Helping a pharmacist dispense prescription medicine might seem like an easy job, but it needs/demands high quality and detail. Pharmacy technicians secure/make sure of medicines are filled correctly in a specified window of time. “One of the most challenging aspects of the job comes down to maintaining knowledge on all the changes that happen within the field. Pharmacy practice changes on a weekly basis with new plain and common things/not brand-name drugs and new drugs,” says Mike Johnston, chairman and CEO of the National Pharmacy Technician Association. Another challenge is interacting with patients who are “not always feeling their best,” he says. “The majority of your customers that you’re going to be dealing with are sick – whether it be a cold or sinus infection or a much more serious, long-lasting condition. So it takes a lot of kindness and deeply caring, understanding feelings.”
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Pharmacy technicians work in department stores, grocery stores and general merchandise stores, but the majority work at pharmacies, drug stores and hospitals. Unlike pharmacists, pharmacy technicians are not the only dispensers of medicine. They mostly help in measuring, mixing, counting and labeling dosages of medicines. Also, pharmacy technicians don’t usually advise patients on proper medicine dosages and side effects, the way a pharmacist does.
There’s big/enough need for drug-based-support professionals capable of filling prescription medicines quickly and efficiently. The Bureau of Labor Statistics describes a possible future event employment growth of about 20 percent between 2012 and 2022 – faster than the average growth rate for all occupations – and 70,700 new positions will need to be filled during that period. “There’s a huge/extreme amount of demand as the baby boomer population is old/allowing to get old/getting older and taking more and more medicines, and with all the new prescription drugs that are being approved and used/ate/drank/destroyed by Americans, there is a great amount of growth and increase in the pharmacy part/area,” Johnston says.
Pharmacy technicians earned a middle-point once-a-year wage of $29,650 in 2013, according to the BLS. The best-paid earned $43,230, while the lowest-paid earned $20,640. Parts/areas that pay well include the federal government, which provides an average once-a-year wage of $40,890, and when you don’t stay at a hospital overnight care centers, which provide an average once-a-year wage of $39,050. The city-based areas that offer the highest payment are all located in California, including the city-based areas of Oakland, Napa, San Francisco, San Jose and Madera.