How to Become a Pharmacy Technician
For anyone who wants to learn how to become a pharmacy technician, the following information
will help you get a better idea of what is required.
Education and Training
Completing a training program only takes one year and has no prerequisites other than
a high school diploma or its equivalent. A one-year certification program is offered by community
colleges, technical schools, and online schools. The basic curriculum usually includes English
composition, speech and communication, psychology, and algebra. Pharmaceuticals, as well as
dosing and administration, are covered extensively in courses such as pharmacology, pharmacy
law and references, pharmacy calculations, and chemistry for pharmacy. Medical courses such
as medical terminology, medical law and ethics, and human anatomy and physiology are also taken.
Upon completion of a training program, a pharmacy tech can sit one of two exams in order
to become certified. These exams are offered by the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy
Technicians, also known as the ICPT, or the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Some states
require that a technician has one of these certifications before starting a job; others only
require the completion of a formal training program.
Having the title of a certified pharmacy technician proves the technician's skill to
potential employers, which can mean higher pay, more responsibility, and more job opportunities.
Individuals working as technicians in the field of pharmacy are healthcare workers who
carry out pharmacy-related duties under the direct supervision of a pharmacist or other senior
medical personnel. Job duties include dispensing prescription drugs to patients, instructing
on dosage and usage, managing insurance information, and keeping track of inventory.
Pharmacy technicians can work in a number of locations, such as a pharmacy, hospital,
pharmaceutical manufacturer, or a long-term care facility.
As technicians gain more experience, they have the opportunity to advance their careers
by becoming certified or taking on a management or administrative role within a pharmacy.
Pharmacy technicians make an average of $28,000 per year, ranging anywhere from $17,000
per year for an entry level position, to $35,000 per year for an experienced pharmacy tech.
Technicians with the right expertise, skills, knowledge and experience can be promoted into
managerial positions and are able to earn an even higher wage.
A large portion of a pharmacy technician's day is spent speaking with patients, instructing
them on how to use medications or medical devices, explaining payments, and helping them with
insurance information. Therefore, customer service and good communication are invaluable skills
that a technician should seek to perfect in order to increase their salary.
Training to become a pharmacy tech offers a fast-track into the medical field. There
are a wide variety of programs available, some of which can be fully completed in the comfort
of your own home. After acquiring the necessary knowledge, anyone can sit for an exam to become
This career offers a good salary, interesting and rewarding duties and the opportunity
to work with many different people day in and day out. Starting a career as a technician is
a great choice for students who are interested in science or chemistry, or who simply want
to become a part of the medical field but aren't interested in attending school for four or
Now that you know how to become a pharmacy technician, it is recommended that you thoroughly
research the colleges in your area which offer training programs.
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