what do i need to know to be a pharmacy tech

Last Updated on January 17, 2023

There are many reasons why people want to become a Pharmacist. All these reasons have their own set of rewards and challenges. The initial challenges can be easily overcome by going through the best Pharmacy Technician Education Programs. Before you get into these courses, there are few things that you need to know about Doctor of Pharmacy Salary and employment opportunities available in the field of Pharmacy Technician. This post analyses What Do I Need To Know To Be A Pharmacy Tech, pharmacy technician salary, what does a pharmacy technician do, working in a pharmacy tips and pharmacy technician basic knowledge.

On KoboGuide we show you all about working in a pharmacy tips,pharmacy technician basic knowledge, pharmacy technician salary, how to work in a pharmacy without a degree, how to become a pharmacy tech,pharmacy technician courses,what do pharmacy techs do,pharmacy technician requirements, and more.

As a pharmacy technician, you would assist pharmacists in dispensing prescription medication to clients or other health care professionals. You would be expected to gather the data needed to correctly fill prescriptions, measure medication, label prescriptions, and manage medication inventory. Additionally, you’ll be required to accept customer payments, process insurance information, and coordinate customer interactions with pharmacists when necessary.

Since more and more pharmacies are opened 24/7, you may be expected to work a schedule that could reach all hours and on all days.

Many societal factors will contribute to the job security of pharmacy technicians in upcoming years. The population is aging and living longer in general, and as a result, more people will develop chronic diseases or conditions that will require long-term prescription medication.

National health care reform will continue to push for more coverage for more people, driving demand for pharmaceuticals. Corporations will continue to invest in research and development, potentially discovering additional drug treatments for ailments.

As pharmacists continue to move into health care roles such as providing wellness services, you might be expected to take over tasks traditionally handled by pharmacists such as preparing medications and checking junior-level professionals’ work.

As a result, the employment of pharmacy technicians is expected to increase 9 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is more rapidly than the average for all careers.

You would be supervised by a pharmacist and the scope of your work may be limited by individual state laws. For instance, in some states, you may be allowed to mix some medications, contact doctors’ offices to obtain authorizations for prescription refills, and use automatic dispensers to complete customer orders.

If you are a pharmacy technician who works in a hospital or clinic, you might be required to prepare and dispense intravenous medications.

Education and Licensing

Most pharmacy technicians have a high school diploma, and some earn post-secondary education certificates or associate degrees. All obtain on-the-job training and experience, and most states will require you to pass an exam, obtain state certification and participate in continuing education to work as a pharmacy technician.

If you choose to enroll in a community college or a vocational school, you would take classes in math, bookkeeping, medication dispensing, and law and ethics. You would probably be required or encouraged to work at a pharmacy or hospital as part of your degree program as well.

Industry organizations such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the National Healthcareer Association offer certifications to help young professionals reach their goals.

Skills and Strengths

If you have natural abilities in the following areas, you might be well suited for a career as a pharmacy technician:

  • Strong Customer Interaction Skills: If you enjoy working with lots of different people and find it rewarding to serve others, you may enjoy being a pharmacy technician. You will spend a great deal of time listening to customers, helping them obtain the correct medication, and assisting them in addressing issues with their doctors and insurance company.
  • A Love of Details: Since customers rely on doctors and pharmacists to provide the right medication in specific doses in order to treat an illness or disease, it is important that you mind the details. As a pharmacy technician, you will need to be exact in how much medication is dispensed and precise in how the medication is labeled. As you become a more senior technician, you may need to check and verify the work of someone less experienced than yourself.
  • Excellent Communication Skills: You must excel in both communicating with and listening to doctors, health care professionals, patients and insurance providers. In some cases, customers may need additional assistance or direction from the pharmacist, and it will be your job to help screen those moments and act accordingly.
  • Precise Math Abilities: Although advanced math skills are not needed, you will need to have a good handle on how math must be applied in order to dispense medication or compound orders correctly.
  • Multi-Tasking Abilities: Since you will be in a customer-facing position, you will need to be organized and have the ability to multi-task and prioritize the many questions, activities, and duties that will be going on at one time. You will need to understand how to provide good service to customers while at the same time focusing on the tasks at hand in supporting the pharmacist.

