Alternative Careers for Pharmacy Technicians

Alternative Careers for Pharmacy Technicians

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Training to be a pharmacy technician is exciting. But it can also be a little scary. 

What happens if you change your mind somewhere down the road? What about if you fancy a change of career in five, ten, or fifteen years’ time? Will you be stuck in the same role forever?

OK, we hear you! No one wants to feel trapped in a job that no longer floats their boat… even if that job is as good as being a pharmacy technician.

And that’s why we put together this guide of alternative careers for pharmacy techs. So you can be sure that whatever happens, you’ll still have some pretty solid career options!

Let’s start by looking at some roles within the pharmaceutical sector:

Pharmaceutical Careers

OK, so it’s sometime in the future and you don’t want to be a pharmacy technician anymore. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to move away from the field entirely.

So, what else does the pharmaceutical sector have to offer experienced pharmaceutical techs? 

Let’s take a look:

Pharmacy Purchasing Agent

Do you have a head for math and a talent for negotiation? If you answered yes to these questions, then a job as a pharmacy purchasing agent might be just up your street.

Pharmacy purchasing agents make sure that their workplace buys the best pharmaceuticals, supplies, and equipment for the best price and that everything is well stocked and within budget. 

Sound interesting? Well, with your PTCB certificate and a couple of years of pharmacy tech experience, you will have a good chance of securing this type of role. 

In fact, many employers list a PTCB certificate as an essential requirement for a position as a pharmacy purchasing agent. And if you have yet to take your test, you can check that you are ready for free here.

OK, what’s next?

Pharmacist

Now, if you are happy to go back to school, becoming a pharmacist may seem like a natural option for seasoned pharmacy techs. After all, you’ll probably already know a lot about the role of assisting pharmacists as a technician.

Of course, becoming a fully-fledged pharmacist isn’t the easiest option on this list, but it does come with a hefty median salary of $128,710. Just don’t forget to factor in repaying student loans if you do decide to go down this route.

OK, so those are some good options if you want to stay in the pharmaceutical sector. But what about alternative healthcare careers?

Let’s take a look:

Healthcare Careers

We don’t have to tell you that working in the healthcare sector is one of the most rewarding things a person can do, you’re training to be a pharmacy technician! 

But what’s out there for pharmacy techs who are looking to branch out into other forms of healthcare? Let’s take a look:

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants perform a range of clerical and clinical duties in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and clinics across the country.

Though the exact job role varies between employers, it may include:

  • Greeting patients and collecting insurance information
  • Updating medical records
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Measuring vital signs and assisting physicians in their examinations

In this role, you’ll use the skills you will develop as a pharmacy tech to interact with patients. And your familiarity with the proper names for different medications will make updating medical records a breeze. 

Dental Assistant

If you’re comfortable in the dentist’s office and think you can calm the nerves of scared dental patients, a career as a dental assistant might be a natural fit for you.

You’ll use the patient relationship skills gained as a pharmacy tech to put people’s minds at ease, and you’ll take x-rays, keep records, and schedule appointments too.

Now, some states do require their dental assistants to graduate from an accredited program, but others allow you to learn on the job. So, it’s worth checking the law in your state before committing to this change of career.

Personal Support Worker

If you’re drawn to becoming a pharmacy tech because you want to help vulnerable people, then a job as a personal support worker could be perfect for you further down the line.

With opportunities to work in adult daycare centers, assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, or private residences, working as a personal support assistant is one of the most varied roles on this list. 

If you decide to follow this path, your exact duties will vary, but may include: 

  • Helping with personal care
  • Dispersing medication
  • Supporting people to attend appointments and social engagements

Many employers offer on-the-job training for personal support workers. But a background as a pharmacy technician is bound to make you an attractive applicant. Who wouldn’t want to employ a personal support worker who already has some knowledge about the medication their clients might need?

OK, but what if you decide that the healthcare industry isn’t for you? Are their other careers available for seasoned pharmacy technicians?

Of course, let’s have a look at a couple now:

Alternative Industries 

Pharmacy technicians develop a lot of transferable skills while performing their duties. They deal with patients and records. Process paperwork and have a fantastic eye for detail.

And with so many existing skills, moving into a completely different field may be easier than you think.

Let’s look at a couple of the many possibilities now:

Customer Service Advisor

If you have worked as a pharmacy tech you’re probably used to dealing with customers. And where else can you put these skills to as much use than as a customer service advisor?

Answering queries? Giving advice? Dealing with complaints? You’ve already been there and got the T-shirt!

And the best thing about a career as a customer service representative is that it exists in almost every industry.

So, whether you are interested in tech, sport, or pet supplies, you can find a position that excites you. What could be a better backup plan than that?

Veterinary Assistant

If you find that you fancy a change from working with people, your experience as a pharmacy technician could always be put to good use in helping our furry, feathery, and scaly friends.

Not only do veterinarians help with keeping their patients fed, watered, and comfortable while they are at the vet’s office, they also assist veterinarians with a whole host of tasks such as:

OK, so we’ve seen that there are plenty of options for pharmacy technicians who are looking for a change of direction. 

But if you’re currently preparing for a career as a pharmacy tech (and who could blame you, it’s a great career!) our online study guide can help you prepare to pass your PTCB test on your first attempt.