Skip to main content

Everything You Need to Know about Becoming a Pharmacy Technician

5 minute read

By Check

As the population continues to age and national health care reform takes shape, the demand for health care professionals will rise. If you pursue a career as a pharmacy technician, you can expect that demand will increase and positions will be available in pharmacies and hospitals throughout the country. The median salary range for a pharmacy technician in 2015 was around $30,000.

Job Tasks

As a pharmacy technician, you would assist pharmacists in dispensing prescription medication to clients or other health care professionals. You would be expected to gather the data needed to correctly fill prescriptions, measure medication, label prescriptions, and manage medication inventory. Additionally, you’ll be required to accept customer payments, process insurance information, and coordinate customer interactions with pharmacists when necessary.

Since more and more pharmacies are opened 24/7, you may be expected to work a schedule that could reach all hours and on all days.

Job Outlook and Security

Many societal factors will contribute to the job security of pharmacy technicians in upcoming years. The population is aging and living longer in general, and as a result, more people will develop chronic diseases or conditions that will require long-term prescription medication.

National health care reform will continue to push for more coverage for more people, driving demand for pharmaceuticals. Corporations will continue to invest in research and development, potentially discovering additional drug treatments for ailments.

As pharmacists continue to move into health care roles such as providing wellness services, you might be expected to take over tasks traditionally handled by pharmacists such as preparing medications and checking junior-level professionals’ work.

As a result, the employment of pharmacy technicians is expected to increase 9 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is more rapidly than the average for all careers.

You would be supervised by a pharmacist and the scope of your work may be limited by individual state laws. For instance, in some states, you may be allowed to mix some medications, contact doctors’ offices to obtain authorizations for prescription refills, and use automatic dispensers to complete customer orders.

If you are a pharmacy technician who works in a hospital or clinic, you might be required to prepare and dispense intravenous medications.

Education and Licensing

Most pharmacy technicians have a high school diploma, and some earn post-secondary education certificates or associate degrees. All obtain on-the-job training and experience, and most states will require you to pass an exam, obtain state certification and participate in continuing education to work as a pharmacy technician.

If you choose to enroll in a community college or a vocational school, you would take classes in math, bookkeeping, medication dispensing, and law and ethics. You would probably be required or encouraged to work at a pharmacy or hospital as part of your degree program as well.

Industry organizations such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the National Healthcareer Association offer certifications to help young professionals reach their goals.

Skills and Strengths

If you have natural abilities in the following areas, you might be well suited for a career as a pharmacy technician:

How to Find a Job

Pharmacies are located throughout cities and towns today so application opportunities can be readily available. You can check openings of major pharmaceutical chains and search by locations near your home. Online clearinghouses can also provide leads on job openings in your area. You may want to check your local hospitals, medical facilities or clinics and find out if they operate pharmacies within their facilities. Don’t forget the pharmacy locations at major super stories or grocery chains as well.

Benefits of Working as Pharmacy Technician

As you consider your career options, becoming a pharmacy technician can hold many benefits. Here are just a few to ponder:

Although many people enjoy being a pharmacy technician, it can also be a stepping stone for other health-care related careers. You will learn a great deal about many facets of health care services, which can be built upon to achieve whatever your future career aspirations may be.

Iakov Filimonov /




Securing a High-Income Future: Exploring the Top Paying Plumbing Jobs Career

Securing a High-Income Future: Exploring the Top Paying Plumbing Jobs

Key Takeaways With experience, education, and specialized certifications, you can open the doors to top-paying jobs in the world of plumbing. From consultant and inspector roles to master plumber, these careers underline just how lucrative this industry can be. The field of plumbing, often overlooked as a high-earning potential career path, offers an array of […]

Read More about Securing a High-Income Future: Exploring the Top Paying Plumbing Jobs

4 minute read

Travel Nursing 101: Keys to Earning More in Your Career Career

Travel Nursing 101: Keys to Earning More in Your Career

Key Takeaways Generous salaries are just the beginning, as travel nurse compensation packages typically include housing stipends, meal allowances, and cash bonuses. To maximize your earnings, it’s essential to specialize your skill set, isolate the states which pay the most, and network like a pro. Travel nursing offers exciting opportunities for healthcare professionals who crave […]

Read More about Travel Nursing 101: Keys to Earning More in Your Career

3 minute read