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Pharmacy

Pharmacy Technician

Career data updated last on 10/6/2014
Pharmacy Technician Pharmacy technicians assist the pharmacist with the technical tasks which take place in the pharmacy. They prepare and distribute daily medications to patients. They compound drugs and prepare sterile solutions. Pharmacy technicians also order drugs and other supplies. They do not perform procedures requiring the professional judgment and qualifications of a pharmacist. Pharmacy technicians work under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Those who work in retail or mail-order pharmacies have varying responsibilities, depending on state rules and regulations. In hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted-living facilities, technicians have added responsibilities. They read patient charts and prepare and deliver the medicine to patients.
Salary $16.40 hourly - $34,100 annually
Significant Points Opportunities for pharmacy technicians are expected to be good, especially for those with formal training or previous work experience.
Specializations
Work Environment Pharmacy technicians work wherever pharmacists work: in hospitals, medical clinics, home health care settings, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), nursing homes, and community and retail pharmacies. Pharmacy technicians work the same hours as pharmacists including evenings, weekends, and some holidays.
High School Prep A high school diploma or equivalent is required. Recommended courses are mathematics, biology, chemistry and typing as many pharmacies require pharmacy techs to type 35-40 WPM. Entrants into this field should be skilled spellers and readers. Strong interpersonal and communication skills are needed due to interaction with patients, coworkers, and healthcare professionals. Teamwork is very important because technicians are often required to work with pharmacists, aides, and other technicians. Candidates interested in becoming pharmacy technicians cannot have prior records of drug or substance abuse.
Academic Requirements Although most pharmacy technicians receive informal on-the-job training, employers favor those who have completed formal training and certification. Certified pharmacy technicians are trained in applied science degree programs at career institutes or community colleges. Training takes six months to two years, depending on the program, and covers basic pharmacology, medical terminology, ethical and legal considerations, organization/clerical responsibilities, pharmacy law, computer literacy, and standard pharmacy procedures and practice. To become a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), a technician must have a high school diploma or GED and pass the exam. The National Technician Certification exam is voluntary. Most of this knowledge is acquired in the classroom and then is applied during the student/clinical internship in an actual pharmacy practice setting. Certified technicians must be recertified every 2 years. Technicians must complete 20 contact hours of pharmacy-related topics within the 2-year certification period to become eligible for recertification.

Schools/Organizations

Arapahoe Community College
Certificate Degree Certificate    On-line program available On-line program available
Emily Griffith Opportunity School
Certificate Degree Certificate
Everest College-Aurora Campus
Certificate Degree Certificate
Everest College-Thorton Campus
Certificate Degree Certificate
Heritage College
Certificate Degree Certificate
Institute of Business & Medical Careers
Certificate Degree Certificate
Kaplan University-Online
Certificate Degree Certificate    On-line program available On-line program available
National American University-Colorado Springs Camp
Associate Degree Associate
National American University-Denver Campus
Associate Degree Associate
Northeastern Junior College
Certificate Degree Certificate    On-line program available On-line program available
Pikes Peak Community College
Associate Degree Associate
Certificate Degree Certificate
Pima Medical Institute-Denver Campus
Certificate Degree Certificate
Remington College-Colorado Springs Campus
Certificate Degree Certificate
Southwest Colorado Community College West Campus
Certificate Degree Certificate
Southwest Colorado Community College East Campus
Certificate Degree Certificate
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Certificate Degree Certificate    On-line program available On-line program available
University of Phoenix
Associate Degree Associate    On-line program available On-line program available

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