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Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technicians assist licensed pharmacists in the dispensing of medications and other health- related items to patients. In most settings, pharmacy technicians receive prescriptions from a prescriber and verify the patient’s information on the prescription for clarity and accuracy. They prepare the medication needed to fill the prescription by retrieving it, counting, pouring, weighing, measuring and sometimes mixing the medications. Before the prescription is given to the patient, a pharmacist checks it.

Technicians also establish and maintain patient records, prepare insurance claim forms, stock and take inventory of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Salary Range: $21,370 – $45,710

Salary Notes: Pharmacy technicians earn an annual mean wage of $31,780 in Vermont. Salaries may increase with formal training and licensing.

Where you might study:
Many hospitals offer pharmacy technician training programs.
Bristol Community College [1], Fall River, MA
Bunker Hill Community College [2], Boston, MA
Manchester Community College [3], Manchester, CT
Quinsigamond Community College [4], Worcester, MA

Where you might work:
– Government Agencies – Home Health Care Agencies – Hospitals – Mail Order Pharmacy Companies – Pharmaceutical Companies – Pharmacy Benefit Managers – Retail Pharmacy Stores – Retail Store or Supermarket Pharmacy Departments

Job Outlook: Employment growth for Pharmacy Technicians is expected to grow much faster than average rate through 2024. The increasing impact of prescription medicines on the quality of life, and the overall cost of health care, mean that the use of pharmacy technicians for routine procedures will expand to allow pharmacists to concentrate on more complex roles. Technicians with formal training and licensure will have the best employment prospects.

Education, Licensing and Certification: Pharmacy technicians entering the field should have strong backgrounds in math, chemistry, and reading. Also, strong customer service skills are important. Many pharmacy technicians receive informal, on-the-job training, although employers prefer to hire those technicians who have completed a formal education program. Formal pharmacy technician education programs require classroom and laboratory work in various areas including medical and pharmaceutical terminology, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacy record keeping, pharmaceutical techniques, and pharmacy law.

Some colleges provide associate degrees for pharmacy technicians and others award certificates for yearlong programs.

After completing a formal education program, pharmacy technicians can sit for the licensing exam administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. The exam is voluntary but technicians who pass it demonstrate a level of competency to prospective employers.

Professional Organizations:
National Pharmacy Technician Association [5] 888-247-8700
Pharmacy Technician Certification Board [6] 800-363-8012