Looking for a growing career in the healthcare industry? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there’s an increasing demand for pharmacy technicians with employment projected to rise nine percent through 2024 due to the aging population and need for more prescription medications.1
Pharmacy technicians complete a variety of tasks under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist in environments such as retail pharmacies and hospitals.
How Much Do Pharmacy Technicians Make?
BLS reports the median annual wage for pharmacy technicians in May 2016 was $30,920. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,370, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $45,710.
What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do?
Duties of a pharmacy technician include, but are not limited to:
- Gathering information from customers or healthcare professionals needed to fill a prescription
- Counting pills or measuring medications for prescriptions
- Preparing labels for medications and verifying that the information is correct
- Organizing and stocking medication inventory
- Filing insurance claim forms
- Interacting with customers, doctors’ offices and coworkers to ensure safety of medications
Depending on the workplace setting, pharmacy technicians may also compound or mix medications, as well as make rounds in a hospital to distribute medication to patients.2
Important skills of a pharmacy technician include:
- Customer-service skills. Much of a pharmacy technician’s time is spent interacting with customers, so being helpful and polite is required.
- Close attention to detail. A mistake in filling a prescription can result in serious health problems for patients. Pharmacy technicians must pay attention to detail so that complications are avoided.
- Listening skills. Pharmacy technicians must communicate clearly with pharmacists, doctors and customers.
- Math skills. An understanding of the math concepts used in pharmacies is important when counting pills and compounding medications.
- Organizational skills. Pharmacy technicians need organizational skills to juggle the completion of tasks while providing service to customers.
Upon graduation from a pharmacy technician training program, optional professional certification can tell potential employers that you meet industry standards. National certification exams are taken at the end of your program.
Interested in pursuing a career as a pharmacy technician? Learn more about Brightwood College’s Pharmacy Technician program.
Brightwood College does not guarantee employment or advancement.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Pharmacy Technicians, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm