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Pharmacy Technician Job Description

A pharmacy technician is one who works under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. His or her role is to perform many pharmacy related tasks. The technician often handles the routine tasks in the pharmacy including preparation of prescribed medications, which will be checked by the licensed pharmacist before giving it to the patient, selecting the proper prescription container, creating prescription labels, medication compounding, expense and medication orders, take verbal prescriptions and calls from doctor’s, handle returns and expired credits and non licensed pharmacy management.

Job Description

The technicians also handle other pharmacy tasks including the preparation of insurance claim forms, maintenance of patient profiles, answering the telephone, taking inventory of over the counter medications, recommending over the counter medications to customers, completion of cash register transactions and being aware of the latest medications and their availability, as well as their side effects. The pharmacy technician also advises the customer on health and diet issues, the proper foods and liquids to take with their medication and how to offset side effects of the medication. The pharmacy technicians will also advise customers on non medication, but medical related items such as the proper height a cane should be, or the best ace bandage to purchase.

Pharmacy technicians work mostly in retail pharmacy’s independently owned or part of a chain, while others work in hospitals, mail order or internet pharmacy’s or pharmaceutical wholesalers, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Pharmacy technicians often work evening and weekends as well as a day time shift, including holidays.

What does a pharmacy technician do?

Just as a medical assistant is a doctor’s helper, so is a pharmacy technician the assistant to a licensed pharmacist. A pharmacy tech is hired to keep a pharmacy running smoothly and without issues. Roles and duties include:

  • Filling up prescription drug orders for customers. A pharmacy technician has to be accurate, efficient and conscientious while confirming prescription details and dosage. Failure to do so may result in unwanted legal action.
  • Be an attentive multi-tasker who is required to focus on many tasks at hand. Some of them include attending to customers queries while working the cash register.
  • Be patient while exuding good interpersonal skills. Being a good communicator will help bright pharmacy techs excel at their work and advance their career easily.
  • Be well-versed in insurance information and terminology. Part of the job of a pharmacy technician includes handling insurance claims and issues.

Pharmacy technicians’ workplace

7 out of 10 pharmacy technicians work in retail environment where you can find them applying for jobs at neighborhood pharmacies and grocery stores. They have been known to be hired in hospitals and clinics while some opt to start employment in nursing homes if they do not prefer to work in a retail setting. Pharmacy techs who are tech savvy may want to consider working at mail-order pharmacies and telepharmacies where they can use their skills and passion to an advantage.

Pharmacy Technician Training Program

Pharmacy technicians are required to complete a pharmacy technician training program. Some states require a pharmacy technician to be certified while other states do not. The pharmacy technician is well advised to be certified even if the state they work has voluntary certification. Obtaining a certification demonstrates the national standards for pharmacy technician has been met.

There are two organizations that offer pharmacy technician certifications. They are the PTCB, Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and ICPT, The Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians. Both certifications are accepted by most pharmacy employers.

When the technician is certified by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, the pharmacy technician will have the official title of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). The certification must be renewed every two years and requires attending 20 hours of continuing education.

When the technician is certified by the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians, the pharmacy technician will have the official title of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). The certification must be renewed every two years and requires attending at least 20 hours of continuing education, with at least one hour in pharmacy law.


The pharmacy technician must have people relationship and communication skills, have the ability to be very accurate at all times and have an eye for detail. Pharmacy technicians who work in patient care facilities are also responsible for reading patient charts and then preparing the medication and delivering it to the patient. They also update patient files and change a patient’s medication when so directed by a doctor or other medical specialist or the licensed pharmacist.

Misconceptions about being a pharmacy technician

There are many rumors surrounding a pharmacy technician’s job. Here are several misconceptions that you may or may not have heard:

Misconception #1: A pharmacy technician’s days is filled with dull work

There are some people out there who think that being a pharmacy technician is dull work. Granted, it is not as glamorous as being an A-list film start or heiress-cum-socialite, but the pharmacy technician profession is seen as a noble one and is very much in demand with today’s booming health care sector.

Misconception #2: A pharmacy technician is a “slave”

A pharmacy technician is basically a licensed pharmacist’s helper or aide. Many think that this involves doing all the grunt work, which may be true at some point, but many pharmacy technicians have been known to rise up in ranks after displaying true professionalism in dealing with customers and completing tasks diligently.

Misconception #3: A pharmacy technician is paid poorly

This myth is untrue as most new pharmacy technicians have found rewarding jobs that pay $15 per hour. With the right certification and training, diligent pharmacy technicians can be paid more than $20 per hour with good career advancements.

Filed in: Pharmacy Technician, Pharmacy technician Job

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