The PTCB exam, commonly known as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam, is a comprehensive and challenging assessment for men and women looking to enter this rewarding and fast-paced field of health care. The test is developed by a consortium of professional pharmacy organizations.

The exam consists of 90 multiple-choice questions, 10 of which are pretest questions that do not contribute to the final score. It is not possible to identify pretest questions, which are used to develop future versions of the PTCB exam. All of the exam questions have four possible answers, only one of which is correct.

The PTCB exam content can be broken down into three function areas: assisting the pharmacist in serving patients (66 percent of the exam); maintaining medication and inventory control systems (22 percent); and participating in the administration and management of pharmacy practice (12 percent).

The exam is administered via computer at special testing facilities around the country. In order to sit for the PTCB exam, candidates must bring a valid government-issued photo identification, such as a passport or driver's license.

An unofficial score report is available immediately upon completion of the test. This unofficial report indicates whether the candidate has passed or failed. A more comprehensive and detailed score report is mailed to each candidate one to three weeks after the date of the PTCB exam.

PTCB Exam Practice Questions

1. A patient is to receive 100 mg/m of docetaxel. What is the appropriate dose for a patient weighing 175 pounds with a body surface area of 1.8m?

a. 180 mg
b. 360 mg
c. 4400 mg
d. 8,000 mg

2. In a horizontal flow hood, how far should one work inside the hood?

a. 4 inches
b. 6 inches
c. 10 inches
d. 12 inches

3. Crushed or broken tablets of which prescription medication should NOT be handled by a pharmacy technician who is pregnant?

a. furosemide
b. famotidine
c. finasteride
d. fluoxetine

4. What can direct mixture of calcium gluconate and potassium phosphate solutions for injection cause?

a. lactated Ringer’s solution
b. emulsion
c. precipitate
d. suspension

5. Which auxiliary label should NOT be applied to a prescription label on Biaxin oral suspension?

a. Shake well.
b. Refrigerate.
c. Finish the entire course.
d. Take on an empty stomach.


1. A: Body surface area (BSA) is a measurement of the surface of the body using height and weight and is often used for dosing of certain medications, such as chemotherapy. In this instance, the answer is 1.8 m 100 mg/m for 180 mg. Weight is unneeded, as it had already been incorporated into the patient’s BSA.

2. B: One should work at least six inches inside the hood to ensure adequate sterile compounding and airflow. One should also position hands during compounding in an effort to avoid blocking airflow.

3. C: Women who are pregnant and handling medications should consider taking precautions against drug exposure, such as wearing gloves or a mask. Broken or crushed finasteride should not be handled by a pregnant female due to the risk for fetal harm. Furosemide, famotidine, and fluoxetine do not carry the same precautions regarding handling.

4. C: An emulsion is the mixture of one liquid dispersed with another with the aid of a dispersing agent. An example is fat emulsion used for total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Lactated Ringer’s solution is used intravenously or for irrigation and contains sodium, potassium, and calcium salts. A suspension is generally a solid mixed in another vehicle such as glycerin or water (for example, oral azithromycin suspension). The combination of calcium gluconate and potassium phosphate can result in a precipitate, which is a potentially dangerous formation of solid crystals. Caution should be exercised when dosing and admixing these agents for use in IV preparations, such as for TPN.

5. B: Biaxin oral suspension should be shaken well prior to use, may be taken with or without food, and the entire course should be finished. Biaxin oral suspension should not be refrigerated.

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Pharmacy Technician Jobs

On this site you'll find everything you need to know about pharmacy technician jobs, which have become increasingly sought after in today's economic environment. Pharmacy tech jobs are a great way to get into a career in the health care field without spending months or years in college or trade school. Some people are quite happy with working in these positions and stay in them for decades, while others use them as stepping stones to even better health care careers. Either way, pharmacy tech jobs are an excellent option for anyone in the employment market these days.

