Pharmacy technicians play a vital role on the care teams in pharmacies or hospitals. They help with distributing medications to people who need it. They communicate often with pharmacists, patients, and other healthcare workers. No two days are the same. To be a pharmacy technician, you must have specific education and licensure before you can start your pharmacy technician career. After completing a program and externship, graduates can earn certification/licensure. Earning certification shows potential employers you have the skills and knowledge needed for the job. Many pharmacies and hospitals require licensure for employment as a pharmacy technician.
If this sounds interesting to you so far, we will dive deeper into pursuing a pharmacy technician career path. Before you enroll in a pharmacy technician training program, it is important to explore the work of a pharmacy tech to make sure the job is something you will enjoy.
What exactly is a pharmacy technician?
A pharmacy technician helps measure and distribute medications to people who need them. They work under a pharmacist’s supervision. A pharmacist reviews and approves a prescription before it goes to the patient. A pharmacist technician helps pharmacists to fill prescriptions on time. Because of this, they can play a key role in positive health outcomes.
The day-to-day job duties of a pharmacist technician may include:
- Packaging and labeling prescriptions
- Measuring amounts of medications for prescriptions
- Answering phone calls
- Processing insurance claims
- Collecting information needed for a prescription
- Accepting prescription payments
- And more
Pharmacy technicians will spend a lot of their day on their feet. Because of this, some physical stamina is needed for the job. You will need some people skills as well. Pharmacist technicians communicate with patients, pharmacists, and other pharmacy techs. Often, the patients a tech is helping are sick or hurt and stressed out. Compassion and patience are key qualities a pharmacy tech will need daily.
Other qualities and skills needed in the pharmacy technician career path include:
- Listening skills: Active listening and comprehension are important. Pharmacy technicians need to follow a pharmacist’s directions. They also listen to the needs of customers. They decide when to escalate questions or patient concerns to pharmacists. Being a good listener is a surprising but important part of a pharmacy technician career.
- Detail oriented: Pharmacy technicians MUST pay attention to the details. Mistakes in filling prescriptions can be serious. Attention to detail to avoid any issues is important.
- Math skills: Pharmacy technicians need an understanding of some basic math concepts. They use these skills daily, especially when compounding medications and counting pills.
- Organization: Pharmacy technicians must have strong organizational skills. They balance a variety of responsibilities in a fast-paced environment.
Pharmacy Technician Career Opportunities
Where will you work once you start your career as a pharmacy technician? Most pharmacy technicians work in a traditional pharmacy environment. These pharmacies may stand alone, or they might operate inside a grocery store or drug store. Some pharmacy technicians work in hospital settings (state, local, or private). The job duties for pharmacy technicians in hospitals may vary. The focus in both settings is helping medical professionals prescribe medications to patients.
The pharmacy technician career field is growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technician jobs are projected to grow 6% from 2022 to 2032. That’s faster than the average for all occupations. 1
Education needed for a career as a pharmacy technician
Identifying, measuring, and distributing medications to patients is an important job. It requires some education and training. The first step is enrolling in an accredited program or school.
In a training program, students may learn:
- Math concepts specific to use in pharmacies
- Pharmacy laws and ethics
- The names, uses, and doses of medications
- Ways of dispensing medications
Pharmacy technicians play a key role in the world of healthcare. It is a rewarding way to help provide care for people in your community. A pharmacy technician career path is also great for people with effective communication and organizational skills. Education is an important part of starting a career as a pharmacy technician and should be the first step you take.
Dorsey College offers a robust Pharmacy Technician program. It is meant to set students up for success on their pharmacy technician career path. Graduates who complete Dorsey College’s Pharmacy Technician program can go on to pursue pharmacy technician certification and licensure in the state of Michigan. Ready to get started on working towards your pharmacy technician career in Michigan? Explore our program or reach out to one of our admissions representatives to find out more!
Dorsey College has determined that its Pharmacy Technician training curriculum is sufficient to fulfill educational requirements for licensure in the State of Michigan only. No educational determinations have been made for any other state, district or US territory in regards to licensure requirements.