Pharmacy Technician/Assisting

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Pharmacy Technicians are the professionals behind the scenes that assisted licensed pharmacists dispense drugs and fill prescriptions. They work in various settings, but most commonly work in retail pharmacy establishments and hospitals. Specifically, pharmacy technicians measure drug amounts to fill prescriptions, count tablets/pills, put together drug compounds, package prescriptions, and peform other routine tasks around a pharmacy. In hospitals, pharmacy technicians may be responsible for preparing intravenous medications as well as a various of other specialized medications.

Currently, there about 330,000 pharmacy technicians employed in the United States. Just over 50% of pharmacy technicians are employed in retail pharmacies and drugs, 20% in hospitals, and the remaining 30% in grocery and department stores. Many pharmacies are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Consquently, working hours for pharmacy technicians can vary dramatically. Some pharmacy technicians work full-time, but many only work part time.

Over the next decade, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment opportunities for pharmacy technicians will grow at a rate of over 30%–much faster than the average for most healthcare careers. This growth is driven by an aging population–that depends on drugs–and a growing number of new drugs that are entering the market to fight disease. For technicians with a degree or formal training, jobs opportunities should be plentiful.

While much of what a pharmacy technicians does can be learned through on-the-job training, most pharmacy technicians prepare for a career by earning a 1-year pharmacy technician certificate or a 2-year associates degree in pharmacy technology. Below you’ll find a comprehensive directory of the accredited colleges and universities that offers certificate and degree programs in pharmacy technology.

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