We've provided you with articles on all aspects of educational requirements; working environments; average wages; job prospects in the future and the trends that will keep these jobs in demand for decades; what getting certified means and why you should strongly consider it; the pharmacy tech certification test and how to prepare for it; resume and interview tips; and much, much more. Reading these articles is a great way of learning everything you need to know about these positions.

Pharmacy tech jobs present many wonderful opportunities and should never be underestimated. While other health care positions might seem more glamorous and sometimes pay better, those jobs normally take at least a year of formal (and expensive) training to qualify for, and in many cases, the pay is not much higher than what pharmacy techs make. For anyone who wants to get into the health care field, or simply needs to get a decent position right away, it's hard to beat pharmacy technician jobs.

How Much Do Pharmacy Technician Jobs Pay?

 All over America, there is an increasing level of interest in pharmacy technician jobs. This trend began a few years ago, shortly after the economy started nose-diving and unemployment began skyrocketing. Suddenly millions of people had to begin looking for work, with more and more thinking for the first time of becoming pharmacy technicians. One of the biggest questions many people have is how much these jobs pay. Let's look at average wages, entry-level wages, benefits, and other compensation factors in a pharmacy technician job.

Pharmacy tech wages, just like wages in other industries, aren't hard and fast, but occur across a range. As of this writing, wages for pharmacy technicians in America range from an average of $8.30 an hour for new hires to over $18 an hour for someone with 20 years' experience. Several factors affect these wages. Like all jobs, pharmacy tech positions in big cities tend to pay more than those in small towns. Working for national chain drugstores usually pays more than working for a local independent pharmacist. Techs who are willing to work nights and weekends generally receive premiums for doing so.

At first glance, the starting wages for new hires may not look all that impressive. However, this can be misleading. Generally, once newly hired technicians have proven their skills, they will receive regular raises throughout their first year of employment and on a regular basis in the following years. After only a year of experience, average pay is much closer to $10 an hour, far above the salaries of other entry-level jobs requiring little formal training. In addition, pharmacy technicians often receive excellent benefit packages, including health insurance and paid holidays, which should be considered as part of the total compensation. When all of these factors are considered, it's clear that few other entry-level jobs compare with pharmacy technician jobs when it comes to wages and benefits.

Pharmacy Technicians Receive Outstanding Benefits

In today's difficult job market, pharmacy technician jobs are one of the best-kept secrets in the American health care field. Many people have never even heard of pharmacy technicians and would be surprised to discover just how good these jobs are. This lack of awareness is changing though; as more people go online to discover employment opportunities, more are learning about, and getting interested in obtaining, pharmacy technician jobs. It's easy to see why; not only do these jobs pay more than many other comparable entry-level jobs, in many cases they come with benefit packages that just can't be beat.

Can you think of many entry-level jobs for people without college degrees that offer full health insurance coverage these days? Probably not. Even many higher-paying jobs are losing their health insurance benefits or having them cut back. In contrast, many pharmacy technicians enjoy complete health care insurance at low rates because they work for a hospital or a national drugstore chain. Another common benefit is tuition reimbursement. Again, many companies are cutting back in this area, or don't offer it at all, but that's not the case with pharmacy technician jobs. This benefit alone could be worth tens of thousands of dollars to someone seeking a college education. An entry-level job that offers a great working environment, decent pay, and outstanding benefits - that's why pharmacy tech jobs are becoming so sought after these days.

Pharmacy Tech Jobs Are Excellent Options for College Students

If you're in college, or thinking about going, and you're struggling to find a way to pay your tuition and other expenses, you should consider a pharmacy technician job. These positions can be ideal for college students in many ways. One of the main factors that makes these jobs a good option is that they are everywhere college students are. Whether you're attending a small college in a tiny town or a mega- university in a huge metropolis, there are bound to be pharmacy tech job positions near you. In fact, your college or university itself may even employ pharmacy techs.

