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Career profile Pharmacy Technician

Also known as Accredited Pharmacy Technician; Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT); Compounding Technician; Lead Pharmacy Tech, Certified Pharmacy Technician (Lead Pharmacy Tech, CPhT); Lead Pharmacy Technician (Lead Pharmacy Tech); Pharmacy Technician (Pharmacy Tech); Senior Pharmacy Technician; Technician, Inventory Specialist

Pharmacy Technician

Also known as Accredited Pharmacy Technician; Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT); Compounding Technician; Lead Pharmacy Tech, Certified Pharmacy Technician (Lead Pharmacy Tech, CPhT); Lead Pharmacy Technician (Lead Pharmacy Tech); Pharmacy Technician (Pharmacy Tech); Senior Pharmacy Technician; Technician

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Realistic
  • Social
Pay Range
$25,400 - $50,430 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine and Dentistry
Core tasks
  • Receive written prescription or refill requests and verify that information is complete and accurate.
  • Enter prescription information into computer databases.
  • Compute charges for medication or equipment dispensed to hospital patients and enter data in computer.
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What does a Pharmacy Technician do?

Pharmacy Technicians prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist.

In addition, Pharmacy Technicians may measure, mix, count out, label, and record amounts and dosages of medications according to prescription orders.

What kind of tasks does a Pharmacy Technician perform regularly?

Pharmacy Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Receive written prescription or refill requests and verify that information is complete and accurate.
  • Enter prescription information into computer databases.
  • Establish or maintain patient profiles, including lists of medications taken by individual patients.
  • Maintain proper storage and security conditions for drugs.
  • Receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.
  • Answer telephones, responding to questions or requests.
  • Assist customers by answering simple questions, locating items, or referring them to the pharmacist for medication information.
  • Operate cash registers to accept payment from customers.
  • Price and file prescriptions that have been filled.
  • Mix pharmaceutical preparations, according to written prescriptions.
  • Order, label, and count stock of medications, chemicals, or supplies and enter inventory data into computer.
  • Clean and help maintain equipment or work areas and sterilize glassware, according to prescribed methods.
  • Prepack bulk medicines, fill bottles with prescribed medications, and type and affix labels.

The above responsibilities are specific to Pharmacy Technicians. More generally, Pharmacy Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

What is a Pharmacy Technician salary?

The median salary for a Pharmacy Technician is $35,100, and the average salary is $36,450. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Pharmacy Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Pharmacy Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Pharmacy Technicians earn less than $25,400 per year, 25% earn less than $29,090, 75% earn less than $41,660, and 90% earn less than $50,430.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Pharmacy Technicians is expected to change by 4.0%, and there should be roughly 31,700 open positions for Pharmacy Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$35,100
Typical salary range
$25,400 - $50,430
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
4.0%

What personality traits are common among Pharmacy Technicians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Pharmacy Technician are usually higher in their Conventional and Realistic interests.

Pharmacy Technicians typically have very strong Conventional interests. 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.

Also, Pharmacy Technicians typically have strong Realistic interests. 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.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Pharmacy Technician tend to value Relationships, Support, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Pharmacy Technicians strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Pharmacy Technicians strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Pharmacy Technicians somewhat value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Pharmacy Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, integrity, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Pharmacy Technicians, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Pharmacy Technicians need?

Pharmacy Technicians often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Pharmacy Technicians usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Pharmacy Technicians

  • 1.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 27.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 35.5% completed some college coursework
  • 16.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 15.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 2.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.0% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, mathematics, or medicine and dentistry knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Pharmacy Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.
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.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

Important Abilities needed by Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Pharmacy Technicians need abilities such as oral comprehension, written comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Pharmacy Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
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.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Critical Skills needed by Pharmacy Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Pharmacy Technicians frequently use skills like active listening, reading comprehension, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Pharmacy Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Active Learning
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.