Career Snapshot: What to Expect from a Pharmacy Tech Career
Although projected salary numbers or employment figures for a given profession are important, understanding the full picture of your potential new career can help you make better-informed decisions. If you think you’d like to become a Pharmacy Technician, or are currently enrolled in Pharmacy Tech School or a Pharmacy Technician Certification Training Program, it pays to do your research.
Here are five things to expect from your career as a pharmacy technician!
Industry Knowledge & Attention to Detail
Assisting a pharmacist by dispensing prescription medication seems fairly straightforward, but it requires speed, attention to detail and a willingness to stay informed about changes in the pharmacy field. According to Mike Johnston, chairman and CEO of the National Pharmacy Technician Association, in an interview conducted with US News & World Report, “Pharmacy practice changes on a weekly basis with new generics and new drugs.” To do your job effectively, continuing to maintain your industry knowledge is key.
Variety and Flexibility
As a pharmacy tech, your day-to-day responsibilities can vary quite a bit. There are retail pharmacies and institutional facilities that operate 24 hours a day, giving you great flexibility for working part time or full time, depending on your preferred schedule. Pharmacy technicians can work in department stores, grocery stores and even large “big box” stores like Walmart or Costco, but the majority work at pharmacies, drug stores and hospitals. In many community pharmacies, the roles of pharmacy techs are expanding to meet patients’ desire for “full service” care, which means you could find yourself collecting patient information, preparing different types of medications, and verifying the work of other technicians.
Stress (mild to moderate)
Working as a pharmacy tech can be demanding. It’s a job with a high level of responsibility, because accuracy is so important. In addition, you are often encountering patients who are not at their best. They could be sick, worried or in physical pain, so working with them can be a challenge requiring both empathy and kindness. Finally, speed is often essential, particularly in a busy pharmacy. With long lines at the drive-up window or counter, you have to be able to keep your cool and stay focused, while working to meet patients’ needs.
A Focus on People
Pharmacy technicians play an active role in helping patients improve their health, take care of their bodies, and elevate their quality of life. If you work in a smaller community, you may develop a familiarity with patients and become connected with their improving health. And, again, with many patients wanting to accomplish multiple health-care related tasks at the pharmacy, you could find that your role of patient caregiver expands even more.
Salary and Employment Prospects
While salaries for any position can vary widely depending on the role’s scope of responsibilities, according to Indeed.com, the average salary for pharmacy technicians in the Lancaster, CA area was $27,000/year, about even with the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. This demand is driven in part by an aging population, in part due to more Americans having access to insurance (and therefore able to afford to fill prescriptions), and pharmaceutical advances that enable more drug-based treatments on the market.
Learn how to begin your path to a career as a Pharmacy Technician today by stopping by either of our campuses in Lancaster or Bakersfield, completing an online form or calling us at 888-633-4362.