A second factor is that pharmacy tech jobs pay better than many of the entry-level, minimum-wage jobs that college students typically rely on until after they graduate, such as those in the fast food and retail industries. Pharmacy tech positions usually pay quite a bit more than minimum wage, and many of them have very good benefit packages. (Benefits aren't usually a main concern of college students looking for work, but they can certainly be a nice bonus.)

Probably the biggest factor that makes these jobs such good options for college students is the flexibility they offer. Pharmacies tend to stay open well past typical retail hours, which are often ideal working hours for college students. Evening and part-time work is quite common in these jobs. Weekend work is also widely available, and because many people are reluctant to work weekends, someone willing to do so has a tremendous advantage in the job market. In fact, many students work 20 to 24 hours on the weekend only, leaving them free to study during the week. If you're a night owl, you might consider working in a pharmacy that's open 24 hours. In most cases, you won't be dealing with many customers, and you might even be allowed to bring your books and study between the few customers who do show up.

The fact that they're available all over the country, have above-average pay, and a flexible schedule make pharmacy technician jobs ideal for college students.

Pharmacy Technician Job: Great Position for a High School Grad

For anyone who has recently graduated from high school, and for those who are about to graduate, pharmacy technician jobs are an excellent way of starting a career in the health care field. Working directly with pharmacists, pharmacy techs are a vital part of our nation's health care industry, seeing to it that hundreds of millions of prescriptions are filled correctly and as quickly as possible. Enhancing and prolonging the lives of millions of Americans of all ages, pharmacy technicians are an important link in the chain of health care in our modern world.

What makes these jobs so attractive for recent and upcoming high school graduates? For one thing, the schooling and training required is minimal. Unlike many other health care careers, which can take years of school to qualify for, pharmacy techs, in most cases, aren't required to have any education beyond a high school diploma. There are excellent training programs, both online and in the brick-and-mortar world that can (in just a few weeks) give a person all the knowledge needed to perform well on the job.

Another attractive aspect of pharmacy tech jobs is that health care is one area of the economy that keeps growing every year, no matter what the rest of the economy is like. Sales of cars, homes, and fast food may go down, but spending less on health care isn't an option, which means that these jobs are always in demand. Look around any fairly large city and count all the stores that have pharmacies, all of which need several pharmacy technicians to serve their clientele.

Another attractive feature of the job is the good pay. Pharmacy techs usually have starting wages quite a bit higher than most jobs high school graduates qualify for. In addition, many of these pharmacy tech jobs also come with excellent benefit packages, including health care. For high school grads, jobs with such good wages and benefits are getting harder and harder to find these days. Any high school grad looking for a steady career should consider applying for pharmacy technician jobs.

Pharmacy Technician Jobs: Great for Empty Nesters

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people find themselves with far more time and far fewer obligations and responsibilities, because their youngest child has grown up and moved out. For the first time in decades, these folks don't always know what to do with themselves. This phenomenon is called the empty- nest syndrome. People in this situation can sometimes feel lost, confused, or unappreciated, and many turn to finding a job to fill the new void in their lives. Unfortunately, many times empty nesters wind up settling for jobs that are beneath their abilities, such as those in the fast food industry, or they spend years getting an education to qualify for a job.

Happily, there's a better option for many people who find themselves in this stage of life. Pharmacy technician jobs are plentiful, the pay is good, the benefits are often outstanding, and getting hired doesn't depend on spending two to four years in college. Pharmacy technicians, under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, do most of the actual work that is involved in filling prescriptions. Training can take from a few weeks to a few months, and the demand for pharmacy techs is constantly growing. Pharmacy technician jobs are a great idea for empty nesters, as well as for anyone else looking for a career in the field of health care.

Pharmacy Tech Jobs Are Great for Retired People

There is a growing trend these days of retired people going back into the work force. Some do so out of boredom, or to stay busy after a spouse has died, or for similar personal reasons. Many retirees must do so out of financial necessity: Pension funds are drying up, Social Security cost-of-living adjustments are being frozen, and prices just keep going higher and higher. Whatever your reason, if you're a retiree who wants to rejoin the work force, you should consider pharmacy technician jobs.

