Pharmacy Technician Jobs

Every Pharmacy Technician student aspires to create a career as a Pharmacy technician, secure a good job and perform the tasks they’ve been trained to do. There all kinds of duties that they will be performing and many different scenarios to deal with, as the field of medicine is an unpredictable one, and you never know when you will have to use your wits, experience and training, to make a difference in someone’s life. A Pharmacy Technician may find themselves working alongside Pharmacists who are developing new ground breaking medications. Or they may take a job serving the public in a hospital, clinic, or retail pharmacy.

Job Description of a Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technicians work under the supervision of a licensed Pharmacist. They will assist the Pharmacist in providing medications and health services to patients or customers in both the private and the public sector. Pharmacy Technicians are usually in charge of all routine tasks at the pharmacy and take charge of pharmacy operations under the guidance of a licensed Pharmacist.

These duties can include some or all of the following:

  • Accurately fill prescriptions and orders for patients
  • Counting tablets, filling and labeling bottles
  • Prepare medicines and medications according to doctors’ orders
  • Apply the correct labels to medication, ensuring all of the relevant drug information and patient information is printed on the label
  • Update patients records and medical files accordingly
  • Collection, organization, and evaluation of patient information
  • Deal with customers and assist them – but not offer medical advice
  • Arrange for the Pharmacist on duty to offer medical advice where requested by the customer
  • Maintain the Dispensary Inventory and update it regularly
  • Order in stock when supplies run low, but before they run out
  • File medical insurance claims on behalf of the patient.

Scope of Work

Becoming a Pharmacy Technician is a great achievement and can lead you to many years of happy work in a rewarding career. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to stay a traditional Pharmacy Technician for ever. There are a number of career paths that you can take after qualifying as a Pharmacy Technician, especially if you have gained some experience. These include, but are not limited to:

For some of these positions you may need a short additional course, but for many you can use your Pharmacy Technician Certificate to gain an internship or in-work training position.

The Highest Level of Employment (industry – wise)

Some Pharmacy Technicians use their certification as a bridge towards becoming a full fledged licensed Pharmacist. This can be achieved by embarking on additional courses, examinations and certification, after gaining valuable experience as a Technician..

As mentioned above, there are also numerous other professions that a Pharmacy Technician can get involved in, using their qualifications and experience as Pharmacy Technicians to gain advantageous positions.

The Table below gives an idea of what you can expect to earn in some of the most popular of these positions:

Dental Hygienist $71,970
Radiologic Technologist $57,510
Medical / Dental Secretary $33,530
Veterinary Technologist $32,350

Within the Pharmacy Technician Role there are also different expectations in different areas of Pharmacy. Take a look at the examples below for a better idea:

Industry Employment Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) 6,120 0.31 $20.22 $42,060
Outpatient Care Centers 3,920 0.53 $19.35 $40,250
Offices of Physicians 6,190 0.25 $19.12 $39,760
Elementary and Secondary Schools 30 (7) $18.80 $39,110
Merchant Wholesalers
Health and Personal Care Stores 198,220 19.12 $14.23 $29,610
Drugs and Druggists’ Sundries Merchant Wholesalers 8,550 4.28 $16.43 $34,180
Health and Personal Care Stores 198,220 19.12 $14.23 $29,610
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 58,550 1.11 $17.58 $36,560
Department Stores 12,750 0.92 $14.48 $30,120

Pharmacy Technician Job Outlook by state:

Each state holds different opportunities for aspiring Pharmacy Technicians. One thing they all have in common is that it is one of the fastest growing professions across the country. With Pharmacy Technicians in high demand, there are ample career opportunities.

Take a look at this chart of employment statistics across a selection of states:

State Employment Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
California 33,010 2.13 0.77 $19.31 $40,170
Texas 32,000 2.76 1.00 $15.66 $32,580
Florida 26,200 3.31 1.20 $14.27 $29,690
Illinois 19,160 3.27 1.19 $14.52 $30,210
Washington 7,320 2.45 0.89 $19.70 $40,980
California 33,010 2.13 0.77 $19.31 $40,170
Alaska 730 2.23 0.81 $18.98 $39,480
Oregon 4,550 2.62 0.95 $17.71 $36,830
Tennessee 12,030 4.28 1.55 $14.52 $30,200
West Virginia 3,000 4.25 1.54 $12.90 $26,840

*The information in these charts is from The Bureau of Labor Statistics USA

Future Prospects

According to the statistics published on the website of the US Labor Bureau, The profession of Pharmacy Technician is expected to grow by 14.5% by 2020. This puts it at higher than average in terms of new jobs being created, making it a viable prospect for those starting a career.