What Is a Pharmacy Technician?

Jun 02, 2019

Were you aware that pharmacies often employ both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, a job term that is sometimes shortened to pharm techs?

Though some of their everyday tasks are similar, there are very important distinctions between these two positions and their roles in a pharmacy. Pharmacy technicians assist the pharmacists, often with the actual filling of the prescriptions, while pharmacists frequently focus on clerical work, tasks requiring advanced pharmacological knowledge, and patient advisory.

Becoming a Pharm Tech
The requirements to be a pharmacy technician are less stringent than those of a pharmacist. Pharmacy technician positions frequently only require a high school diploma and pharmacy technician certification as the formal education and background requirements, although you may consider attending a postsecondary educational program for pharmacy technicians to enhance your skills and ensure you will be a more competitive applicant.

Pharm Tech Certification 
The certification test is required in some states, although even in states where it is not required, many pharmacies will ONLY hire technicians with the Pharmacy Technician Board Certification. The exam was developed by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. It is a 2-hour, multiple-choice exam with 90 questions. Examinees have to prepare by attending a board approved program like Rx Health Academy to familiarize themselves with the material and completing practice exams.

What a Pharm Tech Does

Duties that are commonly completed by the pharmacy technician include pre-packing bulk medicines, preparing IV bags, billing prescribed medications, and affixing labels. They may also interact with customers to handle monetary transactions and resolve complaints or other issues. Technicians can also be responsible for keeping inventory records and contacting insurance companies to resolve billing issues.

Is Pharm Tech a Good Career Option for Me?
For those considering a career in pharmacology, working as a pharmacy technician may be a great option considering that over half of all jobs in pharmacies and drug stores are pharmacy technicians. The median national salary for a pharmacy technician is $31,750 annually, although this can vary by region and demand. Individuals who are considering a career as a pharmacy technician should consider whether it is a good fit with their skills, interests, and personality. If so, there are many resources available to help you succeed on the journey to your new career.

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