What is a Pharmacy Technician?
If you ever wondered what a pharmacy technician is, then your answer would be quite simple. A pharmacy technician is one of the health care professional that usually deals with many pharmacy functions and attributions. His job is being held under the strict observation of a licensed pharmacist, so team work will be necessary in order of maintaining a good work environment.
Job description of a Pharmacy Technician
Sometimes being known under the name of pharmaceutical technician, a professional in this job will work in the line duty of medications and assisting pharmacists with dispensing prescriptions, or in the administrative duty line.
Their responsibility is to advise the patience regarding the prescriptions and the usage of the medicine given, also they inform the patients on the risks that might emerge if the medicine is not properly administered. They will also have to prepare ointments, answer phones, label medications, process insurance claims, and verify the client’s information with their doctors in order to fill the prescription as needed.
Your work as a pharmacy technician is also based on inventories, measure proper medication and counting it as well as to provide other needed medical products to patients in need, and complete forms of pharmaceutical dosage. All this work being made under surveillance of another pharmacist like was early reminded.
How to become a Pharmacy Technician?
Your dream of becoming a pharmacy technician starts in high school by obtaining a diploma that will allow you to continue on a full basis education level. The first step is to be informed what this job entails and what can you do to work in this branch.
If you are sure that you really want to become a pharmacy technician then here are some great tips and a few steps to follow to achieve your dream. You can search in your area for training programs that are not only accredited but will also guarantee a good preparation in order to pass the PTCB exam or with other words the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.
You can find pharmacy technician programs online in many colleges or if you prefer in other offline technical or vocational institutions that will last one year, more or less according to each program. The online college pharmacy training programs will offer you the opportunity to keep your current job and also to study in your own terms and when you have much free time to do that.
The aim of the pharmacy training programs is to prepare you for your future work allowing you to learn about the main duties that this profession require. For example, you’ll be taught how to know and be able to determine which the right dosage is, and to dispense medication and so on. There are programs that will teach you several skill procedures that are needed such as ethics, communicating the accurate information to the patient, organizational and customer skills, team work skills, also the ability to pay attention to details which in every job, especially this one will make a difference for the best.
If your options are not to apply for one of the training programs in the line of pharmacy technician through a school or college then you can apply for pharmacy technician training program that will be offered by the pharmacy. Make sure that the line of training will prepare you fully for the PTCB exam where this certification once received will help you to get a job in the line of pharmacy.
What is important to achieve and obtain if you want to become a pharmacy technician is experience and fulfill all the necessary and required certification procedures. There are states in US that will require from you to be a pharmacy assistant to have hundreds of hours worked in a pharmacy before actually receiving a certification. All this procedure will help you in receiving an adequate job experience.
There is a difference between the pharmacy assistant and pharmacy technician positions since, in the first one, the education level is way easier than in the second one. So for becoming a pharmacy assistant you’ll learn less. The great news is that with working so may hours the experience received is of great value when it comes to obtain a job on the position of pharmacy technician.
The Pharmacy Technician Board according to each state will provide each person that will want to obtain certification the following requirements that must be fulfilled such as agreeing with the certification policies of PTCB and take them into account, to have a passing score at the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam and so on.
And then the last thing to do is search for a job by letting your colleges or training professors know that you are available for a pharmacy technician who is certified. If your experience was received as a pharmacy assistant then you can ask the manager if the pharmacy will or is hiring technicians. The certification will grant you the opportunity to work in any pharmacy that you like across the US.
Work Environment and schedule
You can find work in various settings alongside of a licensed professional in this branch, in nursing homes, hospitals, community pharmacies, pharmaceutical organizations, other care facilities, insurance companies and so on. Their work is full time or part time and as a pharmacy technician you’ll be standing most of the time.
Working in pharmacies will assume that you’ll have to spend weekends and nights at work if the pharmacies are opened at any hour of the day and night. The majority of these professional will work full time, this involving shift in their schedule of work.
Their work is held in a clean and safe environment, well organized and with areas which are proper ventilated and lighted. Their work might involve lifting heavy boxes as well as bringing required supplies from the shelves that might be much higher.
Pros and cons of Pharmacy Technician
A pharmacy technician job involves working in various settings with great opportunities of being an aid to people in need. The places in which you’ll develop your career are places like retail pharmacies and other. Your job duties consist mainly in assisting the Pharmacist by preparing required medication for the costumer’s prescriptions.
The daily tasks will involve labeling bottles, making sure that the right amount of pills and liquids are being administered. When it comes to working with the customers, you’ll record the dosage amounts. The minimum requirements for these kinds of jobs are to possess a high school diploma though in some state you’ll need training and some specific exam requirements.
