Pharmacy Technician

pharmacy technicianWhen you visit your local pharmacy to collect medication your physician has prescribed for you, the task of ensuring that you get the right medicine in the right quantities in a correctly labeled container falls to a pharmacy technician. (A pharmacy technician differs from a pharmacy aide, who will generally perform clerical duties).

Because filling prescriptions is very responsible work, this is a career to consider if you have a precise and accurate turn of mind. Pharmacists are increasingly seeking formally-trained technicians, so enrolling on a program at one of many good pharmacy technician schools or colleges is well worth considering.

Training and Qualifications

Pharmacy technician training is offered at the diploma, certificate, or associate degree level. The courses will focus on medical terminology, and the specialized calculations, recordkeeping and general techniques you will require as a pharmacy technician. You will also study legal and ethical topics in pharmacology. Some pharmacy technician training programs offer the chance to gain real-world pharmacy experience.

There are few state requirements for pharmacy assistants, but you can increase your professional expertise by undertaking voluntary pharmacy technician certification. Successful completion of the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination underlines your competence and may be required by some employers.

Job Outlook

The majority of pharmacy technicians jobs are in retail pharmacies, assisting a licensed pharmacist. There are also opportunities in wholesale pharmacies, hospitals and clinics, and mail-order. Internet pharmacies are increasing in number and they also offer employment opportunities.

The general job outlook (particularly if you have achieved pharmacy technician certification) should be very good. The combination of an older population, who consume more medication, with an increasing range of medicines and drugs, should ensure that the skills you acquire during your pharmacy technician training will be in great demand.