Life of a Pharmacy Tech
Pickens Technical College has a wealth of healthcare-related programs all designed to set you up in an exciting and growing field, especially here in Colorado, which is chock full of healthcare centers and people who need competent healthcare professionals. Doctors and nurses are great, but in the end, these individuals are only as good as their staff. Pharmacy technicians aren’t exactly part of a doctor’s ‘staff,’ but they are still prominent figures in the healthcare industry, relied on by millions of people throughout the United States.
The Pharmacy Technician program at PTC prepares students to help in the preparation of prescribed medications. Pharmacies are crucial to many people seeking treatment because, as you know if you’ve ever been prescribed medication by a doctor, most patients go right from the clinic or hospital to the pharmacy to get the medicine they need to feel better and prevent future health complications. PTC’s program goes over medical terms, dosage calculations, and insurance claims. At the end of the program, you’ll be prepared to ace the Pharmacy Technical Certificate Board Exam.
Where Do Pharmacy Techs Work?
The vast majority of pharmacy technicians today work at community or hospital pharmacies. Community pharmacies are those you’d find at drug stores like Walgreens. Most hospitals have a pharmacy available for their patients, and many pharmacy techs work there as well.
While most pharmacy techs work in either hospital or community pharmacies, some move into drug production and sales for pharmaceutical companies, and others work at prisons, primary care organizations, and the military. Veterinarians need pharmacies and pharmacy techs as well.
What Do Pharmacy Techs Do?
Pharmacy techs are under the primary pharmacist in the healthcare hierarchy, but they do many of the day-to-day operations of a typical pharmacy. Pharmacy techs supply medicines to patients, sometimes over-the-counter; they assemble and organize prescriptions so the patient can pick up their medicine quickly and easily, and they provide information on the drugs they provide to patients. Most pharmacists recognize the value of their technicians when working with patients and medication.
A typical day in the life of a pharmacy tech might blend some organization and prescription filling with some customer interaction and teaming up with the pharmacist to keep their medications flowing and prescriptions coming out.
How Much Do Pharmacy Techs Make?
Okay, down to business. New pharmacy techs in the field start out making $30,920 per year on average, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. For pharmacy techs in large, busy health centers, that starting salary can reach almost $38,000. How much you advance after that depends on your work situation and whether you pursue continuing education or training programs. With pharmacy tech jobs expected to increase over the next decade, many pharmacies might raise their salaries to keep talented people and recruit more as demand increases.
Pharmacy Techs are on the front lines of the healthcare system. They play a crucial role in ensuring that all patients get the medicine they need quickly and efficiently. Earning your pharmacy tech certification could be the first step in a long career as a pharmacist.