How Do I Become a Pharmacy Technician?

You may be wanting to enter the medical field, and wondering what kinds of positions will allow you to work without requiring formal education. If this describes you, then working as a pharmacy technician may be your answer. If you are interested in what the prerequisites are for working as a pharmacy technician, rest assured that you do not have to undergo any formal training. You do not need to study for four years in college. You just have to have your high school diploma, and then you can start the application to be registered and pay the necessary fees.

Depending on the laws of the particular geographical location, there may be an examination that you need to pass. Once you pass this test, you become a certified pharmacy technician. However, there are certain states that do not require you to be certified, and will just need you to have a high school diploma. In these cases however, it would still be advantageous if you have certification. Being certified can get you a higher paying job faster. Also available are pharmacy technology programs of 1-2 years’ duration that you can enroll yourself into. This will give you enough knowledge on how to do your work effectively with regards to patient safety.

A pharmacy technician works collaboratively with the pharmacist and pharmacy aides to ensure that the correct medications are given to patients. His/her primary function is to fill-in data for a prescription, including the patient’s personal and medical data. S/he needs to pay attention to details because entering the wrong information may cause harm to a patient. He/she will be the one to verify whether the data on the prescription is correct or not. In a small retail pharmacy, the pharmacy technician may also be the person behind the counter, receiving payments from customers and giving them their change. Presently, the role of a pharmacy technician is expanding and now also includes the ordering, storing, preparation and packaging of medications. Sometimes, their responsibilities include giving instructions to patients on how to take their medication. As such, the job of a pharmacy technician is becoming more and more important.

The hourly rate for pharmacy technicians ranges from $8-$16. In hospitals, their average annual wage may be as high as $32,400. The difference in salary depends on what type of employer you work for. Drugstores, pharmacies, other retail locations, and hospitals all offer different ranges in salary. You may want to look through a wide range of job postings across different types of employers to see which ones pay higher.

Although many employers do not require that you have certification, it would be an asset that would give you an edge compared to the other applicants. If you are interested in enrolling yourself in a pharmacy education program, but are busy too busy with work to take courses at a school, there are various online courses you can take in the comfort of your own home. In online career training, you can enroll in a pharmacy technician program with less tuition fees compared to those charged by traditional schools. Online courses allows for much more flexibility in terms of learning schedule, something you may desperately need if you’re working full-time and can’t afford to quit and go to school full-time. Some online programs even offer one-on-one online teaching so you can ask questions and get answers.

Online programs give you the foundation you need in order to enter and process medical prescriptions. You will learn about the terminology and abbreviations in the field of medicine, and learn how to calculate the correct drug doses based on the particular patient’s conditions. You will also be taught the ethics associated with working in this industry, for example the importance of patient data confidentiality. Some programs also offer students the opportunity of internship at affiliated retail pharmacies where they can get valuable hands-on experience in working with pharmacists. Because of these benefits, it is recommended that you look into the option of online pharmacy technician programs in more detail.

The projected outlook for the employment of pharmacy technicians is expected to grow by 32 percent up to year 2020. Because of the advancement of medicines to treat different diseases, the need for the human workforce to deliver these medications is expanding. Also, there is a growing number of aging people whose needs for medication will increase with their age. This is why more pharmacy technicians are needed, and why they are given more responsibilities than before.

If you are interested in becoming a pharmacy technician, it is never too late to make a career change. With the rising demand for pharmacy technicians, you may land yourself a stable job provided that you have are certified and are capable in delivering the correct medications with correct dosages to the correct patients.