What Do I Need To Know To Be A Pharmacy Tech

We begin with What Do I Need To Know To Be A Pharmacy Tech, then pharmacy technician salary, what does a pharmacy technician do, working in a pharmacy tips and pharmacy technician basic knowledge.

working in a pharmacy

What you need to know before working in a pharmacy

This list combines government data and professional insight to provide you with a behind-the-scenes look of working in a pharmacy. Keep reading to determine if this work environment appeals to you!

1. Pharmacy hours may be irregular

Many pharmacies are open at all hours. This can mean irregular schedules and night shifts for some pharmacy workers. Especially early on, technicians may be assigned late or even overnight shifts. However, as you increase your experience and move up the ranks, you’ll likely gain more autonomy over your schedule.

2. A pharm tech career can lead to becoming a pharmacist

A pharm tech certification can be just the beginning of your career path. Earning certification helps legitimize your knowledge of the field and prepares you for the rigorous education requirements of becoming a full-fledged pharmacist. If you are interested in pharmacy work, a pharm tech certification can be the perfect entry-level option.

Another plus is that it can keep you up to date with advancements in medical technology and terminology. Read more about why the pharmacy technician certification is worth it in our blog post.

3. You can work in a wide variety of settings

Whatever your primary picture for a pharmacy is, you probably haven’t considered all the options. But the different kinds of pharmacy career options available make a great situation for a wide variety of personality types. If you’d prefer not to face customers all day, for example, you can find employment in a pharmacy where customer interaction is kept to a minimum.

“The variety of work environments suits people with a variety of personalities,” Vickery says. “Those who are outgoing and enjoy customer service may prefer working in a retail pharmacy. Hospital pharmacy and mail order pharmacy are great choices for pharmacy technicians who do not care as much for customer service.”

There are also long-term care facility pharmacies, home care pharmacies and more. For a closer look at what kind of pharmacies are out there, check out, “Types of Pharmacies: 7 Places People Pick up Prescriptions.”

4. The median salary for a pharmacy technician is $31,750 per year*

The median annual salary for pharm techs is over $30,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They also report the top 10 percent of earners brought in nearly $47,000 per year. Higher pharm tech salaries are typically found in ambulatory healthcare services and hospitals.*

5. Pharm tech careers are on the rise

With an aging population and a growing number of individuals needing both medical and pharmaceutical care, the pharmacy industry is certainly not slowing down anytime soon. The BLS predicts employment of pharmacy technicians will grow 12 percent through 2026, which is a rate higher than the average occupation.*

A large number of aging baby boomers is a huge factor, but the BLS also mentions new research and developments in medicine that result in pharmaceutical treatments for diseases that were previously untreatable. The more sickness and disease we can treat, the more pharmacies will be in demand.

6. There are requirements you’ll have to meet

Requirements for pharmacy technicians will vary depending on the state you live in, but generally they’ll include:

  • Obtaining a high school diploma or GED
  • Passing a criminal background check
  • Completing a formal education or training progam
  • Continuing education hours to maintain good standing
  • Passing a certification exam

7. You’ll need excellent communication skills

Both technicians and pharmacists must be willing and able to interact with coworkers and customers in a professional manner. Vickery says pharm techs working in retail settings absolutely need some customer service skill. Customers may have questions about their prescription, over-the-counter drugs or supplements that will need to be referred to the pharmacist.

Even if you work in a nonpatient-facing pharmacy, your communication abilities and professional demeanor with physicians, insurance professionals and other pharmacy employees is vital for your success and for patient safety.

8. You must pay attention to the details

Working in a pharmacy means you’re providing critical medications for individuals. This means your actions could literally mean life or death for patients. “Accuracy is very important,” Vickery says. “Making sure the patient receives the correct medication in the right dosage and that all calculations are performed correctly requires adequate training and great attention to detail.”

Vickery says one of the most challenging parts of the job is to stay accurate while working very quickly. It’s important to keep perspective on how crucial your work is, no matter how busy it gets. 

