What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do?

A pharmacy technician is the biggest help to a pharmacist.  See, I used to be a pharmacy technician once.  PharmacyTechnician.jpeg Pharmacy technicians assist the pharmacist in filling prescriptions.  I know that initially the first thought is retail pharmacy and the retail pharmacy technician who stands behind the counter, rings you up and asks you if you have any questions before you leave the pharmacy.  Technicians do a lot more.  They are usually in charge of inventory.  They also become certified which is a designation that allows them to do a lot more under the supervision of a pharmacist.

A pharmacy technician assists pharmacists with formulating, labeling, and dispensing medications, along with maintaining patient profiles and inventory. Unlike a pharmacist, a pharmacy technician does not attend pharmacy school, and his or her job is usually restricted. The required qualifications for this job vary from state to state.  You don't necessarily have to go to a tech school to become one, either.  All you need is a willing pharmacist to train you and the ability to take the certification test.  You could decide to go to school just to get your foot in the door.

In a hospital, a pharmacy technician fills carts (today normally on the floors with the nurses) and answers phones.  They mix and compound IV medications including chemotherapy.  They fill crash carts for codes.  They fill and keep records for narcotics.  Essentially they do a lot and the job can be very fulfilling.

The market has changed quite a bit over the years and it seems pharmacist positions are declining while technician jobs are stable.  I hope this continues for technicians although I would like to see pharmacist positions to rise as well.

The salary of a pharmacy technician can be anywhere from $10-20/hour depending on where you live.  Hospitals tend to pay for more experience whereas retail pays less.  This is usually the reverse for licensed pharmacists... at least early on in a pharmacist career.


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