How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

For the last two years our world has faced one of the greatest health crises yet to be seen: COVID-19. This in turn has unleashed the pharmaceutical companies in their race to find the best vaccines and medications to fight COVID and other life-threatening diseases.

When vaccines became available, people could get them at clinics, hospitals, and even pharmacies.  As the population continues to seek out these healthcare services and medications, pharmacies and their staff must be prepared for an increase in traffic at their locations.

If you are looking for a new career where you can help make a difference every day, learning how to become a pharmacy technician could be a fulfilling educational path for you.¹

Pharmacy technicians play a vital role in the healthcare industry by assisting pharmacists and other medical staff with filling prescription drugs, processing insurance claims, speaking with customers, and even organizing inventory.² Keep reading to discover three easy steps you could take to become a pharmacy tech sooner rather than later!

Step 1: Earn a high school diploma

The first step of learning how to become a pharmacy technician begins with receiving your high school diploma or other equivalent diploma program.³

To help prepare them for future job responsibilities, aspiring pharmacy techs should have background knowledge in:

  • Foundational arithmetic
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physiology

Pharmacy technicians are often responsible for measuring pills for prescription refills, compounding medications, or simply taking inventory.³ Having strong math skills and an attention to detail could aid students with daily job responsibilities. Students who have this foundation could also be better prepared for their next step on their educational journey - a pharmacy tech program.

Step 2: Enroll in a Pharmacy Technician Program

Once you have successfully graduated with your high school diploma or GED, you could be qualified to enroll in a pharmacy tech program.

Pharmacy technician programs take about a year (or less) to complete and are designed to help students learn:

  • Common duties of pharm techs,
  • Where pharmacy technicians work,
  • Prepare them to challenge a national certification exam.³

Students who enroll in a pharmacy technician program could find themselves learning topics such as:

  • Medical terminology
  • Use and side effects of medications
  • Pharmacy calculations
  • Repackaging and compounding
  • Aseptic technique
  • Pharmacy technology
  • Inventory management
  • Law and ethics
  • Medical workplace skills
  • …And more!

Aspiring pharm techs who desire certification should ensure they are prepared before attempting the pharmacy technician certification exam. This type of preparation can come from attending a pharmacy tech program.  By enrolling in the Dorsey College Pharmacy Technician program, you could gain the necessary tools to prepare for an exam and pursue a path towards becoming certified for your new pharmacy technician career.

Step 3: Receive Your Pharmacy Technician Certification

After successfully graduating from a pharmacy tech program and meeting all requirements, the next step is receiving certification. Becoming certified is a crucial step in learning how to become a pharmacy technician. This is because some states (such as Michigan) require Pharmacy Technicians to become licensed, and obtaining certification is a necessary step on that journey.  In addition, attaining certification can show prospective employers that you have invested the time and energy in your training.  It is something that could set you apart from other candidates.

Employers look for certified pharmacy technicians and often prefer them over others during the hiring process.³

Pharmacy Technician career outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected over 30,000 job openings per year in the pharmacy technician field from 2020 to 2030.1 As people continue to age and seek prescription drugs for their healthcare needs, students who have learned how to become a pharmacy technician could find job openings in retail pharmacies, drug stores, and in hospitals.

Data from the Labor Statistics BLS also points to a need for pharm techs who could take on more responsibilities in the field. This is due to pharmacists taking on more patient care duties, including vaccinations or nasal swabs. The pharmacy technician career could be a great job for someone who takes pride in their work, is a team player, or simply wants to begin their journey in the healthcare sector.

Become a Pharmacy Technician through Dorsey College

Beginning a new career can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be! At Dorsey College the Pharmacy Technician training program is designed with your success in mind. Through comprehensive courses and an externship, you could learn how to become a pharmacy technician, receive hands-on training, and hone the skills you already have.

We provide a higher education experience where you can learn pharma basics, common duties of pharm techs, and prepare for a national certification exam.

Dorsey College has three locations in Michigan where students can prepare for a pharmacy tech career:

Once students have successfully graduated from the pharmacy technician diploma program at one of our campus locations and met all testing requirements, Dorsey will pay one time for the national certification exam fee. In less than one year you could be on your way to a pharmacy tech career. Are you ready to take the next step and learn how to become a pharmacy technician? If you answered, “Yes!”, choose Dorsey today!

Sources:

  1. Pharmacy Technicians :    Occupational Outlook Handbook: :    U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-6. Accessed 15 Apr. 2022.
  2.   Pharmacy Technicians :     Occupational Outlook Handbook: :     U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-2. Accessed 15 Apr. 2022.
  3.  Pharmacy Technicians :    Occupational Outlook Handbook: :    U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-4. Accessed 15 Apr. 2022.