9. The pharmacist is there to ensure accuracy

If you are working as a pharm tech, the little details matter, but you won’t be alone. Pharmacists are there to check those details and ensure that all medications are filled properly.

“Remember that the pharmacist is there to answer your questions, to catch errors and to counsel the patients regarding their medications,” Vickery says.

Obviously that’s somewhat of a relief, but remember, pharmacists have important work to do and can’t spend all of their time fixing errors you may have made. Getting it right the first time is a valuable ability.

10. Math skills come in handy

Your math teacher was right—you will use that stuff in the real world! Both pharmacists and pharm techs utilize math abilities on a daily basis to ensure they have the right dosage and measurements and chemistry knowledge to ensure that compounds are mixed correctly for your patients.

pharmacy technician salary

Next, we discuss pharmacy technician salary, what does a pharmacy technician do, working in a pharmacy tips and pharmacy technician basic knowledge.

According to BLS.gov, as of 2020, a certified pharmacy technician makes a median income of $35,100 per year, which comes out to be $16.87 per hour. The lowest 10% of pharmacy technicians make $25,400 per year or $12.21 per hour. The highest 10% of pharmacy technicians make $50,430 per year or $24.25 per hour.

How much does a Pharmacy Technician make?

As of Jan 6, 2022, the average annual pay for a Pharmacy Technician in the United States is $31,748 a year.

Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $15.26 an hour. This is the equivalent of $611/week or $2,646/month.

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $41,500 and as low as $19,500, the majority of Pharmacy Technician salaries currently range between $27,000 (25th percentile) to $34,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $39,500 annually across the United States. The average pay range for a Pharmacy Technician varies greatly (by as much as $7,500), which suggests there may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location and years of experience.

Based on recent job posting activity on ZipRecruiter, the Pharmacy Technician job market in both Kano, NG and throughout the entire state of is not very active as few companies are currently hiring. A Pharmacy Technician in your area makes on average $31,748 per year, or the same as the national average annual salary of $31,748. ranks number 1 out of 50 states nationwide for Pharmacy Technician salaries.

To estimate the most accurate annual salary range for Pharmacy Technician jobs, ZipRecruiter continuously scans its database of millions of active jobs published locally throughout America.

Find your next high paying job as a Pharmacy Technician on ZipRecruiter today.

What are Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Pharmacy Technician Jobs

We’ve identified 10 cities where the typical salary for a Pharmacy Technician job is above the national average. Topping the list is Mountain View, CA, with San Francisco, CA and Fremont, CA close behind in the second and third positions. Fremont, CA beats the national average by $5,664 (17.8%), and Mountain View, CA furthers that trend with another $7,950 (25.0%) above the $31,748 average.

Importantly, Mountain View, CA has a moderately active Pharmacy Technician job market with only a few companies currently hiring for this type of role.

With these 10 cities having average salaries higher than the national average, the opportunities for economic advancement by changing locations as a Pharmacy Technician appears to be exceedingly fruitful.

Pharmacy Technician Certification - What You Need To Know

Finally, another factor to consider is the average salary for these top ten cities varies very little at 11% between Mountain View, CA and Hayward, CA, reinforcing the limited potential for much wage advancement. The possibility of a lower cost of living may be the best factor to use when considering location and salary for a Pharmacy Technician role.

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Mountain View, CA$39,699$3,308$763$19.09
San Francisco, CA$38,973$3,248$749$18.74
Fremont, CA$37,413$3,118$719$17.99
San Jose, CA$36,545$3,045$703$17.57
Oakland, CA$36,145$3,012$695$17.38
Tanaina, AK$36,044$3,004$693$17.33
Wasilla, AK$36,043$3,004$693$17.33
Sunnyvale, CA$35,596$2,966$685$17.11
Beverly Hills, CA$35,453$2,954$682$17.04
Hayward, CA$35,388$2,949$681$17.01

What are Top 5 Best Paying Related Pharmacy Technician Jobs in the U.S.

We found at least five jobs related to the Pharmacy Technician job category that pay more per year than a typical Pharmacy Technician salary. Top examples of these roles include: Pharmacy Supervisor, Head Of Pharmacy Technician, and Pharmacy Hospital.

