Pharmacy technicians work in clean, organized, well-lighted, and well-ventilated areas. Most of their workday is spent on their feet. They may be required to lift heavy boxes or to use stepladders to retrieve supplies from high shelves. Technicians work the same hours as pharmacists. This may include evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays. Because some hospital and retail pharmacies are open 24 hours a day, technicians may work varying shifts. As their seniority increases, technicians often have increased control over the hours they work. There are many opportunities for part-time work in both retail and hospital settings.
The number of jobs for pharmacy technicians is expected to increase by 20 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Demand for qualified healthcare professionals is growing as the baby boomer population ages, seeking medications to treat common ailments, and as new prescription drugs are approved and released to the American public.
An individual enrolled in a technician training course or program, or an individual who has not previously worked as a pharmacy technician and who accepts technician employment in an Iowa pharmacy, must register as a pharmacy technician trainee within 30 days of starting technician training or employment. A technician trainee must become a nationally certified pharmacy technician within 12 months of starting technician employment or training.
Besides your studies, there are several skills you could cultivate in order to perform your duties as a pharmacy technician optimally. In your classes you’ll learn to work with the tools of the trade, such as Auger Dose Machines, Lab Blenders and Emulsifiers and Sterile Processing and Filling Machines, but what else can you learn to get a jump on the competition?

Two organizations offer certification. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) certification requires a high school diploma and the passing of an exam. Applicants for the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certification must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, and have completed a training program or have 1 year of work experience. Technicians must recertify every 2 years by completing 20 hours of continuing education courses.


There are many scopes of the workplace for the Certified Pharmacy Technician. In a retail setting, a CPhT works under the direct supervision of a pharmacist who dispenses prescription medication (tablets, capsules, gels, ointment, creams, suspensions, injections, and inhalation medications), and must be familiar with over-the-counter areas as well as third party insurance billing processes. In an inpatient setting, the CPhT works throughout the hospital, packing and dispensing medications in satellite pharmacies and to the various nursing units; compounding intravenous medication while using aseptic technique; narcotic medication dispensing and inventorial procedures; as well as documenting patients' weight, height, drug allergies and other needed information in medication records.

Helping a pharmacist dispense prescription medication might seem like an easy task, but it requires immense precision and detail. Pharmacy technicians ensure medications are filled correctly in a specified window of time. Unlike pharmacists, pharmacy technicians are not the sole dispensers of medication. They mostly assist in measuring, mixing, counting and labeling dosages of medications. Also, pharmacy technicians don't typically advise patients on proper medication dosages and side effects the way a pharmacist does.
Take Daniel Rau, a former Marine sergeant who returned from active duty in 2008, after two years as a comms technician and three years protecting embassies in India, Japan, and Yemen. — Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Thank You For Your Service. Now What?," 17 Oct. 2018 With over 1,300 medical, operational, and regulatory experts, technicians and supporting services working in the same facilities, communication and collaboration are greatly enhanced. — Jessica Levy, Cincinnati.com, "Medpace speeds the advancement of safe, effective medical therapeutics," 8 June 2018 In addition to local authorities, a state hazardous material technician and postal inspectors also responded, police said. — David Owens, courant.com, "White Powder In Piece Of Mail Disrupts ESPN's Bristol Campus," 7 June 2018 CONSTRUCTION Horizon Retail Construction, Sturtevant, hired Raul Luis Antonio as an information technology helpdesk technician and Brooke Barlow as an assistant project manager. — Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New hires, promotions at Wisconsin companies," 7 June 2018 In the end, a team of almost 25 Danbury clinicians — including surgeons, cardiologists, gynecologists, physician’s assistants, anesthesiologists, nurses, operating room technicians and office staff — worked together to develop a treatment plan. — Jamie Ducharme, Time, "A Connecticut Woman Had a 132-Pound Ovarian Tumor Removed," 4 May 2018 Other experts included anesthetists, pediatricians, lab technicians, and backups in case anyone couldn't make it for the birth. — Megan Friedman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Kate Middleton Left the Hospital So Quickly After Giving Birth," 23 Apr. 2018 More than 20m people recently applied for 100,000 railway jobs, as train drivers, technicians and porters. — The Economist, "India’s economy is back on track. Can it pick up speed?," 28 Mar. 2018 Graduates can land a number of utility jobs such substation technicians and equipment operators, according to the college website. — Jason Ruiter, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Puerto Rican receives training in growing lineworker field, hopes to return to help restore power," 20 Mar. 2018
×