Spotlight on Pharmacy Technicians

As America’s medical industry continues to grow faster than almost any other sector, demand for pharmacy technicians is increasing as well. As well as factors like aging population and increasing obesity that are driving this general growth, there is an additional factor specific to pharmacy work: increasing use of pharmaceuticals.

hc-pt-8

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.

Is the job market strong in Texas for Pharmacy Technicians?

The job outlook for pharmacy technicians is fantastic. 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%.

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.

What do Pharmacy Technicians do?

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. 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?

Pharma Tech 1A 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
    • CPR
    • Non-sterile Compounding
    • Sterile product preparation
    • Understanding of pharmacology, anatomy, and physiology

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

What are the opportunities for career advancement?

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.

Pharma Tech 3

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.

How can CCI training help with your Pharmacy Technician career?

CCI Training Center can provide you with all the training you need 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. Fill in the form on this page to find out more.