Pharmacy Technician FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What a Pharmacy Technician Does
What type of work does a Pharmacy Technician do?
Pharmacy Technicians perform a variety of duties including (but not limited to) assisting customers by answering simple questions, locating items, or referring them to the pharmacist for medication information, receive prescription or refill requests and ensure the information is complete and accurate, establish and/or maintain patient profiles, price and file filled prescriptions, operate the cash registers, prepare and process medical insurance claims, and maintain merchandise and supplies in the pharmacy.
Where do Pharmacy Technicians work?
Pharmacy Technicians traditionally work in pharmacies and drug stores, but some may also work in hospitals, general merchandise stores, grocery stores, and in ambulatory health care services.
Will I be able to find a job?
It’s important to note that no school can guarantee employment. Here at Dorsey Schools, we offer career services assistance to all eligible graduates of the Pharmacy Technician program. You can learn more about the assistance our Career Services team offers by visiting our Career Services for Students and Graduates page. It is worth noting though that according to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Pharmacy Technicians is projected to grow by 9% from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations.a In addition, according to the State of Michigan DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow by 8.5% from 2014 to 2024.b
How much can I expect to make as a Pharmacy Technician?
Here are some helpful websites that will allow you to view information on Wages & Employment trends:
- Michigan Occupational Wage Information (The SOC for Pharmacy Technicians is 29-2052)
- O*NET Online (Scroll down to Wages & Employment Trends to view helpful info on National/State trends)
Are there other jobs I may be able to obtain as a Pharmacy Technician?
Pharmacy Technicians may work under other occupational titles such as Pharmacy Technician, Accredited Pharmacy Technician, Billing and Quality Technician, Compounding Technician, Technician, and Technician, Inventory Specialist. When looking at any position, it’s important to evaluate the duties of the position along with the required skills and knowledge to determine if a candidate may meet the requirements set forth by the employer. In addition, most states regulate Pharmacy Technicians in one way or another, so it is important to know the requirements of the state in which you wish to work, as the positions above may require a candidate to obtain certification/licensure prior to obtaining employment.
How is a Pharmacy Technician different from other healthcare professionals?
Pharmacy Technicians typically work on the front lines in Pharmacies assisting licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medications to customer and hospitals. The Pharmacy Technician may often be the person you initially speak with over the phone at a pharmacy or the person that initially assists you when visiting a pharmacy. Pharmacy Technicians work under the direct supervision of licensed pharmacists.
Are there other career opportunities for Pharmacy Technicians?
Some may choose to use a career as a Pharmacy Technician as an entryway into the field. It would not be uncommon for a Pharmacy Technician to work in the field to gain experience and later go back to school to further their education and/or strengthen their credentials.
Becoming a Pharmacy Technician
How might I determine if this is a good career choice for me?
In choosing any career, it’s important that someone look at a variety of factors, some of which include:
- Can I see myself doing the work that this position/occupation performs and am I going to be happy performing those tasks in that type of work setting?
- Do I have the skills/traits/characteristics that one may need to be successful in a position like this?
- How is the employment outlook/trends for this position?
I have no medical background/experience in healthcare – can I really do this?
You can! Most Pharmacy Technicians have little to no formal healthcare experience prior to beginning their training. That’s why it’s very important for someone interested in becoming a Pharmacy Technician to evaluate their school and training options closely.
What type of training is needed?
Pharmacy Technicians can attend a post-secondary school or institution to obtain training. Many of these programs lead to a certificate or a diploma and typically take one year to complete. Some programs may take up to two years to complete. In other instances, Pharmacy Technicians may learn on-the-job. It’s also important to note that since Pharmacy Technicians work very closely with customers in the actual occupational setting, it can be advantageous to a student to choose a program that has a strong hands-on component so they can “learn by doing.”
How long do I have to go to school?
Many Pharmacy Technician programs can be completed in a year or less. In choosing a program, it’s important for someone to evaluate the training that is included so they can ensure they are receiving the training they need (and want) prior to entering the field as a Pharmacy Technician.
What are important characteristics for Pharmacy Technicians to have?
While this isn’t a full list of important characteristics, Pharmacy Technicians should have good customer-service skills, listening skills, math skills, organizational skills, and be detail-oriented. If you’re lacking in one or more of these areas, it doesn’t necessarily mean you wouldn’t be a good Pharmacy Technician, and it may be an area you wish to focus on as part of your training.
Is Certification/Licensure required to obtain employment as a Pharmacy Technician?
