Pharmacy Technician As a Career

65You must have noticed that in some industries, the number of jobs available for newcomers is gradually declining. These sectors are in decline and do not seem appealing as a career opportunity. But healthcare and technology are two fields that continue to grow despite the bad economy. They offer plenty of new opportunities and are somewhat more immune from the effects of outsourcing/offshoring.

As a pharmacy technician, you get to work under supervision of a licensed pharmacist. This can be in a retail setting, in stores like CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Rite Aid etc. Technicians also work in a hospital pharmacy or in a care facility like a rehab center.

Your primary duty is to assist the pharmacist in dispensing the prescription correctly, and working to make sure that the customers and patients are served quickly and efficiently. Specific job description varies based on employer need, but the central function of a pharmacy technician is the same everywhere.

For career advancement you can get specialized training. Nuclear pharmacy, oncology, management are some of the areas most in demand. I would suggest that you work as a technician for a year or so before deciding on specialized training.

As for earning potential, the median hourly rate for pharmacy technicians is $14.10, which keeps you well above the proposed federal minimum wage of $10.00. It is a good way to make a living and also offers advancement opportunities, all for very little initial investment.

The investment I am talking about is regarding time and money it takes to be a pharmacy technician. You can choose to take classes (online or in class), which is usually 6-9 months, and take the certification test. You can also do a self study and appear for certification test. In about a year, you can be ready to enter the job market as a pharmacy technician.

You can choose either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) certification or the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT). They are both nationally recognized-although some states including Texas, accept the PTCB certification only. So, better to check you state’s requirements before making a decision.