A pharmacy technician salary is not going to make one wealthy, however pharmacy technicians are expected to be in increased demand over the next few years. Between 2008 and 2018 the demand for pharmacy technicians is expected to grow by 31 percent.
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Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists prepare prescription medications. They wait on customers and accept prescription requests in person and electronically. They may also per for administrative duties. Pharmacy technicians are responsible for counting tablets, weigh, measure and mix medications, prepare labels and select appropriate containers. they verify that all information is accurate and price the prescriptions. Pharmacy technicians may not consult with patients regarding the proper use or possible side effects of medications. Only a pharmacist may consult with patients regarding those matters. In nursing home and hospital settings pharmacy technicians may prepare sterile solutions, deliver medications to nurses and doctors and record information in patient charts. Pharmacy technicians may be asked to answer phones, operate a cash register, stock shelves, and set up patient profiles. Working hours in this profession may require working weekends, evenings, and holidays.
Currently there are no national standards for the training or qualifications for pharmacy technicians, however those with certificates, formal training and/or job experience are viewed as more desirable and often earn a higher pharmacy technician salary. Some states require a person working in this profession to have a high school diploma. Formal technical training for a career as a pharmacy technician may be found at vocational schools, junior colleges, hospitals or the military. The length of training is from six months to two years and includes classroom and laboratory training. Studies include pharmaceutical and medical terminology, pharmacy record keeping, pharmaceutical calculations and techniques, and pharmaceutical law and ethics. Trainees must learn the names, uses, actions and doses of medications they will work with. Some training programs include an internship program. At the end of the training one receives a certificate, diploma or AA degree. There are voluntary registration programs for pharmacy technicians that require an exam and a high school diploma. Applicants may not have any felony convictions or convictions of any kind related to drugs or pharmacies.
In 2008 the median pharmacy technician salary was $13.32 per hour, the low average wage was $9.27 per hour and the high average wage was $18.98 per hour. Perhaps in the future the job of a pharmacy technician will be viewed as that of a professional. As the standards in education and registration of a pharmacy technician become held to a higher standard the pharmacy technician salary will grow accordingly.