What is a drugstore pharmacy tech? And is this the right healthcare career path for you? If you want to work in the medical field, take a look at what you need to know about this pharmacy-focused job.
What Do Pharmacy Techs Do?
A pharmacy technician assists a licensed pharmacist. The specific duties techs tackle during the workday may include information gathering (from patients/customers), packaging prescriptions, labeling prescriptions, organizing the pharmacy's inventory, using a computer (to enter customer information, check a prescription's status, or other similar tasks), and communicating with the pharmacist.
What Can't Techs Do?
Even though you'll work with prescriptions, you won't have the same responsibilities as the pharmacist. Unlike pharmacists, techs can't review or approve prescriptions. The specific duties a tech does may vary by state (due to regulations) and job or employer.
Where Do Technicians Work?
Techs work in a variety of medical settings. These include stand-alone pharmacies, drugstores, hospitals, urgent care clinics, community medical centers, and grocery stores (in the pharmacy section or department). The majority of pharmacy technicians in the United States work in pharmacies/drugstores. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), fifty-one percent of techs work in these settings. Only 17 percent of pharmacy technicians work in hospitals and nine percent work in food or beverages stores.
How Much Money Do Techs Earn?
In 2020, the median pay for a pharmacy technician was $35,100 per year or $16.87 per hour, according to the BLS. These figures are averages across the country and for techs of different experience levels. You may make less as a new tech who is just starting out or more if you live in a certain geographic region.
How Can You Become a Drugstore Pharmacy Tech?
If you want to work in the pharmacy field and you're sure a drugstore is the right environment, you'll want to know what to do next. Before you can take the first steps towards a new career, you need either a high school diploma or equivalency. If you already have one of these degrees, you can take one of two routes—post-secondary career/trade school or on-the-job pharmacy training.
Career or trade school tech programs are typically shorter degrees that won't take years to complete. You'll learn pharmacy basics, such as types of medications, how to dispense medications, and drug calculations/advanced math. If your state requires certification, you will need to take and pass a specialized exam before you can work in a drugstore pharmacy.Share
6 August 2021
My name is Katie Langer. For a long time, I was bed ridden and I felt like I had no control over my life. I simply went along with what was instructed by my doctor and I didn't ask questions. It wasn't that my doctor wasn't willing to work with me, but I preferred to simply not think about the illness I was suffering from. I didn't realize that some of the symptoms I was suffering from were side effects of my medication and were not normal. After communicating more with my doctor, I was able to alleviate my symptoms. Since then, I've taken an interest in patient-doctor relationships and how to improve them.