Pharmacy technicians’ primary responsibility is dispensing prescription medication, which requires great attention to detail. Pharmacy techs must be able to measure, mix, dose and dispense appropriate amounts of medication based on the pharmacist’s orders. They may also be involved with data entry tasks to update patient records and fill prescription orders.
Most programs allow students to gain clinical experience during their training. Depending on state laws, students may also choose to gain on-the-job training without enrolling in a postsecondary education program. Clinical experience may take the form of a structured training program at a retail drugstore that has partnered with the school. Another option is to complete hands-on training at an approved pharmacy or medical center.
Pharmacy technician employment is anticipated to develop quickly because of a growing use of medications as a treatment for patients. Additionally, a larger amount of middle-aged and elderly people — who typically take more prescription drugs than those that are younger — will drive the need for technicians in all practice surroundings. View technician employment trends from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In addition, many states are updating the rules and regulations concerning permitted technician duties. For example, the Idaho Board of Pharmacy recently updated its rules to allow certified pharmacy technicians to administer immunizations, clarify and transfer prescriptions, and take verbal orders, as long as key requirements—national certification and proper training—are met.8
Certification is not required in some states, but most employers prefer pharmacy techs to be certified. An online pharmacy tech certification program needs to provide comprehensive training to prepare a student to sit for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam. Those interested in National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certification must have at least one year of work experience, which can be acquired through an externship program offered by the school.
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