The healthcare industry is booming, and career opportunities are opening up across every facet of medicine. Pharmacy technicians play an integral role in the healthcare system by assisting pharmacists with the preparation and distribution of medications. Under the supervision of a pharmacist, pharmacy technicians may be responsible for filling prescription requests, keeping patient files, maintaining inventory, and assisting customers. The majority of pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies and drug stores, but others work in hospitals, grocery stores, or general stores. In order to be successful on the job, pharmacy techs should be detail-oriented, conscientious, and diplomatic when interacting with patients.
Pharmacy technician positions are growing fast, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics expecting 12% growth in job openings between 2016 and 2026. Most pharmacy technicians possess a high school diploma or equivalent, and receive most if not all of their training on the job. Some pharmacy technicians attend accredited vocational schools or community colleges to receive a certificate or an associate’s degree in pharmacy technology. Some states require pharmacy technicians to be certified through an accredited training program or by passing an exam.
Because trainability and general job readiness are important abilities for pharmacy technicians, many employers seeking to hire pharmacy technicians administer the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST). The CBST measures basic math, grammar, spelling, and language skills, along with attention to detail. Employers also frequently administer the Customer Service Aptitude Profile (CSAP), a personality test which evaluates personality traits that are critical to success in customer service-related positions, such as diplomacy, patience, and cooperativeness. Because pharmacy techs are often the ones working with patients to fill their prescriptions, they need to possess the personality traits best-suited for working directly with customers.
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Rank in HireSelect:
186 out of 1,100
Median wage in U.S.:
Expected growth rate 2016-2026:
Number employed (2016): 402,500
Education level of Pharmacy Technicians: