The Career Path of a Pharmacy Technician

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The reason why so many people decide to become pharmacy technicians is that there is no need for post-secondary education, as everything is taught on the job.

These professionals have a steady job, working alongside pharmacists, with prescription medications, and quite a satisfactory salary.

Through this article, we will try to help you understand whether this career path is the right one for you.

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Education and Training to Get Started

This is considered a great career choice by many people, as you only need a high school diploma to be allowed to start working.

A pharmacy technician is usually trained on the job after being hired.

Still, there are some states which require certification in this field which will prove your knowledge and skills, while at the same time help you stand out from other job candidates.

There are two ways to get pharmacy technician certification, either through a training program or an exam.

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board offers certification through an exam.

On the other hand, the National Healthcareer Association requires a training program or one year of work experience from people who wish a certificate.

So, interested people can attend a postsecondary education program as a part of a community college or vocational school which is specially designed to educate students on medications.

It consists of subjects such as dispensing medications, pharmacy ethics, pharmacy-related arithmetic just to mention a few.

Students will also need to gain some hands-on clinical experience in a pharmacy.

All these requirements can be met in a year, but those who wish to get an associate’s degree will need to attend classes a bit longer.

It is our advice to choose a program that has been accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Career Paths and Specialties

Once you finish your studies and become a pharmacy technician, job opportunities will be numerous as you can work in medical facilities or retail settings.

What your duties will depend on the place where you work, so in some hospitals, long-term care facilities or different medical settings, pharmacy Nevertheless, if he/she works in a retail setting, his/her employer would be a corporate pharmacy, a department store, a grocery store or etc.

There are other places as well, where it is possible for pharmacy technicians to work,  such as a research lab, a mail-order pharmacy, a college, a pharmaceutical company, or a health insurance company.

So as to advance your knowledge and job prospects, as well as your pay, you can become specialized through certification, a course, on-the-job training, or a degree in compounding, vaccines, and immunization, chemotherapy, HIV treatment, sterile products, or automated medication dispensing, to name a few.

Alternative Careers

Now, as many people are interested in working in a pharmacy but not as a pharmacy tech, there is an option for them, as well.

They can start a career as a pharmacy aide or attend an educational program to become a pharmacist.

Furthermore, they can think about becoming technicians or assistants within the medical field, such as dental assistants, ophthalmic medical technicians, medical assistants, etc.

Career Advancement

As we have already mentioned, becoming a pharmacy tech is possible with just a high school diploma.

Still, numerous people decide to advance in their careers by becoming certified pharmacy technicians (CPhT).

This certificate can help you become a pharmacy technician instructor, a hospital day lead technician, or a pharmacy affairs program manager.

Furthering your education is also possible, and your pharmacy tech experience will help you a lot on your way to advance into a career as a pharmacist.

Being that it is so easy to get started with a career as a pharmacy technician, we suggest that you start as a pharmacy technician and then look for different ways for advancement.


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