The career opportunities in this field are very well placed, and you don’t have to worry that you’ll miss your chances for advancement. A pharmacy technician career serves as a good starting point for those that follow. In many states, you can start with a technician work when you’ve turned 18 and gain experience in this field while you can start a college training program.
As a pharmacy technician, you can rest assured that your services are in high demand since the aging people’s number is growing, and so is the baby booming age. The medicines that you’ve administer as well as the health care given are a huge aid for everyone.
Your work many times is very repetitive and doing the same thing many times will result in boredom. You spend the days of your life pretty much doing the same thing, and you’ll get to spend most of your day standing. With other words, this job can be as well physically demanding so prepare yourself to move to the computer, the front counter and the inventory that has to be done. In crowded pharmacy areas, you’ll have work as quickly as possible and with less stopping to fulfill this job.
The emotional stress factor won’t miss from this career. Often the accuracy is very vital when you’re dealing with customers, and filling out prescriptions incorrectly, or mislabel the bottles can be marked as a huge danger for the health of others.
Many customers become angry or frustrated because they have to wait in line for more than a couple of minutes, and you’ll have to deal with some unsatisfied customers or even rudeness. The work schedule is many times irregular, and you’ll have to spend some hours on the phone also speaking with the insurance companies.
Pharmacy Technician job growth
For the next ten years or so the employment growth according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics is projected at 9%. One of the reasons for this increased rate is due to the aging baby boomer population that is consuming more and more medication. In the pharmacy sector, there is a gradual growth also with the new drug prescriptions that are approved and consumed by the American population.
The job level in this career field is very satisfactory, and there are plenty of job opportunities that these professionals can enjoy. Pharmacy technicians can find work in various settings such as grocery stores, or general merchandise stores, or even in department stores, hospitals, pharmacies and other as well.
Pharmacy Technician Salary
A pharmacy technician salary will vary greatly according to numerous and diverse, influential factors. The average salary will be influenced according to location and the work responsibility that he assumes when being there. The job description and requirements will be different not to mention the fact that some employees will expect that the pharmacy technician will be present in any hour of the day while other will keep the usual and standard working program.
Even if you do not need a higher level of preparation to enter and work in this filed the main factors will help you choose a good position of work as a pharmacy technician. The salary will depend on experience that you’ve gained in this field, location and type of settings, public or private.
According to various industries, a pharmacy technician will receive a different salary depending a lot on the type of pharmacies that will hire a person. For example if you are hired at a General Surgical or Medical Hospital the average salary will be estimated to reach $33,845 while being hired in a Grocery Story Pharmacy then you can expect to an average salary estimated at $29,045. There aren’t many differences among the branches of pharmacies, thus it is possible to find work in many of these settings.
The difference might be seen in hospitals where employers will grant a competitive salary due to the fact that many pharmacy technicians are required to stay many hours compared to other fields that are related and you can work as a pharmacy technician and the hours of work are standard.
Another important role in the average salary is played by the top pharmaceutical locations such as the Federal Branch pharmacies, Outpatient Care Centers, Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Facilities and so on. For example, an average pharmacy technician salary in the Federal Branch pharmacies will reach $40,355 while in the Outpatient Care Centers will reach $37,985. The Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Facilities will offer an average salary for a pharmacy technician that will be estimated to reach about $38,855.
Since these facilities will require from a pharmacy technician to get more responsibilities than in other settings like teaching other pharmacy technicians how to do properly their work task, or to offer research in the category of new drugs. This job demanding will raise the salary of a pharmacy technician in this kind of locations opposed to the locations mentioned earlier such as Grocery Stores where you’ll be provided with guidance and you’ll be supervised.
Location is yet another important factor when it comes to a pharmacy technician salary, this involving a huge difference between the rural and urban areas as well as the metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. Looking at many metropolitan areas such as San Jose-Sunnyvale (California), we’ll see that the annual average salary for a Pharmacy Technician is estimated to reach $45,780 while, in the non-metropolitan area of Eastern Texas, an annual average salary will reach $27,955.
This is mainly due to the demanding in the area, since, in a non-metropolitan area, the customers are quite limited compared with a metropolitan area where the factor of demanding and the factor of business competitiveness is much higher.
Another factor which plays its role is the pharmacy technician salary according to state and the best paying states in this branch of the profession. The highest best paying states in the pharmacy technician job are to be found in California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois and so on. For example in California, a pharmacy technician will receive an income that reaches $38,390 while in Texas will reach $30,945.
