Career and Education Opportunities for Pharmacist Technicians in Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for pharmacist technicians. There are currently 5,820 jobs for pharmacist technicians in Alabama and this is projected to grow 34% to 7,780 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for pharmacist technicians are expected to grow by about 30.6%. Pharmacist technicians generally prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist.
The income of a pharmacist technician is about $11 per hour or $23,270 annually on average in Alabama. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $13 per hour or $27,710 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Pharmacy, people working as pharmacist technicians in Alabama earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Pharmacy nationally. People working as pharmacist technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: drug coordinator, pharmacy technologist, and pharmacy laboratory technician.
There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Birmingham area, including one within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree to start your career as a pharmacist technician. Given that the most common education level for pharmacist technicians is a post-secondary certificate, you can expect to spend a short time studying to be a pharmacist technician if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Pharmacist Technician
In general, pharmacist technicians prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. They also may measure, mix, and record amounts and dosages of medications.
Pharmacist technicians answer telephones, responding to questions or requests. They also receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages. Equally important, pharmacist technicians have to maintain proper storage and security conditions for drugs. They are often called upon to assist customers by answering simple questions, locating items or referring them to the pharmacist for medication data. They are expected to prepack bulk medicines, fill bottles with prescribed medications, and type and affix labels. Finally, pharmacist technicians order and count stock of medications and supplies, and enter inventory data into computer.
Every day, pharmacist technicians are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.
It is important for pharmacist technicians to price and file prescriptions that have been filled. They are often called upon to receive written prescription or refill requests and verify that data is complete and accurate. They also operate cash registers to take payment from customers. They are sometimes expected to clean, and help maintain, apparatus and work areas, and sterilize glassware in line with prescribed methods. Somewhat less frequently, pharmacist technicians are also expected to assist customers by answering simple questions, locating items or referring them to the pharmacist for medication data.
Pharmacist technicians sometimes are asked to deliver medications and pharmaceutical supplies to patients, nursing stations or surgery. They also have to be able to price stock and mark items for sale and restock intravenous (IV) supplies and add measured drugs or nutrients to IV solutions under sterile conditions to ready IV packs for various uses such as chemotherapy medication. And finally, they sometimes have to receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.
Like many other jobs, pharmacist technicians must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:
- Health Information Systems Technician. Compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. Process, maintain, and report patient information for health requirements and standards.
- Pharmacist. Compound and dispense medications following prescriptions issued by physicians, dentists, or other authorized medical practitioners.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Pharmacist Technician Training
Virginia College-Birmingham - Birmingham, AL
Virginia College-Birmingham, 65 Bagby Dr., Birmingham, AL 35209-3703. Virginia College-Birmingham is a medium sized college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,090 students and an admission rate of 64%. Virginia College-Birmingham has a one to two year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated eighteen students in 2008.
Certified Pharmacy Technician: The goal of PTCB's certification program is to enable pharmacy technicians to work more effectively with pharmacists to offer greater patient care and service.
For more information, see the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board website.
Licensing agency: AL Board of Pharmacy
Address: 10 Inverness Center Parkway, Suite 110, Birmingham, AL 35242-4811
Phone: (205) 981-2280
Website: AL Board of Pharmacy
LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.
The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.