Pharmacy Technicians lighten the workload for pharmacists by providing customer service and performing clerical tasks. Their primary job is to help dispense medications: they take prescription information from doctors or customers, measure and package prescriptions, organize and inventory drugs, and process insurance claims.
They should not be confused with pharmacy aides, who can only perform retail and customer service, and cannot help with prescriptions.
To perform their duties, technicians typically need at least a high-school diploma. Although many are trained on the job, they can also go through post-secondary programs in pharmacy technology at community colleges or vocational schools. Such courses take a year or less and offer a certificate.
Many states regulate the profession by requiring formal training, a criminal background check, passing an exam, and undergoing continuing education.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) describes the latest earnings for this necessary profession:
- The nation's 353,340 pharmacy technicians average $30,430 per year, or $14.63 per hour. The lowest earning 10 percent receive less than $20,580 per year, or $9.89 per hour, while the best paid make over $42,400 per year or $20.38 per hour.
- Pay naturally varies by state. In Delaware, they make a mean $27,670 annually, or $13.30 hourly. In Maryland, salaries run $31,640 yearly, or $15.21 per hour. In New Jersey wages reach an annual $31,850, or $15.31 hourly. And in Pennsylvania, the wages are $28,840 per year, or $13.87 per hour.
- If you're interested in finding the most job opportunities, health and personal care stores, such as pharmacies, hire over 53 percent of the total workers. General medical and surgical hospitals are next, with 16 percent of the technicians. The highest pay is with the federal government averaging $40,650 yearly, or $19.54 hourly. Ranking second are wholesalers of drugs, offering $32,030 per year, or $15.40 per hour.
The future looks bright for the pharmacy technicians. The BLS projects job increases of 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is higher than the 11 percent predicated for other professions in other industries. An aging population will push the demand because older people need more medicines to cope with increasing medical problems. In addition, rapidly advancing medical technology allows treatment of more health conditions through the use of prescription drugs.
If you're interested in finding jobs for this profession or wish to hire a Pharmacy Technician, please contact us!
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