For most Americans, if you are going to enter into a career, one of the first things you look at, outside of how much the position pays, is whether or not that career has longevity and job security. Industries that are growing right now, and have a good outlook for growth are the best places to put your time and effort into trying to break into.
As America’s medical industry continues to grow faster than almost any other sector, demand for pharmacy technicians is increasing as well. In addition to factors such as an aging population and increasing obesity that are driving this general growth, there is an additional factor specific to pharmacy work: increasing use of pharmaceuticals.
More Americans than ever are using prescription medicines. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in the period 2011-2014 almost 50% of Americans reported having used a prescription drug in the past 30 days. What’s more, 23% had used three or more and 12% had taken five or more medications. Given these numbers, it’s not surprising that pharmaceutical spending in the U.S. rose from $195 billion to $450 billion between 2002 and 2016. That’s an increase of 130% during a 14 year period in which our population only grew 12%!
Demand for prescription medicines doesn’t look to be easing up anytime soon, which means pharmacy technicians will continue to be in demand well into the future. Pharmacy technicians typically receive great pay and benefits, and have hours that work for single parents or even those continuing to go to school while they work. If you are a highschool graduate you are eligible to be certified at a pharmacy technician.
A Strong Job Market In Texas For Pharmacy Technicians
The job outlook for pharmacy technicians is very positive. Healthcare jobs, in general, are exploding in the U.S. with growth 20% faster than any other sector of the economy. In the decade from 2003 to 2013 employment in this sector soared by 22.7% nationally – the combined growth of other sectors, on the other hand, was only 2.1%. Even if you were to move outside of Texas, a certified pharmacy technician is a valuable commodity on the job market, nationally.
The jobs forecast for pharmacy technicians in Texas is especially good. While jobs for pharmacy technicians will increase 12% across the U.S. between 2016 and 2026, in Texas that growth will be more than double the national average at 26%. That’s 1,100 new jobs available every year! Currently, there are 33,030 Pharmacy Technicians in Texas, with 6,540 employed in the Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division.
With such demand, getting a job is easier, but there is quite the crowd vying for these positions. Standing out from other applicants is important, and you can achieve that goal by obtaining certifications before you apply for positions.
Pharmacy Technician Careers
The primary role of any pharmacy technician is to help with the measuring out and dispensing of prescription medications for patients. Pharmacy technicians are also usually the face of the pharmacy, speaking to customers, taking prescriptions, and advising patients and customers on the correct use of medications.
The ability to interact with patients and customers is a large part of the pharmacy technician. Many patients are sick or going through a battle fighting an illness when they see the pharmacy technicians to pick up their medication. It is important to greet these patients with care and sympathy. Other duties of a pharmacy technician include:
- Collecting patient data
- Data entry and maintaining pharmacy records
- Managing the pharmacy inventory
- Filling out prescription forms
- Dispensing filled scripts and taking payment
- A variety of customer service duties
What skills do you need to be a Pharmacy Technician?
A pharmacy technician requires a wide range of skills to perform well in the role. These include, but certainly aren’t limited to:
- Fast and accurate data entry skills
- Time management and ability to stay organized
- Strong oral and written communication skills
- Excellent attention to detail
- Ability to work independently and to follow instruction
- Ability to understand and communicate medical information clearly to patients and customers
- Good interpersonal skills to maintain a positive team environment
- Experience in the Microsoft Suite, including Word, Excel, and Outlook
- Allied health math including the ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measurement. This includes using whole number, common fractions, and decimals with an understanding of ratios, percentages, and rates.
- Specialised skills that are looked on highly by employers include:
- Understanding HIPAA Privacy
- Phlebotomy training
- Non-sterile Compounding
- Sterile product preparation
- Understanding of pharmacology, anatomy, and physiology
In Texas and other border states in particular, employers are always seeking bilingual individuals to hire as a pharmacy technician. The ability to easily converse with customers and patients who speak a different language is a great added benefit of any employee and will likely lead to higher pay. Those seeking employment as a pharmacy technician who already have certificates in different areas of pharmacy technician work are also highly sought after as they require less training.
Where do Pharmacy Technicians work?
There is work for pharmacy technicians in a variety of settings. You’ll find them at your local retail pharmacy, of course, but there are also pharmacy technician roles in:
- Compounding pharmacies
- Mail-order pharmacies
- Public and private hospitals
- Nursing homes
- Mental health facilities
- Prison medical centers
- Military medical facilities
The many different places you can work means that no matter where you are, there is likely a need for a pharmacy technician, and not only in the normal places you might think of.
There are a range of options open for career progression if you start out as a pharmacy technician. Most people train up to become senior certified pharmacy technicians and stop there, but other options include registered nurse, lead pharmacy technician, and pharmacist. Each of those paths leads, in turn, to new opportunities.
- Pharmacy Technician Career Paths (United States)
- Pharmacy TechnicianCertified
- Pharmacy Technician (CPHT)Senior Certified
- Pharmacy TechnicianHospital
- Pharmacy TechnicianPharmacy Technician
- LeadSenior Pharmacy Technician
- Pharmacy Technician Instructor
- Retail Pharmacist
- Emergency Room
- Senior Certified Pharmacy Technician
- Pharmacy Technician, Lead
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Family Nurse Practitioner (NP)
- Charge Nurse (RN)Pharmacist
- Pharmacist in Charge
A good training center will help you to plan your career path. At CCI, our community will help you decide which path will most benefit your career goals as well what will fit best with your family’s lifestyle. Drag job titles to investigate a particular path and click on a link to see where particular career can lead.
What are the job opportunities available for Pharmacy Technicians?
A quick search of online job board Indeed shows that there are plenty of jobs out there for pharmacy technicians. There are currently more than 2, 500 pharmacy technician jobs advertised across Texas with 289 of those going up within the last seven days. In Arlington alone there are more than 600 jobs going and another 600 available in Dallas. Simply search for ‘pharmacy technician’ and start browsing – but pay attention as some jobs may require certifications.
Getting certifications done before you apply for pharmacy positions can greatly increase the speed with which you are offered a position and the starting pay you are likely to receive. Given this industry’s booming growth, it is well worth your time to get certified in certain pharmacy technician certifications. You will show your employer you have the skills necessary, the motivation to succeed, and they can trust your dedication to the profession as a smart hire who will stick around for many years to come.
Make yourself the best candidate you can be to obtain a career in the medical field with your certifications and ensure your family’s financial well-being. With opportunity for advancement, your lifestyle changes will not only be permanent but grow over time.
How can CCI training help with your Pharmacy Technician career?
CCI Training Center has instructors who will not only help you to become certified in many areas of the medical field, but they will help guide you to the ones you are most apt for. Along with the other students, you will network with many individuals that will be able to connect you with your first job and help you with your growth in the medical industry as a pharmacy technician and beyond.
CCI Training Center can provide you with all the training and guidance you need to excel at the test to earn your pharmacy technicians certification. We also include training to prepare for certifications in phlebotomy, compounding, and sterile product preparation to boost your employability and your starting salary.
Are you ready to better your financial situation and make a career change that will also offer you a lifestyle change? We know your family’s financial security and future are important to you. Take the first steps and call CCI Training Center to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff about how to start your journey to becoming a certified pharmacy technician.