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 PTCB practice test online free to check out your knowledge before you start!
How do you become a Pharmacy Tech in the army?
GET YOUR PHARMACY TECHNICIAN LICENSE
Each state has a different licencing requirement that requires you to disclose any disciplinary or criminal history and agree to abide by the code of ethics, according to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).
You must pass one or two tests, such as the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX), to complete the licencing process. These tests cover both state and federal laws.
MEET THE MINIMUM ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Depending on your background and age, you can enlist as a member or as an officer. US officers must be between the ages of 17 and 35. Although physically fit bodies are not required for pharmacists, having them assures that they can undergo military training. Strength and cardiovascular performance training are components of essential physical fitness training.
Although instructors help recruits achieve their fitness goals, the outcomes are ultimately up to you. Two or fewer dependents and U.S. citizenship or a green card are additional prerequisites for your checklist.
COMPLETE THE TRAINING COURSE
To develop important military skills, you’ll start your military career by passing an officer training course. Commissioned officers start their military careers after completing a degree, but enlisted members advance and transition to this position during their careers.
Boot camp is the first step for enlistees, followed by technical training. The training is four to six weeks long and frequently includes a medical examination and an aptitude test.
And once you have passed your training course, you’re ready to work as a military pharmacy technician.
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 $3,144. 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.
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