Did you know pharmacy technicians don’t just work behind the counters in retail pharmacies? In fact, they can work in hospitals, specialty clinics, outpatient care centers, long term care facilities, specialty pharmacies, online/mail-order pharmacies, research labs, pharmaceutical companies, colleges, health insurance companies, pharmacy service companies, for the Department of Veterans Affairs or for one of the Department of Defense’s military departments.
Workplace duties will vary depending on your job location. For example, a pharmacy technician could assist with clinical trials, like the recent vaccines for the coronavirus. For insurance companies, they may function as someone who is a prior authorization representative. At hospitals, they may be delivering patients their medications to their rooms. Point being, there are so many more job opportunities available for certified pharmacy technicians than you may realize.
Pharmacy Technician Specialties
Specialties for pharmacy technicians are learned while on the job from experienced members of the pharmacy team as well as continuing education programs such as courses through the National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA). Before you take a continuing education course, be sure it will be accepted by your governing agency where you were certified, such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Pharmacy technician specialties include:
- Procurement (i.e. budget, inventory and drug selection/recall management)
- Sterile products (i.e. IV)
- HIV treatment or prevention agents
- Vaccines and immunizations
- Particular technologies such as automated medication dispensing systems
- Instructor or program director at an institution
If you’d like to become part of a healthcare team and the pharmacy world excites you (and so does math and science), consider a career as a pharmacy technician.