Employment of pharmacy technicians is expected to increase by 32 percent over the next 10 years and these new workers can find work in many different settings, ranging from retail or mail-order pharmacies, clinics to hospitals.
However, places looking to hire pharmacy technicians are looking for more than just technical knowledge. They want well-rounded individuals that not only know how to read prescription labels and drug information, but can work well with patients and customers that have questions, concerns and comments.
Today’s pharmacy technicians are required to multitask and customers have a lot of expectations when they come into the pharmacy, many of which were not in the job description just a few decades ago. Today’s pharmacy technicians are required to be knowledgeable about insurance information, handle store coupons, enforce federal drug guidelines and work as cashiers.
There is also a customer service component to being a pharmacy technician because customers will often poise questions they have about their medication, including known side effects, dosage levels and benefits of a particular drug over another.
Another way to think of a pharmacy technician is as a bridge between the pharmacist and the customer. A pharmacy technician mixes, re-packages, labels and delivers drugs to patients. They may also have to look up important information on the computer to relay to customers and patients.
Companies are not just looking for pharmacy techs with strong customer service skills, but also professional training. Over the next 25 years the number of pharmacy technicians in America is expected to increase between 25 percent and 35 percent. There are many factors leading to the expected increase, including an aging population and an increase in access to medical care and health insurance.
The development of new drugs and the improved affordability of medication by average citizens have also led to an increased need in pharmacy technicians at hospitals, pharmacies and clinics across the country. This makes the pharmacy technician field one of the fastest growing job sectors in the country and can provide job seekers with a new and fulfilling career.
It used to be that most pharmacy technicians could be hired as interns and trained by their company under the supervision of a head pharmacist. But with the rapid demand of pharmacist technician services, more and more hospitals, pharmacies, rehabilitation centers and clinics no longer have the time to provide on the job training. Companies need pharmacy technicians quickly and they need technicians that have a solid understanding of the field and the multiple tasks required.
Most employers today are looking for workers that have completed a pharmacy technician training program, like the one at The Healthcare Institute. The job description of a pharmacy technician often includes an understanding of corporate policies, strong customer service, knowledge of prescription drug regulations and the ability to adapt. That is why companies are often looking for pharmacy technicians that have strong training and are ready to hit the ground running without the need for entry level or introductory training.
A normal day for a pharmacy technician includes labeling medicine bottles, counting and mixing medication and receiving prescription requests. Pharmacy technicians must also have knowledge of their particular company’s pricing structure for medication and understand how to incorporate insurance policies when billing a patient. But there are also a variety of administrative tasks involved, including assisting the pharmacist, processing billing and insurance forms and overseeing cash transactions at the register.
As with any industry, the average pay for a pharmacy technician varies depending on experience, training and education. The national average is between $10 and $15 per hour, with certified pharmacy technicians having the best chance of earning at the top of that scale. Completing a pharmacy technician program is often the best way to secure employment and get a job that pays at the hirer end of the salary scale.
Pharmacy technicians are in demand and will continue to be for many years to come. The need for medical care will only continue to grow and the role of medication in medical treatment is also on the rise, making the job of a pharmacy technician one to consider for those looking to enter a strong field.