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Pharmacy Technicians are in great demand. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment opportunities for this field will increase much faster than other fields. In fact, they expect the jobs for Pharmacy Techs to increase by 31 percent from 2008 to 2018. This demand for pharmacy workers is being created by the growing number of middle-aged and elderly people who generally use more medicine and prescriptions than younger folks. Furthermore, pharmaceutical companies continue to develop new and improved drugs, increasing the need for pharmacy workers.
There are many choices for Pharmacy Technician Training and Education. Although there aren't any national training requirements for this field, employers prefer those with formal training and certification. Programs are offered at traditional colleges, private companies, vocational schools and online companies. They last from 6 months to 2 years and cover a wide foundation of subjects including: pharmaceutical terminology, pharmacy recordkeeping, mathematics, chemistry and basic law and ethics. Some programs also include internships which provide "real world" experience in pharmacies. While most U.S. States do not require certification, the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT) and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) conduct national certification examinations which are recommended for increasing your employment options.
Pharmacy Techs earned between $11 and $16 per hour in 2008. As the demand for workers is projected to be strong, this income is expected to also grow. Being a certified Pharmacy Tech will likely increase your pay rate.
The demand for this field is good, the pay is good, but what is it like to be a Pharmacy Tech ? Daily duties focus around assisting Pharmacists with their tasks. This involves handling prescription requests and verifying that the information is complete and accurate. They also retrieve the medication and count or weigh it. Putting the prescription in bottles and affixing proper labeling are the final steps prior to review by a Pharmacist. Depending upon the setting, there may be additional administrative type tasks such as stocking shelves and helping with phone calls.
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