Choosing the right career can be tricky. There’s so much to think about. How much will you earn? Will you enjoy your work? Do you need to shell out for an expensive college degree before you even get started?
It’s enough to give anyone a headache!
That’s why we’ve put together this list of our top 8 benefits of being a pharmacy technician. So settle in with a cup of coffee to find out if a career in this growing industry is right for you:
Getting Your License Won’t Break the Bank
It’s no big secret that student loans can be crippling. But you might be surprised to learn that the average student loan debt topped $37,500 in 2020.
Phew! That’s a lot of debt to have hanging over your head. But don’t be fooled into thinking expensive degrees are the only way to secure a good career. There are some great alternatives out there.
Take training to be a pharmacy technician. Now you don’t need to complete a degree to work in a pharmacy. But you do need some training.
So, how do you qualify?
Well, you could choose to complete a relatively cheap pharmacy technician program:
Pharmacy tech courses usually cost between $500 to $5,000 and can be found at many community colleges and vocational schools.
Or you could apply directly to one of the many pharmacy chains that offer on-the-job!
Yep, that’s right. Not only could you get your training free of charge, you could actually get paid before you qualify.
Now in most states, you still need to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Test to qualify as a pharmacy technician. But don’t worry we offer comprehensive study guides to help you pass first time.
The Pay is Above Average
OK, let’s get real for a second- money is important. Sure, it would be nice if we could all get by without money in the bank…
But there’s rent to be paid and food to be bought (not to mention all those little extras like a really good coffee to consider!). And that’s why it’s important to consider what your future career will pay for.
So, here’s the good news: Pharmacy Technicians earned an average salary of $35,250 in 2019. That’s $4,000 more than the average American earned in the same year. Not bad, right?
And when you take into account the associated benefits, this salary becomes even more attractive:
The Benefits are Good
Now we all like to be as prepared as possible for any eventuality. And that’s why employee benefits are so important. No one wants to get ill. But if you do, it sure helps to have health insurance.
Then there’s retirement to think about. And who doesn’t enjoy being paid for the odd day off work?
Luckily, employee benefits are generally pretty good in the pharmacy tech world:
And these are just some of the most common benefits reported by pharmacy technicians across the US. Others include employee discounts and even flexible working options.
OK, so the pay is above average and the benefits are good. What next?
It’s a Growing Sector
Salary and benefits are all well and good, but they don’t mean much if you can’t actually find a job in your chosen field.
And that’s why choosing to pursue a job in a growing sector is one of the best things you can do for your future career.
So, how quickly is the role of pharmacy technician growing?
Well according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to increase by 7% over the coming years. This means that approximately 31,500 new pharmacy technician jobs will be created between 2018 and 2028.
And with that many jobs up for grabs, you’re in with a great chance of securing one!
There is Room for Progression
Once you have secured a role as a pharmacy technician and passed your PTCB exam, you might be wondering, “what’s next?”.
Now it’s important to note that being a pharmacy technician is a fantastic role. In fact, many people choose to spend their entire career in this position.
But if you’re the type of person who is always looking to take the next step, you might be interested in hearing about the routes of progression available to pharmacy technicians.
Of course, some people use their experience as a pharmacy technician as a stepping stone towards qualifying as a pharmacist. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is your only option for progression.
Pharmacy technicians can also:
- Be promoted to managers and/or supervisors
- Specialise in specific areas of pharmacy (e.g. mental health)
- Or even more into research assistant positions
OK, so the opportunity for progression is out there. But where are the jobs located?
You can Work Anywhere in the Country
Fancy living and working in the middle of Vegas? Or would a pretty country town be more your scene?
Well, wherever you want to settle down, one thing is certain: people everywhere need medicine.
And that means that pharmacy techs can expect to find work anywhere in the USA. Just think of the possibilities!
But it’s not just location that is flexible for pharmacy technicians:
Flexible Working is Possible
Pharmacy technicians work in all kinds of settings. Hospitals, nursing homes, and even grocery stores all need qualified people to assist in filling prescriptions.
And this means that it’s possible to find work that fits your schedule.
Need to juggle childcare with your career? Many retail pharmacies offer part-time hours. Want to earn overtime? Look at late night pharmacies for the opportunity to work extra hours.
Work With The Public…Or Not!
One of the greatest benefits of working as a pharmacy technician is flexibility. You’re provided options when it comes to where you work and who you work with!
Friendly and outgoing people will thrive behind the counter at a drug store or supermarket pharmacy, speaking to patients and answering questions about their prescriptions.
But if you’re more introverted, it’s awesome to know that not all pharmacy technicians work with the public in this way. You can instead work as part of a hospital team or fill mail-in prescription orders.
Use That Eye for Detail
If you’re very detail-oriented, this is a great career for you. You can put your organizational skills to use when stocking medications and filling prescriptions.
Much of your role requires you to be precise, counting out the right amount of pills and ensuring everything is in its place so that the pharmacy runs smoothly.
For some, this can seem stressful, but others thrive in this environment!
It’s a Rewarding Career
Healthcare careers can be incredibly rewarding. After all, there aren’t many industries that can boast that healing the sick and improving people’s quality of life is all in a day’s work.
And as a pharmacy technician, you’ll play a key part in keeping people happy and healthy. What could be better than that?
OK, so we’ve covered salary and flexibility. And we’ve established that training as a pharmacy technician is both rewarding and offers great benefits.
Now all that’s left to do is to decide whether to complete a pharmacy technician program at school, or apply for trainee positions at a pharmacy.
And once you’ve decided, don’t forget to try our free PTCB practice test to start preparing for your exam!