A Day in the Life: Pharmacy Tech Jobs
Pharmacy technicians play an essential role in healthcare facilities across the country.
Pharmacy techs have a hands-on impact on their communities by providing daily support to pharmacists and their patients.
If you're interested in this fulfilling, growing field, the 10-week pharmacy technician training program at Accelerated Academy can help you prepare.
Learn more about what you can expect from pharmacy tech jobs, including:
- Daily responsibilities
- Required skills
- Work environment
- Typical working schedule
What Is a Pharmacy Technician?
Pharmacy technicians are the skilled assistants of pharmacists.
By helping pharmacists perform their duties, pharmacy techs ensure the efficiency and safety of the pharmaceutical process.
To pursue pharmacy tech careers, you must enroll in a PTCB-certified continuing education program and pass a certification exam.
Daily Responsibilities As a Pharmacy Tech
A pharmacy tech's exact duties and responsibilities may vary slightly depending on the type of environment you work in. But in most cases, pharmacy techs can expect to perform any or all of the following daily:
- Interacting with patients and receiving written prescriptions and refill requests
- Verifying that information is correct and matches patient profiles
- Processing insurance claim forms and records
- Preparing and affixing medication labels and filling bottles with the correct medications in accurate amounts
- Ensuring that all prescriptions are filled correctly
- Ensuring that all drugs are stored properly and under the appropriate security conditions
- Keeping work areas and equipment clean, organized, and in safe working order
- Managing inventory, including receiving and storing new shipments, verifying quantities of incoming supplies, and checking existing inventories for expired medications and shortages
- Assisting patients over the phone or in person with questions or concerns, referring them to the pharmacist as needed
Required Skills for Becoming a Pharmacy Tech
You can learn the above duties and responsibilities through an online pharmacy tech program, but pharmacy technicians must also bring a variety of other skills to the table, including:
- Having exceptional customer service and active listening skills
- Being adept at completing mathematical calculations with accuracy
- Using critical thinking skills to solve complex problems and come up with alternative solutions to unexpected challenges
Where Do Pharmacy Techs Work?
Pharmacy technicians play a vital role in various healthcare settings, contributing to the safe and efficient delivery of medications. Your responsibilities can vary depending on where you work. Learn more about common career opportunities for pharmacy techs in health systems and what you can expect as daily responsibilities for each.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 50% of pharmacy techs work in retail pharmacies.
As a pharmacy technician at a retail store, your daily responsibilities may include:
- Assisting pharmacists in dispensing medications accurately
- Interacting with patients, processing prescriptions, and providing medication counseling
- Managing inventory, including receiving, stocking, and verifying medication expiration dates
Hospital and healthcare facilities
After earning your pharmacy technician certification, you can bring your skills to hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
As a full-time certified pharmacy technician at a hospital, your daily responsibilities might include:
- Preparing and compounding medications, including IV solutions
- Collaborating with healthcare professionals to ensure proper medication administration
- Maintaining medication storage and contributing to medication reconciliation processes
Long-term care facilities
When you pursue a pharmacy technician job at a long-term care facility, you will have the opportunity to put your patient care skills to the test.
Your healthcare responsibilities will include:
- Managing medication orders and packaging for individual residents
- Maintaining medication records and ensuring accurate administration
- Collaborating with healthcare professionals and nursing staff to meet residents' medication needs
Mail-order and specialty pharmacies
A less common work experience for pharmacy technicians, mail-order and specialty pharmacies are a good option for those who prefer to be less patient-facing.
If you choose to work in this environment, some of your responsibilities may include:
- Verifying prescriptions and coordinating insurance coverage
- Packaging and filling prescriptions for mail-order delivery
- Ensuring timely and safe delivery of medications, especially for patients with complex medical conditions
When Do Pharmacy Techs Work?
The hours you work as a pharmacy tech will depend on your job's requirements and the needs of your workplace.
Some retail pharmacies, for example, only operate during regular daytime hours, while others may be open 24/7.
Hospital pharmacies also tend to operate around the clock and on weekends and holidays.
The 9-to-5 work schedule tends to be the industry standard. But some pharmacy techs enjoy flexible hours and the ability to work on a schedule that suits their needs.
Prepare for Your Pharmacy Tech Career at Accelerated Academy
Pursuing pharmacy tech jobs proves to be a personally rewarding experience with career growth potential.
Enrolling in an online pharmacy tech school may be the perfect first step toward your new career.
Accelerated Academy offers a 10-week pharmacy tech program that you can complete at your own pace online while still managing your family and work responsibilities.
Fill out our online contact form today to learn more.