Prepare for a Pharmacy Technician Career
A pharmacy technician job involves helping a licensed pharmacist fill prescriptions. But a qualified pharmacy tech needs to know much more than how to count medication.
As the job description expands, career opportunities increase, and the outlook for employment as a pharmacy technician is very strong. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, with a large percentage of the population aging the field is expected to increase by 20 percent through 2022, which is faster than average. This means that now is an excellent time to become a pharmacy technician. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.
Our Career Center will give you advice on how to become a pharmacy tech.
- Employers generally favor pharmacy technicians who have received certificates or associate's degrees from community or technical colleges. Most programs take less than a year to complete. Read more about pharmacy tech training and find the best pharmacy technician schools.
Graduates from formal training programs are prepared to take the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. Read more about pharmacy technician certification.
- The need for pharmacy techs is increasing. Retailers are expanding their pharmaceutical services, and scientific advancements continue. Read more about your pharmacy technician career.
- While starting out can be a challenge, pharmacy tech salaries have excellent potential for growth as you gain experience. Read more about pharmacy technician salaries.
Randy Brown has over a decade of experience as a pharmacy tech. He gives you the everyday ins-and-outs of the job in our interview with a pharmacy technician.
Steps to a Pharmacy Technician Career
If you want to learn how to become a pharmacy technician, here is a simple outline of what it takes:
- Find a top pharmacy tech program. Nowadays you can study online or in a classroom. Review our list of pharmacy technician schools.
- Take the pharmacy technician certification exam. Exams are given in virtually every state. All you need to do is sign up.
- Interview for pharmacy tech jobs. Decide what is most important to you: salary, benefits, hours, location.
- Keep your certification current. After becoming a certified pharmacy tech, you must complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years. Employers will usually cover the cost of your continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Personality Traits and Skills
Becoming a pharmacy technician is a great starting point if you're considering a career as a pharmacist. It's also a fast way to enter the field as education requirements are minimal. Learn what personality traits and skills are necessary to work as a pharmacy technician.
|You are...||You should have...|
|An active listener||Excellent customer service skills|
|Organized||Time management skills|
|A clear communicator||A knack for critical thinking|
|Comfortable working with the public||Patience|
|A problem solver||Compassion|
|Dependable||Attention to detail|
|Tolerant of stress||Integrity|