Difference Between Pharmacy Tech and Pharmacy Aide

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For those who are not so eager to learn after finishing secondary education, becoming a pharmacy technician or pharmacy aide is quite a good option.

You will be able to work in the medical field without attending required post-secondary schooling which is the case with other medical professions.

We would like to compare these two professions so that you can make the right decision – whether you should pursue a pharmacy tech or aide position as your future career.

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Let’s start with the main similarities first.

Both a pharmacy tech and an aide work in a pharmacy setting.

A pharmacy setting can be the pharmacy of a medical facility or in a retail pharmacy.

Another similarity is the working conditions of techs and aides, as they have similar work schedules, which may vary depending on the type of medical facility or retail store where they find employment.

Working hours are usually during the day or evening, but if the store works 24/7, they will have to work night shifts, as well.

Last, but not least, both professions are related to prescription medications and customers, and the work of techs and aides are supervised by a licensed pharmacist.

Differences in Job Duties

Besides the above-mentioned similarities, these two professions also have certain differences in terms of their day-to-day duties.

Responsibilities are the main distinctions between a pharmacy tech and a pharmacy aide.

A pharmacy tech’s duties are related to prescription medications, helping customers, and interacting with the pharmacist.

Pharmacy technicians have a more specialized position, as they are allowed to prepare medications.

The amount of their obligations and what they are allowed to do highly depends on the state but in the majority of cases pharmacy techs can count, measure, mix, and perform some other preparations.

Also, they can make sure whether prescriptions are accurate, collect customer information, and enter information into a computer.

Some other responsibilities of pharmacy techs are packaging and labeling prescription medications, answering customer calls and requests as well as informing the pharmacist about customer questions.

A pharmacy aide’s duties are quite different, as their main focus is on the administrative side of the job.

They do not work that much with customers or the pharmacist and are not allowed to prepare or fill medications.

Some of the pharmacy aide duties are storing and stocking merchandise, informing the supervisor about inventory, and recording drugs that come.

The aide may also be in charge of accepting prescriptions from customers and working on a cash register.

Usually, the aide is there to work with the technician and help him/her with duties related to preparing prescription labels, answering phones, and helping customers.

Differences in Credentials and Pay

When education is in question, you will only need a high school diploma or GED to become a pharmacy aide.

On the other hand, the requirements for technicians vary depending on the state you want to work in.

There are states where you can become a pharmacy technician with just a high school diploma, but there are also states which require certification.

Our suggestion is that you get a certificate no matter which position you choose, as it can only be beneficial for you.

By gaining a certificate, you will stand out from other job applicants when applying for employment and you will be able to move up in your career.

The difference in salaries between these two professions exists, as pharmacy technicians make slightly higher pay than pharmacy aides.

According to the statistics, the median annual wage is $32,700 for pharmacy technicians, and it can range from $22,740 to $48,010.

On the other hand, a pharmacy aide’s median annual wage is $29,190, ranging from $19,370 to $44,450.

The differences in payment are due to different levels of experience and the setting where the person works, so working in a hospital is always paid more than working in a retail pharmacy.

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