Becoming a Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technicians assist Pharmacist with administrative, technical and operational duties. Their key responsibilities include counting pills, answering to queries, handling prescriptions over phone/fax and in person. While they work under the direct supervision of licensed Pharmacists, they also perform many pharmacy-related functions and procedures. They usually work at clinical settings, community health centers, pharmacies, hospitals, military set ups, care facilities, healthcare organizations etc.

The Pharmacy Technicians are required to be flexible in terms of working hours. They may be asked to work in evening shifts, nights, weekends and even holidays as per the situation, as some hospitals and retail pharmacies are open 24/7.

Education Requirements: The education requirements for Pharmacy Technicians vary from state to state. Some states require a high school diploma, while some others hire candidates with certification or any other short-term programs. The major coursework include pharmacology, basic anatomy, medical terminology, record keeping etc.

Licensure is an important aspect of Pharmacy Technician jobs. The aspiring Pharmacy Technicians must be licensed or registered with the state pharmacy board. The National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA) and Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) offer such certification programs.

Salary & Job Outlook: Job outlook for Pharmacy Technicians remains excellent. It is projected to grow at 20 percent during the period of 2012-22, faster than the average for all other occupations. The average annual salary for Pharmacy Technicians was $29,320 in May 2012.