most crucial part of becoming a pharmacy technician is obtaining the right education and certification. Most techs attend school either online or in person and study between a few months to a year, depending on the program they choose.
Educational programs are taught at online colleges, vocational schools and community colleges throughout the country. Students who complete these programs typically earn a certificate of completion or a diploma. However, the most important objective of any school is to prepare graduates to take the PTCB exam.
PTCB certification is recognized by employers all over the United States and many consider it a requirement. Anyone who takes the test to earn this designation will have a much easier time finding employment.
Answering the question: what is a pharmacy technician – is much easier once someone has completed the proper schooling and training requirements.
Preparation is key and choosing a school should not be taken lightly. Prospective students should get as much data as possible form any school they are considering, including job placement data as well as the percentage of students working within a few months of graduation.
Getting the right education will be crucial in finding a great job as a technician working in a reputable pharmacy with plenty of room for advancement and a great salary.