What is a Pharmacy Technician?

A pharmacy technician is a professional who helps licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication to patients.

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Job Description

Do you want a career in the medical field, but don’t necessarily want to go to school for years and years? If you are detail-oriented, good with people, and want to help others, a career as a pharmacy technician might be a good fit for you! Let’s take a closer look at what pharmacy technicians do.

Duties of a pharmacy technician

Jr. level
A pharmacy technician is an individual who works in a pharmacy and is responsible for a variety of tasks. He or she may be responsible for answering customer questions, counting pills, measuring medications, entering patient information into the computer, and stocking shelves. A pharmacy technician may also be responsible for taking inventory, preparing insurance forms, and helping the pharmacist fill prescriptions.

Education and Training

A pharmacy technician is a person who works in a pharmacy and assists the pharmacist with various tasks. They must complete an accredited training program and pass a certification exam. Many states also require pharmacy technicians to be licensed.

Pharmacy technician programs

A pharmacy technician program typically covers medical and pharmaceutical terminology, pharmacy law and ethics, and patient confidentiality. Students also learn about different dosage forms and methods of drug administration. In addition, most programs cover topics such as inventory management, insurance processing, and record keeping. Some programs may also offer externships or internships that allow students to gain real-world experience.

Aspiring pharmacy technicians can find programs at community colleges, technical schools, and vocational schools. Most programs last between one and two years and lead to a certificate or associate degree. Many pharmacy technician programs are now offered online, which can be a convenient option for those who are already working or have family obligations.


Certification is not required in all states, but most employers prefer to hire certified technicians. Certification can be obtained through either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). To be eligible for certification, candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent, complete an accredited training program and pass a national exam. Some states require technicians to complete continuing education courses as well.

Salary and Job Outlook

A pharmacy technician is a health care worker who performs tasks such as measuring medication, billing insurance companies, and stocking shelves. The median salary for a pharmacy technician in 2018 was $32,700 per year. The job outlook for pharmacy technicians is expected to grow by 7% from 2018 to 2028.


As of May 2018, the median annual salary for pharmacy technicians was $32,700 (or $15.76 per hour), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.*

*Employment conditions in your area may vary.

## Job Outlook
Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. The need for pharmacy services will continue to increase as the population ages.**

**Personal conditions are not guaranteed.

Job outlook

The job outlook for pharmacy technicians is positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of pharmacy technicians will grow 9 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. An aging population, a growing use of medications, and longer life spans will lead to increased demand for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities.

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