What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do?

A pharmacy technician is a health care professional who provides support to licensed pharmacists. They help fill prescriptions, take care of customers, and maintain the cleanliness and organization of the pharmacy.

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A pharmacy technician is a professional who works in a pharmacy and is responsible for various tasks related to the preparation and dispensing of medications. They work under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist and must be registered with the state Board of Pharmacy in order to practice.

The duties of a pharmacy technician include, but are not limited to, receiving and processing prescriptions, preparing and dispensing medications, maintaining inventory, and assisting customers. In some states, pharmacy technicians may also be allowed to administer immunizations.

Education requirements for pharmacy technicians vary by state, but most require at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some states also require that applicants have completed an approved training program or have prior work experience in a pharmacy. Most employers also prefer to hire certified pharmacy technicians.

The Role of a Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians are an important part of the healthcare team. They work closely with pharmacists to dispense medications and provide patient care. Pharmacy technicians have a wide range of responsibilities, from answering customer questions to filling prescriptions. They play a vital role in ensuring that patients receive the medications they need.

Dispensing Medications

The role of a pharmacy technician generally includes three primary responsibilities: medication dispensing, record keeping, and patient care.

In terms of dispensing medications, pharmacy technicians are responsible for measuring, mixing, counting, and labeling medications under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. They may also be responsible for interacting with patients regarding their medication questions and concerns.

In terms of record keeping, pharmacy technicians are responsible for maintaining accurate and up-to-date records of medications dispensed as well as patients’ medical histories. This generally includes inputting data into a computerized system as well as filing paper charts.

Finally, in terms of patient care, pharmacy technicians are responsible for providing customer service to patients and answering their questions in a respectful and professional manner. This may include providing information about insurance coverage and available payment options.

Maintaining Records

Maintaining records is another one of the primary duties of a pharmacy technician. In most pharmacies, the technicians will be responsible for keeping track of the types and quantities of medication that are on hand. This involves doing a physical count of the medication at regular intervals and entering the information into the computer.

If a patient calls to ask about a prescription that was filled several months ago, the pharmacy technician will be responsible for finding the information in the system. This can involve looking up prescriptions by name, date, or other factors.

Assisting Customers

A pharmacy technician is responsible for many tasks in a pharmacy, but one of the most important is helping customers. When a customer comes into a pharmacy, the first person they usually see is the pharmacy technician. The customer may have questions about their medications or other health-related products, and it is the pharmacy technician’s job to help them find the answers they need.

The pharmacy technician is also responsible for taking customers’ orders and processing them correctly. This includes entering information into the computer, pulling the correct items from the shelves, andPackaging and labeling the products correctly. It is important for pharmacy technicians to be accurate when processing orders, because errors can lead to serious consequences for patients.

When assisting customers, pharmacy technicians must be able to communicate effectively. They need to be able to answer questions clearly and concisely, and they should also be able to understand and follow instructions. Pharmacy technicians must have excellent customer service skills to be successful in this role.

Education and Certification

A pharmacy technician is a trained professional who works under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist in a variety of settings, including retail, hospital, long-term care, and mail-order pharmacies. Most states require pharmacy technicians to be certified, and many employers prefer to hire certified technicians.


While there are no formal education requirements to become a pharmacy technician, most workers complete a pharmacy technician program or on-the-job training. Many community colleges and vocational schools offer 1-year certificate programs in pharmacy technology. These programs include classroom and laboratory instruction in pharmaceutical calculations, dispensing medications, pharmacy recordkeeping, and sterile product preparation. Many programs also include an externship opportunity, which allows students to gain hands-on experience in a real pharmacy. Some states require that pharmacy technicians complete continuing education credits in order to maintain their registration or certification.


The National Healthcare Association (NHA) offers the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPT) credential. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, complete an accredited pharmacy technician training program, and pass the CPT exam. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that cover various pharmacy-related topics, such as medication safety, pharmacy calculations, and pharmaceutical terminology.

Salary and Job Outlook

Pharmacy technicians are in charge of many different tasks in a pharmacy. They help pharmacists dispense prescriptions and prepare medications. They also take care of customer service, inventory, and insurance claims. The median salary for a pharmacy technician is $32,700. The job outlook for this career is expected to grow by 7% from 2019-2029.


The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $32,170 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,860, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $47,350.

In May 2019, the median annual wages for pharmacy technicians in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Hospitals; state, local, and private$34,700
Grocery stores33,400
Pharmacies and drug stores33,070
Wholesale pharmaceutical products29,820

Most pharmacy technicians work full time. Because pharmacies are open 24 hours a day, some pharmacy technicians must work evenings or nights. In addition, some pharmacies are open on weekends.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for pharmacy technicians is excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupation is expected to grow much faster than average, with a projected growth rate of 20% from 2018 to 2028. The aging baby boomer population will need more prescription medications as they age, and the growing number of people with health insurance will also spur demand for pharmacy services.

In addition to strong job growth, the bureau reports that the median annual salary for pharmacy technicians was $32,700 in 2018. The highest-paid 10% of technicians earned more than $47,600, while the lowest-paid 10% earned less than $23,490.


A pharmacy technician is an important member of a healthcare team. They are responsible for preparing and dispensing medications, and they play a vital role in patient care. Pharmacy technicians must be able to work effectively under pressure, and they must have excellent communication and customer service skills.

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