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What is a Pharmacy Technician?

You probably met a pharmacy technician if you’ve been to a pharmacy. These pros are vital in healthcare, assisting pharmacists to ensure they give the right meds. This post will examine a pharmacy tech’s role, skills needed, education, certification,  salary, and job opportunities.

pharmacy technician in a laboratory

What do Pharmacy Technicians do?

Pharmacy techs work under licensed pharmacists, helping with various tasks in a pharmacy. They:

  1. Assist with Prescription Processing: Help with prescription orders, ensuring all accurate info is there.
  2. Dispense Medications: Count and pack meds label them with instructions and safety info.
  3. Manage Inventory: Order meds, organize stock, and ensure proper storage.
  4. Provide Customer Service: Interact with patients and answer questions about meds, dosage, and side effects.
  5. Compound Medications: In some places, they prepare custom meds as per healthcare provider instructions.

Where do Pharmacy Technicians work?

Pharmacy technicians can work in different healthcare places:

  • Pharmacies: Big or small shops where they help with prescriptions and talk to customers.
  • Hospitals: They get meds ready, give them out in hospitals, and sometimes make special ones.
  • Places for Long-Term Care: They help give out meds in homes for older people or places where people get extra help.
  • Mail-order Pharmacies: They assemble and pack meds to send to people’s homes.

What is the education and training for Pharmacy Technicians?

To become a pharmacy technician:

School Requirements: Usually, you need to finish high school. Some like it if you’ve done extra training or have a degree in pharmacy tech.

Training Time: The training programs take about a year. They teach you about math, pharmacy rules, safety, and medicines.

Learning by Doing: While learning, you also get to practice with real work. You might help out in a pharmacy or a clinic to learn more.

What certification is required for Pharmacy Technicians?

  • Not Always Needed: You don’t always have to get certified, but it’s a good idea. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) have certification tests.
  • PTCB Certification: If you want PTCB certification, you must finish high school, a training program, and pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE).
  • NHA Certification: For NHA certification, you also need a high school diploma, finish a training program, and pass the ExCPT Exam.


Getting certified shows you’re serious and can help you advance your career.

What skills are needed for Pharmacy Technicians?

For pharmacy technicians, essential skills include:

  1. Being Careful: Even tiny mistakes can be a big deal. Being accurate is super important.
  2. Talking Well: They talk to patients and other healthcare people daily, so they must explain things clearly.
  3. Staying Organized: They must keep things in order, like counting medicine and doing tasks quickly.
  4. Doing the Right Thing: They must follow the rules and keep private information safe.
  5. Math Skills: Good with numbers is vital for working out medicine amounts and keeping track of supplies.

When and why should you see a Pharmacy Technician?

You might want to talk to a pharmacy technician when:

  1. Getting More Medicine: If you need more medicine or have questions about it.
  2. Info About Medicine: They can tell you how much to take, what might happen, and if it’s okay with other meds you’re taking.
  3. Buying Meds Without a Prescription: If you need help deciding which medicine to get, they can help.
  4. Questions About Money and Insurance: They can assist if you need clarification on how much your medication costs or if your insurance covers it.

What is the salary and job outlook for Pharmacy Technicians?

How much a pharmacy technician makes depends on where they work, their experience, and the kind of healthcare place. In 2020, the middle yearly pay, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), was $34,020.

Soon, things are looking good for pharmacy technicians. The BLS thinks there will be 4 percent more jobs from 2019 to 2029 because more people need medicine.

Final Thoughts

If you’re passionate about healthcare, consider a fulfilling career as a pharmacy technician. These professionals play a crucial role in ensuring medicine’s safe and timely delivery. To boost your career prospects, pursue formal education, gain practical experience, and get certified. Take the first step with the CCI Training Center. They provide comprehensive and quality education, equipping aspiring professionals with the skills to thrive in their chosen healthcare careers. Good luck on your journey to becoming a skilled and certified pharmacy technician!