How Much Does a Compounding Pharmacy Technician Make?
A compounding pharmacy combines its medications in-house for its patients. This is a very skilled job because there can be negative consequences if a compound drug is made incorrectly or contaminated.
Compounding medications is usually done by a pharmacy or pharmacist. They do this with little oversight from a regulatory or governing board. This gives them the flexibility to have more control over the drugs they sell to their patients.
For such an important job, how much does the average compounding pharmacy technician make?
What is a Compounding Pharmacy Technician?
A compounding pharmacy technician works under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. They make formulas and combinations of drugs that suit individual patient needs. They may also combine medications to make their own versions of standard drugs and medications.
What Does a Compounding Pharmacy Technician Do?
There are a few duties that a compounding pharmacy technician has on a daily basis. Such as;
- They speak to patients and investigate their medical needs. They recommend helpful medications or alternative medications that might help.
- They educate patients on how to use the compounding pharmacy medications they stock.
- They maintain all patient drug records.
- They make sure that the pharmacy has sufficient stock of necessary compounding prescription drugs.
- They check patient records to ensure that there are no adverse reactions or effects that can happen by their prescribed drugs.
- They sterilize the area they work in and keep an inventory of any special ingredients that they need.
- They create duplicate medications.
- They package and label medications in line with their company’s standards and regulations.
- They are tasked with preparing medications and mixing them without liability, risk, or toxicity.
Compounding pharmacy tech salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t have salary data for this specific specialization. We can look at the salary data for traditional pharmacy technicians as a guide.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, traditional pharmacy technicians earn an annual average salary of $36,740. Senior pharmacy technicians can make an average pay of $43 580 a year.
The employment market for pharmacy technicians is projected to increase by 5% between 2021 and 2031. This is about 43500 job openings every year. This rate is as fast as the average rate for all occupations.
Pharmacy technicians earn more money working in a hospital setting than anywhere else. The average salary is $38,270 for hospitals. The average salary is $36 090 for food and beverage stores. The average salary is $35 940 for pharmacies and drug stores.
It is also possible for pharmacy technicians to advance in their careers. They can also choose to specialize if they want to. Many pharmacy technicians become pharmacists or managers. They may also branch out into the pharmaceutical industry and becomes pharmaceutical representatives.
How to Become a Compounding Pharmacy Technician
The first step to becoming a compounding pharmacy technician is to become a licensed pharmacy technician.
Some pharmacy technicians take certificate programs, but it’s not always necessary. It depends on the state where you intend to practice. Enrolling in a postsecondary education program or getting a postsecondary degree isn’t a necessity. That said, it’s up to you if you want to do that.
Most pharmacy technicians learn from work experience or on-the-job training. Becoming a compounding pharmacy technician is also a great way to fast-track your way into working in pharmacy services.
High school students should start with relevant courses like biology and chemistry very early on. They must talk to their counselors and find out if there are related clubs and groups that they can join.
To become a compounding pharmacy technician, you need to have a high school diploma. You need the equivalent on-the-job training if you don’t have a diploma. Having a high school diploma or the equivalent is mandatory to become a certified pharmacy technician.
Students who have a high school diploma may also consider getting an associate’s degree. An associate’s degree can take up to 2 years to complete. This often includes practical work like an internship. With students, then taking their Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) afterward.
Pharmacy technicians usually take their certification exam and get certified through a board. It’s important to know which boards are recognized by your state. The are two widely recognized options. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Another route to take is to enroll in certificate programs that provide pharmacy technician training. Depending on the chosen certificate program, a student can find a program that includes on-the-job training in a pharmacy. They may also find a certificate program that takes about 9 months to be completed.
A certified pharmacy technician has been recognized as competent by a qualified board. These credentials aren’t necessary to work as a pharmacy technician in every state.
There are different requirements that pharmacy technicians need to meet to practice. These differ from state to state. States may require that their pharmacy technicians be licensed first. Some states require their pharmacy technicians to be certified before they can practice.
Other states only require that they take exams, have continuing education, and pass background checks.
Once you’ve been certified, the next thing you need to do is get a job and gain some valuable work experience. Try to get as much experience as you can learning about how different drugs interact. Also, work with mixing medications and creating compounds.
First, you have to raise your experience level and profile. Then, you can start looking for compounding pharmacy technician job openings. Employers will typically provide some on-the-job training to provide you with the skills you need.
Certified compounded sterile preparation technician (CSPT)
This certification can be earned from the PTCB. It shows that the pharmacy technician has the expertise to prepare compound medications for individual patients. You must already be certified by the PTCB to be eligible for this certification from them.
Earning this certification can make it easier for you to find jobs in this field. Employers will know immediately that you are competent and qualified.
Do I need to be a certified compounded sterile preparation technician to work in a compounding pharmacy?
It’s not necessary to get this certification before you can work. Either in a compounding pharmacy or become a compounding pharmacy technician. It will look good on your resume to have this certification, however. It might make you stand out more to potential employers.
What are sterile and non-sterile compounds?
The average compounding pharmacy will specialize in sterile or non-sterile compounds. Sterile compounds are medications like injections or infusions. Contaminants in these compounds have a high risk of infection. So they must be made in a sterile environment.
Non-sterile compounds are medications like creams and capsules. They have a lower risk of infection should they be contaminated. They don’t need to be made in a sterile environment.
If you’re interested in a career as a pharmacy technician, this might be for you! Being a compounding pharmacy technician or working at a compounding pharmacy can increase your pay. It can open you up to more job positions.