What You Can Expect as a Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy TechnicianCareer Step2 Comments

A career as a pharmacy technician is both challenging and rewarding. The pharmacy technician industry is expected to add thousands of jobs in the next few years, which means the need for certified technicians continues to rise. As the population ages, more people will also be in need of additional medical help, which is contributing to a strong growth in this field

Pharmacy technicians have a variety of responsibilities in their day-to-day work, so it’s natural for people to wonder what pharmacy technicians do, exactly. It’s important to know what those responsibilities are and what should be left to the pharmacist. Having a clear understanding of these responsibilities can also give you a better picture of what your career would be like should you choose to become a pharmacy technician.

Pharmacy Technician Responsibilities:
You take a prescription from your doctor to your local pharmacy. The first person you meet there will probably be a pharmacy technician. So what does a pharmacy technician actually do? After they take your prescription, they:

  • Enter all your data and information into their record-keeping software
  • Measure out and package the medications in your prescription
  • Accurately place the right labels on the medication
  • Process your payment information and work with your insurance company if necessary

In addition, a pharmacy technician will also:

  • Answer phone calls
  • Direct any medical questions or prescription-related questions to the pharmacist as soon as possible
  • Take inventory of the drugs and supplies in stock and take note of what orders might need to be placed in the near future
  • Provide quality customer service with a friendly attitude

You may also be asking, where do pharmacy technicians work? In general, pharmacy techs work anywhere prescription medication is sold. That can include places like hospitals, stand-alone pharmacy locations, or even pharmacies in grocery stores.

The work can be repetitive and task-oriented, but that doesn’t mean that each day plays out the same. New customers bring a large variety of health issues, and new and fascinating challenges. Under the supervision and direction of the pharmacist, pharmacy technicians may perform many additional tasks. In addition to overcoming new challenges, you also get the opportunity to help people and develop lasting relationships with regular customers every day. 

Pharmacist Responsibilities
The pharmacist will handle the tasks pharmacy technicians are not allowed to do. Pharmacists are required to attend a specialized pharmacy school and are therefore more qualified and prepared to take on certain responsibilities. Pharmacy technicians should take note that the following tasks are strictly off limits:

  • Handing out any prescriptions without the approval of a pharmacist
  • Giving medical advice to the customers in any circumstance
  • Taking prescription orders over the phone

Unlike pharmacy technicians, pharmacists can discuss patients’ medical conditions with them and offer advice as needed. They have the training and knowledge to do so.

Pharmacy Technician Education: Career Step Can Help
If you still have questions about how to become a pharmacy technician, then the following will be an excellent resource. First, having a high school diploma is a requirement for a career as a pharmacy technician, but having pharmacy technician training helps you stand out from the competition and get noticed. The formal training will make sure you have a good understanding of things like medical terminology, product dispensing, and pharmaceutical calculations. Training can help you understand what pharmacy techs do and what kind of workloads they typically experience. You will also find that some programs the valuable opportunity to gain hands-on experience through an externship before you graduate.

Career Step’s Pharmacy Technician training program can get you ready to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Exam in as little as 4 months if you are studying full time. Our Pharmacy Technician Program, which is currently pending ASHP accreditation, will thoroughly prepares you to work in any environment like a hospital, local pharmacy, or a grocery store pharmacy. You’ll have access to helpful tools that will prepare you for the daily responsibilities of a pharmacy tech. We use all kinds of media such as videos, images, simulations, and interactive games to help you learn the most common drug names, and this vital information that will help you succeed in our future career as a pharmacy technician. We will also teach you:

  • Pharmacy laws and regulations
  • How to process prescriptions and enter data
  • Non-sterile compounding
  • Pharmaceutical calculations (so you can prepare the right dosages)
  • And much, much more!

Through our externship opportunities, you can work at community pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy before you graduate. This will which help build your professional network and could lead to full-time employment once you are certified. The sort of on-the-job training offered through externships will give you added guidance and mentorship that will prepare you for your career. You’ll get a real sense of what it’s like to be a pharmacy technician and what pressures and duties you’ll be working with.

Becoming a pharmacy technician is a smart choice for a career that is in increasingly high demand. The world needs more pharmacy technicians, and by becoming one, you’ll be part of a highly valued team. You’ll be able to expand your skill set and share those skills with people who need help. Whether it’s your first real job or you’re looking to switch careers, Career Step can help you reach your new career goals every step of the way. Visit www.careerstep.com/pharmacy-technician-careers to learn more about this exciting occupation today.


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  1. Kristina June 15, 2014

    I am interested in classes in Columbus,Ohio area, Iwill possibly be relocating there this fall.

  2. Career Step June 16, 2014

    Hi Kristina,

    The wonderful thing about the Career Step Pharmacy Technician training is that it’s completely online—so you could start the training now and just take it with you when you relocate. We also have relationships with Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy that offer our students externships in their local areas. Please contact one of our Academic Advisors at 1-800-411-7073 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

    Best wishes!


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