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Being a Pharmacy Tech

rows of pill bottles on a pharmacy shelf
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Five Dirty Secrets about Being a Pharmacy Tech


Have you ever wondered what the role of a pharmacy technician is? Their tasks are many: preparing prescriptions either by measuring, counting, or weighing medication; maintaining patient records; tracking inventory; stocking shelves; sterilizing equipment; and performing related client service duties. They tend to work in retail environments such as pharmacies, grocery stores, hospitals, nursing homes, and more. However, every job has its unpleasant moments, and the pharmacy technician profession is no exception. Here are some of the so-called dirty aspects of working as a pharmacy tech:

Nature of the Work Itself

Some of the tasks involved in working as a pharmacy technician can be very repetitive – taking payment for prescriptions, answering calls, entering data, counting pills, printing labels. As well, you may spend much of your day – that’s 6-8 hours – standing on your feet. Furthermore, to stock inventory, you may be required to lift heavy boxes.


Stress is a factor in the work of a pharmacy technician. As the health of others could be on the line, it is imperative that your work, particularly filling prescriptions and labelling bottles, is accurate. You may experience rush periods where you have a lineup of impatient clients while the phone is ringing. Additionally, you may spend some of your time finagling the bureaucracy of insurance business claims.

Work Hours

Some people prefer a work schedule that is both consistent from day to day as well as with school or spouse schedules. If you like a 9-5 workday, you may not find that as a pharmacy technician. Especially when starting out, you may be required to work afternoons, evenings, overnights in some places, and weekends too.

Starting Salaries

When beginning as a pharmacy technician, particularly without a certificate from Southern Careers Institute or other accredited colleges, you may find that starting salaries can be quite low. In some cases, it can be as low as $10.00 per hour for an inexperienced and unlicensed pharmacy tech.

Customer Issues

You never know what kind of client you will get in a profession dealing with the public. While you certainly will have happy clients, you will also need to deal with upset, frustrated, rude, and sick clients who can be impatient and difficult, both in person and on the telephone.

The Upside

Despite the aspects listed above, there are many upsides to being a pharmacy tech. Your education, which can open the doors to higher salaries and greater opportunities, can take you less than one year at a college such as Southern Careers Institute. You can even continue your education to obtain professional accreditation for further advancement. You can gain the starting experience and connections you need through internships. If the thought of being chained to a desk is unpleasant, the pharmacy technician field may be for you. If you enjoy the thought of interacting with people every day and helping them to become healthy again, you should consider this career.

Your Next Step

If you want to pursue a career in this healthcare field, consider a school like Southern Careers Institute. With a shorter program designed to give you the skills you need and the experience businesses demand, you can be part of this amazing industry sooner than you think.


This article was published on: 04/16/13 12:25 AM

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