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Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy Technicians
Quick Facts : Pharmacy Technicians*
2010 Median Pay$28,400
Entry Level EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012334,400
Job Outlook32% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change108,300

Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication. They work in retail pharmacies and hospitals. Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of pharmacists, who must review all prescriptions before they are given to patients. If a customer's question is about the medication or health matters, the pharmacy technician arranges for the customer to speak with the pharmacist.

What Pharmacy Technicians Do

  • Take from customers or health professionals the information needed to fill a prescription
  • Count tablets and measure amounts of other medication for prescriptions
  • Compound or mix medications, such as preparing ointments
  • Accept payment for prescriptions and process insurance claims
  • Do routine pharmacy tasks, such as answering phone calls from customers

Work Environment

Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies, including those found in grocery and drug stores, and in hospitals. Most work full time, but many work part time.
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Job Outlook

Employment of pharmacy technicians is expected to grow by 32 percent from 2010 to 2020 as a result of advances in pharmaceutical research.
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In May 2010, the average salary of pharmacy technicians was $28,400.
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Pharmacy Technicians*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Pharmacy Technicians


Healthcare Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Pharmacy Technicians*
Percent Change in Employment

Pharmacy Technicians


Healthcare Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Pharmacy Technicians

Becoming a pharmacy technician usually requires earning a high school diploma or the equivalent. Many pharmacy technicians learn how to perform their duties through on-the-job training. Others attend postsecondary education programs, which typically last 1 year or less, in pharmacy technology at vocational schools or community colleges.
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