A pharmacy technician is a person who works in a pharmacy and is responsible for many different tasks which can include, completing prescriptions, assisting pharmacies, giving patients information on drugs, labelling and packaging various prescriptions and more. Some years ago being a pharmacy technician was quite straightforward, with many employers actually offering on-the-job training and qualifications. Now as this job is becoming more sought-after and more complicated there is a real need for a pharmacy technician to have certain qualifications which will help them in their role and help them to stand out from the crowd. Here is some information on what you can do to help you with your chosen career.
There are two main bodies in the US which provide certificates and examinations in becoming a pharmacy technician and these are the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the Institute of Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT). Both of these offer courses and information relating to becoming a pharmacy technician and many people find that getting a qualification for either of these two bodies is sufficient to begin a career in a pharmacy. When you are certified by either of these bodies, you need to be re-certified every two years to ensure that you are up to date on pharmacy Law and changes in the administration of different pharmaceuticals.
If on the other hand you would like to be a pharmacy technician who specialises in a certain area, or who works in a hospital or a care home you will have to undergo additional training. This training can sometimes be at the college or university, either part-time or full-time (many people choose to do this alongside their job in a pharmacy so they are working and learning at the same time). Employers may also choose to send you on a course which will help you to build upon your existing pharmaceutical skills and that will help you to develop further skills and enhance your understanding of the subject.
For more specific training to become a pharmacy technician, you may be expected to enter into an externship, this is a way of working in a pharmacy and gaining experience while still being under the rule of a education program. Doing this can be a massive benefit to you in your career later on as you will have the practical experience as well as the educational knowledge to go on and improve your career prospects.
In short becoming a pharmacy technician can involve just having a basic knowledge of pharmaceuticals which is shown by an exam certificates. Or you can choose to go further and learn more about a certain area, some people who begin their working career as a pharmacy technician decide to go further and train as a pharmacist. It is entirely up to the individual what they want to do once they begin their career path, but it is always a good idea to know that, should you want to you can go further and get more education on your chosen profession.