Pharmacy Technician, it’s just a good job!
There are a lot of jobs out there I just wouldn’t want to have. I think something like a fast food job could be fun for a little while but sooner than later, I bet it would get a little pointless. What about a general retail, mall type job? Same thing, I bet there are perks to working in a store you like to shop at but eventually isn’t it just stocking, folding or straightening? So, what is different about being a pharmacy tech?
First of all, you can learn as much or as little as you like, in a couple of different ways. You will likely be required to complete a relatively short training program (see your state requirements! **HERE**) and after that you are put in a situation where you are surrounded by learning opportunities. You may have been taught a few basics about the medications you will be helping to dispense but once you are on site you will be surrounded by hundreds of different drugs, and will be working with a pharmacist who has trained for years to learn all about them. Use this opportunity! It will make you a better tech and it may also inspire you to continue your education.
Speaking of education, a second reason for choosing pharmacy technician as a career is that in most cases, it will allow you to continue your formal education if you want. Many pharmacy technicians work part time while they continue with college. Many techs work full time and love it but there are maybe just as many that choose part time. Employers know this and because many pharmacies are open for so many hours, it is usually possible to fit in both work and school. Imagine if you choose to work as a pharmacy tech while you train to become a pharmacist, nurse or physician – you study at school and then come to work and learn about the same things, hands on! It can be a huge advantage. I have seen techs get into pharmacy school and then stay one step ahead the whole time because they are already so familiar with the medications.
Perhaps the best part of a pharmacy technician job is the huge variety of options you have. Technicians can work in a hospital, a retail site such as a grocery store chain, a long term care pharmacy, or home health to name a few. In addition to that, most sites offer options for advancement within the system. Pick a site that interests you, get to work, learn everything you can and chances are you can move upward in position, responsibilities, and hopefully pay! The job outlook is good, pharmacy technician jobs are increasing and are projected to keep doing so. As the baby boomer generation continues to age, they are requiring more health care and more medications. This equals increasing jobs for years! Even if jobs are tight where you live, employers are always looking for motivated, dedicated, hardworking people. Get yourself in the door (see article **HERE**) and then prove that you fit that description.
Finally, just give it a try – find a training program and try it, find a job opening and apply, go somewhere you would like to work and ask how to get started there! The only way you can fail for sure is to do nothing. If you have been thinking about it, take action today and follow through, who knows where it could take you.
(Annie is a pharmacist that has been working in the pharmacy field for over 15 years)