Is Being a Pharmacy Technician for Me?

Out of the 100 fastest growing jobs Pharmacy Technicians ranked

#60 overall

#10 for workers age 16-24

#22 for women

Out of the 500 best jobs based on a combination of pay, growth and openings Pharmacy Technician ranked

#224 overall

#12 for workers age 16-24

#43 for women

#19 for people with a conventional personality type

#35 for people interested in health science

What skill sets are necessary to be a pharmacy technician?

Ability to multitask

Ability to work well both with others and independently

Ability to focus, regardless of frequent interruptions

Ability to deal with stressful situations

Good customer service skills

Enjoy helping others

Good written and oral communications skills

Computer literacy

Strong reading and math skills

Organized and detail oriented

No history of substance or drug abuse

Interest in health care

General job description

A pharmacy technician aids a pharmacist in providing medication to patients.  Routine tasks include retrieving prescription orders, verifying prescriptions, counting tablets, measuring medications, labeling bottles, maintaining patient records, stocking shelves, assisting patients with insurance questions, tracking insurance information, and answering phones.

Employment opportunities for pharmacy technicians usually exist in the following three areas:

Retail- Retail pharmacy technicians work in drug stores or grocery stores.  Retail stores tend to be busy and technicians are continually working with the public.

Hospital and Nursing Facilities- Patient care is the primary role of the health care facility pharmacy technician.  Pharmacy technicians fill prescriptions and deliver prescriptions to patients on a daily basis.  There is a great deal of one-one one care and pharmacy technicians are an active member of the medical team.

Mail Order- Mail order pharmacies tend to offer a broad range of services to customers.  Technicians tend to work independently and have various roles including reading prescriptions, assuring that the prescription is complete, counting medication, and labeling prescriptions.

Job Outlook

Job opportunities are expected to be good…especially for technicians with formal training or previous experiences”

The need for pharmacy technicians is increasing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were about 285,000 pharmacy technicians in the US as of 2006. And they expect that number to grow about 32 percent by 2016. This means that pharmacy technician careers are growing much faster than average.  There are several contributing factors in the phenomenal growth of pharmacy technician careers, including the following:

  • The role of the pharmacy technician is growing. Pharmacists are beginning to take a more active role in direct patient care, and as they do, pharmacy technicians to take on some of the duties currently held by pharmacists.
  • People in North America are living longer, creating a higher demand for services.
  • The health care industry further increases the demand for pharmacy technicians by constantly exploring new medical treatments. Pharmacists will always be looking for qualified pharmacy technicians to assist them.

Also according to the Bureau of Labor job opportunities are expected to be good…especially for technicians with formal training or previous experiences.  All the more reason to secure certification.