Do you think being a pharmacy technician sounds like a good career for you. If so, you probably want to know how to become a pharmacy technician. What are the steps you need to go through?
Below, you’ll get an overview of how to become a pharmacy tech and about what you’ll do on the job.
How To Become a Pharmacy Technician
There is no single path to becoming a pharmacy tech. But, to become one, you will need at least a high school diploma or a GED.
Two common ways to become a pharmacy technician are through a certificate or diploma program, and the other is through an associate’s degree program.
The quickest way to be a pharmacy technician is through a certificate or diploma program. But first, you will need the following to enter a pharmacy training program:
- High school diploma or GED
- Placement test scores
- Background check
Becoming a pharmacy technician through a certificate or diploma program takes 2 semesters or one year to complete. In certain states, you will need to pass a certification exam to qualify.
You can do your training either online or in-person at community colleges. Curriculum in a certificate or diploma program for pharmacy technicians include:
- Pharmacy Law
- Drug Classifications
- Introduction to Health Professions
- Pharmaceutical Math
- Compounding Sterile Preparations
- Community Pharmacy Practice
- Institutional Pharmacy Practice
Becoming a pharmacy technician through obtaining an associate’s degree provides more depth of study in fields such as pharmaceutical services, management and customer service, and general education classes.
The requirements needed to enter an associate’s degree program are the same as those in a certificate or diploma program. However, unlike the previous route, training to become a pharmacy technician through an associate’s degree takes 2 years to complete.
The courses offered in an associate’s degree program are more methodical compared to those in a certificate or diploma program. They include in-person clinical training and a pharmacy practice internship. You can earn more credits by applying to an associate’s degree program.
What Does a Pharmacy Tech Do?
To start things off, pharmacy technicians are medical professionals who work along with pharmacists. Pharmacy technicians work with pharmacists to provide patients the best care.
Pharmacy technicians are often supervised by pharmacists and they are the ones who work on the overall efficiency and safety of pharmacy operations. They are also the ones responsible for filling and ordering prescriptions to patients as well as discussing any concerns with their accompanied pharmacists.
Pharmacy technicians also manage other things in the pharmacy. This includes customer care, communication between coworkers, and phone and technical operations.
Basically pharmacy technicians mainly do two things: customer service and helping in providing prescriptions.
Pharmacy technicians can work in various environments, but mainly they work in areas that are clean, organized, well-lighted, and well-ventilated.
They work in places such as pharmacies both hospital-based and retail. They can also work in mail service pharmacies, primary care or long-term care facilities, managed health care organizations, educational programs such as schools, military environments, and even in veterinary settings.
Pharmacy technicians work the same hours as pharmacists. This means that their work schedule may include evenings, weekends, and even holidays. Pharmacy technicians, along with pharmacists, work in shifts. Especially in places where 24 hours of service is required such as some hospitals and retail pharmacies.