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An Overview on Pharmacy Technicians

Unlike other careers, being a pharmacy technician does not have any national standard training. However, employers highly prefer applicants who have completed a formal training as well as those who have certifications. The median salary of a pharmacy technician is around $12.32 per hour. They have a very wide array of responsibilities which include receiving and filling prescription requests from patients, pricing and labeling of prescriptions, preparing insurance claim forms, answering phone calls, creating inventory for over the counter medication supplies, updating patients’ profiles and manning the cash register. Of course, they perform all of these duties under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist.

Some of the most common work places of a pharmacy technician are hospitals, retail or mail-order pharmacies, department stores, nursing homes and grocery stores. They work on a very flexible schedule. There are times when they have to report even if it is a holiday or weekend. If they work on a pharmaceutical facility that operates on a 24 hour basis, then they may have to work at night too. They may also do a little heavy lifting as they need to restock supplies on the shelves. Some employers hire pharmacy aides to assist a technician in doing such clerical assignments. Key traits that will help a pharmacy tech become successful in this field are accuracy and precision. They should be able to build strong customer relations and have excellent mathematical skills. Ability to follow directions and spelling and reading capabilities are also helpful.

As discussed earlier, employers favor pharmacy technicians who have previous work experience and completed formal training. They can enroll in a program from any community college, vocational school or hospital. Schools usually include internship and extensive educational courses in their training programs. Once a student has completed all of these, he or she will be given a diploma, an associate’s degree or a certificate. These programs are designed to teach students how to create inventories, measure dosages, count tablets and pills and operate computers. The certification for this job can be acquired from two private organizations: Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technician. Although getting a certificate is optional, some states require their pharmacy techs to be certified. Another important requirement in applying for this job is a clean record. A person who has a history of drug abuse will not be hired as a pharmacy technician.

The job outlook for this career is truly promising in the coming years. With the inevitable developments of new medicines and drugs, pharmacy techs will be given certain responsibilities that are performed by pharmacists. And because numerous retail pharmacies and stores are being build every day, this will also increase the job opportunities for pharmacy technicians. Positions will be available in different states and cities as there will be people who leave the field due to a change in career. There are also advancement opportunities for pharmacy technicians. They can be promoted to a supervisor or a specialty position if they pursue the proper education.

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