But when it comes to states another important factor that will influence the pharmacy technician positions and the paid salaries can be found in the positions that are already found. The highest states pharmacy technicians concentration can be found in Maine, Kentucky, and Tennessee and so on. For example in Maine, the average salary is about $29,095 while, in Kentucky, it will reach $25,665.
The job opportunities are really great if you want to advance in this career field, you can wait to do some additional training and grow up your educational level to find a well-paid job, this of course involving a higher level of responsibility. According to the type of positions in the pharmacy technician branch that are available you can find work as an assistant pharmacy director where you’ll receive an average salary of $134,260 while working in the same branch as a Pharmacy Information Systems Manager where your average salary will reach $114,827. These jobs involve many responsibilities compared to those of a simple pharmacy technician.
Salary of a Pharmacy Technician in 2015
The pharmacy technician salary in 2015 has its ups and downs in the economic flux due to the factors that influence it. For instance you have to be careful of what type of employer do you work, the state in which you are working like in any other has its highest and lowest points. The level of experience that you possess is a huge contributor to your advancement opportunities if you are in a search for this.
In the US, the salary for a pharmacy technician is estimated to reach $28,435 per year with great chances to increase it by advancing in this career.
Pharmacy Technician Salary in 2016
The median income of a pharmacy technician, in 2016, in the US is estimated at an average of around $31,267 per year. The starting point in the salary in this career is $19,386 reaches up to $47,462. The granted bonuses for these professionals are estimated to reach up to $808 while the profit sharing that is granted is comprised between $50.18 and $3,028. The commission usually reaches at $205, this leading in the end after all these benefits to a total payment that is comprised between $18,965 per year and $38,363 per year, according to the salary data survey provided by PayScale.
The incomes are usually affected by the geographical location, years of experience in the field, type of employment as well as other. Taking into consideration the years of experience in the field, an entry-level pharmacy technician with up to five years at the working site can expect a median annual income of around $24,010 per year while one individual that already has 5 to 10 years of experience can reach up to $30,010 per year.
The more years of experience you gain at the working site, the earnings are starting increase slowly but gradually. An experienced pharmacy technician with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to take home an average median income that reaches up to $33,010. That is not a huge difference when you compare it with the early amount of a middle career pharmacy technician.
On a senior scale, a late career pharmacy technician with more than 20 years in the field can expect to take home an average income that gets around $36,010 per year. On the other hand, the place of residence is one of the major factors that impacts and affects the salaries of these professionals. The national average is estimated at $26,023 per year.
The best regions to work in this field and find high attractive earnings are to be found in San Diego, Dallas, Los Angeles, Huston, Phoenix and other as well. Being considered as above the national average, San Diego offers earnings that reach at a median payment of around $33,632 per year while Los Angeles announces earnings of $32,245 per year.
A certified pharmacy technician can except at a median income that gets around $30,724 per year. The starting point is estimated at $20,502 per year and $44,452 per year. The bonuses tend to reach generally at $926 while the profit sharing is comprised between $96.75 and $2,567. The commission for these professionals usually reaches at $101.76 this leading to a total payment that is estimated between $20,347 and $38,326.
Pharmacy Technician salary in Canada, Australia and UK
- Working as a Pharmacy Technician in Canada you’ll earn an annual income that will be comprised between CAD$21,495 and CAD$41,285 per year. Whereas, in Ontario, Canada, the average salary will be estimated to reach CAD$25010. The salary will be influenced greatly by the number of factors that are to be found in the health care industry and in any other profession. An average hourly wage will be estimated for a pharmacy technician in Canada to reach CAD$14.17 per hour.
- In Australia, the annual salary for a person working as a pharmacy technician will be estimated to vary between AU$31,870 and AU$47,585 per year while the average hourly wage for someone working in this branch will be estimated to reach AU$19.59 per hour.
- In UK, the average salary that can be gained in this profession will reach at £20,010 per year, while those having more experience in this field obtained after years of practice will receive an annual salary estimated between £25,030 and £30,030. One qualified pharmacy technician that has just started in this profession will gain a salary that will reach at £17,010 per year.
Conclusion on Pharmacy Technician salary
The average salaries in this field of work as expected to grow in the next ten years or so due to the demanding in this branch. The competition in this profession is higher and this will provide a good salary average in the near future as well as greater career opportunities.
One of the reasons why growth is estimated in this field is due to the growth seen and acknowledged in the pharmaceutical industries due to the new technology that appears. Now many new medicine and drugs seem to have a powerful effect in healing. There are prescriptions that are available which will allow better treatment that will treat those diseases that once were without a cure.
- First Published Date: 28 August, 2014
- Last Updated Date: 23 August, 2016