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Pharmacy Technician: Degrees and Jobs for Military & Veterans

Less School, More Pay: Start a Great Career as a Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists to prepare and dispense prescription medication. Pharmacy technicians (pharmacy techs or PTs) may work to dispense medications directly to customers, patients, or to health professionals. Pharmacy techs may work in retail pharmacies including those found in drug stores and hospitals. Pharmacy techs also work in other locations such as grocery stores, acute care facilities, nursing homes, and managed care clinics. While two-thirds of pharmacy techs work in retail pharmacies, PTs also work in facilities where they become an integral part of the health care team and work directly with nurses, doctors, and fellow technicians.

Pharmacy techs work under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist and assist in all aspects of preparing prescription medications.

Pharmacy Tech Responsibilities

Pharmacy tech responsibilities may include:

  • Pharmacy management
  • Customer/client engagement
  • Interact with insurance companies
  • Medication preparation
  • Dispensing prescription to customer or provider
  • Drug-use review
  • Fill automated dispensing machines
  • Storage
  • Pharmacy equipment and facilities maintenance
  • Maintain proper inventory levels

Pharmacy Tech Training

Each state board of pharmacy determines requirements within their state. Many states require licensure of pharmacy techs. Licensure requirements are vastly varied and may include:

  • a high school diploma or GED
  • passing a criminal background check
  • passing a drug test
  • graduation from a 3-9 month training program accredited by the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists
  • passage of a licensure/certification exam

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of employed Pharmacy Technicians to grow faster than average over the next decade. Increased demand for prescription medications and an aging population lends itself for increased demand for pharmaceutical services. Pharmacy techs play a critical role within the ever-expanding pharmacy practice. A fully trained and properly educated pharmacy tech is recognized as a valuable role in health care.

Pharmacy Technician Preparation Courses

Pharmacy Technician preparation courses may include:

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Calculations
  • Business and Regulatory
  • Compounding and Prescriptions

Job Opportunities with Excellent Pay

A career as a pharmacy tech appeals to those from a wide variety of backgrounds and is especially appealing for those seeking to jump start a stable and profitable career.

An education and career in the pharmacy field is especially beneficial for military spouses, as they are certain to secure excellent job opportunities across their many moves with a certificate or degree from a well-respected program. Don’t forget about the MyCAA Program for military spouses.

  • Pharmacy Assistant – Record drugs delivered to the pharmacy, store incoming merchandise, and inform the supervisor of stock needs. May operate cash register and accept prescriptions for filling. Median Annual Salary: $29,000.
  • Pharmacy Technician – Help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals. Median Annual Salary: $35,000.

GI Bill-approved Schools with Pharmacy Technician Programs

Ready to Embark on a Career as a Pharmacy Technician? Check out these great programs at these GI Bill®-approved schools.  Partner schools may be included and have compensated CollegeRecon for promotional consideration.

Career Step

Offers an Online Pharmacy Technician Training Program. This program offers self-paced study, and the program can be completed in as little as 12 months.  For more info, please visit the CareerStep profile page.

Concorde Career College

Offers two Pharmacy Technician programs. Students can earn a Pharmacy Technician Diploma or students can earn an Associate Of Applied Science Degree for Pharmacy Tech. Concorde Career College participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.  For more info, please visit the Concorde Career College profile page.

Looking to Become an Expert in the Field?

Go further by earning a degree in Pharmacy to increase career opportunities and earnings! Pharmacists must have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), a 4-year professional degree. They must also be licensed, which requires passing state specific exams.

Some undergraduate programs offer Pre-Pharmacy tracks of study. These programs help to ensure students receive a solid educational foundation in the sciences along with other essentials such as internships and career counseling. Undergraduate Pre-Pharmacy programs help ensure students are well prepared for and readily accepted into a graduate Pharmacy program.

  • Logistician – Analyze and coordinate an organization’s supply chain. Median Annual Salary: $76,000.
  • Pharmacist – Dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. Median Annual Salary: $129,000.

Click HERE to learn more about a Degree in Pharmacy.

*All statistics and calculations from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For more information click here.

 

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About the author

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Born in SoCal yet raised Tampa, Florida - Leah earned her undergraduate BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Central Florida. Leah earned her MA in the MALAS at San Diego State University, while also completing a graduate teaching certificate in English for Secondary Education. An avid traveler, she has visited more than 60 countries. With the birth of her son Spencer in 2012, Leah embarked on her biggest adventure (yet) as parent and Coast Guard wife.