22 Reasons to Become a Pharmacy Tech
Pharmacy technicians (also known as techs) are an integral part of any pharmacy team. These individuals typically work alongside pharmacists in retail locations, but may also be found in hospitals and long-term care facility pharmacies as well.
Pharmacy techs are responsible for filling prescriptions, organizing inventory, processing insurance claims/payments, and working with customers to ensure they understand their medications and their instructions.
Why is being a pharmacy tech so great? We’ve compiled a list of 22 reasons of why you should consider signing up for a pharmacy tech training program.
1) Affordable Education Can Be Yours
It’s important to remember that a pharmacy technician program costs far less than a two- or four-year degree. If finances are tight – or you’re not comfortable taking out a lot of student loans – a technical program like pharmacy tech might be an excellent opportunity for you.
2) Education from Day One
For pharmacy techs entering into the industry, it’s important to remember that instant success almost never happens. In order to make a splash, they need to work their way up the ladder by impressing their pharmacists and pharmacy management with their knowledge and handling of responsibilities.
While this may seem overwhelming – or even boring – by starting out lower on the food chain, pharmacy techs are able to understand the inner-workings of the pharmacy with ease and proficiency.
3) Work with People from All Backgrounds
Pharmacy techs serve an important role as a representative of their pharmacy, both in person and on the phone. These techs must have great customer service skills in order to handle the day-to-day influx of patrons and are a vital part of assisting them to live healthier lives.
4) Make a Difference in People’s Lives
While the pharmacist is accountable for the safe distribution of medications, a pharmacy tech takes care of their customers by not only preparing medications but also contacting your doctor with any queries and helping you find the most affordable medications possible.
These are unbelievably important steps in order to ensure that customers have healthier and happier lives. What’s more, whether it’s handling a tough workload, cleaning up after themselves, or catching a glitch, pharmacy technicians make life in the pharmacy much easier.
5) Get Your Certification in Less than a Year
With a course like the AIMS Pharmacy Tech training program, you can learn everything to be a successful pharmacy technician within seven to nine months of study, including a clinical internship. Short programs such as these help you get into the workforce without hindering your earning potential for long.
6) Flexible Course Times
Most pharmacy tech programs offer day and evening courses. If you have to worry about childcare, your full-time job, or whatever responsibilities you face each day, a flexible schedule will give you the peace of mind you need to complete your studies.
7) Great Programs Offer Hands-on Training
So each applicant is ready to handle everything that their future career hands them, pharmacy tech programs should include classroom education and hands-on-training, including clinical internships.
Whether understanding HIPAA regulations, handling insurance claims, or filling prescriptions, this extra ‘real world’ training allows applicants the ability to work under pharmacist supervision and gives them an edge on the competition.
8) Learn the Lingo
Learning drug terminologies and classifications isn’t just vital for your future career, it sounds cool, too. Each time you hear of a new medical development, you’ll be able to apply it to your job and have great conversation fodder for the workplace.
9) Understand How the Human Body Responds to Medication
In pharmacy tech training programs, students study the effects that certain types of drugs, and dosages have on the human body. In order to properly prepare and dispense medications, they’ll have to understand what these substances do. If a mistake is made by a pharmacist, pharmacy techs are the last line of defense – and can even save a life in doing so.
10) Certification Increases Your Hireability
While some retail pharmacies out there like Duane Reade and Wal-Mart may offer pharmacy tech training to prospective applicants, the most successful and higher-earning techs typically attend pharmacy technician schools before applying for positions.
If you work in certain states, you may need to obtain your pharmacy technician certification before starting work as a pharmacy tech. That said, certification opens many doors to those who have successfully passed the certification exam.
11) Move up the Ladder
If you’re willing to put in the extra effort in a job, your boss will notice it. This rings especially true for pharmacy techs. Many high-paid pharmacy techs started out dusting and stocking shelves but used the opportunity to research drug families, medication interaction warnings, and more. If you know pharmacology like the back of your hand, the pharmacist will start to rely on your expertise and pay you with a salary that mirrors your value.
13) The Sky’s the Limit
According to experts in the field, the only thing that can really hold you back is you. If you take responsibility by spotting errors, duplications, or possible drug combination dangers, you’ll be recognized as a star member of the team. Not only that, but you’ll begin to develop a better understanding of your field and where that can take you.
12) Work in a Familiar, Stable Environment
For those with a history of customer service experience, you have a great opportunity when applying for a pharmacy tech job in a retail environment. No more stocking refrigerators or changing shifts at the last minute: a pharmacy offers air conditioning in a well-lit, professional environment.
14) Well-Paid Positions
It can be difficult to determine an accurate average pharmacy technician hourly salary for retail pharmacy techs, due to the difference in state and local wages. The Bureau of Labor, however, states that in 2016, the yearly average salary of retail pharmacy tech workers averaged about $28,700.
For pharmacy techs in medical and surgical hospitals, however, the pay can be expected to hover around $35,830. This higher salary may have a lot to do with specific training in skillsets like sterile compounding and more.
15) Stable, Growing Job Market
An excellent reason to become a pharmacy tech is the expansion of job growth. Owing much to the aging Baby Boomer generation, the projected job growth rate for all allied healthcare careers is higher than any other field in the United States.
Pharmacy tech jobs are expected to increase by 9% from 2014 to 2024. Therefore, there are – and will be – an large number of positions available.
16) You Can Find Work Everywhere
Tired of gray winters and thinking of moving somewhere warmer? Has your partner gotten a great promotion across the country? As a pharmacy tech, you can find work in every state and city in the United States.
17) Find Employment in a Variety of Sectors
Most people erroneously believe that pharmacy techs are relegated to retail work, but opportunities abound wherever pharmacies are found, like in the military, general hospitals, long-term care facilities, and nursing homes. Positions are also springing up in exciting new sectors like insurance companies and pharmaceutical labs.
18) Retail Pharmacies Are a Stepping Stone in Your Career
Most pharmacy techs start their careers in retail locations like Walgreen’s, Wal-Mart, and locally owned pharmacies, which are great ways to build necessary skillsets for their future career paths. If they’re seeking to work at a hospital or long-term care facility, techs typically need to fulfill minimum work experience before being considered.
19) Working Hours Are Flexible
Depending on whether or not a pharmacy is open 24 hours per day, a pharmacy tech’s schedule can range from mornings to third shift to weekends. Usually, a standard schedule will be given by store management. Pharmacy technicians can be part-time or full-time, depending on the needs of the location.
20) Get Employee Discounts
Working in a pharmacy has a great benefit that’s often overlooked. Employees in retail locations will often receive store-wide discounts. What better way to end a shift than by saving money on items you need.
21) Find a Job Through Your Internship
Pharmacy techs often develop their skills via a clinical internship, and may even receive job offers from those clinical sites. If the timing works out and they prove themselves to be competent and professional pharmacy technicians, they may have a job waiting for them immediately after graduation.
22) Decide if It’s the Right Path for You
It’s not unheard of for pharmacy techs to pursue pharmacology, seeing as how they are surrounded by these terms and medicines each and every working day. By working alongside pharmacists, you can understand whether or not a similar career is right for you. What’s more, many techs work while studying to become a pharmacist in order to increase their working knowledge while paying off their loans.
Ready to Jump-start Your Career as a Pharmacy Tech?
To learn more about starting a career in this exciting field, be sure to check out the AIMS Pharmacy Technician program page!