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Pharmacy Technicians Career

Career Description

Prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. May measure, mix, count out, label, and record amounts and dosages of medications according to prescription orders.

What Job Titles Pharmacy Technicians Might Have

  • Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)
  • Lead Pharmacy Technician (Lead Pharmacy Tech)
  • Pharmacy Technician (Pharmacy Tech)
  • Senior Pharmacy Technician

What Pharmacy Technicians Do

  • Receive written prescription or refill requests and verify that information is complete and accurate.
  • Prepack bulk medicines, fill bottles with prescribed medications, and type and affix labels.
  • Answer telephones, responding to questions or requests.
  • Maintain proper storage and security conditions for drugs.
  • Assist customers by answering simple questions, locating items, or referring them to the pharmacist for medication information.
  • Price and file prescriptions that have been filled.
  • Establish or maintain patient profiles, including lists of medications taken by individual patients.
  • Order, label, and count stock of medications, chemicals, or supplies and enter inventory data into computer.
  • Receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.
  • Mix pharmaceutical preparations, according to written prescriptions.
  • Operate cash registers to accept payment from customers.
  • Clean and help maintain equipment or work areas and sterilize glassware, according to prescribed methods.
  • Prepare and process medical insurance claim forms and records.
  • Transfer medication from vials to the appropriate number of sterile, disposable syringes, using aseptic techniques.
  • Supply and monitor robotic machines that dispense medicine into containers and label the containers.
  • Restock intravenous (IV) supplies and add measured drugs or nutrients to IV solutions under sterile conditions to prepare IV packs for various uses, such as chemotherapy medication.
  • Compute charges for medication or equipment dispensed to hospital patients and enter data in computer.
  • Deliver medications or pharmaceutical supplies to patients, nursing stations, or surgery.
  • Price stock and mark items for sale.
  • Maintain and merchandise home healthcare products or services.

What Pharmacy Technicians Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

What Pharmacy Technicians Should Be Interested In

  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Pharmacy Technicians Need to Learn

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Median Salary: $30,920

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.