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How to become a Pharmacy Technician

There are a lot of reasons to become a Pharmacy Technician, especially if you haven’t quite decided which career field you want to dive into. One of the most enticing elements of the job is that it doesn’t require a whole lot of training (depending on the state, however most are pretty lenient) prior to being considered for the job. In-fact, a lot of states only require a High School Diploma in order to be hired as a Pharmacy Technician.

With that being said, there’s no guarantee that the specific job posting you’ve come across will have the same minimum standards as the state law. Usually grocery store pharmacies and other non-hospital locations will be closer to the minimum state requirements for their technicians. Hospital pharmacies on the other hand are typically a lot stricter and may require certain training, certifications, or even a college degree in the medical field.

What is a ‘Pharmacy Technician’?

Before diving head first into becoming a PT, make sure you have a full understanding of what the position is and what it entails. There’s nothing worse than putting work and effort into getting a specific job position only to realize – this isn’t exactly what you thought it was. Despite the fact that a Pharmacy Technician is really minimal in comparison to a Pharmacists in regards to overall ‘impressiveness’, it is still a great job to have on a resume or something you can really turn into a career.

If hired as a PT, you’re basically going to be the Pharmacists Assistant, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a few jobs out there that use that title instead. This means anything the Pharmacists needs help with, you can guarantee you’ll be the first one they look to when they have too much on their plate. Filling prescriptions, counting pills, labeling prescriptions, and managing patient records within a computer database are all day-to-day things you can expect to do as a Pharmacy Technician.

Ensuring a successful Pharmacy Technician career

If you’ve decided to proceed in becoming a PT, you will be faced with a few different options from the very start. First of all, you’ll want to take a look at the requirements for becoming a Pharmacy Technician in your state, and from there you might want to decide between working in a hospital or not. Don’t worry, even if you decide to not to pursue a hospital position right away, starting out somewhere else a great way to work your way up to a hospital job.

In most cases if your state has very low requirements, such as only a High School Diploma, you may be able to land a hospital pharmacy job with minimal training, and possibly a certification. However, if your state is a bit tougher on requirements, say requiring a 6 month course and a passed certification test in order to work in any pharmacy period, you probably won’t be able to get into a hospital position right off the bat.

You can almost guarantee you’ll need to do some off the job training before being hired as a Hospital Pharmacy Technician, regardless of the state. Whether it be a two week training course, or a 4 year college degree, the good news is that everything will help towards getting you better pay and assist you in moving up to a Sr. Pharmacy Technician or  whatever else the specific job may offer for advancement.

Taking classes before getting hired also really helps to impress your boss once you’ve started your first PT job, if they see you come in with no experience but you already have expressed a relatively good knowledge about the job, they’ll likely help you advance quicker. Pharmacy Technicians have a very wide salary range, they can start as low as 10 bucks an hour and go all the way up to $50,000 a year and beyond.