Pharmacy technicians are healthcare professionals who work under the supervision of pharmacists to provide patient care. They are responsible for a variety of tasks, including:
- Dispensing medications: Pharmacy technicians prepare and dispense medications to patients, according to prescriptions from doctors.
- Billing: Pharmacy technicians process insurance claims and billing for medications.
- Patient counseling: Pharmacy technicians provide patients with information about their medications, including how to take them safely and effectively.
- Inventory management: Pharmacy technicians track the inventory of medications and other supplies in the pharmacy.
- Data entry: Pharmacy technicians enter patient information and other data into the pharmacy's computer system.
Pharmacy technicians play an important role in the healthcare system. They help to ensure that patients receive the medications they need safely and effectively.
Education and Certification
To become a pharmacy technician, you typically need to complete a pharmacy technician training program. These programs typically last 1-2 years and cover topics such as medication dispensing, patient counseling, and pharmacy law and regulations.
Once you have completed a training program, you can take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE) administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). The PTCB is a national certification exam that demonstrates your competence in pharmacy technician practice.
The job outlook for pharmacy technicians is good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of pharmacy technicians will grow 12% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due to the increasing demand for prescription medications, as well as the aging population, which is more likely to need prescription medications.
The median annual salary for pharmacy technicians was $42,430 in 2020. The top 10% of earners made more than $62,590.
Skills and Qualifications
The following skills and qualifications are important for pharmacy technicians:
- Attention to detail: Pharmacy technicians must be able to accurately follow instructions and procedures.
- Communication skills: Pharmacy technicians must be able to communicate effectively with patients, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals.
- Math skills: Pharmacy technicians must be able to perform basic math calculations.
- Problem-solving skills: Pharmacy technicians must be able to identify and resolve problems.
- Computer skills: Pharmacy technicians must be able to use computer software to enter patient information, process insurance claims, and track inventory.
After gaining experience as a pharmacy technician, you may have the opportunity to advance to a supervisory or management position. You may also choose to specialize in a particular area of pharmacy, such as pediatrics or oncology.