Importantly, all of these jobs are paid between $44,144 (139.0%) and $83,972 (264.5%) more than the average Pharmacy Technician salary of $31,748. If you’re qualified, getting hired for one of these related Pharmacy Technician jobs may help you make more money than that of the average Pharmacy Technician position.

Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Pharmacy Supervisor$115,720$9,643$2,225$55.63
Head Of Pharmacy Technician$90,835$7,570$1,747$43.67
Pharmacy Hospital$84,799$7,067$1,631$40.77
Head Of Hospital Pharmacy Technician$76,306$6,359$1,467$36.69
Pharmacy Systems$75,892$6,324$1,459$36.49

what does a pharmacy technician do

More details coming up on what does a pharmacy technician do, working in a pharmacy tips and pharmacy technician basic knowledge.

Under pharmacist supervision, pharmacy technicians: supply medicines to patients, whether on prescription or over the counter. assemble medicines for prescriptions. provide information to patients and other healthcare professionals.

What does a pharmacy technician do?

Under pharmacist supervision, pharmacy technicians:

  • supply medicines to patients, whether on prescription or over the counter
  • assemble medicines for prescriptions
  • provide information to patients and other healthcare professionals.

Pharmacy technicians also:

  • manage areas of medicines supply such as dispensaries
  • supervise other pharmacy staff
  • produce medicines in hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry.

Where do pharmacy technicians work?

Pharmacy technicians work in many different work environments. These include:

  • Community pharmacies (sometimes called retail or high street pharmacy) and hospitals. Most pharmacy technicians work in community and hospital pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical production or sales in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Prisons, primary care organisations, education and training, the military, veterinary pharmacy and pharmacy organisations.

Pharmacy technician registration

A person calling themselves a pharmacy technician must be registered with the GPhC.

You can search our register to see that a pharmacy technician is practising legally and if they have outstanding fitness to practise allegations against them.

For more information about the process a pharmacist must go through to become and stay registered, see Registering as a pharmacy technician.

working in a pharmacy tips

Now we look into working in a pharmacy tips and pharmacy technician basic knowledge.

job Hacks and tips for pharmacy technicians

Anyone working in the pharmaceutical sector needs to understand how desiccant plays an important role in ensuring medicines are not affected by mildew, mold, rust, micro-organisms, and any form of moisture. The presence of dampness will not only spoil medication, but it can also potentially change the physical and chemical makeup of the product.

Unfortunately, desiccant canisters or capsules can be a pain to remove. Many bottle structures make it somewhat frustrating and nearly impossible to remove them. To assist in removing a desiccant from a bottle, try using a pair of hobby tweezers. Be sure and get the ones with the bent end; the straight ones don’t get the job done nearly as well as the bent ones.

Keep Insurance Cards on File

As a pharmacy technician, one of the many hats you will wear is to act on behalf of the patient. When it comes to Medicaid and its complex system of pharmaceutical benefits, many patients have a difficult time understanding their benefits and the various types of coverage they have. It’s your job to help them understand their coverages, but you must know what insurance they have.

Most times, when a new customer requests a prescription to be filled, you will ask the customer to provide his/her benefit membership or identification card. For future reference, keep a copy of the card for each patient on file. This is beneficial when a client returns to have a prescription filled and forgets his or her card. You can simply ask for the plan name and an identification number and then you can bill the script. When filing the patient’s original card, be sure to remove any protected health information.

Always Write Expiration Date on Bottles

A large part of your job responsibility as a pharmacy technician is going to entail the management of inventory. The technician must ensure that adequate supplies and medications are available at all times to meet the needs of patients. Just as important as having supplies and medications on hand, is ensuring that outdated medications are appropriately identified and returned or disposed of according to your pharmacy’s policy and procedures. Each pharmacy will vary in how outdated products are processed and disposed of.

As soon as a new bottle of medication is opened, write the expiration date on the medication where X’s are normally placed to avoid accidentally dispensing drugs that aren’t outdated. If your state board requires the X’s, use a blank label sticker to write the expiration date and place it on the medication bottle. This helps prevent the expired medication from making its way into the hands of the patient and helps maintain the safety and effectiveness of products in inventory.

