Home > Blog > Is a career as a pharmacy technician right for you?
by SJVC on June 3, 2019 · 9:00 am
Would it surprise you to learn that not all of those people behind the counter at your local drug store are pharmacists? Chances are many are pharmacy technicians. And this post is all about what it takes to start a career in pharmacy technology.
We’ll cover information regarding:
Let’s take a look!
Pharmacy technicians play an important role in the healthcare industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupations Outlook Handbook, “Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals. They mainly work in retail pharmacies and hospitals.
Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of pharmacists, who must review prescriptions before they are given to patients. In most states, technicians can compound or mix some medications and call physicians for prescription refill authorizations. Technicians also may need to operate automated dispensing equipment when filling prescription orders.”1
The BLS lists pharmacy technicians’ responsibilities as:
Sound interesting? Read on to learn that more about this in-demand healthcare career.
According to the U.S. News & World Report, pharmacy technician is ranked in the top 100 best jobs in the United States2, which is based on factors such as median salary, future job prospects and more. Pharmacy technician is also ranked as the 16th best healthcare support job in the United States by U.S. News & World Report2.
In addition, pharmacy technology is an in-demand career that’s expected to grow over the next decade. According to the BLS, “employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than average for all occupations. The population is aging, and older people typically use more prescription medicines than younger people. Higher rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes among all age groups also will lead to increased demand for prescription medications. Advances in pharmaceutical research will allow for more prescription medications to be used to fight diseases.
Pharmacy technicians may be needed to take on a greater role in pharmacy operations because pharmacists are increasingly performing more patient care activities such as giving flu shots. Technicians will need to perform tasks such as collecting patient information, preparing more types of medications, and verifying the work of other technicians, tasks formerly done by pharmacists.”3
Pharmacy Technicians also can earn a decent wage. The BLS reports that the annual mean wage for pharmacy technicians in the state of California was $42,610 in May 20184. Salary can vary by city, years of experience and more. California also has the highest employment level for pharmacy technicians in the entire U.S., reporting 37,630 pharmacy technicians employed in May 20184.
According to the BLS, here is a list of common work environments for pharmacy technicians5:
A pharmacy technician’s job is both fast-paced and rewarding. There are several important qualities that pharmacy technicians must possess, says the BLS6. These include:
The California Business and Professions Code states that “A person shall not act as a pharmacy technician without first being licensed by the board as a pharmacy technician.”7
Graduates of the SJVC Pharmacy Technology program are eligible to apply for licensure with the California State Board of Pharmacy providing they meet requirements as specified by the Board, including a Department of Justice criminal background check and data bank query to determine if an act has been committed that constitutes grounds for denial of licensure.8.
Students qualify to take the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Exam (PTCE) upon successful completion of practice examinations administered during their course of study with the approval of the Pharmacy Liaison. Students also have the opportunity to earn their Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Certification8.
The first step is to enroll in a Pharmacy Technology program like the one offered at SJVC. Students in the SJVC program can earn their Pharmacy Technology Certificate in as few as 9 months.
Request more information or call 866-544-7898 to learn how you can start your training.
Important information about the educational debt, earnings and completion rates of students who attended SJVC can be found here.
1 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-2 2 https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/pharmacy-technician 3 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-6 4 https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292052.htm#st 5 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-3 6 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-4 7 https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=BPC§ionNum=4115. 8 SJVC College Catalog, page 140
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