Is Pharmacy Technician A Good Job?: The ultimate guide to deciding if pharmacy technician is the job for you
If you’re considering studying to become a pharmacy technician, you’ll be wondering what the perks of the job are. Well, there are many.
Key Takeaway: Is Pharmacy Technician A Good Job?
Yes. Pharmacy Technician is a good job for those who are interested in the healthcare field and have strong attention to detail and organizational skills. Job prospects for pharmacy technicians are expected to be good, with employment opportunities expected to grow faster than average for all occupations.
Pharmacy technicians tend to receive good salaries. The pharmaceutical industry is also constantly growing. This means there are plenty of job opportunities for recently qualified pharmacy technicians.
In this guide, we’ll look at all that’s involved in a career as a pharmacy technician. We’ll explore the average salary, the entry requirements, and potential career paths.
This will tell you all you need to know about being a pharmacy technician. That way, you can decide if it’s the right job for you.
What Does A Pharmacy Technician Job Involve?
A pharmacy technician, also known as a pharmacy assistant, provides assistance to pharmacists. Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists mainly by serving customers.
There are other duties carried out by pharmacy technicians. These include filling prescriptions, and notifying customers that their prescriptions are ready. It also includes labeling medications.
Most pharmacy technicians also assist pharmacists in measuring, and counting prescription medications. They’re also involved in labeling and mixing prescription medications.
What Is The Pharmacy Technician Career Path?
The career path of a pharmacy technician can be very varied. However, there are usually good opportunities for career advancement. An individual may start off as a pharmacy technician but quickly climb the career ladder. They may also move into different fields.
Once someone is a certified pharmacy technician, they may earn other specialist certifications. This can lead to greater career advancement opportunities and better salaries. If a pharmacy technician wants to become a pharmacist, they would earn a doctoral degree.
Or, they may choose to go into pharmaceutical research, management, compounding, or sales.
Here are some tips that could help you with your own pharmacy technician career path:
- When you’re a freshman, start applying to pharmacy technician internships. Ask someone in your school or in the industry for opportunities.
- Aspiring pharmacy techs should look for these internships as early as possible.
- During your pharmacy technician training, you can ask your school for job opportunities. Also, be sure to check the school’s job portals.
- You can also make contact with hospitals. They can give you helpful advice and you can ask them about internship opportunities.
- Other places you can look for internships and jobs include drug stores, pharmacies, and local grocery stores.
While you’re looking for a job, you must constantly update and improve your resume. You should also find ways to practice your interview skills.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Pharmacy Technician?
How long it takes you to become a certified pharmacy technician depends on the type of program you choose. If you choose to enroll in traditional pharmacy technician schooling on campus, it will take around two years.
However, many online pharmacy technician courses can be completed in several months. These courses provide flexibility and allow you to fit studying around your own schedule.
Online courses are ideal for people with kids or day jobs. You can study for your pharmacy technician certification exam in your own time.
At the end of the course, you’ll earn your pharmacy technician certificate. This is granted by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. This means you’ll then be a qualified pharmacy technician.
Online courses are a good alternative to the traditional pharmacy technician career path. The process is expedited and far more flexible than studying on campus.
However, most people still study to be pharmacy technicians at a school.
What Requirements Do You Need To Become A Pharmacy Technician?
In order to become certified pharmacy technicians, applicants must meet certain criteria. They must have either a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification.
They will also need to pass background checks. Pharmacy techs must comply with certain Pharmacy Technician Certification Board policies. The final step in becoming a pharmacy technician is to take the certification exam.
These are just the basic steps involved in becoming a pharmacy technician. However, there are many other factors to consider when pursuing a pharmacy technician career.
For example, aspiring pharmacy techs need to pass an accredited pharmacy technician program. This could be online or on campus.
You’ll also need to look for pharmacy tech internships or externships so that you can gain experience on-the-job.
As you can see, pharmacy technicians work very hard to have successful careers in the industry.
What’s The Salary Like For A Pharmacy Technician?
When becoming a pharmacy technician, one of the main things you’ll consider is the salary. Pharmacy technicians are currently in high demand and the demand looks certain to continue in the future.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the average pharmacy technician salary is around $16.87 an hour. This will vary depending on the qualifications you have. It will also depend on your experience, education, and location.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a pharmacy technician is $35,100.
The highest earning 10% of pharmacy technicians earn approximately $50,430 a year. The lowest earning 10% of pharmacy technicians earn around $25,400.
The salary statistics can be broken down further by focusing on the different places in which pharmacy techs typically work.
- Private, state, and local hospitals: $39,290
- Pharmacies and drug stores: $33,110
- Food stores: $32,320
The annual salary of a pharmacy technician increases based on experience within the industry. You can also study for specialist certificates which will lead to salary increases.
As you climb the career ladder you will also see your salary increase. For example, a lead pharmacy technician earns more than a beginner pharmacy tech.
Why Becoming A Pharmacy Technician Is A Good Career
So, is a pharmacy technician a good job? Well, this depends on your own career preferences and ambitions. Still, when it comes to healthcare support jobs, the pharmacy technician role is considered one of the most desirable.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that there were around 415,310 pharmacy technicians working in the U.S. as of May 2020. It also states that 279,806 of these pharmacy technicians were PTCB-certified.
This number has continued to increase steadily. This is because employers favor pharmacy technicians who are PTCB-certified.
The pharmacy technician industry looks set to expand for many years to come. This is due to the aging population of the U.S. So, a career as a pharmacy technician is one of the most secure careers in healthcare support.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the pharmacy technician industry is projected to grow by 4% in the next decade.
This translates to around 31,700 job openings in the industry each year. The majority of these openings will come from current employees retiring. They’ll also come from them transitioning to different positions.
The demand for pharmacy technicians is also likely to increase for two other reasons. These are expansions in pharmaceutical research and increased rates of chronic illnesses.
Where Do Pharmacy Technicians Usually Work?
There are many different places where pharmacy technicians can work. If you relocate to a different part of the country your certification will follow you.
Jobs in retail pharmacies are the most common. This is because there are lots of job opportunities. The tasks involved in retail pharmaceuticals also tend to be the most basic.
Jobs in hospital settings are also common. However, the tasks involved tend to be more complex. These jobs also require a good amount of medical knowledge.
You may also choose to work in the closed-door pharmacy sector. These are jobs in places like mental health institutions, nursing homes, and assisted living centers.
These jobs require unique knowledge and specialist training.
If you choose to work in a compounding pharmacy you’ll need an advanced training level. These roles require above-average math skills.
There are also mail-order pharmacy technician roles available. These roles involve less customer interaction. Your main duty will be filling prescriptions for customers.
Are There Other Jobs That Pharmacy Technicians Can Do?
A career as a pharmacy technician can lead to lots of different opportunities. You could earn promotions internally or branch off into a different career path.
You could end up working in pharmaceutical sales or research. Or, you may progress to become a pharmacist or a medical assistant.
What are the most common duties of a pharmacy technician?
Some of the most common duties of a pharmacy technician include:
- Tracking inventory
- Repackaging bulk medications
- Processing insurance claims
- Dispensing medication to customers
- Filling prescriptions and refill requests
- Packing and labeling medications
- Using sterile and non-sterile processes to prepare compound medications
What computer skills do pharmacy technicians need to have?
The computer skills that pharmacy technicians need include:
- Scheduling appointments
- Software proficiency
- Spreadsheet proficiency
- Maintaining records
- Packaging machine knowledge
- Fast typing speeds
- Resolving discrepancies with billing
- Processing payments
Is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam hard?
The PTCB exam will test your pharmaceutical knowledge. How hard you find it will depend on several factors. These include how much you’ve studied, the questions you’re given, and how good you are at exams.
From 1995 to 2020 the average pass rate for the PTCB test was 72%. In 2020, the average pass rate was 70%.
Do pharmacy technicians need to be good at math?
Yes, as a pharmacy technician you need to have very good math skills. This is because you’ll be using your math skills to work out the dosages of medications. Even small errors in dosage can lead to injury and death.
Becoming a pharmacy technician opens up a whole world of opportunities. There are a wide variety of places you could work and roles that you could perform.
Plus, the salaries tend to be good and the work rewarding.
Of course, it’s not easy to become a pharmacy technician and you’ll need to work hard to achieve this goal. However, you’ll be rewarded with a good career that’ll help you to develop your skills and progress within the healthcare industry.