THE BASICS OF A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN CAREER IN WISCONSIN
In the medical field, pharmacies are essential for getting medicine to patients. With a growing elderly population and increasing medication discoveries, the pharmacy field is sure to continue growing. For this reason, pharmacy technicians are in high demand across the country. This job is suitable for those who have good science, math, and customer service skills. Being able to pay attention to detail is also very important. [Leer en español]
Pharmacy technicians are trained specialists who assist pharmacists with any day-to-day tasks that may occur in a pharmacy. Besides helping fill prescriptions, and helping calculate dosages, pharmacy technicians provide other services such as gathering prescription and insurance information, requesting pharmacist consultations for customers, helping stock medications, organizing medications in storage, and packaging and labeling prescriptions.
Over half of all pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies and retail drugstores. However, some pharmacy techs also work in hospital settings and general merchandise stores. The duties of pharmacy technicians vary in different job settings, depending on how much customer interaction there is and how much medication needs to be processed at a time.
HOW DO YOU BECOME A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN?
Wisconsin doesn’t regulate pharmacy technicians, so you can begin as soon as you turn 18 and have your high school diploma or GED. However, it’s highly recommended that you take a pharmacy technician training program accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) or Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
By training in a formal program, you’ll be prepared to enter the job field quickly. You’ll also have the required training to become licensed in another state if you move. You can also find pharmacy tech training resources on the ASHP website.
Another way to train as a pharmacy technician is through a program offered by an employer. However, training in a program is ultimately better, because pharmacies would like to hire you already trained.
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN SCHOOLS IN WISCONSIN
These are a few Wisconsin schools that offer pharmacy technician programs and are also accredited:
Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC)
The downtown Milwaukee campus of this technical school offers a 16-week pharmacy technology diploma. Classes begin in August and January, and there is no waiting list to be accepted into the program. Students will be able to successfully take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam at the end of the program.
Located in Madison, this program has been accredited by the ACPE and lasts 18 weeks. The program’s current total cost for non-employee students is $3,400. While training in a pharmacy-specific training center, students receive face-to-face, lab, and experiential training.
Penn Foster Career School
Penn Foster offers an affordable, ASHP Accredited online Pharmacy Technician course and training program. More information.
WISCONSIN REGULATION OF CERTIFIED PHARMACY TECHNICIAN
The state of Wisconsin does not regulate pharmacy technicians or require any type of certification. However, becoming a certified pharmacy technician by a national testing association, such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board which regulates the pharmacy technician certification exam, greatly increases your ability to secure a job and receive competitive wages. Working with medication is a very detailed task, so becoming certified is the best way to ensure you handle medications correctly.
SALARY AND JOB OUTLOOK FOR PHARMACY TECHS
Even though this career does not require post-secondary education in Wisconsin, skilled pharmacy technicians are paid considerably well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook in 2020, Wisconsin pharmacy technicians earned a median income of $17.63 per hour and an annual salary of $36,670.
Pharmacy technician jobs are increasing all over the country, which is also true in Wisconsin, where their employment rate is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020-2030.
WHERE SHOULD YOU START YOUR PHARMACY TECHNICIAN CAREER?
If you’re prepared to get started as a pharmacy technician, you might be wondering which places will maximize your earning potential and provide plenty of jobs.
The BLS reports that, in 2018, the Wisconsin cities with the largest number of pharmacy technicians were Milwaukee and Madison. Milwaukee also has one of the highest employment rates for pharmacy techs in the state, along with the northwestern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area.
No matter where you choose to work, your pharmacy technician career should give you many options for employment. People everywhere need medication and specialists provide that medication. Pharmacy technicians won’t be disappearing any time soon.
What are the best pharmacy technician schools in Wisconsin?
- Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee
- Gateway Technical College, Kenosha
- Blackhawk Technical College, Janesville
- Lakeshore Technical College, Cleveland
- Rasmussen College, Green Bay
- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay
How do you become a pharmacy technician in Wisconsin?
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a high school diploma or GED
- Wisconsin does not regulate pharmacy technicians
How much do pharmacy technicians make in Wisconsin?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians in the state of Wisconsin made an average of $36,670 per year in 2020. Entry-level pharm techs earned around $28,850 and some experienced professionals earned as much as $47,000.