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Pharmacy Assistant Schools and Programs

Jobs for pharmacy technicians are growing. Train for your career by enrolling in a pharmacy technician degree program at a college or medical trade school.

How to Become a Pharmacy Assistant

Pharmacy technicians work alongside of licensed pharmacists, ensuring that medications, prescriptions, and patient records are maintained in an accurate and ethical manner. From keeping track of medication inventories, measuring out prescriptions and preparing medications, to handling the cash register and answering telephones, pharmacy technicians play an indispensable role in the successful daily operations of pharmacies nationwide. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), pharmacy technicians held approximately 324,000 jobs in 2008. They're employed by drug store chain and private pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, supermarkets, department stores, and supermarkets.

Degrees and Certificate Programs for Pharmacy Assistants

Roles and job titles vary, but pharmacist assistants, aides, technicians, or technologists all must complete training to successfully handle, measure, and understand the nature of record keeping and medications. Employers, the BLS reports, are increasingly seeking candidates who have completed formal college, vocational, or technical degree programs that combine classroom training with hands-on pharmacy experience. While there are no uniform certification or licensing requirements among all the states guiding the hiring of pharmacy technicians and aides, many employers require their professionals to pass certification exams offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians. Employers may also ask pharmacy assistants to maintain certificates by taking additional career training and exams every two years. Candidates may be required to pass alcohol and drug screens as conditions for employment.

Pharmaceutical Assistant Job Outlook and Salaries

Employment of pharmacy technicians and aides is predicted to rise by 32 percent during the 2006-2016 decade, according to the BLS. Salaries may vary by pharmacy size, location, or professional experience. The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians in 2008 was $27,710. The largest employer of pharmacy technicians was hospitals, where they earned an average annual wage of $32,180 in 2008.

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