Pharmacy Technician Job Description
Pharmacy technicians work under the direct supervision of a pharmacist. They dispense, fill and check prescription orders for accuracy before giving them to patients. If working in a hospital, pharmacy technicians may also be responsible for taking medications to patients. Responsibilities for pharmacy technician jobs include:
- Processing insurance claims and accepting payment for prescriptions.
- Accepting prescriptions from customers and verifying the legitimacy of the order with the prescribing doctor.
- Counting and measuring the amount of medication for the prescription.
- Transferring medication from vials or bottles into sterile containers.
- Maintaining proper security and storage conditions for all drugs.
- Answering telephones and helping guests with their questions.
- Operating cash registers.
Work Environment and Schedule
Pharmacy technicians work in drug stores, hospitals, and pharmacies located in department stores and grocery stores.
The schedule for a pharmacy technician will vary greatly depending on the place of employment. Working at a hospital will normally require working nights, while working at a grocery store pharmacy will allow you to maintain a more regular schedule.
Pharmacy technicians are required to spend their entire shift standing. Moderate lifting is sometimes required.
How to Become a Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy technicians are often trained on the job, but will eventually need to earn a certification to continue working in the occupation. Most states regulate pharmacy technicians and require a certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board or the National Heathcareer Association. The certification process involves a written test, and many employers will pay for their technicians to take the exam. In addition to the certification, most employers require pharmacy technicians to have a high school diploma and successfully pass a criminal background check.
Pharmacy technicians must be detailed oriented and highly organized. Mistakes in prescription can cause serious health problems, so it’s important that pharmacy technicians are able to focus for long periods of time. Customer service skills are also required, as most pharmacy technicians interact directly with the customers they’re helping.
There are currently 326,270 pharmacy technicians in the United States, with 18,200 new pharmacy technician job openings created each year.
Pharmacy Technician jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Pharmacy Technician Salaries
Pharmacy Technician salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most pharmacy technicians make between $23,400 – $34,600 per year, or $11.24 – $16.62 per hour.