If you enjoy working with people and have an interest in health care, acquiring pharmacy technician certification can be a worthwhile enterprise. The health care sector is undergoing a massive boom, and this is predicted to continue irregardless of the state of the national economy. Upon becoming a certified pharmacy technician, you can work with patients of various ages and backgrounds, and provide them with important health care products and medication under the guidance of a licensed pharmacist.
The type of work that this position would entail involves liaising directly with members of the public, as well as professional health care workers, and other pharmacists. A large amount of time would be spent preparing prescribed medication, specifically through the processes of tablet counting and labeling. It is an occupation that is of interest to people who want to help others, but who do not like the thought of spending many years attending medical school.
A pharmacy technician should have excellent people skills, pay attention to detail, understand requests, and know how to provide quality customer service. During a program of study that relates to this field, students will learn about such topics as the anatomy and physiology of the body, communication skill development, different types of drugs (non-prescription, prescription, dietary supplements, and herbal remedies), general stocking, interpretation of physicians orders, pharmaceutical and medical technology, federal and state law, and pharmaceutical calculations.
Individuals who take up this occupation must obtain the correct licensure from a state board, and most States require that the license is renewed on an annual basis. Though obtaining a certified credential is in fact voluntary, such a qualification would enhance career prospects. There are a number of bodies which offer certification exams, these include the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians, and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. It is important that you are clear on what the local regulations are in your state governing taking up this type of employment.
According to data made available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is predicted that the number of opportunities for pharmacy technicians will increase by around thirty per cent from 2008 to 2018. This rate exceeds that of the projected average of all occupations, and is driven by a number of diverse factors, for instance the switch to a more elderly demographic with a larger need of medical care, an increasing number of people who will have access to medical insurance and prescription drugs, and the introduction of new medications to treat common illnesses. It has also been suggested that some pharmacy technicians will take on more duties than what is expected of them today, for example certain clerical and administrative tasks. Those applicants that have undertaken formal training, and who have earned certification will be well placed to take up the most rewarding profiles.
Technicians working in pharmacies can have a lot of flexibility in their shift patterns, there is often the opportunity to work on a part time or full time basis. Around seventy per cent of the people already employed in this position work in retail pharmacies, department stores, and grocery stores. The typical working hours are the same as that of senior pharmacists, and can include night shifts and weekends. There is also a demand for pharmacists to work for online chemists, clinics, as well as hospitals and specialist health care centers.
As of 2009, there were an estimated 330,000 people employed as pharmacy technicians in the US. Official government data indicates that the average salary of these individuals was around $29,000. The highest paid were those technicians who were employed in insurance companies, federal agencies, and research firms, those working in the retail sector typically had the lowest wages.
Factors such as certification and experience also influence the wage that can be earned. With professional certification from an accredited school, there would be more likelihood of being offered an attractive salary package, the cost of a program of education is certainly a good investment. Moreover, today, there is also the option of studying online, this can be a lot more affordable than attending a regular college, and is inherently more convenient and flexible.
The salary available upon acquiring pharmacy technician certification also depends upon location. Those individuals residing in large metropolitan areas are more likely to be offered a high salary, as compared to what is available in predominantly rural counties. Data indicates that the national capital region, and other large conurbations in the north east of the country, offer the most attractive pharmacy technician salary.