Pharmacy technician jobs entail work in medical offices related to pharmacy. The medical offices they work in may be in hospitals, clinics, hospices, long term care facilities, doctor’s offices, pharmacy manufacturers, etc. Pharmacy technicians almost always work under the direct supervision of a licensed health professional (usually, but not always, a pharmacist). Pharmacy technician jobs in the US are usually restricted to Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs) what are certified by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Pharmacy technicians work under Registered Pharmacists (a position that requires Doctor of Pharmacy degree).
Pharmacy technician jobs are quite popular due to rapid growth in demand for pharmacy technicians in both medical and pharmacy offices. This demand is caused by the nature of modern medicine where the volume of patients makes it impossible for doctors to manage the dispensing of medication, registry of patients, following insurance related details, etc. and the growth of the pharmacy industry and its focus on retail outlets. The growing proportion of elderly population also has an effect on demand. A massive boon for the pharmacy technician profession has been the passing of the controversial Healthcare Reform Bill by the US Senate. This permits almost 48 million more Americans who previous did not have health insurance now have access affordable health insurance. All of the above generates jobs for pharmacy technicians. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2009 that 3/4th of certified pharmacy technicians worked in retail outlets while an additional 16 % worked in hospitals and clinics. The remainder is employed by such institutions as nursing homes, wholesalers, federal government institutes, etc. The job market is expected to enjoy growth of about 25 % from 2010 to 2020.
Pharmacy technician jobs differ from whether it is in a hospital setting or a retail setting. Jobs in retail setting are normally more clerical and involve tracking shipments, checking prescriptions, keeping inventory, handling customers, etc. Hospital pharmacy technician jobs, however, involve a lot of contact with patients and require more patience and people skills. Some of this work includes packing and labeling doses of medication, dispensing medication, reviewing prescription requests or insurance related documents, instructing patients in the use of medical equipment, administrative work, etc. Hospital pharmacy technicians also need to monitor patient charts and evaluate prescription needs based on them. Under the supervision of registered pharmacists, they also mix sterile products with other substances in order to form mixtures for intravenously introduced medication. Hospital pharmacy technicians normally have responsibilities than those working in retail, nursing homes, etc but the pay scale is higher for them as well.
Pharmacy technicians have higher income than most jobs that require similar levels of qualification. Pharmacy technician salaries depend on the number of years of experience the technician boasts and the references he/she can provide. At the entry level (which is to say no background experience), pharmacy technicians in USA make in between $15,400 to $22,700 per year. At an intermediate level (which is to say between 3 and 6 years of experience) salaries range in between $23,400 per year and $34,000 per year. Pharmacy technicians with more than 6 years of experience are normally assigned to supervisory positions over junior pharmacy technicians. Senior pharmacy technicians earn between $35,500 and $48,500 per year. The reason for this sort of disparity between the low and high end of the pay scale at every experience level is because normally the lowest paid pharmacy technicians are employed in retail pharmacies and grocery stores and their responsibilities are largely customer service based. Hospital pharmacy technician jobs entail heavier workloads and thus are paid much more accordingly.