Pharmacy Technicians: Career Guide & Salary Facts

Learn more about careers as pharmacy technicians. Find information on career opportunities, duties and task, education and training, certification, and salary information. View popular schools that prepare students for careers as pharmacy technicians.

Duties & Tasks

Pharmacy technicians are tasked with receiving written prescriptions and refill requests. They must also ensure that all patient and insurance information is accurate and complete. Pharmacy technicians prepare and affix labels, fill prescription bottles with prescribed medication, and maintain stock of medications. Their responsibilities also include answering the telephone, assisting customers with questions, and referring them to the pharmacist for further medical information. Pharmacy technicians also maintain patient medical profiles and other information. Additionally, they are in charge of invoicing supplies, inputting inventory data into the computer system, and notifying supervisors of stock needs.

Education & Training

Those who want to pursue a career as a pharmacy technician must earn a high school education or equivalent. Education requirements vary by state. Some states require students to complete a post-secondary program in pharmacy technology while others only require on-the-job training. These one-year programs teach students how to dispense medications, maintain pharmacy records, and how to utilize pharmacy mathematics. In addition, students learn the fundamentals of pharmacy law and ethics. Students also learn the names, dosages, and uses of medications..

Licensure & Certification

Some states require pharmacy technicians to be certified. Certification is offered by both the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the National Healthcareer Association. Certification is offered by examination and continuing education. Certification may not be required, but it is recommended for employment preference.

Salary & Job Growth

Employment opportunities for pharmacy technicians are projected to increase by 32% from 2010-2020. This increase may be due to a rise in the aging population who are in need of medication. It may also be due to the increasing amount of pharmaceutical research and the creation of new prescription medications. As of 2010, there were 334,400 employed pharmacy technicians. The median pay for pharmacy technicians is $28,400 annually and they earn an average hourly wage of $13.65.

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