Overview of this Profession
Pharmacy Technicians are the ones who typically fill your prescriptions. It’s difficult to envision a pharmacy running well without them. A licensed pharmacist supervises them, but they basically handle most of the workload.
It’s common for pharmacy techs to be employed in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics as well as pharmacies. Certification requirements change by state. However, regardless of your state’s requirements, your potential employer could demand it. Pharmacy tech schooling is surely recommended if you’re thinking about this line of work.
What Might You Expect on a Normal Work Day?
If you work at a hospital you might need to prepare intravenous (IV) solutions and present medication to hospital patients. Blood thinners and sedation drugs are the types of non-commercial drugs you may need to be familiar with. A number of hospitals require their technicians to have formal training and certification before handling such sensitive medications.
Job Options & Wage Potential
Do not be mislead into believing that the pharmacy tech occupation is one lacking career advancement. In a retail pharmacy environment, one example of career promotion is getting promoted to manager of the pharmacy. Nuclear pharmacy and chemotherapy are career growth opportunities for those who work in a hospital. One more option for furtherance is moving to other health care specialties like medical billing and transcription.
The median hourly wage for pharmacy techs starts at $8-10. It’s doable to make a lot more if you get more work experience in your specialization.
What are the Requisite Certifications and Degrees?
Each state sets their state specific requirements for pharmacy technicians, presently there are no federal guidelines. In many states, training and taking a state test is a requirement. Certification is granted by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT) in the U.S.
After passing the certification examination, you will be a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). This title gives you two distinct advantages over non-certified job applicants: you appear more qualified and you also increase the chance of a higher starting salary.
If you are interested, get started now in a pharmacy tech training course. How long does training normally take? Normally 6 months to 2 years. And because there are more jobs available than people to fill them you’re certain to get work soon.
Working in Canada
If you are considering a move to Canada, you will need to apply for a license in that country. Canada’s qualification to practice as a pharmacy tech differ from the US, so make sure you read up on what you need to do in advance so you’re not stuck without a job after the move. You will need to sit for the Pharmacy Technician Qualification Examination issued by the PEBC.
Does this profession sound interesting to you? If so, we recommend you start on your schooling as soon as you are able.