Are you a skilled communicator who prides yourself on your adaptability, ability to focus and prioritize, and your organizational skills? If those qualities sound like you, then a career as a pharmacy technician might be the right pathway for you. Pharmacy technicians play a vital role in keeping the pharmacy organized with a fast-paced workflow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook from 2020 to 2030 should grow at a rate of 4%. For a career that requires a minimal amount of education outside of a high school diploma, this is a good prospect for those interested in moving into this field.
Earning Your Certificate
Although not all pharmacies require more than a high school diploma and on-the-job training, all states require that you pass a background check, and many require that you pass either a state test or one through a professional organization to work in a pharmacy. In order to pass a pharmacy technician certification test, it’s important to have participated in formal education. Washington Technical Institute offers a 5-credit Pharmacy Technician Certificate that can be completed in four months or fewer. In addition to the 5 credit online course, WTI pharmacy tech students complete a 200 hour externship that they arrange with a pharmacy local to them under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. With training like that, any certification test is sure to be no problem.
One of the best ways to get hired as a pharmacy technician at a higher rate of pay is to earn your Pharmacy Technician Certification Board credentials. After you have completed your Pharmacy Tech certificate from WTI and your supervising pharmacist has signed off on your externship hours, you can start the certification process by applying online through the PTCB. Once you sign up, you choose your test date, take your test, and watch for your results and certificate credentials through the PTCB website.
Because each state has different requirements for becoming a pharmacy tech, it’s important to check this state requirements database before choosing any program or certification.
Duties & Responsibilities
Pharmacy technicians’ primary role is to make sure that medication is well-stocked and prepared for patients and doctors under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Pharmacy technicians’ job duties usually include the following:
- • Participating in positive, direct interactions with customers/patients
- • Keeping organized inventory of prescription medications
- • Receiving, verifying, pricing, and filling of prescriptions
- • Obtaining pharmacist approval of prescriptions
- • Checking and completing patient paperwork as well as assisting with insurance claim processing
- • Maintaining and filing accurate records
- • Following pharmacy safety guidelines and infection control procedures
- • Processing prescriptions and records electronically, maintaining accuracy and privacy
- • Supporting the pharmacist with any duties they require
- • Processing patient payments accurately
- • Completing administrative tasks as required by the physician or pharmacist
Where to Find Work
Techs work in one of two areas: hospitals or retail spaces. The hospital setting also includes larger clinics that have their own pharmacy and pharmacist on staff. Retail spaces can include large pharmacy chains or smaller private pharmacies. There are many options for pharmacy techs looking for work.
You can even use the PTCB Career Center to search for jobs near you. With access to their website, you can filter for keywords to find the role you’re looking for as well as locations near you. You can even set up a profile as a job seeker so that potential employers can contact you directly.
How to Get Started
After you determine what qualifications your state requires for pharmacy technicians, you can enroll at WTI and start your courses as soon as possible. Once you’ve submitted proof of your high school diploma and made your first payment, your courses will be assigned to you, and you can start your course right away. You will want to reach out to a nearby pharmacy as well to determine where you will complete your 200 externship hours.
Once you have completed both your coursework and your externship, WTI will send you an official transcript and your Pharmacy Technician Certificate.
If you’re ready to start a new career as a Pharmacy Technician and would like to speak with one of our career development counselors, you can call us at 800-371-5581 or text us at 952-465-3702. Enrollment in our pharmacy tech program is easy. Reach out and get started today!