College Resources

Career Tracks: Pharmacy Technician

The pharmacy technician curriculum prepares health care professionals who assist pharmacists in providing the best possible patient care.

Students will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to function in hospital and retail pharmacies. Learning to prepare and dispense medications in correct dosage and form for the appropriate route of administration is required. Students learn medications' uses, action and side effects. To work as a certified pharmacy technician, graduates must successfully pass the national certification examination and have 1000 hours worked in a pharmacy (not counting clinical hours.)

Duties

Graduates may be required to:

  • perform technical tasks under direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist

  • replenish and organize stock

  • prepare batches of liquids and repackage bulk supplies

  • restock nurses' stations

  • fill hospital chart orders

  • fill prescriptions
     

Working Conditions:

Graduates commonly experience:

  • very clean, well-lit work area in health care institution or retail outlet

  • visiting stockrooms, nursing stations and perhaps picking up urgently needed supplies from other pharmacies or health care institutions

 

Physical Demands:

  • some work is repetitive but must be done with meticulous care and attention. Much time spent standing.

  • considerable stress during busy periods.

  • may have to lift boxes weighing up to 20 lbs., retrieve supplies from high shelves using stepladder.

  • some preparations require multiple hand washings, special clothing or other forms of protection.

  • in hospitals and some drugstores, can choose which shift to work (perhaps to fit in with attending school; some technicians study to become pharmacists).
     

Characteristics & Temperament

Graduates should:

  • be neat, clean, careful, conscientious and highly reliable (errors could have serious consequences).

  • be honest and ethical

  • have ability to handle addictive and/or very expensive drugs

  • have ability to maintain confidential information about patients

  • have ability to perform well under pressure, take orders and relate to medical professionals, patients and customers.

  • have good command of English.

  • be accurate (rather than fast) at typing.

  • have good eyesight/color vision (some drugs are color-coded).

  • be prepared to work overtime and adapt to unpredictable requirements resulting from emergencies.

  • be able to work as a team member in health care institutions and community settings.

 

Employment Outlook

  Employment statistics for 2011 - 2013 PTC graduates, who found jobs in this field, are as follows:

  • 90% placement rate

  • Salary range: $17-25,000 per year

  • Salary average: $22,057.00 per year

  • excellent availability of positions

  • employment in cities and towns of all sizes

  • advancement possible
     

Employers

Most work in hospitals, other health care institutions/agencies and retail pharmacies.  Some recent graduates have found work at: