Pharmacy technicians assist licensed pharmacists with providing prescription drugs to patients by preparing, counting and labeling medications. Additionally, pharmacy technicians answer patient questions and perform essential clerical tasks. Pharmacy technicians may work in retail pharmacies, hospitals or assisted living facilities. If you enjoy interacting with and helping people, then pharmacy technician may be a great career path for you to explore.
While most states have no formal educational requirements, the educational and training requirements to become a certified pharmacy technician vary by employer. Most companies require an Associate's Degree or a certificate from an accredited pharmacy technician program, but many companies also provide on-the-job training. All pharmacy technicians must obtain certification through either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board or the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians. Certification is renewable every two years and requires completion of at least 20 hours of continuing education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for pharmacy technicians are expected to increase by 32 percent between the years 2006 and 2016, which is well above average job growth rates for other comparable industries.