Skip Navigation Determining Interests
Job Descriptions

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies that can be located in clinics, hospitals, other large institutions (e.g., universities) or in private pharmacies (i.e. drug stores, grocery stores). They work under the supervision of a pharmacist and they are responsible for performing general pharmaceutical services. If you are working as a pharmacy technician, you will have some clearly defined and repetitive tasks (e.g., counting out pills, labeling prescriptions, taking prescription orders).

Education

This job typically requires a minimum of a high school diploma and/or a GED certificate and further training or registration is usually required, however it may vary from state to state. For example, your employer may require registration with the state board of pharmacy, a pharmacy technician certificate, or graduation from a formal pharmacy technician training program. Other requirements for state board certification:

No felony convictions, drug, or pharmacy related convictions (even misdemeanor convictions). Any violations     must be disclosed to the state board.

Previous Experience

Previous experience working in the pharmacy industry is preferred. However, it is strongly encouraged that you apply if you have the required education and skills!

Job Duties

  • Greet patients or customers and receive written prescription orders or phone refill requests.
  • Conduct inventory of pharmacy stock.
  • Stock and arrange pharmaceuticals on shelves.
  • Fill bottles with prescription medications.
  • Type, print, and label pill bottles or other medication packages.
  • Receive shipment orders and check invoices.
  • Answer questions via telephone or in person.
  • Act as cashier if no one else is available.
  • Your employer may also ask you to carry out additional duties than those listed here.

What’s Your Scene?

This job requires that you are able to work ‘Behind the Scene’. If you are working as a pharmacy technician, you may not have to work directly with customers on a regular basis.  However, you might be required to greet customers and answer their questions sometimes. You will be required to speak and interact with co-workers and supervisors. 

Skills / Abilities

Customer Service Skills - You will need to know how to provide excellent customer service.  This includes being able to determine if the customer is satisfied, and to meet their needs. It requires the ability to accept complaints from customers, and to calmly deal with high stress situations and angry customers. Displaying a pleasant and cooperative attitude is important.

Cash Handling - This job requires the ability to handle monies and currencies (e.g., coins and bills). You will need to be okay with touching other peoples’ bills and coins.

Mathematics - You will need to be able to do basic counting quickly and accurately (e.g., addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, fractions, and percentages).

Reading Comprehension - Demonstrated ability to read, and follow written instructions and ideas.

Oral Comprehension - Demonstrated ability to understand and follow verbal instructions and ideas.

Written Expression - You will be required to write and spell correctly.

Oral Expression - You will be required to speak clearly and effectively.

Attention to Detail - This job requires that you pay careful attention to what you are doing as you will be dealing with medications concerning people’s health and need to precisely measure and count out medications.

Computer Knowledge - You will need to have some knowledge of computers as you may need to enter information into a computer program.

Organization and Prioritization - This job requires the ability to clearly organize and categorize work priorities to complete your work.

Confidentiality - This job requires the ability to maintain confidentiality of client records and protect confidential information.

Environmental Demands

Location – If you work in a pharmacy, you will be indoors in a climate-controlled setting.

Noise Level - The noise level will usually be low.

Lighting Level  - Pharmacies usually use florescent lighting.

Work Hours- This job may have part-time or full-time shifts. You will need to check with your supervisor for the schedule.

Amount of Movement –This job typically requires that you stand.  You will need to be able to sit, stand, and walk for this job. For example, you will be taking a prescription order while standing at the pharmacy counter.

Cleanliness and Odors - Cleanliness is an important part of this job, as you are required to follow certain health care codes. You will be dealing with medications, which occasionally have particular odors.

Work Attire - Work attire will typically be a uniform.

Structure and Predictability - This job will typically have a moderate degree of structure and predictability.  This means that you might complete the same tasks each day (e.g., counting out pills, labeling pill bottles) or you may have different tasks each day (e.g., stocking shelves when a shipment arrives).  These tasks might not be done in the same order each day.  You will probably know how long each task should take you to complete.   You may work in the same area each day, and you will probably interact with the same co-workers, although you will encounter different customers each day.

What's the Pace?

    • Steady: In most cases, the work pace will be steady, which means that there will always be customers waiting for their medications or prescriptions to be filled. There may be 1-2 customers waiting for you to see them.
    • Peak: There might be other times when there are many (5-6) customers waiting for their medication to be filled. This may be a more stressful period because customers will be waiting for you to complete your tasks.
    • Slow:  There may also be some "down time," when there are very few customers. This may be a more boring period, where you are required to just wait for customers.

 
Have you taken our Interests Quiz? You can take this quiz to get suggestions about jobs that may match your general interests.