Pharmacy technicians act as pharmacists' assistants. They do the actual hands-on work of making sure America's health care clients get their prescriptions filled quickly and accurately. Because of the rapidly aging Baby Boomer population, pharmacy tech jobs are currently one of the careers in the U.S. with the best employment prospects for today, the immediate future, and the long term.

What makes these jobs even better for retired people is that there isn't a lot of schooling required in order to qualify and get hired. Many people qualify on their own in just a few weeks through online programs, and there are local schools all over America that offer programs that take only a few months to complete. Wages are also above average compared to other entry-level jobs, such as in the fast food or retail industries, that retired people often resort to. What about your age? Is it a handicap? If you're able to stand on your feet all day, and have good vision and hearing (with or without corrective devices), there's really no reason you can't do the job. In addition, these days more and more employers are expressing a preference for older workers, who are sometimes perceived as being more dependable than younger people. So if you're a retiree seeking a new source of income, check into pharmacy technician jobs, which might be exactly what you're looking for.

Pharmacy Technician Jobs Are Not for Women Only

If you're a male who's looking for a career in the health care field that doesn't take years of schooling, and tens of thousands of dollars in school debt, you've probably heard about pharmacy tech jobs. These jobs constitute one of the fastest-growing sectors of the entire economy, not just health care, and they offer good pay and great benefits. Unfortunately, some men have somehow gotten the impression that these jobs are geared toward women, and so they miss out on a great opportunity that could change their lives. Don't make that same mistake!

Pharmacy tech jobs are not just for women. While it's true that a majority of pharmacy techs are women, there are plenty of men working in this rewarding and respected occupation. Pharmacy techs of both genders work right beside pharmacists to make sure that the sick and injured people of America get their prescriptions filled accurately and rapidly. Men shouldn't cheat themselves out of a great job by thinking that only women are pharmacy technicians. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Pharmacy Technician Job Prospects for the Future

According to U.S. labor officials and economic experts, pharmacy technician jobs will be one of the hottest areas of growth in not only the health care field but also in all sectors of the economy for the foreseeable future. Why? The primary reason is the fact that America is aging. The average person in America today is older than the average American ten years ago; ten or fifteen years from now, the average age of an American will be even older. In fact, it's predicted that it won't be long before one out of five Americans is age 65 or older.

The aging of the American population is unprecedented. Never before in our history have we had anything close to twenty percent of our citizenry in the 65-and-above age bracket. How does this drive the demand for pharmacy technician jobs? Seniors are by far the biggest consumers of health care, including prescription drugs, of any age group. This wave of population aging is expected to last for a couple of decades, which means that for the foreseeable future, pharmacy technician jobs will be in high demand.

Pharmacy Technician Jobs: Don't Pass Up This Opportunity

Every year, thousands of people learn about pharmacy technician jobs for the first time. Such jobs typically fly under the radar; many people have never given much thought to what actually goes on behind the counter of a pharmacy, assuming that the pharmacist does all the work. People are often surprised to learn about this little-known job, and many only do so because they're looking for a job themselves.

It's also a sad fact that many unemployed people skip right over pharmacy technician jobs and never apply for one. Why? Well, in many cases they assume they don't have the education to qualify for a pharmacy tech job. If this concern has been holding you back from getting started on a pharmacy tech career, don't sell yourself short: If you have a high school diploma and can read and understand this article, then you've got the necessary qualifications for pharmacy technician jobs.

Pharmacy tech jobs don't require a college education. If you're bright and can read and follow instructions accurately, you've got what it takes to work with prescriptions as a pharmacy technician.

How to Qualify as a Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technician jobs are a hot commodity these days, which probably won't be changing any time soon. In fact, with high unemployment rates persisting, pharmacy tech positions may well become even more desirable, especially since there just aren't that many other entry-level jobs that compare as well when it comes to wages, benefits, and opportunity for advancement. For many people, though, there is some confusion about how to qualify for these excellent jobs in the health care field. This article will clear up the confusion and show you how to qualify for pharmacy technician jobs.

In most states, there are no actual technical requirements for qualifying for a pharmacy tech job. There is nothing preventing a pharmacist from hiring someone off the street and giving that person on-the-job training. However, this is becoming an outdated practice. While a few techs are still hired this way, if you really want to maximize your chances of getting hired, you'll want to qualify as a Certified Pharmacy Technician. Being certified means you've passed a test that proves you have the necessary skills to work in a pharmacy.

To earn pharmacy technician certification, you'll need to take a training course, which can take six weeks to a few months to complete. Many trade schools and some community colleges offer these courses; there should be at least one training center fairly close to you. There are also online training programs, where a student can learn at his or her own pace; many people finish in just a few weeks. Compare that to the training required for other health related careers. Programs at institutions such as massage therapy schools or dental hygienist schools can take several months to several years to complete.

How to Qualify as a Pharmacy Tech

After completing training, the next step is to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam, which is the national certification test for pharmacy technicians. The exam, which can be taken by appointment, is given at testing centers all over the country. Passing the test means that you're now a Certified Pharmacy Technician. Having this title makes finding a job much easier. Since more and more pharmacies won't hire anyone who isn't certified, passing the PTCB exam is the best way of qualifying for pharmacy technician jobs.

Pharmacy Technician Training: A Great Investment in Your Future

The demand for pharmacy technician jobs is constantly growing. In addition to high demand for qualified people to fill these positions, the pay is good, the benefits are often excellent, and the working environment is usually much more enjoyable than that of other entry-level jobs in areas such as fast food, retail, and manufacturing. Becoming a pharmacy tech is certainly one of the better job options in today's employment market for people without college degrees. Getting training to become a pharmacy technician can literally be one of the best investments you make in your entire life.

While it's true that there are other health care careers that pay more, those jobs also take one or more years of schooling (sometimes even up to four years), and the final bill for tuition and related expenses can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Many people leave those education and training programs saddled with student loan debt that will weigh them down for years after graduation. On top of this, you've got to factor in all the money that could have been earned while spending those years in school. When all of these numbers are taken into consideration, the cost of getting health care training for some jobs is truly staggering.

In contrast, it doesn't take long at all to get the training needed for pharmacy technician jobs. While some programs take up to six months, there are many that can be completed in only a month or two. In addition, by taking advantage of online pharmacy tech training programs, a person can actually complete all the course work in just a couple of weeks and begin working shortly after passing the certification test. Pharmacy tech training costs, instead of tens of thousands of dollars, only a few hundred, and the pharmacy tech doesn't lose years of salary finishing the degree. That's why pharmacy technician training is truly one of the best investments a person could ever make.

Taking the PTCB Exam

Taking the PTCB Exam

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam is used in all 50 states to officially certify people for pharmacy technician jobs. Not all states require certification, but most employers prefer it. The only way to become certified is by passing the PTCB test. The test, taken on a computer, is offered at hundreds of Pearson Professional Centers throughout the U.S., most within easy driving distance of where you live. The test, available with an appointment, is given throughout the year and costs $129.

The PTCB exam contains 90 multiple-choice questions, but only 80 of these count toward your score. The other 10 are for research purposes. However, there is no way of telling which questions count and which don't, so it's important to answer as many of the 90 questions as possible. You'll have two hours to complete the test, and you'll know whether you passed or failed as soon as you're done.

The multiple-choice, standardized PTCB exam has certain features and formats that people can study to maximize their chances of passing by knowing how to deal with answers they're not sure about. A good PTCB exam study guide can reveal these techniques, as well as boost a student's knowledge of the required material.

How to Pass the PTCB Exam

Pharmacy technician jobs are increasingly sought after by people in all walks of life these days. In fact, if you're reading this, you're probably thinking about becoming a pharmacy tech yourself. One of the most important things you'll need to know in order to accomplish your goal is how to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam. The PTCB exam is given in all 50 states and determines whether or not you can use the title of Certified Pharmacy Technician. If you fail the test, you can't take it again for 60 days, which can be a huge hindrance to finding a job.