Create Pill Counting Policies

Counting medication is a key responsibility of a pharmacy technician; this is why ample practice is provided in both the classroom and externship when taking advantage of a formal education to become a pharmacy tech. While many pharmacies use a variety of inventorying systems to keep things running smoothly and ensure items are in stock at all times, you will no doubt find yourself counting medication at some point. By keeping a running total of the CII drug that remains in a bottle, you can eliminate the conversation of “We don’t have enough medication in stock to fill the prescription.” This conversation often takes place after the patient has waited for 30 minutes or longer, which can be extremely frustrating. It may even cause the patient to switch pharmacies altogether.

To avoid this type of problem, you should create a pill counting policy that has your staff alert the pharmacist when medications reach a certain point. For example, any time a bottle reaches a certain count, such as 100 pills, this is a good indication to write the name of the medicine on a piece of paper and keep it posted by the drop-off window. This way, when a patient drops off a prescription, the person taking the prescription can alert the patient as to whether there may or may not be a sufficient number of pills to fill the prescription. This allows the patient to know whether to wait around or call back the next day.

Leave a Number

With the role of a pharmacist being more patient-care focused, pharmacy technicians play an important role in preparing and dispensing medication, which gives a pharmacist more time for patient consultations. As you progress in your career, you will likely watch other pharmacy technicians come in under you. There’s a good chance you will be tasked with training them. Since you want the pharmacist to maintain his or her focus on patient consultations, you should leave your number with the new pharmacy tech when you aren’t there. This way, the new employee can call you for any job-related questions. This makes the training process easier on everyone and it ensures the pharmacist can focus on the person who matters most — the patient.

Make the Most of Mornings

Mornings are the perfect time to fill prescriptions that have been sent in overnight. Once calls from the doctor offices start coming in, though, things are likely to get very hectic. Pharmacy technicians must focus and be aware of prescription prioritization while being able to multitask. Loading medications that are needed earlier in the day, rather than those due later, is part of prioritizing. Mornings tend to be slower compared to the evening time and they provide a great opportunity for technicians to go above and beyond in performing tasks that assist with maintaining an efficient workflow throughout the day. You’ll particularly want to focus on patients who have multiple prescriptions to be filled as this allows you to get the bigger orders out of the way before things start getting busy.

The longer you work at a specific pharmacy, the better you’ll get at identifying which patients have large orders. You can create a cheat sheet with names on it so that you’ll know when so-and-so drops off a prescription, we need to fill it quickly because it’s likely going to be a time-consuming task. You can even use a calendar to mark these when these people have their prescriptions filled, which allows you to schedule an extra staff member for those days to ensure you are able to maintain an efficient workflow.

Don’t Make Patients Wait

An important part of your job as a pharmacy technician is to serve patients and lower operating costs by filling prescriptions in an efficient, timely manner.

No one likes to wait, and this is especially true when someone is sick.

No one likes to wait when they have a car full of out of control children, either.

No one likes to wait when they have somewhere else they need to be.

The point is, don’t make people wait on getting their prescriptions filled. When a patient calls in a refill, always say it will be at least an hour before it’s ready. Even if your pharmacy is at a complete standstill, tell them it will be an hour. Great technicians have to be team players and cannot have tunnel vision. While focusing on what is right in front of you, be aware of the patient standing at the window or counter. Be mindful at all times of the importance of efficiency in regards to both pharmacy workflow and customer service. You and the pharmacist are in full control of how streamlined and efficient your workflow is. By being aware of your surroundings at all times, you can cut down wait times by boosting productivity.

Removing PHI on Bottles

Protected health information, PHI, must be removed from return-to-stock labels and there are multiple ways to accomplish this. According to PDCHealthcare.com, pharmacy techs can use a black permanent marker to black out PHI on prescription bottles. With this method, though, you risk not covering all PHI. You also run the risk of the marker smearing. This method is time-consuming, which is why you should consider using a stamp to obscure the PHI.

You can also place a label that is made specifically to hide PHI information over the information. Another type of label to consider is a self-shred label. You apply a self-shred label and when you’re ready to get rid of it, you simply peel off the top portion. It automatically shreds itself along with the PHI.

