How to Become a Professional Pharmacy Technician

Do you enjoy working with modern medicine and helping people? If yes, you could be a perfect fit for a career as a pharmacy technician. 

Pharmacy technicians are medical professionals who work under the supervision of pharmacists. These professionals work together to provide the best care and support to patients’ medications needs.

Starting a career as a pharmacy technician requires you to have proper skills and knowledge in pharmacology. After the educational aspect, a PTCE validates these skills. This is a pharmacy tech certification test that helps check your readiness and competence for the job.

Below are the things you have to accomplish to become a professional pharmacy technician.

  • Education Requirements

The role of a pharmacy technician is crucial since it deals with patient drugs. Dispensing of medicines should always be accurate as simple errors can be life-threatening. That is why to become a pharmacy technician, one must go through a relevant educational path.

Today, there is no national standard for education when it comes to being a pharmacy technician. A certification, diploma, and associate degree relevant to this field would suffice. 

Choose an accredited college or university and enroll in a pharmacy technician training program. One of the requirements of enrolling in such programs is having a high school diploma. Most training programs take up to two years as you will be enrolled to study specific areas in the health care sector. 

These areas include administrative work in a pharmacy. Other study areas are inventory knowledge in pharmaceutical selling, mixing, measuring, and dispensing medicine. Students need to be good in numbers to perform well in these areas. 

  • Get a Pharmacy Technician Certification

It is important to get certified as a pharmacy technician as it serves as proof of your competence in this field. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board grants certification to qualified individuals. Below are the eligibility requirements for the certification:

  • Currently residing in the USA or its territories
  • Successful completion of any PTCB-Recognized Education/Training Program or equivalent work experience
  • Complete disclosure of all criminal and State Board of Pharmacy registration or licensure actions
  • Compliance with all PTCB certification requirements
  • A passing score on the PTCE

The exam administered by the board is computer-based and is composed of 90 questions. 80 out of these questions are scored while the other 11 are unscored. It usually takes up to two hours to complete the exam including the 5-min tutorial and 5-min post-exam survey. The exam results, although unofficial, will be generated right after the survey. Official results will then be posted after three weeks. 

The PTCB provides a clear outline of the exam coverage so that takers can prepare. Most examinees also prefer to take a detailed PTCB practice test to have a better grasp of the real exam. These practice tests aim to provide a similar experience by tackling the same outline as the actual one.

  • Obtain State Licensing

In some situations, you may be required to get a state license before working as a professional pharmacy technician. 

In some states, you may not need a license if you have taken the pharmacy tech certification test. This means you are a certified pharmacy technician, and you can start working straight away. 

That is why taking a pharmacy tech practice test online to prepare for this exam is crucial. Make sure you research and find your state’s licensing requirements before you start working.

  • Renew Your Knowledge

Working as a professional pharmacy technician requires refreshing your knowledge every two years. This is important because it keeps you up to date with the changes in the medical field. 

These changes include new medication use, policies, laws, and pharmacology trends. Continuous education enables you to be efficient in your work. That is why many health facilities like hospitals and clinics train their pharmacy technicians continuously.

Pharmacy Technician Skills and Responsibilities

A pharmacy technician can work in hospitals, community pharmacies, and pharmaceutical industries. Skills like paying attention to details and accuracy are important in this field. 

Such skills help in measuring dosages and mixing medication. A pharmacy technician also needs to be good at customer service and listening to patients. The everyday responsibilities of a pharmacy technician include but are not limited to:

  • Preparing different medication 
  • Organizing pharmacy inventory
  • Measuring dosages
  • Packaging prescriptions
  • Collect prescriptions and patients’ insurance information.

A pharmacy technician is an entry-level position that gives you skills and experience. This position involves working with pharmacists and reporting any issues requiring a pharmacist’s attention.

The Future of Pharmacy Technician Career

According to BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), pharmacy technician jobs and other health careers will increase. The projection is a 4% growth rate in the next ten years. 

This means the future of pharmacy technician careers is bright. It is good news for anyone who wants to pursue it.

If you are good at what you do, this can be long-term stable employment. It provides room for career growth to advance into a managerial position.

Key Takeaway

A career as a pharmacy technician can provide job satisfaction if you enjoy helping people and working hard. The accelerated diploma training programs help you reach your goals and become a certified pharmacy technician. 

Taking a PTCB online test also adds credibility to your abilities. It demonstrates your competence in the pharmacy technology field. 

Preparing and taking a practice PTCB exam increases your chances of getting work opportunities. Relevant experience and certification to validate your skills can lead to a successful and fulfilling career as a pharmacy technician. 

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