The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the need for pharmacy technicians will increase 12% by 2026. With the increased demand for prescription medications, a large population of middle-aged and senior adults, and expansion of retail pharmacies, pharmacy technicians are in growing demand. Behind every great pharmacist is a pharmacy technician that is tending to every detail for incoming prescriptions, checking for accuracy and ensuring the pharmacy is fully stocked to meet consumers prescription needs. In honor of National Pharmacy Technician Day, let’s explore what it means to be a pharmacy technician and what steps you need to take to earn your degree.
What is a Pharmacy Technician?
A pharmacy technician works in a variety of settings, alongside a pharmacist, and assists with the daily responsibilities of a pharmacy. They prepare prescription medications, provide service to patients, and perform any administrative duties within a pharmacy setting. Pharmacy technicians work in hospitals, pharmacies, the pharmaceutical production or industry, prisons, veterinary pharmacies, military, and education.
What does a Pharmacy Technician do?
Pharmacy technicians work directly with pharmacists to meet patients’ needs. Pharmacy technicians disburse medications, both prescription and over-the-counter to patients; prepare prescriptions for patients; answer questions and provide information to patients and healthcare professionals; manage the supply of medicines; supervise pharmacy staff; and produce medicines in hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry.
Pharmacy technicians also work with insurance companies for payment; compound medications such as oral solutions, ointments and creams; prepackage bulk medications; order medications; handle purchasing and billing; verify correct prescriptions; and assist customers with picking up and dropping off prescriptions.
How do I Earn a Pharmacy Technician Degree?
At Stratford University, students can earn an Associate of Applied Science in Pharmacy Technician degree in as little as 24 months. Graduates of the program join the workforce with the skills and knowledge necessary to assist pharmacists in the preparation and dispensing of medications. With a pharmacy technician degree, students can work in a variety of healthcare settings such as hospitals, retail, long-term care facilities, home healthcare agencies, clinic pharmacies, mail-order pharmacies, and drug wholesalers. Our campuses offer classes year round, with five different start times. We offer day, night and weekend courses, as well as online courses, to fit into any schedule. Earning your pharmacy technician degree has never been more convenient.
Why Become a Pharmacy Technician?
The healthcare industry is one of the largest growing industries in the country, with more than 11 million healthcare jobs. Career options for a pharmacy technician graduate are promising, with nine out of twenty highly in-demand jobs being in the health services industry. As pharmacies expand patient care options, the need for pharmacy technicians will also continue to grow.
A pharmacy technician degree makes you a more attractive job candidate, with more likelihood of job advancement and a stronger earning potential. As you continue to gain job experience and knowledge, the career opportunities broaden. Experienced pharmacy technicians can take on supervisory roles, or continue their education to become pharmacists. They can also develop a specialty such as pharmacy automation or health information systems.