Pharmacy Technician - A Rewarding Career In Healthcare

Helping a pharmacist dispense prescription medication might seem like an easy task, but it requires immense precision and detail. Pharmacy technicians ensure medications are filled correctly in a specified window of time. “One of the most challenging aspects [of the job] comes down to maintaining knowledge on all the changes that occur within the field. Pharmacy practice changes on a weekly basis with new generics and new drugs,” says Mike Johnston, chairman and CEO of the National Pharmacy Technician Association.

Pharmacy technicians work in department stores, grocery stores and general merchandise stores, but the majority work at pharmacies, drug stores and hospitals. Unlike pharmacists, pharmacy technicians are not the sole dispensers of medication. They mostly assist in measuring, mixing, counting and labeling dosages of medications. Also, pharmacy technicians don’t typically advise patients on proper medication dosages and side effects, the way a pharmacist does.

Job opportunities for pharmacy technicians are expected to be exceptional, especially for those with previous experience, formal training, or certification. Job openings will result from employment growth, as well as the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth of about 20 percent between 2012 and 2022 – faster than the average growth rate for all occupations – and 70,700 new positions will need to be filled during that period.


Donna Hills                     Pharmacy Technician, Cleveland Clinic

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