Pharmacy Technician Jobs and Careers
Pharmacy technicians can be the backbone of any pharmacy. They work alongside licensed pharmacists preparing prescription medications, providing customer service, and performing administrative duties within a pharmacy setting. They often must work with physicians in doctors’ offices confirming prescriptions and refills, as well as serving as an advocate of patient’s insurance and other programs.
Pharmacy technicians can be found working in a number of pharmacy-related entry-level jobs performing a wide variety of responsibilities in addition to the core roles:
Retail Pharmacies: Most pharmacy technicians find work in retail pharmacies (online, health and personal care chains, department stores and grocers) receiving written prescription requests from patients, preparing medications and conducting the basic responsibilities. Sometimes they can be responsible for clerical duties like answering phones, stocking shelves and operating cash registers.
Hospital Pharmacies and Urgent Care Centers: Pharmacy technicians working in general medical, surgical hospitals or urgent care pharmacies can govern the day-to-day operational responsibilities of the dispensary and manufacturing units freeing pharmacists to develop and participate in clinical pharmacy roles.
Nursing Homes and Assisted-Living Facilities: Prepares sterile solutions, delivers medications to nurses or physicians, and records the information onto the patient’s chart.
Job opportunities for pharmacy technicians are expected to be good, especially for those with previous experience, formal training or certification, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.* Job openings may result from employment growth, as well as the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force.
Employment of pharmacy technicians and aides is expected to increase by 25 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
Driving the demand is an increased number of middle-aged and elderly people often more dependent on pharmaceuticals than younger populations. Also consider technological and scientific advancements leading to new drugs and prescription drug coverage; pharmacy workers can be needed in growing numbers.
Pharmacy Technician Career Opportunities
A few additional jobs** many pharmacy technicians may pursue include:
- Pharmaceutical assistant
- Sales representative
If you become a certified pharmacy technician, you can increase your chances of finding employment and possibly increase a salary or wages. Our Career Services team can assist with résumé and job search efforts.
*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Pharmacy Technicians, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm (visited May 22, 2013).Finding employment in your field of interest and the level of compensation may be due to a combination of your own hard work, experience, certification, work attitude and local market conditions.
** These may require additional education or training.