Pharmacy Technician Career Information

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

  • Work under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist
  • Perform many pharmacy-related functions
  • Measure, mix, count, label and record amounts and dosages of medications
  • Fill prescriptions
  • Communicate with patients and other healthcare professionals
  • Verify prescriptions from physicians and take refills
  • Maintain patient records and insurance information
  • Maintain inventory
  • Work in a variety of practice settings, including community pharmacies, hospitals, the military, in home health care, long-term care, mail service facilities, managed health care facilities and educational/training programs

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

  • Perform activities in an organized and detailed manner
  • Apply knowledge of mathematics and biological and social sciences
  • Must have necessary physical and emotional stamina to meet demands of a rigorous schedule
  • Must have self-discipline and ability to take initiative in resolving patient care problems
  • Must be dependable and trustworthy
  • Must be able to communicate, cooperate and work effectively as a team

What Else Should I Consider about this Program or Career Choice?

  • General education and Pharmacy Technician classes are scheduled on the college campus. Correlated clinical experiences take place in selected hospitals and community pharmacies throughout the area. Courses are taught by practicing registered pharmacists and pharmacy technicians and are offered during the day and evening
  • You will be required to communicate easily and clearly with patients and coworkers
  • You must accept responsibility for your actions
  • You will stand and walk most of the day
  • Working under pressure requires good physical health and emotional stability
  • By the year 2010, certification for pharmacy technicians will be required of all pharmacy technicians in the state of Iowa. Licensure in Iowa may be obtained by passing any nationally accredited pharmacy technician certification exam. Currently, the PTCE (Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam) and the ExCPT (Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians) are nationally recognized certification exams
  • There are two parts to being a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). First, pharmacy technicians must sit for and pass the national PTCE or ExCPT. Once a pharmacy technician has passed the exam, he or she may use the designation CPhT. Second, to continue to hold the certification, a CPhT is required to obtain twenty hours of continuing education for recertification within two years of original certification
  • In the state of Iowa, all pharmacy technicians are required to register with the Board by completing and submitting an application for registration within 30 days of accepting employment as a pharmacy technician in an Iowa pharmacy. Registration is necessary for the purposes of identification, tracking and disciplinary action
  • In Iowa (Region 1), according to Workforce Development Occupational Predictions from 2006-2016, pharmacy technicians earn an average annual wage of $23,710 statewide