Pharmacy technicians are an important piece of any pharmacy. In short, they are the people who help the licensed pharmacists fill or complete prescriptions. Counting or labeling medication is just one small slice of what a technician does: They are an important member of a team that handles some of the most controlled medicines in the world. One slip and it could be fatal.
More and more pharmacy technicians are needed because more stores are opening pharmacies. The world’s population is increasing, as are the number of drugs, and this results in an increased need for pharmacies and for technicians.
A pharmacy technician can work at a pharmacy like the one in a drug store or they can work for or with government organizations, hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and even for online pharmacies.
Currently, there are no federal guidelines for pharmacy technician training. However, most employers desire technicians who have degrees or certificates from community or technical or vocational colleges. The more training a person has, the more money they will be paid. These sorts of programs generally take no more than a year to complete.
Once a person finishes a pharmacy technician course or certificate program, they are then ready to take the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. This shows employers that a person has an adequate level of pharmaceutical knowledge. Such a certification lasts for two years and then recertification needs to occur along with the completion of training hours.
Generally, pharmacy technicians need 20 hours of training (i.e. continuing education) to renew or recertify their qualifications. Most employers will help to cover the cost of this education by either paying directly for the classes or giving you paid leave so you have the time to complete this training.
Most pharmacy technicians make anywhere from 18,000 to 32,000 dollars per year, and they enjoy a great deal of job security. The salary, of course, will depend on the area in which a technician works. If a person is considering going on to become pharmacist, a technician job is a great way to test the field, make connections, and to learn the trade. For example, while a technician, you will work closely with the pharmacist in dealing with customers, doctors, and with the drugs themselves.
This hands-on training is invaluable and will help you build the skills to further your career. Additionally, if you do become a pharmacist, you will know people later on who could feasibly help you find a job.
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Pharmacy Technician Career Certificate, Certification, and Test Examination
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Pharmacy Technician Education Requirements, and Exams
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