Have you considered a medical career but feel turned off by a long education and high student loan debt? If so, becoming a pharmaceutical technician may be a good career option.
A pharm tech helps mostly with filling prescriptions. But they also provide customer service and perform other tasks required from pharmacists. You can either make the role your career or easily use it as a stepping stone to other medical careers.
Even better, a pharmacy technician usually doesn’t need any college degree, so you can get started very quickly. But those aren’t the only benefits of pursuing this role.
Read on to learn five key benefits of becoming a pharmacy tech to decide if this career suits you.
1. Straightforward And Affordable Training
Did you know that tuition rates and student loan debt are at an all-time high? So, the limited training required to begin a pharmacy technician career path is a key benefit.
In fact, you can possibly get a position at a local pharmacy with only your high school diploma. Popular chains like CVS, Kroger, and Rite Aid have their own pharm tech training programs that you can complete as part of your job requirements. That way, you get experience throughout your whole education process!
If you’d rather have some preparation before seeking a job, you’ve got plenty of options too. You can find pharmacy tech online courses that you complete at your own pace and that includes an internship for experience. You can also check out local career training centers and universities for in-classroom programs.
Becoming a pharmacy technician does involve some other state requirements like a background check and exam too. But the good news is these steps often don’t consume too much time or money.
States often look for a pharmacy technician certification. You can get one through the National Healthcareer Association or the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.
You’ll often learn what you need during your training and take an online exam at an exam center. The exam cost may be included in your training program fee. Your employer might also pay for it.
2. Growing Job Opportunities With Flexibility
Did you know that pharmaceutical technician employment topped around 420,000 in 2018 in the United States? With so many people needing prescriptions, it’s not a surprise that pharmacies need these assistants more than ever.
In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics makes career growth projections and expects 31,500 more pharm tech jobs to become available through 2028! This reflects job growth faster than the national average across occupations.
Your job opportunities will exist in many work environments so you don’t have to worry much about finding a job if you need to move. You might picture pharmacy techs working in local retail pharmacies most often. But you can find work in hospitals, private pharmacies, military bases, and even universities.
The flexibility doesn’t stop with location either. Full-time pharm tech jobs are most common, but you can find a part-time position with flexible working hours if you need something that works better for your family.
3. Important And Fulfilling Work In Your Community
If you’re the kind of person who wants to do work that makes a visible difference in your community, then becoming a pharmacy tech comes with this benefit.
You get fulfillment in knowing that you’re helping patients get medications that improve their daily lives or even save them. Through your phone and in-person interactions, you can provide patients with needed advice and make their days a bit brighter with a friendly conversation.
A pharmaceutical technician role also provides fulfillment in that you get to do hands-on work rather than sit at a computer all day. If you want a role where you move around and stay active, you’ll find some satisfaction in a pharm tech career.
4. Diverse Daily Job Duties
Do you crave a job that comes with a lot of interaction and different job duties throughout your work shift? Then know that a pharmacy technician job can reward you with interesting work that goes beyond filling prescriptions.
On a typical workday, you might talk to customers and doctors on the phone. You may identify medication shortages in the pharmacy and process claims for medications. You can also expect to process payments, direct customers to the pharmacist for medical advice, and manage the pharmacy’s inventory.
Your state requirements may allow you to do even more. For example, some states let you authorize refills or mix complex medications. You might also find more work diversity in hospital pharmacies.
5. Plenty Of Advancement Opportunities
A pharmacy technician career path provides opportunities to both earn more in the role or progress to other medical careers.
For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites a $15.36 an hour wage for pharmacy techs working in retail stores. However, you can advance to a hospital pharmacy role with experience and average a higher $18.71 an hour!
Besides working at more advanced pharmacies, you might consider roles in medical billing, healthcare management, nursing, or even research. Your pharm tech experience will help you along with any additional training you must pursue for the new role.
For example, you might move on to become a pharmacy benefit manager who helps with insurance claims for medications and works directly with drug manufacturers as well. You could also go to work as an insurance billing specialist for a pharmacy or hospital since your pharmacy technician training covers the basics of the topic.
Begin Your Path To A Pharmaceutical Technician Career
If you find the benefits of becoming a pharmaceutical technician appealing, consider researching educational options near you.
Contacting local pharmacy chains can lead you to a job with training provided quickly. They’ll often help you with certification too.
But you’re also free to look for pharmacy technician programs at local community colleges, trade schools, and adult education centers. While you’ll likely pay a fee, you may find grants or loans for your pharm tech training.
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