How To Become A Military Pharmacy Technician

military pharmacy technician

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Did you know that our military has its own hospitals, ambulances, doctors, and pharmacies?

Well, it takes a lot of people to keep America’s troops fit and ready to defend their country!

And that means that, if you’re looking for a way to mix medicines and support our troops, you’re in luck.

But before you rush out and start applying for jobs, it’s a good idea to do a bit more research. Starting by asking what life as a military pharmacy technician is like:

What is a Military Pharmacy Technician?

Military personnel may be brave. And with all that training, they are often in top physical condition. But that doesn’t mean they don’t get ill.

And whether it’s antibiotics or pain killers they need, dedicated military pharmacy technicians are there to meet their needs.

Now, despite their specific clientele, military pharmacy technicians do broadly the same job as their counterparts who work in civilian pharmacies. They manage inventory, keep records, sort and store drugs, and fill prescriptions.

The big difference? They work on military bases both on home soil and all over the world.

So, how do you become a military pharmacy tech?

Let’s take a look:

Do military Pharmacy Technicians need to pass the PTCB? 

The US army has its own training program for pharmacy techs. This means that it’s not strictly necessary to pass the PTCB exam.

 Despite this, PTCB accreditation could help you to stand out from other applicants and may make your army training easier to complete.

If you would like to take the PTCB before applying for military positions, our PTCB hero study guide has everything you need to succeed.

And don’t forget to try our free PTCB practice test to check out your knowledge before you start!

How do you become a Pharmacy Tech in the army?

Becoming a military pharmacy technician is not for the faint-hearted. 

You see, in order to become a pharmacy technician in the army, you must first become a soldier. And that means passing basic training.

During this 9-week boot camp, you’ll learn the basics of combat and prove your fitness is good enough to work in war zones. 

You will also be expected to pass a background and drug test. 

After you pass your basic training and background check, you’ll need to complete a special training course that covers everything you’ll need to know to work as a military pharmacy technician. This training course takes place at the US Army Academy of Health Sciences in Texas and lasts for 19 weeks.

And once you have passed your training course, you’re ready to work as a military pharmacy technician. But how much will that shiny new job pay?

Let’s find out:

How much does a Pharmacy Technician in the military make?

OK, we know that many people choose a military career because they are passionate about their country. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need cash for food, clothes, and utilities.

So, how much does a military pharmacy technician pay?

Well, most new recruits start on a monthly salary of $1,733.10, as of 2020. And this can increase with experience.

In addition to the base salary, military pharmacy technicians can look forward to receiving free housing and food, if they live on base. And an allowance towards these costs if they live elsewhere.

OK, but what if there is a specific area of the military you are interested in? Do they have pharmacy technicians in the navy and marines? Or in the Air Force?

Let’s take a look:

What does a Pharmacy Technician do in the Navy and Marine Corps?

The Marines don’t have their own medical staff. Instead, it is the Navy who provides them with medical care. And the Navy doesn’t actually employ pharmacy technicians.

However, they do have a role called ‘corpsman’. These healthcare workers provide a wide range of medical and dentistry-related care. And a Navy corpsman performs many of the duties of a pharmacy technician.

To train as a Navy corpsman you must complete 8-weeks of seamanship training, followed by a 19-week course to learn fundamentals of preventative and emergency patient care.

OK, what about the Air Force? Do they employ pharmacy techs?

Let’s find out:

What does a Pharmacy Technician do in the Air Force?

Unlike the Navy, the US Air Force has a dedicated role for pharmacy technicians. Training for this role operates in much the same way as the general military, with applicants completing basic training before embarking on a technical course.

As with all military pharmacy techs, this training course will cover everything the applicant needs to know to handle, mix, and sort medications effectively.

Once their training is complete, pharmacy technicians in the Air Force will complete the same duties as general military pharmacy techs. And they can expect to receive roughly the same benefits.