Pharmacy Technicians

Detail oriented
Precision is crucial
Serious health problems can result from mistakes in filling prescriptions. Although the pharmacist is responsible for ensuring the safety of all medications dispensed, pharmacy technicians should pay attention to detail so that complications are avoided.
Listening skills
Communicate clearly
Pharmacy technicians must communicate clearly with pharmacists and doctors when taking prescription orders. When speaking with customers, technicians must listen carefully to understand customers’ needs and determine if they need to speak with a pharmacist.
Math skills
Find solutions
Pharmacy technicians need to have an understanding of the math concepts used in pharmacies when counting pills and compounding medications.

Job Description

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals. They mainly work in retail pharmacies and hospitals.

Pharmacy technicians typically do the following:

  • Collect information needed to fill a prescription from customers or health professionals
  • Measure amounts of medication for prescriptions
  • Package and label prescriptions
  • Organize inventory and alert pharmacists to any shortages of medications or supplies
  • Accept payment for prescriptions and process insurance claims
  • Enter customer or patient information, including any prescriptions taken, into a computer system
  • Answer phone calls from customers
  • Arrange for customers to speak with pharmacists if customers have questions about medications or health matters

Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of pharmacists, who must review prescriptions before they are given to patients. In most states, technicians can compound or mix some medications and call physicians for prescription refill authorizations. Technicians also may need to operate automated dispensing equipment when filling prescription orders.

Pharmacy technicians working in hospitals and other medical facilities prepare a greater variety of medications, such as intravenous medications. They may make rounds in the hospital, giving medications to patients.

Job Outlook

Median Pay – $35,100
High school diploma or GED
Formal education or training program
Exam
Fees
Continuing education
Criminal background check
PAY RANGE
$22,740
$32,700
$48,010
Lowest 10%
Median
Highest 10%
The industries that hired the most were:
Pharmacies and drug stores
52%
Hospitals; state, local, and private
17%
Food and beverage stores
8%

EDUCATION & TRAINING

TCAT

TN College of Applied Technology - Athens

THE PROGRAM

  • Time Commitment – Full Time
  • Program Length – 12 Months
  • Cost – $6,900

A pharmacy technician, under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, assists in the performance of activities in the pharmacy department. Upon completion of training, students will be prepared to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE). Certified Pharmacy Technicians may find employment in Independent, Chain, and Hospital Pharmacies, Home Health/Long Term Care Pharmacies, and Specialty (Compounding) Pharmacies.

• IV Preparations

• Prescription Preparation

• Drug Packaging

THE PROGRAM

  • Program Length – 1 Year
  • Average Earnings – $31,000/yr
  • Cost – $7,473

Certified Pharmacy Technicians are in an unprecedented demand in the Chattanooga area and across the country.

The purpose of the Advanced Pharmacy Technology Program at Chattanooga State is to prepare students to become well trained, nationally PTCB certified pharmacy technicians in order to assist the pharmacists of the greater Chattanooga community in providing optimal pharmaceutical care to patients.

Pharmacy technicians must have a broad knowledge of pharmacy practice and be skilled in the techniques required to fill prescriptions, constitute IV solutions, and prepare medications, but they do not need the advanced college education required of a licensed pharmacist.

Although pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a pharmacist and must be willing to take directions, they must also be able to work competently without constant instruction by the pharmacist. Because of the critical nature of many pharmacy duties, pharmacy technicians must perform precise work where details can be a matter of life or death.

The Advanced Pharmacy Technology Program is a twelve month program designed to prepare students for certification by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

Chattanooga State

Chattanooga State Community College

Cleveland State

Cleveland State Community College

THE PROGRAM

  • Time Commitment – Full Time
  • Program Length – 2 Years

The Associate of Science in Pre-Health Professions is designed to prepare students for more advanced study in a pathway through which students can pursue professional, doctoral-level healthcare careers (Dentistry, Medicine, Optometry, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine). Depending on the career, this usually occurs after transferring to a four-year university to earn a bachelor’s degree.