Considering a career as a pharmacy technician? Wondering how to start your career as an entry-level pharmacy technician? In this article, you will learn more about the skills and requirements you may need to be an entry-level pharmacy technician. This article will also help you have a clear idea of how much you can make in the US as an entry-level pharmacy technician?
Entry-Level Pharmacy Technician Requirements
Pharmacy technicians play a vital role assisting pharmacists in the pharmacy. As an entry-level pharmacy technician, there are certain requirements that you need to meet to be able to succeed as a healthcare professional.
Let’s discuss some of the necessary entry-level pharmacy technician requirements:
- The applicant must hold a high school diploma or GED.
- You must graduate from an accredited pharmacy technician training program.
- Be certified by regional and national certification bodies — Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Make sure to always maintain your active certification to be able to practice as a pharmacy technician.
- Renew your certification every 2 years by completing 20 hours of Continuing Education (CE) for PTCB and 10 hours of education units for NHA.
The Skills Needed to Be an Entry-Level Pharmacy Technician
As a part of the requirements, having certain skills is also another important factor of being a pharmacy technician. Not just for being an entry-level pharmacy technician, these skills are essential for all pharmacy technicians to have.
As a pharmacy technician, it is important to constantly equip your skillset to be able to stand out among your coworkers in the industry. Let’s discuss some of the skills you may need to be an entry-level pharmacy technician:
- Excellent verbal and written skills.
- Good problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
- Excellent mathematical skills.
- Good at keeping things organized.
- Good computer skills and able to use different software programs.
- Able to work in a fast-paced environment and multitask if required.
- Accurate with details as the daily tasks involve the safety of patients.
Depending on where you are planning to work, some of the other essential skills you may need to possess as an entry-level pharmacy technician are as follows:
- Good with customer billing.
- Good at data entry.
- Excellent retail skills.
- Good at keeping patients’ details confidential.
- Excellent insurance knowledge.
Entry-Level Pharmacy Technician Salary
As a part of considering making a profession your career, it is normal to look at how much an individual gets paid in that profession. The income may differ with a few factors such as your qualifications, experience, and location.
Let’s discuss how much an entry-level pharmacy technician gets paid in the industry.
On average, an entry-level pharmacy technician is paid about $17.23 per hour and $39,827 per year.
Here is a list of top companies that pay well for entry-level pharmacy technicians in the US:
|Avella Specialty Pharmacy||$41,346 per year|
|ABC Pharmacy||$40,422 per year|
|Derick Dermatology||$39,222 per year|
|Rx Relief||$38,755 per year|
|Medly Pharmacy||$34,667 per year|
Some of the following cities in the US pay the highest for entry-level pharmacy technicians:
- Laguna Hills, CA pays about $42,876.
- Carrollton, TX pays about $37,977.
- Barrington, IL pays about $37,939.
- Park Ridge, IL pays about $37,858.
- Crystal Lake, IL pays about $37,733.
- Elgin, IL pays about $37,166.
- Brooklyn, NY pays about $35,423.
- Port Saint Lucie, FL pays about $23,112.
Duties of an Entry-Level Pharmacy Technician
As an entry-level pharmacy technician, your duties will be supervised by a pharmacist, meaning that you perform tasks in a pharmacy under the supervision of a pharmacist. Some of the duties are as follows:
- Filling prescriptions for patients.
- Offering good customer service by working efficiently in a fast-paced work environment.
- Accurately labeling prescriptions.
- Compounding specialty medications.
- Inventory management.
- Distributing medications to patients.
- Ordering, unpacking, verifying, and storing supplies in their respective places.
- Answering phone inquiries.
- Returning expired and overstocked supplies.
- Processing claims for overages, damages, and shortages of supplies.
Pharmacy technician is a booming field in the healthcare industry. The demand for pharmacy technicians is high, considering the increase in the senior population. It is a good choice if you decide to establish your career as an entry-level pharmacy technician.
With extra certifications and experience, you will have the opportunity to advance in this career. It is essential for all entry-level pharmacy technicians to have all the skills and requirements they need to shine in this industry.
If you are interested and passionate about taking the PTCB exam and becoming a pharmacy technician, you can start your preparation process by trying our free practice test. You can also refer to our PTCB guides to help you prepare for the certification exams.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What sort of tasks are expected from an entry-level pharmacy technician in a retail pharmacy?
Generally, pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a pharmacist, regardless of being entry-level or experienced. They offer services to patients, dispensing medications, counting and pouring drugs, as well as filling prescriptions.
Is pharmacy technician a good career?
Considering the constant increase in the senior population and the pandemic, job opportunities for pharmacy technicians are in high demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth is projected to be about 4% from 2020 to 2030. The industry will likely have stable employment opportunities, which makes it one of the best career options in the healthcare industry.
What are the advantages of being a pharmacy technician?
Healthcare is one of the industries that is constantly growing. Here are some of the advantages of being a pharmacy technician:
- Pharmacy technicians are in high demand.
- As a pharmacy technician, you can procure your certification in less than 2 years.
- You have the opportunity to advance over time in this field.
- You have the opportunity to switch to other roles in the healthcare industry.
What a pharmacy technician cannot do?
Pharmacy technicians are trained professionals to work in a pharmacy under the supervision of a pharmacist. They do not have any medical training experience to offer medical advice to patients. Therefore,
- Pharmacy technicians cannot dispense medications in the absence of a pharmacist or without a pharmacist’s approval.
- Pharmacy technicians should not consult any patients or prescribe any medications.