Pharmacy technician training is not a standard requirement when becoming a pharmacy technician and much of their training is obtained on-the-job. Although it is not required, there are training programs that are available to pharmacy technicians and they are offered through various institutions and organizations which include colleges, hospitals, and the military. Within these programs there is a variety in the subjects and material that is covered and there is also a range in the time required to complete each one.
Pharmacy technicians are typically responsible for helping licensed pharmacists with their duties. A pharmacy technician
is usually required to take patients’ prescriptions, count the pills or capsules needed in each vial, and label those vials with the information relating to the prescriptions.
Some pharmacy technician responsibilities also include pricing and filing prescriptions that are filled and creating patient profiles that include files of all the prescriptions that are filled for each patient. Pharmacy technician training typically involves activities that relate to these duties and that will help the pharmacy technicians to be better at completing the duties. The programs involve training in areas like pharmaceutical terminology, calculations, and record keeping.
Many of the training programs that are offered include an internship program, allowing those enrolled in the program to enter a pharmacy and gain valuable hands-on experience. These internships help pharmacy technicians learn the names, correct doses, actions and effects of the medication that they are working with and giving to the patients. After a person has completed one of the various pharmacy technician training programs they will receive a diploma, a degree, or some type of certificate.
Certification of pharmacy technicians is not required in many cases but some employers do want their pharmacy technicians to be certified. Certification can be obtained by taking and passing an examination that is offered by both the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians. The knowledge attained by those who finish the training programs will greatly aide with the certification exams.
Once certified, pharmacy technicians must be re-certified every two years. In order to do this, pharmacy technicians must receive further education within the two years from universities, pharmacy associations, or from pharmacists themselves.
Having finished a training program and having earned certification will greatly increase the opportunities of acquiring a job as pharmacy technician, a job where expected employment growth is much faster than average. Those with training and certification will have an increased advantage in gaining employment compared to those who are in search of a pharmacy technician position with only a high school diploma.
Pharmacy technicians with large amounts of training and education have the opportunities to advance to supervisory positions in larger pharmacies or with more education may move on to become pharmacists.
Although pharmacy technician training is not necessarily a requirement, it is very beneficial to those interested in becoming a pharmacy technician. Acquiring this training can lead to increased job opportunities, higher salary, and advancement to upper positions after original employment.