Becoming a Certified Pharmacist Technician

Certified Pharmacist Technicians provide clinical and administrative support to the licensed pharmacists in health-related settings. Their responsibilities include dispensing prescription, drugs and other medical devices to patients; instructing on their use; verifying the prescriptions; measuring liquid medicines and counting tablets; taking inventory of pharmacy stock; recording patient, physician and insurance information etc.

In addition, these professionals operate the cash registers and provide other services for customers such as filling out insurance forms, answering various queries etc. They also respond to patients’ phone calls and assist them in medication process.

Certified Pharmacist Technicians are employed in variety of settings such as government and private hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, long-term care facilities, pharmaceutical manufacturers etc. They work on days as well as nights and weekends shifts.

Educational Requirements

To become a Certified Pharmacist Technician, the aspiring candidates need to earn at least a high school diploma or GED, and then required to attend either technical school or community college training programs for 9-12 months, earning a certificate or diploma in pharmacy technology.

The syllabus in this program includes medical terminology, pharmacology, ethics and mathematics. They also learn clinical work, inventory control and the different classes of drugs as part of their training.

Licensure & Certification

Since most states in the USA require a Certified Pharmacist Technician to be licensed, the aspiring candidates need to pass a licensing examination. These professionals can also obtain exam-based certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Skills Set

Apart from the knowledge in patient care, Certified Pharmacist Technician possess wide range of skills such as strong attention to detail, empathy towards patient, physical stamina to work for long duration, recording and management abilities, high medical ethics, understanding the need of the patients, pleasant communications and interpersonal skills, strong math and computer operating skills etc.

Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for a Certified Pharmacist Technician remains excellent in USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 20% from 2012 to 2022, higher than the average for all occupations. The average annual salary of a Certified Pharmacist Technician was $29,320 in 2012.