So how do you pass the PTCB test? First, make sure you're ready before you schedule your test. It's better to study for an extra day or two, or even an extra week or two, to make sure you pass, instead of rushing things and then failing.

Second, understand that some of the questions on the exam are especially dangerous and considered "traps." For people who don't know what to look for, these questions can turn out to be one of the reasons they fail the test. For instance, sometimes a question will ask what a pharmacy tech should do in a certain situation, with one of the possible answers being "use your professional judgment." That answer is almost always wrong; when a pharmacy tech isn't sure of what to do in a situation, he or she should always consult with the pharmacist, not make his or her own decision. These types of tricky questions trip up a lot of people every year; don't be one of them.

Finally, make sure you get a good PTCB exam study guide and use it to review before taking your test. Not only will a study guide help you brush up on the material, but it can also reveal certain tips and techniques for the best way of handling multiple-choice questions.

Why You Need a PTCB Study Guide

These days pharmacy technician jobs are sought after by many people who are either unemployed, tired of their current job, or about to graduate from high school and want to work in a medical career. Due to the recent upheavals in the American economy, millions of people are out of work and are drawn to pharmacy tech jobs because of the prospects of decent pay, a pleasant work environment, and job security. If you're planning on becoming a pharmacy tech, this large amount of competition affects you in a big way. You'll need every advantage you can get when it comes to competing with all the other job seekers, and a pharmacy technician study guide can mean the difference between success and failure.

It's imperative that you pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam if you're hoping to land a pharmacy tech job. Most drugstores and hospitals these days strongly prefer certified techs, and in some states certification is required. It's also imperative that you pass the PTCB exam on your first try. If you fail the test, you can try to pass it again, but while you're brushing up on what you learned in school, the people who passed the exam the first time are out there going to interviews, getting hired, and embarking on a rewarding career. You can't afford to lose any time.

Competition for pharmacy technician jobs will only get worse. The small sum you spend on a PTCB study guide will turn out to be a great investment if it helps you land one of these highly-sought-after jobs right out of the gate.

Do Pharmacy Technician Jobs Require a College Degree?

There's a lot of incorrect information out there about pharmacy technician jobs, which can have a negative impact on someone who wants to become a pharmacy tech. One of the most common misconceptions about these jobs is that you need an associate's degree in order to qualify for employment. In fact, you don't need any kind of college degree to qualify for pharmacy technician jobs.

Training is, however, necessary. Years ago, pharmacy techs mostly got on-the-job training directly from the pharmacists they were working for. However, this system was very inefficient, especially with the rise in the number of pharmacy techs needed, so training programs were developed to systematize the knowledge and skills needed for success as a pharmacy technician. These programs are a far cry from college degree programs, though: They're much shorter (usually just a few months long) and much less expensive. In fact, some highly motivated people take advantage of online pharmacy technician training programs and complete their study in just a few weeks.

How to Find Medical Billing Jobs

  • One of the best ways to find a job in medical billing is through a school or certification program. Once you have finished school and received your certification, contact the placement office or search on the web site of the certification association.
  • Another great way to learn about the job is to join a professional organization. Many of them have student memberships and their benefits include exclusive job boards.
  • Volunteer in a hospital or doctors office, and you will be able to make valuable contacts for your job search. Don't volunteer just for this purpose, but if you do volunteer, speak to the medical people that you meet about your search for a medical billing job.
  • You can also learn about jobs by networking with other students and your school professors.
  • Sign up with a temporary staffing agency. There are several that cater to health jobs and they often know of the openings before they are posted on online job boards.
  • Check online job boards, both local and the big national ones.

