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Pharmacy Technician and Aide Careers, Jobs, and Training Information

Pharmacy Technician and Aide Career and Job Highlights

  • Evenings, weekends, and holidays include the usual times when pharmacy aides work.
  • Retail pharmacies employ 80 percent of pharmacy aides.
  • Job openings are predicted to be superior, particularly for individuals with experience in this field.

Pharmacy Technician and Aide Career Overview

The job of a Pharmacy technician or aide includes assisting licensed pharmacists with clerical duties in managing a pharmacy. Most often aides serve as clerks or cashiers who mainly answer telephones, manage money, supply and stock shelves, and execute other administrative duties. Pharmacy aides work directly with pharmacy technicians. Pharmacy technicians basically carry out more complicated duties than aides; however, in a few States, the functions and labels of the occupation cannot be separated.

Aides assist the pharmacy to run smoothly through performing several essential duties. These include: set up and preserve patient reports, set up forms insurance claims, and supply and make an account of amounts of prescribed as well as over-the-counter drugs. It is essential to be meticulous in this job to avoid potential dangers and to ensure safety when dealing with medications. It is necessary that pharmacy aides proficiently and accurately communicate with those third-parties providing insurance to attain payment because several individuals receive help from insurance for the cost of medications. Pharmacy aides additionally keep up with the inventory and notify the overseer of stock requests to ensure that the pharmacy has enough important medications when needed. A few may also wash pharmacy apparatus, assist with the up keep of utensils and materials, and handle the cash register.

In 2002, pharmacy aides occupied about 60,000 jobs. Approximately 80 percent are employed by private retail pharmacies or those in a drugstore chain, department store, market, or mass retailer; however, most of these are in drug stores. About 10 percent labor in hospitals, and the remaining labor in pharmacies that use mail-order pharmacies, pharmaceutical wholesalers, or clinics.

Pharmacy Technician and Aide Career Training and Job Qualifications

It is favored to have a high school diploma, but the majority of pharmacy aides obtain informal training at their job. Those looking to become pharmacy aides who have knowledge employed as a cashier might have the upper hand when applying for positions. Employers also favor candidates with well-established customer service and good communication skills and familiarity in handling inventories and working on a computer. Aides coming into the field must have great skills in reading, spelling, and math.

Pharmacy aides who excel in their job are structured, devoted, sociable, and dependable. It is required that they agree to and receive instructions. Applicants fascinated in becoming pharmacy aides are not allowed to have past history of abuse with drugs or substances. Because much interaction takes place with patients, fellow employees, and healthcare specialists; well-established interpersonal as well as communication skills are mandatory. Cooperation is extremely essential because aides are required to labor with technicians and pharmacists most of the time.

Pharmacy aides are pretty much always trained while at work. At the beginning, they might observe someone who is more experienced and knowledgeable. They can start working independently once they understand the store’s materials, rules, and procedures. When they establish expertise in what they do, they probably won’t get more training unless unfamiliar equipment is brought in or when rules or procedures are amended.

An individual must have the ability to execute reoccurring work correctly in order to become a pharmacy aide. Aides must also have fine basic skills in math and good manual handiness. Because they work with the public, pharmacy aides are required to appear clean as well as having the ability to work nicely and considerately with clients. A few employers might favor experience in typing, managing money, or using specialized equipment, such as computers.

Advancement is pretty much restricted; however, some aides might chose to become pharmacy technicians or to register in pharmacology school and become pharmacists.

Pharmacy Technician and Aide Job and Employment Opportunities

Full-time as well as part-time work opportunities are projected to be excellent, particularly for aides with job experience relating to pharmacology, stock clerks, or cashiers in different retail locations. Openings for this job will be formed by employment expansion and by necessity to change workers who move to differing occupations or depart the workforce.

Pharmacy aide employment is anticipated to develop about as quickly as the average among all occupations through 2012 because of a growing use of medications as a treatment for patients. Additionally, a larger amount of middle-aged and elderly people—who typically take more prescription drugs than those that are younger—will drive the need for aides in all practice surroundings.

Insurers worried about expenses, pharmacies, and health organizations will persist to hire aides. Because of this, pharmacy aides will take some liability for habitual tasks formerly executed by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, thus allowing pharmacists an increase in time to work with patients affording technicians an increase in time to set up medications. The amount of pharmacy aides will not expand as quickly as the numbers of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians because of official limitations concerning their tasks. Due to finances, several smaller pharmacies with small staffs will support pharmacy technicians because they have been trained intensely and have good job abilities.