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Become A Pharmacy Technician (Pharm Tech)

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Job Duties of a Pharmacy Technician:

Pharmacy techs assist pharmacists with a variety of tasks in the pharmacy, including administrative tasks, providing customer service, and assistance preparing the prescriptions for customers (patients). Pharm techs recieve and assist with the processing of prescriptions via phone, fax, and computer.

Education, Training, and Certification Requirements for Pharmacy Technicians:

Requirements vary, and are not standardized across the board. However, many employers require a high school diploma or equivalent. Often, training is acquired on the job, but some employers favor those applicants who have completed formal training at a vocational or community college.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, courses range from 6 months to 2 years and cover some math and related calculations, medical and pharmaceutical terminology, pharmacy law, and related topics.

Additionally, most states require that pharm techs register with the State Board of Pharmacy, which typically requires a high school diploma or GED, and an application fee.

Work Environment for Pharmacy Technicians:

Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies which may be located in a variety of different settings including retail/drug stores, hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes or long term care facilities. Like most other healthcare environments, the pharmacy environment is typically clean, well-organized, and well-lit.

Average Compensation and Job Outlook for Pharmacy Technicians:

Average pay is about $13.92 per hour, which equates to about $28,900 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Outlook for future employment is expected to be "much higher than average," with a projected growth rate of 25% from 2008-2018.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Pharmacy Technicians and Aides, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos325.htm (visited July 25, 2010).

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