How to Get a Pharmacy Technician Job

How to Get Hired

There's good news and bad news about pharmacy technician jobs in the U.S. these days. The good news is that demand for pharmacy techs is strong and getting stronger all the time, a trend that should continue for the next ten or fifteen years. The bad news is that, with the economy in the doldrums and millions of people looking for work, there are a lot more people trying to land these jobs than there used to be. While it's not quite as easy as it was five years ago to land a pharmacy technician job, there's no reason you can't get hired. Here are some tips that can boost your chances of finding work as a pharmacy technician.

  • 1. Get certified. Even in states where it's not required, it's still an excellent idea to obtain your certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). In fact, these days many hospitals and drugstores won't hire anyone who isn't certified. Passing the PTCB exam demonstrates to potential employers that you're knowledgeable and well qualified to work as a pharmacy tech. Using a good PTCB study guide will help you pass the exam.
  • 2. Create an effective resume. If you can't do it yourself, get help from a professional. A professional-looking resume will impress prospective employers.
  • 3. Read books and websites on job interview skills, since the interview can possibly make or break your chances of landing the job. This website has an excellent article on interviewing for pharmacy technician jobs.
  • 4. Be flexible. While you may have in mind a dream job with an ideal pay rate and schedule, don't pin all your hopes on landing it right away. Be willing to start off working part time, or working evenings or weekends. Pharmacies have the most trouble filling jobs with these hours, and if you're willing to take one of these less desirable schedules, you can move into a better shift at a later date. The important thing is to get your foot in the door.

By following these tips, you'll dramatically increase your chances of landing one of the thousands of pharmacy technician job that open up every year.

Interview Tips for Pharmacy Technician Jobs

Getting hired for a pharmacy technician job almost always requires that you go through an interview process. In some cases, you'll be interviewed by a store manager or a human resources officer, but in many cases, job interviews are conducted by the pharmacist who will be supervising you. This is partly because the pharmacist will have a better understanding of the technical aspects of the job and partly because the pharmacist will want to see if there is a good personality fit with the person he or she will be working so closely with. Here are some tips for making a good impression during your interview.

It is vitally important that you be on time for the interview. Doing so won't necessarily land you the job, but being late can certainly cost you the job. So don't take any chances. If you've never been to the building before, drive there a day or two ahead of time to locate it. Find out what office or room the interview will take place in and know how to get there. On the big day, leave your house early. Not just ten minutes early, but a good half hour or 45 minutes earlier than you need to. That way, in case of a traffic jam, flat tire, or other road emergency, you've still got some leeway. Go inside and report for the interview about ten minutes early.

Dress sharply and to impress. It would be far better to wear a tie and jacket, or a business dress, than to show up in blue jeans and a t-shirt. In most cases, business casual is fine, but with the tendency to dress down so prevalent today, it's better to err on the side of caution. Make a point to remember the pharmacist's name, and use it at least once or twice. Unless told otherwise, don't use his or her first name, but rather "Mr. Smith" or "Ms. Smith"; you don't want to sound too informal. Smile and offer a firm handshake. Self-confidence is one of the main things interviewers look for, so let them see it. Finally, be friendly and personable. Since many applicants will have the same skills, the hiring decision often comes down to whom the pharmacist (or other interviewer) got along with the best. Try to be that person.

Interview Tips for Pharmacy Technician Jobs

Interview Tips for Pharmacy Technician Jobs

Getting hired for apharmacy technician job almost always requires that you go through an interview process. In some cases, you'll be interviewed by a store manager or a human resources officer, but in many cases, job interviews are conducted by the pharmacist who will be supervising you. This is partly because the pharmacist will have a better understanding of the technical aspects of the job and partly because the pharmacist will want to see if there is a good personality fit with the person he or she will be working so closely with. Here are some tips for making a good impression during your interview.

It is vitally important that you be on time for the interview. Doing so won't necessarily land you the job, but being late can certainly cost you the job. So don't take any chances. If you've never been to the building before, drive there a day or two ahead of time to locate it. Find out what office or room the interview will take place in and know how to get there. On the big day, leave your house early. Not just ten minutes early, but a good half hour or 45 minutes earlier than you need to. That way, in case of a traffic jam, flat tire, or other road emergency, you've still got some leeway. Go inside and report for the interview about ten minutes early.

