Career Tracks: Pharmacy Technician
The pharmacy technician curriculum prepares health care professionals who assist pharmacists in providing the best possible patient care.
Students will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to function in hospital and retail pharmacies. Learning to prepare and dispense medications in correct dosage and form for the appropriate route of administration is required. Students learn medications' uses, action and side effects. To work as a certified pharmacy technician, graduates must successfully pass the national certification examination and have 1000 hours worked in a pharmacy (not counting clinical hours.)
Graduates may be required to:
- perform technical tasks under direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist
- replenish and organize stock
- prepare batches of liquids and repackage bulk supplies
- restock nurses' stations
- fill hospital chart orders
- fill prescriptions
Graduates commonly experience:
- very clean, well-lit work area in health care institution or retail outlet
- visiting stockrooms, nursing stations and perhaps picking up urgently needed supplies from other pharmacies or health care institutions
- some work is repetitive but must be done with meticulous care and attention. Much time spent standing.
- considerable stress during busy periods.
- may have to lift boxes weighing up to 20 lbs., retrieve supplies from high shelves using stepladder.
- some preparations require multiple hand washings, special clothing or other forms of protection.
- in hospitals and some drugstores, can choose which shift to work (perhaps to fit in with attending school; some technicians study to become pharmacists).
Characteristics & Temperament
- be neat, clean, careful, conscientious and highly reliable (errors could have serious consequences).
- be honest and ethical
- have ability to handle addictive and/or very expensive drugs
- have ability to maintain confidential information about patients
- have ability to perform well under pressure, take orders and relate to medical professionals, patients and customers.
- have good command of English.
- be accurate (rather than fast) at typing.
- have good eyesight/color vision (some drugs are color-coded).
- be prepared to work overtime and adapt to unpredictable requirements resulting from emergencies.
- be able to work as a team member in health care institutions and community settings.
Employment statistics for 2014 - 2016 PTC graduates, who found jobs in this field, are as follows:
- salary average: $30,920.00 per year according to the US Department of Labor. You may view the most current Occupational Outlook statistics at: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm.
- 86% placement rate for the 2014 -2016 graduates
- excellent availability of positions
- employment in cities and towns of all sizes
- advancement possible
Most work in hospitals, other health care institutions/agencies and retail pharmacies. Some recent graduates have found work at:
- Adair Apothecary
- Carolina Community Pharmacy
- Carolina Health Centers
- Drug Lo
- Food Lion
- Fred's Pharmacy
- Gilder & Weeks Pharmacy
- Good Shepard Clinic
- Harvey's Supermarket
- Langston Place
- Laurens County Heath Care System
- Laurens Drug Company & Medical Equipment
- Lexington Medical Center
- Long's Drugs
- Palmetto Health
- Parkman's Pharmacy
- Prosperity Drug Company
- Publix Super Market
- Rite Aid
- Savitz Drug Store
- Self Regional Healthcare
- Strom's Drug Store
- Walgreens Drug Store
- West End Drugs
- Wingards Pharmacy