Pharmacy is an ever growing aspect of the medical field with many different types of jobs offered, making many people, and possibly you, wonder what is a pharmacy technician and how do I become one? There is a lot to know about becoming a pharmacy technician and pharmacy school requirements so read on and we will give you all the information you need!
What Exactly is a Pharmacy Technician?
For starters, what is a pharmacy technician, exactly? Well, quite simply, they are the people who work directly under the licensed pharmacist. Some of the duties of a pharmacy technician include storing and labeling medications, receiving prescriptions and refill requests, and assisting customers with simple questions or referring them to the pharmacist on duty for medication information. Pharmacy technicians can work in hospitals, nursing homes or pharmacies. They are usually on their feet all day long and most pharmacy technicians work full-time.
What Kind of Salary Can I Expect as a Pharmacy Technician?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics state that a pharmacy technician salary is $28,400 per year, significantly lower than that of a licensed pharmacist who makes roughly $111,000 per year (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Pharmacists.htm). The reason for this is because most states do not require any formal training in order to be a pharmacy technician so you don’t necessarily need to get a pharmacy technician degree, though there are many schools that offer degrees in pharmacy technician. In order to compete for a position as a pharmacy tech, it is advisable to get some sort of formal education to put you ahead of the competition. In order to become a licensed pharmacist, however, you have to receive a doctorate in pharmacy and be licensed which requires passing two very difficult exams.
What if I Want to Go On to Become a Pharmacist?
Pharmacy school requirements will vary by institution but most require that your Bachelor’s Degree is completed prior to applying. Competitive GPAs are a must, with minimum requirements usually hovering around 3.0 or higher. Classes in calculus, anatomy, microbiology and chemistry are just some of the many courses you will have had to complete prior to acceptance to pharmacy school.
Being a pharmacy major is not easy, but all your hard work will certainly pay off in the long run. The job market is only expected to grow and financially speaking, you can make a lot of money no matter where in the country you decide to live. Being a pharmacist is also very rewarding and no matter what route you take, that of a pharmacy technician or a licensed pharmacist, you are likely be very satisfied in your career.