Dress sharply and to impress. It would be far better to wear a tie and jacket, or a business dress, than to show up in blue jeans and a t-shirt. In most cases, business casual is fine, but with the tendency to dress down so prevalent today, it's better to err on the side of caution. Make a point to remember the pharmacist's name, and use it at least once or twice. Unless told otherwise, don't use his or her first name, but rather "Mr. Smith" or "Ms. Smith"; you don't want to sound too informal. Smile and offer a firm handshake. Self-confidence is one of the main things interviewers look for, so let them see it. Finally, be friendly and personable. Since many applicants will have the same skills, the hiring decision often comes down to whom the pharmacist (or other interviewer) got along with the best. Try to be that person.

Pharmacy Technician Salary

A pharmacy technician is an assistant to the pharmacist. This person should have knowledge of medicine and drugs, with the ability to label medicine bottles and categorize them under different names and groups. The pharmacy technician may dispense medications and maintain patient profiles. In some pharmacies, the technician may operate the cash register, answer phones, or stock shelves. Some pharmacy technicians work in hospitals, where they fill prescriptions, keep records of patient charts, and assemble medications for nurses to give to patients, which are checked by a licensed pharmacist before treatment. They are able to recommend alternatives to over-the-counter drugs; however, only a licensed pharmacist has the ability to prescribe drugs.

A pharmacy technician does not need to attend medical school or have a pharmacy degree. Although the qualifications for this job vary state by state, some people do receive on-the-job training and work themselves up the ranks from pharmacy clerk to technician. This training usually takes about three to twelve months to complete, although most employers prefer a candidate with formal training, certification, or previous work experience. Many people go to a community college, vocational school, or college for certification, and these programs take about six months to two years to complete. Depending on the program, a certificate, diploma or associate's degree may be earned. All programs should involve a certain level of lab and classroom work in terminology, record keeping, law and ethics, and pharmaceutical calculations and techniques. In addition, most programs teach students about the names of medications, uses, doses, and actions. Some programs require internships, which give students hands-on experience.

This job requires standing for long periods of time and may involve lifting heavy boxes. Good math, chemistry, English, health education, customer service, and communication skills are qualities required for this position. The pharmacy technician needs to be responsible, independent, alert, observant, organized, and dedicated. People working in this field cannot have a history of drug dependency or substance abuse. There is high interaction with patients, coworkers, and other health care professionals; therefore, teamwork is important. High attention to detail and precision are required as this job deals with matters of life and death. The future growth for this profession looks good, especially for those people who are board certified or specialized. A lot of the demand has to do with an increase in an aging population living longer and requiring prescription medication. People with experience as a pharmacy aide or a volunteer in a hospital will have an advantage.

Job growth is expected to increase, especially in large states like California, Texas, and Florida. Jobs for pharmacy technicians may be found in hospitals, clinics, grocery and drug stores, and assisted living facilities. A pharmacy technician may decide to become a pharmacist or move into a specialty position or sales.

The median pharmacy technician salary is about $13.65 per hour as of May 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). BLS conducted an Occupational Employment Statistics Survey in which the mid salary range was between $11.24 and $16.62 per hour. Higher salaries are obtained by certified technicians and those people with the most experience, and the top 10 percent of salaries earned more than $19.57 per hour. The survey revealed that the average annual pharmacy technician salary was about $28,000, with the lowest salaries in the $19,000 range and the highest making $40,000 a year, varying by region. The highest wages were earned in states such as Alaska, Washington, California, Hawaii, and Washington D.C. The lowest wages were found in Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma.

Two national certification exams are offered by the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT) and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Depending on the state the pharmacy technician plans to work in, he or she may be required to register with the state board of pharmacy.

By Lindsay Downs

Last Updated: 03/23/2015

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