Pursuing a career as a pharmacy tech is a simple and (usually) quick way to get established in an entry-level medical position. The pharmacy tech job description isn’t overly complex; you’ll be assisting the pharmacist with a variety of tasks as well as interacting with patients (unless you work for a mail-order pharmacy company).
Obtaining a certification takes as little as 10-18 months in most cases, depending on the program you choose and the amount of time you can dedicate to it. Most certification programs offer hands-on training alongside your education, so you’ll leave after graduation with some experience under your belt.
If you want to become a pharmacy tech, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about getting a job as a pharmacy technician.
You Can Get Certified Online
If you don’t have time or don’t care for on-campus study, you can pursue your pharmacy tech degree completely online. The catch is that you’ll probably want to obtain some hands-on training during your studies, so you’ll want to be sure the program you choose offers an externship at an actual pharmacy.
Most state medical boards require you to have a certain number of hands-on training hours in order to obtain your certification anyway. Plus, having the practical experience can make finding a job that much easier once you graduate. A pharmacy will want to see that you’ve actually worked in a pharmacy setting and know your way around.
Working under a certified pharmacist will help you learn the day-to-day operations of a pharmacy. However, you’ll want to remember that every pharmacy is different, and depending on the environment you’re working in (retail, nursing home, etc.), you could experience an entirely different way of doing things.
It Pays Well and Can Offer Benefits
Although pharmacy technician is an entry-level position, it still pays well and in most cases will offer a benefits package. On the low end of the spectrum, the salary falls somewhere in the low $20,000’s range, with higher ranges closer to $30k. Your salary will depend entirely on your experience, the state you’re working in, and the organization you work for. The average salary in the US is around $23,000/year.
That being said, it’s important to remember the entry-level label that comes with pharmacy technician. This means you can always advance, continue your education, and acquire more experience in order to make more and expand your options.
Many pharmacy techs continue on to become certified pharmacists, using their time as a pharmacy tech to learn all about what the pharmacist does and how the pharmacy should operate.
You Can Work Just About Anywhere In The Country
As a pharmacy tech, you can pretty much go anywhere in the US and find work. Pharmacies operate all around the country in retail spaces. You can also find work in nursing homes or mail-order pharmacy environments.
This level of flexibility is something that appeals to many new graduates. You can find work in the area you’ve always wanted to move to, or stay closer to home doing something you love. There are plenty of options available, so don’t be afraid to branch out!
It’s A Rewarding Career
Many people choose to pursue pharmacy tech because it’s a rewarding career. You’ll be helping supply patients with life-saving medications and making a real difference in people’s lives. Millions of Americans depend on their prescription meds for all manner of ailments and conditions. Without the pharmacy tech, the pharmacy would fill orders slower and couldn’t keep up with the demand.
You’ll also get the opportunity to work alongside an experienced pharmacist, who can offer you a wealth of information and wisdom related to the field. The more you know, the more you grow, so pay close attention to your pharmacist. After all, that might be you someday giving advice to a new pharmacy tech.
Growth Is Expected To Remain Steady
The pharmacy tech growth projection is expected to remain at about seven percent for the next decade, which is actually faster growth than any other occupation. What does this mean for you? You’re much more likely to find stable, secure work in the field after you graduate. The fact is, pharmacy techs will always be a necessary component of an operational pharmacy, so your skills should be in demand for years to come.
The Bottom Line
Not only will you be pursuing a career that offers a good starting salary, benefits, and the opportunity to help others, but you’ll also have a certain measure of job security for the future as a pharmacy tech. Most certifications only take about 1-2 years to secure, so you can get started towards a new career quickly and easily.
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About Getting a Job As a Pharmacy Tech