You don’t need to be a pharmacist to work in a pharmacy. This misconception might be why pharmacy technicians are in such high demand.
Becoming a certified pharmacy technician is easy through MedCerts programs. Many pharmacy tech positions even have a hiring bonus from $1,000 to $5,000, which means that MedCerts training programs pay for themselves.
The MedCerts Pharmacy Technician program takes you through three online courses and a 160-hour externship training in a real pharmacy setting. A certification from MedCerts will qualify you for many career opportunities.
As many graduates become pharmacy technicians, a job in a retail pharmacy is very common. There are many other pharmacy settings that are available. Hospital, compounding, and closed-door pharmacies just to name a few.
You will need a bachelor’s degree and at least six years in pharmacy school to become a pharmacist. Many hospitals do require at least a year of experience before getting hired as a pharmacy technician.
Some independent pharmacies or hospitals may pay their pharmacy technicians to go to school, but this deal may cut your work hours, take longer and lock you into a complicated contract.
It may not sound glitzy, but a retail pharmacy environment has extraordinary benefits.
Retail pharmacy is popular among MedCerts students. Around 90% enter a retail environment and have the opportunity to eventually become supervisors, tech leads, and managers in their pharmacy.
Working in a retail pharmacy is an engaging experience. It moves quickly, keeps you busy, and supplies you with a vast skill set.
A day in the life of a retail pharmacy technician is extraordinarily active and engaging.
Retail pharmacy technicians are superheroes, filling around 400 to 600 prescriptions and drive-thru orders daily. They become well-acquainted with the pharmacy’s inventory, check expiration dates and monitor fast-moving medications.
Being a pharmacy tech isn’t all pills and prescriptions. You learn how to manage the automated systems of your pharmacy, which involves checking products, updating entries in the system, creating labels, and more.
Of course, what would a retail job be without customers and patients? A pharmacy technician refers them to pharmacists for consultations on their prescriptions, particularly regarding side effects and following directions.
You play an essential role as a pharmacy technician because you also handle expired medications. You need to know how to properly dispose of them to ensure safety among our patients.
One of the most important aspects of being a retail pharmacy technician is being a good communicator. You’ll spend a lot of time on the phone with doctor’s offices, patients, customers, and insurance companies.
You won’t be talking about the weather, either. You’ll talk about prescriptions, insurance coverage, copays, and so much more. And when you’re talking to patients and customers, you’ll need to be able to explain complicated topics in a way that anyone can understand.
Ultimately, a pharmacy technician is a jack of all trades. Some retail pharmacy environments have different stations like prescription order entry, prescription filling, drive-thrus, and inventories. Most pharmacy technicians will experience the different stations and thus add to their skill set.
A pharmacy tech may be assigned to one or multiple stations at a time or be expected to switch to a new station. Each station calls for a different set of skills, so a retail pharmacy tech becomes a powerhouse around the pharmacy.
If you have an interest in medicine and a passion for people, try MedCerts programs for engaging career opportunities as a pharmacy technician.
As MedCerts Pharmacy Technician Program Director, Sherrie Moore is responsible for the planning, implementation, coordination, supervision, and evaluation of all instruction and related Pharmacy Technician program management activities. She oversees the fulfillment of educational goals and objectives, ensuring program compliance with state standards and requirements, and ASHP criteria, regulations, and policies.
Sherrie holds her PharmD from Western University of Health Science, College of Pharmacy, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She has worked in both retail and hospital pharmacy operations; taught pharmacy technician instruction and has served as pharmacy technician program director and program chair.
Sherrie lives in Southern California with her husband of 30 years and three daughters. She loves to garden, play piano, and spend time with her fur babies.