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What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do?

The healthcare field is very diverse and has many sectors of fields and organizations within it. Pharmacy technicians fall into pharmacy and pharmaceutical roles as they assist licensed pharmacists in preparing prescriptions. Interested candidates of pharmacy technician occupations should know that job opportunities are expected to be good, as pharmacy technicians jobs are expected to grow 31% by 2018, adding about 100,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists prepare prescription medications, provide customer service, and may also perform light administrative duties and job responsibilities with pharmacies such as answering telephones or stocking products. They generally receive prescriptions from clients, count tablets and dosages to be put in bottles, and label medication containers. Technicians also count, pour, weigh, measure, and mix medications. Once technicians have packaged and labeled containers, they must check it with the pharmacist before it is given to a patient.

Pharmacy technicians may work in a number of settings including retail stores with pharmacies, hospitals, healthcare facilities, clinics, and mail-order pharmacies. State rules and regulations also depend on the types of pharmacies that exist in each state. Some states also allow prescription requests by telephone, only after the technician has verified information on the prescription to be correct and accurate. Additionally, technicians that work in pharmacies spend most of the day on their feet and may be required to lift heavy boxes and use ladders to reach high shelves.

There is no specific training or required certification in place that describes training and qualifications in pharmacy technicians. However, many employers do prefer candidates have some sort of formal training or certification. Most pharmacy technicians do receive on the job training, which usually takes between 3 and 12 months. Additionally, since pharmacy technician jobs are expected to grow at a very rapid rate, candidates with training, certification, or previous experience, should have better chances, as the positions will be competitive and in high demand.

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