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What Is a Pharmacy Technician?

So, you are thinking about a career as a certified pharmacy technician (CPhT).

Well, that’s awesome!

The question is, do you have what it takes?

Keep reading to find out more…

If you are interested in becoming a pharmacy technician, you are in good company. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the workforce is made up of 402,500 pharmacy technicians in the United States.

So, is there any room left for you?

Great question!

And the answer is yes.

Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow by 12% percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Growth will occur for a number of reasons.

The American population is aging, and older people typically use more prescription medicines than younger people. Higher rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, among all age groups will also lead to increased demand for prescription medications. Advances in pharmaceutical research will allow for more prescription medications to be used to fight diseases.

In addition, pharmacy technicians may be needed to take on a more significant role in pharmacy operations because pharmacists are increasingly performing more patient-care activities such as giving flu shots. Technicians will need to perform tasks such as collecting patient information, preparing more types of medications, and verifying the work of other technicians, tasks formerly done by pharmacists.

Who is becoming a certified pharmacy technician?

According to payscale.com, the pharmacy technician workforce is 77% female and 23% male.

What personal qualities and characteristics make a good pharmacy technician?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following qualities are important to have as a pharmacy technician.

  • Customer-service skills. Pharmacy technicians spend much of their time interacting with customers, so being helpful and polite is required of pharmacy technicians in a retail setting.
  • Detail oriented. Serious health problems can result from mistakes in filling prescriptions. Although the pharmacist is responsible for ensuring the safety of all medications dispensed, pharmacy technicians should pay attention to detail so that complications are avoided.
  • Listening skills. Pharmacy technicians must communicate clearly with pharmacists and doctors when taking prescription orders. When speaking with customers, technicians must listen carefully to understand customers’ needs and determine if they need to speak with a pharmacist.
  • Math skills. Pharmacy technicians need to have an understanding of the math concepts used in pharmacies when counting pills and compounding medications.
  • Organizational skills. Working as a pharmacy technician involves balancing a variety of responsibilities. Pharmacy technicians need good organizational skills to complete the work delegated by pharmacists while at the same time providing service to customers or patients.

The bottom line: If becoming a certified pharmacy technician (CPhT) is something you feel passionately about, the one word of advice we will give you is: Go for it!