Sharpen Your Abbreviation and Math Skills

Learning abbreviations can make typing up prescriptions much easier. As long as semicolons separate the abbreviations, the system should recognize them. Your most common abbreviations will be QD/once daily, BID/twice daily, TID/three times daily, QHS/at bedtime and Q (AM/PM)/morning and night. In addition, sharpening your math skills can be helpful when typing prescriptions for eye drops, nasal sprays, inhalers and so forth.

Stay Focused

When filling prescriptions, concentrate on filling prescriptions. Don’t concern yourself with answering the telephone mid-count. If you feel you need to stay busy while being responsible for answering the telephone, there are other things to do that will be far less of a safety issue, such as putting away medication bottles. It cannot be expressed enough how important it is to be extremely focused when filling a prescription. Not only do you need to make sure you are able to count the pills correctly, but you must make sure you are putting the filled prescriptions in the right bag. A simple mistake could cost a patient his or her life. Just imagine getting a phone call that a patient has been hospitalized because you put the wrong prescription in his bottle or bag. Not only will you feel horrible, but this could likely end your career as a pharmacy tech.

Multi-Dose Vial Expirations

Depending on the number of days in a month, you can subtract either two or three days from the current date to figure out the multi-dose vial expiration for 28 days.

Counting Tips

Separating medication into groups of five on a tray will make the double counting process faster. When counting large quantities, keep a running total so you don’t lose count. If you get lucky and the script calls for the same quantity as what’s in the bottle, slap a label on the bottle and then move on to the next script. This only applies, though, if the bottle has not been opened. If the bottle has been opened, you will need to pour out all pills and make sure there is enough to fill the entire prescription.

Stocking Shelves

To save time and to keep from having to go back and forth, use baskets to separate drugs that need to go back on the shelf. For example, a blue basket can be used for fast movers and a black basket for non-fast movers. After you are finished counting out pills for a prescription, you can write the expiration on the bottle for non-fast movers and this makes it a little easier when time to return expired medications.

Drop-Off Tips

When customers drop off scripts, always check to make sure it is time to refill the medication before they drive away. If the medication is out of stock, let the customer know you will check other nearby locations if they are willing to travel to another pharmacy to pick it up. To avoid customers returning to pick up scripts that were dropped off and not yet ready, ask them if they would like to receive a text when their script is ready for pick up.

Beginning of Shift

At the start of your shift, tackle the easy to fill prescriptions first. Easy to fill prescriptions are your basic prescriptions, such as birth controls, inhalers, and other medications that do not require counting and mixing. It also includes any medication that comes in the stock bottle. You can also look at the queue and find any patients who are refilling the same medications and do them one after the other to save time.

Know Your Pharmacy

Not only should pharmacy technicians know the medications behind the counter, but great technicians know information about over the counter (OTC) meds as well. During slow times, study and learn the availability of your pharmacy’s OTC medications. Knowing the dosage forms available and the location in the pharmacy can help you be of assistance during busier times, meaning you won’t have to leave your workstation to go looking for a requested medication.

As you’re getting more familiar with the medications that your pharmacy provides, you need to keep yourself up to date on the ones that require refrigeration. Did you know some medicines can only be left out of the refrigerator for no longer than two hours? This is a huge piece of information that you or the pharmacist will need to share with a patient when he or she picks up the prescription. Take for example a patient picks a prescription for Picato, which is a gel. You must tell the patient if this medicine is left in an environment where the temperature is 87°F or above for more than two hours, it then becomes no good and should be properly disposed of.

Create a Verification Checklist

It’s important to get in the habit of running all prescriptions through a verification checklist before handing them over to the patient. This applies whether it’s a new prescription or not. No matter what, you must always look at the patient name and birth date when filling a prescription. It’s not uncommon for pharmacy techs to try and take a shortcut when looking up patient information. Instead of typing in birth date and name, they will simply use the patient name.

A simple Google search of your own name will reveal just how common names are. There’s a good chance that almost every patient in your system has a name that is the same or close to the same as another patient. This is why your verification checklist should always include checking and filling prescriptions according to both name and birth date.

