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How to Become A Pharmacy Technician

By Edited Jun 25, 2016 0 2

Pharmacy Technician

You may not understand how to become a pharmacy technician yet, but hopefully this article will point you in the right direction. There are a few simple steps that will help you land a pharmacy technician job. Not all steps are necessary, but completion of each of them will maximize your chances of getting hired.

In case you're first wondering what a pharmacy technician does, it is quite simple: They basically help licensed pharmacists fill prescriptions. Although pharmacy technicians may begin by not knowing much about medication and the field of pharmacy, they eventually learn a vast amount of information while on the job.

What Kind of Education is Necessary?

While there is no specific degree that is mandated in order to obtain a job as a pharmacy technician, pharmacists favor pharmacy technician candidates who have received a certificate or associate's degree. Likewise, it helps to be a high school graduate and even a college graduate (regardless of whether it is related to a medical or science field). If you don't have a formal post-high school education, however, don't worry, you're not out of options.

The Steps that Give You The Best Chance of Becoming a Pharmacy Technician

1) Find a top pharmacy technician program. As previously mentioned, this isn't required but it is extremely helpful. Searching for a school is easy to do online.

2) Whether or not you get an education in this field, you should take the pharmacy technician certification exam. If you did not receive an education in pharmacy, you can buy the necessary study materials to prepare for the exam. The great thing is, you can take the exam as many times as you need, until you pass.

3) Apply for pharmacy technician jobs. There are many opportunities, as pharmacies exist in many retail environments beyond drug stores like Walgreens and CVS. Large department stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, and Sam's Club often have pharmacies as well.

4) Interview for the job, and keep in mind your needs while answering their questions. Although the particular opportunity may look promising, decide what's important to you when it comes to salary/wage, hours, location, etc.

5) Make sure you stay current with the requirements of your certification. It may vary by state (or depend on the time that you are reading this article), but you must complete a certain number of continuing education hours (usually 20 hours in every two year period). In most cases, your employer should cover the cost associated with this continuing education (this would be a good question to ask before you agree to work for a particular employer).

If you follow the above steps, you'll have an excellent chance at getting a job as a pharmacy technician.

What Do Pharmacy Technicians Typically Get Paid?

Pay will vary based on employer, geographical location, and experience. Typically, entry level pharmacy technicians can expect to make between $27,000 and $34,000 per year. Those with four to six years of experience can expect to make between $32,000 and $40,000 per year. After six years or so, most pharmacy technicians earn between $41,000 and $53,000 per year.

Demand for pharmacy technicians has been strong in recent years, and will likely continue on this trend. Because of this, it is possible that average salaries will continue to rise over the next several years.


Jul 28, 2010 10:49pm
This is a great career choice for people with good math skills but no college degree. An aging pill popping population means job growth in this field!
Jul 28, 2010 10:54pm
You are definitely right! It's an increasingly growing field with lots of opportunities.
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