It’s always important to check if the State in which you want to work has specific requirements for Pharmacy Technicians to obtain employment. Licensure as a Pharmacy Technician will be required to obtain employment in the field in the State of Michigan. In order to assist our graduates, Dorsey Schools will pay the cost one time for graduates of this program to challenge a certification exam as selected by Dorsey Schools, contingent upon the graduate meeting Dorsey Schools exam preparation requirements.
The Dorsey Schools Pharmacy Technician Program
What will be covered in the program?
The Dorsey Schools Pharmacy Technician program offers instruction in both a traditional classroom setting as well as a hands-on environment by way of the lab at Dorsey Schools in addition to an externship that will take place during the final module of training. Students enrolled in the Pharmacy Technician program will be exposed to a variety of topics including (but not limited to):
- Medical Workplace Skills
- Medical Terminology
- Pharmacy Law and Ethics
- Side Effects of Medications
- Anti-Infectives, Anti-Inflammatories, and Antihistamines
- Vitamins and Minerals, Vaccines, and Oncology Agents
- Systems and Conversion of Measurement, Ratios and Proportions, Dosage Calculations, Concentrations and Dilutions, Allegations, Flow Rates, and Milliequivalents.
- Introduction to Today’s Pharmacy Operations
- Insurance Billing
- Inventory Management
- And more…!
Is your program hands-on?
Yes! Students will have opportunities to practice the skills they are learning in both the labs on campus at Dorsey Schools as well as during their externship.
What’s the externship and why is that important?
The externship will take place during the last module of training and will provide students with an opportunity to apply skills they have learned throughout their training in an actual occupational setting.
How long is the program?
The Dorsey Schools Pharmacy Technician program is designed to be completed in less than one year.
Who are the instructors?
Our instructors are caring individuals that possess experience and expertise in their respective field. Our instructors meet the criteria set forth by the State of Michigan as well as the criteria set forth by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (Dorsey Schools’ institutional accrediting body).
Why should I choose Dorsey over another school?
Students choose Dorsey Schools over other Career Training Schools for a variety of reasons. You can learn more by visiting The Dorsey Difference page.
Which Dorsey campuses offer the Pharmacy Technician program?
The Pharmacy Technician program is offered at the following Dorsey Schools campus locations: Saginaw, MI; Southgate, MI and Wayne-Westland, MI.
How do I enroll?
If you’re interested in enrolling in the Pharmacy Technician program at Dorsey Schools, the first step you should take is meeting with one of our Admissions Representatives. You can read more about our Admissions process on our Admissions information page.
Does your program include certification?
While actual certification is not included in the curriculum of the Dorsey Schools Pharmacy Technician program, graduates may go on to challenge a certification exam. For those who wish to challenge a certification exam, Dorsey Schools will pay the cost one time for graduates of this program to challenge a certification exam as selected by Dorsey Schools, contingent upon the graduate meeting Dorsey Schools exam preparation requirements.
Will your program prepare me for certification?
Yes, the Dorsey Schools Pharmacy Technician program is designed to prepare students to go on to challenge a certification exam.
Is your school accredited?
Yes, Dorsey Schools is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
What is the tuition for the program?
The current tuition for the Dorsey Schools Pharmacy Technician program can be accessed by clicking here.
What is included in my tuition?
In addition to program instruction, tuition includes books, a lab coat, externship drug testing and background check fees, and Dorsey Schools will pay the cost one time for graduates of this program to challenge a certification exam as selected by Dorsey Schools, contingent upon the graduate meeting Dorsey Schools exam preparation requirements.
Is Financial Aid available?
Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. For additional information on Financial Aid and Tuition Assistance, we would encourage you to visit our Financial Aid Information page.
Can you help me find a job after graduation?
Dorsey Schools offers Career Services assistance to all eligible graduates, however, job placement is not guaranteed. You can learn more about the assistance our Career Services team offers by visiting our Career Services for Students and Graduates page.
For your reference, we’ve included the links below of several very helpful websites where you can learn more about Pharmacy Technicians, info pertaining to Jobs as a Pharmacy Technician, the work Pharmacy Technicians do, etc.:
aBureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Pharmacy Technicians, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm (visited July 11, 2016).
bMichigan DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, Long-Term Occupational Employment Projections (2014-2024) Michigan Statewide, Pharmacy Technicians (SOC Code: 29-2052), http://milmi.mt.gov/Portals/137/publications/projectionsdata/LongTerm_OccupationalProj_2024_MI.xlsx (visited July 11, 2016).
Michigan Occupational Wage Information: http://milmi.org/?PAGEID=67&SUBID=124
O*Net Online: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/29-2052.00
Dorsey Schools Gainful Employment Disclosures for the Pharmacy Technician program: For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please click here.