Checking for Wrong Medication

There are times during the day when you’re going to be so busy that you will think checking medicine bottles one last time before handing them to the patient simply isn’t feasible. This is a huge mistake. Every time you give a patient his or her medication, make sure to open the bottle, shake the pills around a bit and see if there are any pills in the bottle that don’t belong. Just remember, when you check out a patient at the cash register, you’re the one who is signing off on that specific medication. If the patient receives the wrong medication, it’s going to fall back on your shoulders.

The takeaway

You’re going to learn a ton of job hacks for a pharmacy technician through hands-on training and work. This is not a job for someone who isn’t willing to pay close attention to tiny details. Remember, patients’ lives are in your hands, and the very medicine you are giving them very well could save their lives. Going to school to earn a formal certification or license as a pharmacy tech is an excellent way to refine your skill set and become the best pharmacy tech you can be.Search Pharmacy Technician Programs

Get information on Pharmacy Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

pharmacy technician basic knowledge

There are 6 skills that a successful pharmacy technician will learn during a Pharmacy Technology Program. These 6 skills include mathematical proficiency, good communication, organizational skills, computer skills, critical thinking and problem solving.

Are you thinking about becoming a pharmacy technician? This job has a growing demand for workers, so it could be a good option for you. However, there are some necessary skills for you to have if you are considering working in this type of position. Check out six of the essential skills you will need to be a pharmacy technician below.

  • Customer Service Skills – The main duty of a pharmacy technician is to serve customers. This means getting medications for customers, describing side effects, answering questions, and discussing payment and billing. You will need strong customer service skills in this profession. When it comes to medical issues and medicine, people can be stressed and emotional. That means a pharmacy tech will need to be calm and reassuring as they attend to the needs of the customer. You will want to enjoy working with others and helping customers if you are considering work as a pharmacy tech.Pharmacy Technician skills needed
  • Computer Skills – Basic computer skills will also be necessary as well as knowledge of different software programs used in pharmacies. These computer skills will be important because the prescription orders will be done online. Billing and ordering medication will also be done online. There are specific software programs that are used in the pharmacy field, and you can receive training on those from your employer or from a pharmacy technician school. A pharmacy tech school will go over information like this so that you are more prepared for the workplace.
  • Basic Knowledge of Pharmacology – Pharmacology describes the study of how drugs or medications act within the body. This is a biomedical branch of science that involves noting the effects and side effects of medications. It is important for pharmacy techs to have a basic knowledge of pharmacology to help them do their job. They will be passing out prescription medications to customers, and they will have to describe how the customer is to use the medication. This will include the dosage and how often to take the medication. Pharmacy techs will also have to describe the basic side effects to the customer when they hand out the medication. The doctor should have already gone over this information with the customer, but it is a pharmacy technician’s job to review the information as they hand out the prescription.
  • Communication Skills – Communication skills will also be essential for a pharmacy technician. Customer service skills are only one type of communication you will have to do as a pharmacy technician. Pharmacy techs will have to communicate with their coworkers, pharmacists, insurance people, doctors, and nurses. As a pharmacy tech, you will likely have other people working with you in the pharmacy other than the pharmacist themselves. You will have to coordinate tasks with other pharmacy technicians or assistants. You also may have to call doctors, nurses, or hospitals to double check prescription information. You may have to speak to insurance companies about billing as well. As you can see, there are a lot of different communication demands for a pharmacy tech.
  • Pharmacy Calculations – You will also need basic math skills and knowledge of pharmacy calculations to work as a pharmacy technician. The pharmacists themselves will be doing most of the calculations, but you will be required to count pills and do some basic calculations as well.
  • Organizational Skills – Organizational skills are essential to ensure that the pharmacy is running as it should be. There will be a lot of different paperwork, medications, and supplies that need to be organized within the pharmacy so that things are not lost or misplaced. There will likely already be an organizational system in place for many of the things in the pharmacy, so you will have to be sure to stick to it.

Above are the basic skills needed to be a pharmacy technician. Do you feel like you have these skills and abilities? You do not have to worry if you don’t feel like you have these skills yet. You can learn these skills through a pharmacy technician school.

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