Pharmacy Technician Career: Overview and Job Outlook


A pharmacy technician is a person who works with the pharmacist and provides direct and indirect support. Technicians are trained people with knowledge in looking after a pharmacy and handling its various functions and roles. They assist licensed pharmacists or other health professionals in ensuring the business runs efficiently.

A pharmacy technician may be employed in a retail pharmacy or a hospital pharmacy. They have the ability to enter long-term care facilities such as pharmaceutical manufacturers. It is indeed interesting to know that countries have increased the supply of pharmacy technicians to cater to the ever growing demand to perform pharmacy related functions with about 334,400 jobs in 2010. This might have been because of the fact that pharmacists are the liaisons between the patients and healthcare qualifiers.

Job Duties

A pharmacy technician’s routine duties may vary with the location and the workplace but the most some remain common overall. A pharmacy technician deals with taking information from patients to fulfill their prescription requirements. Other duties include, to package and label prescriptions, count tablets and measure amounts, and other administrative duties. Additionally, on a bigger scale their task would be dealing directly with the customers, whereas on a smaller scale they may answer to queries, collect money, or stock shelves. They may have to stand all day behind the counter and perform day-to-day operations at the cash register. Specializing in a pharmaceutical field may allow them to work as a medicine manager or offer staff training.

Salary and Job Outlook

By being employed in a hospital, drug store or any other pharmacist shop; pharmacy technicians can earn a good deal depending on their years of experience and skills. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the annual salary of a pharmacy technician in May 2010 was $28,400 with the top 10 percent earning over $40,710. Furthermore, the Bureau reveals that most pay was being given at the hospital level; whether state, local or private. Future prospects in employment are also good as pharmacy technicians show employment growth of over 32 percent from the year 2010 to 2020. This rise is said to be because of a greater use of prescribed drugs including the ones used by the elderly.

Education Requirements

Education prerequisites for the post of a pharmacy technician are not the same for every country, but in most cases it is required that they possess a pharmacy technology degree and are certified from a reputable institute. The second step after this is to get formal training in the required field through any medical institute. In some cases, on-the-job training is also given. One may try to work as an interne to enhance work experience which is of high importance to employers.

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