Considering a career as a pharmacy technician? Get the facts about training, certification, and job outlook to see if this is the right career for you.
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A pharmacy technician is an allied health professional who helps licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication to patients. They perform various tasks such as stocking shelves, counting pills, and answering customer questions. Pharmacy technicians typically work in retail or hospital settings. It is not a hard job but it is important.
Duties of a pharmacy technician
The duties of a pharmacy technician vary from state to state, but there are some common tasks that most technicians are responsible for. In general, pharmacy technicians:
-Receive and process prescription requests from patients and doctors
-Prepare prescription medications by counting, pouring, measuring, and mixing drugs
-Label and dispense prepared prescriptions
-Maintain inventory levels of both prescription and over-the-counter drugs
-Provide customer service to patients and doctors
-Answer phones and respond to customer inquiries
-Handle insurance billing and claims
Education and Training
Becoming a pharmacy technician is not as hard as one might think. There are a few steps that need to be followed in order to become a certified pharmacy technician. The first step is to attend an accredited pharmacy technician program. Once you have completed the accredited pharmacy technician program, you will need to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). After you have passed the PTCE, you will then need to apply for a state license.
What kind of education is needed?
While there are no formal education requirements to become a pharmacy technician, most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a pharmacy technician training program. These programs are typically offered by community colleges, technical schools, and vocational schools. Some Pharmacy Technician programs may even be offered online.
Most training programs take anywhere from six to twelve weeks to complete, and will cover topics such as medical ethics, pharmacy law, pharmacology, and medicinal preparations. After completing a training program, pharmacy technicians must then pass a standardized national exam in order to be certified.
Where can you get training?
There are several ways to complete your training to become a pharmacy technician. You can attend a traditional brick-and-mortar school, or you can choose an online program. You can also complete a training program offered by a pharmacy. Some community colleges offer certificate programs, as well.
Once you have completed your training, you will need to pass a national certification exam. After you have passed the exam, you will be registered with the National Healthcare Association as a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).
While pharmacists always require a Pharm.D. degree and must complete a residency, certification for pharmacy technicians is not always required depending on the state. In some states, it is only required for those who wish to work in a hospital setting. Nationally, though, certification is becoming more and more common.
What is certification?
Certification is the act of attesting to the truth of something and establishing it as a fact. In other words, certification is like saying, “Yes, this thing is definitely true.”
The term “certification” is often used in regards to academic degrees and professional licenses. For example, someone might say that they are certified to practice law or medicine. This means that they have gone through the necessary training and have been given a certificate attesting to their competence in these fields.
Becoming a certified pharmacy technician generally requires completing a certified pharmacy technician training program and passing an exam. Some states also have additional certification requirements, such as continuing education credits or passing a background check.
How do you become certified?
There are many ways to become a certified pharmacy technician. Although certification is not required in all states, it is always recommended. Certification shows that you have the knowledge and skills needed to be a successful pharmacy technician.
There are two main organizations that offer certification for pharmacy technicians: the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcare Association (NHA). To be eligible for certification, you must usually have a high school diploma or equivalent, complete a training program, and pass an exam.
The PTCB offers the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential. To be eligible for the CPhT exam, candidates must have at least one year of on-the-job training or equivalent experience as a pharmacy technician. Candidates must also complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years to keep their certification current.
The NHA offers the Certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) credential. To be eligible for this credential, candidates must have completed an accredited EMT training program and passed the national cognitive and psychomotor exams. Candidates must also complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years to keep their certification current.
Once you have passed your exam and been awarded your credential, you will need to maintain it by completing continuing education requirements every two years. You will also need to renew your credential every four years.
The job outlook for pharmacy technicians is positive. Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 9 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. An aging population and a greater emphasis on preventive care will lead to increased demand for prescription medications.
What is the job outlook for pharmacy technicians?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for pharmacy technicians is positive, with a projected growth rate of 7% from 2019 to 2029. This is faster than the average growth rate for all occupations. The demand for pharmacy technicians is expected to increase as the population ages and more people use prescription medications.
As of May 2019, the median annual salary for pharmacy technicians was $32,700, which is higher than the median annual salary for all occupations of $32,600. The top 10% of pharmacy technicians made more than $46,880, and the bottom 10% made less than $21,370. So, if you’re looking to make a good salary as a pharmacy tech, you’re in luck!
How much do pharmacy technicians make?
Nationally, the average hourly wage for pharmacy technicians is $15.86 per hour, or $33,030 per year, which is a little over minimum wage. Some pharmacy technicians make closer to $10 per hour while others make more than $20 per hour. Your salary as a pharmacy technician will largely depend on your employer, your experience, and your location.