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What is a Pharmacy Technician?

Pharmacy Technician Definition Prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. May measure, mix, count out, label, and record amounts and dosages of medications according to prescription orders.

A Day in the Life of a Pharmacy Technician

  • Operate cash registers to accept payment from customers.
  • Receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.
  • Deliver medications or pharmaceutical supplies to patients, nursing stations, or surgery.
  • Mix pharmaceutical preparations, according to written prescriptions.
  • Receive written prescription or refill requests and verify that information is complete and accurate.
  • Restock intravenous (IV) supplies and add measured drugs or nutrients to IV solutions under sterile conditions to prepare IV packs for various uses, such as chemotherapy medication.

What Every Pharmacy Technician Should Know

When polled, Pharmacy Technicians say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Other Pharmacy Technician Job Titles

  • Pharmacy Technician (Pharmacy Tech)
  • Pharmacy Laboratory Technician
  • Lead Pharmacy Tech, Certified Pharmacy Technician (Lead Pharmacy Tech, CPhT)
  • Lead Pharmacy Technician (Lead Pharmacy Tech)
  • Senior Pharmacy Technician

Job Opportunities for Pharmacy Technicians

There were about 402,500 jobs for Pharmacy Technicians in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.8% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 47,600 new jobs for Pharmacy Technicians by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 37,500 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Pharmacy Technicians in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Pharmacy Technicians are Texas, Florida, and California.

Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Vermont, or Wyoming. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Pharmacy Technician Salary

The average yearly salary of a Pharmacy Technician ranges between $22,740 and $48,010. A Pharmacy Technician median salary is $32,700.

Salary Ranges for Pharmacy Technicians

How much do Pharmacy Technicians make in each U.S. state?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Alaska

$43,150

California

$42,610

Washington

$42,470

Oregon

$40,920

District of Columbia

$39,980

North Dakota

$39,770

Hawaii

$38,720

Minnesota

$37,670

Nevada

$37,620

Wyoming

$37,460

Rhode Island

$37,410

Utah

$37,190

Massachusetts

$37,110

Colorado

$36,880

Idaho

$35,920

Arizona

$35,090

Montana

$34,780

New York

$34,640

Connecticut

$34,530

Delaware

$34,470

Texas

$34,290

Vermont

$34,070

Maryland

$33,880

New Mexico

$33,710

Nebraska

$33,270

Illinois

$33,140

New Jersey

$33,070

Tennessee

$32,980

Kansas

$32,940

Wisconsin

$32,750

South Dakota

$32,720

Louisiana

$32,700

Michigan

$32,660

Iowa

$32,560

Virginia

$32,370

New Hampshire

$32,370

Missouri

$32,090

Florida

$32,090

Maine

$31,690

South Carolina

$31,530

Mississippi

$31,440

Indiana

$31,160

North Carolina

$30,890

Oklahoma

$30,790

Ohio

$30,500

Georgia

$30,240

Alabama

$30,040

Pennsylvania

$30,000

Arkansas

$29,640

Kentucky

$29,270

West Virginia

$28,650

What Tools & Technology do Pharmacy Technicians Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Pharmacy Technicians may use on a daily basis:

  • Pharmacy management software
  • Medical condition coding software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • MEDITECH software

How do I Become a Pharmacy Technician?

What kind of Pharmacy Technician requirements are there?

Pharmacy Technician Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become Pharmacy Technician?

Pharmacy Technician Work Experience

Who Employs Pharmacy Technicians?

Pharmacy Technician Sectors

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming Pharmacy Technicians might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Transportation Attendants, Except Flight Attendants
  • Radiologic Technicians

Career changers with experience as a Pharmacy Technician sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

  • Respiratory Therapy Technicians
  • Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers
  • Cytotechnologists

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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