Ever look beyond the counter at your local pharmacy and are intrigued by the technicians and pharmacists behind the desk? You may want to consider obtaining a degree or certificate in pharmacy technology (otherwise known as pharm tech, or pharmacy tech).
Pharmacy technicians work directly with licensed pharmacists in hospitals, clinics, and retail or even mail-order pharmacies receiving prescription requests; counting tablets, labeling bottles, providing customer service and performing other clerical duties. Your work as a pharmacy technician serves as an important role in healthcare as they provide assistance to people in need of prescribed drugs.
Job Outlook as a Pharmacy Technician
The sophistication of new medications and the aging baby boomer population provide a strong outlook for the pharmacy industry. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of pharmacy technicians is expected to increase by 32% though 2016—providing a steady and fruitful career path for many.
Degree Paths for a Pharmacy Technician
Jobs in pharmacy tech are expected to be favorable, especially for those with certification. With that being said, there is multiple educational programs one can take to obtain the proper certification for a successful career in pharmacy tech. Individuals can obtain a pharmacy technician certificate online or on-campus; or if they are seeking a more robust course load, can obtain an Associate’s degree, which takes around two years to achieve.
Courses in the Pharmacy Tech Degree Program
Students pursuing a pharmacy technician certificate or degree can expect to take courses including:
- Introduction to Pharmacy; where you will learn about career opportunities available as a pharmacy technician.
- Pharmacology; a class that teaches typical drugs used for the most common diseases and how the drugs affect the body.
- Pharmacy Technician Capstone; an upper-level class that helps students prepare for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam.
This program in the growing field of pharmacy technician offers you the flexibility and convenience of online learning with the instruction you’ll need to handle medications and understand the chemistry of drug interactions.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Pharmacy Technicians and Aides, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos325.htm (visited February 06, 2011)