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Career and Education Opportunities for Pharmacist Technicians in Bakersfield, California

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for pharmacist technicians in the Bakersfield, California area. There are currently 23,300 jobs for pharmacist technicians in California and this is projected to grow 36% to about 31,700 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%. In general, pharmacist technicians prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist.

Pharmacist technicians earn approximately $17 per hour or $35,830 annually on average in California. Nationally they average about $13 per hour or $27,710 per year. Earnings for pharmacist technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Pharmacy in California and not quite as good as general Pharmacy category earnings nationally. People working as pharmacist technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: pharmacy technologist, drug coordinator, and pharmacy technician.

There are eight schools of higher education in the Bakersfield area, including two within twenty-five miles of Bakersfield where you can get a degree to start your career as a pharmacist technician. Pharmacist technicians usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so it will take a short time to learn to be a pharmacist technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Pharmacist Technician

Pharmacist Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

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 They also receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Pharmacist Technician Training

Santa Barbara Business College - Bakersfield, CA

Santa Barbara Business College, 5300 California Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93309. Santa Barbara Business College is a small college located in Bakersfield, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 547 students and an admission rate of 55%. Santa Barbara Business College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated eleven and thirty students respectively in 2008.

San Joaquin Valley College-Bakersfield - Bakersfield, CA

San Joaquin Valley College-Bakersfield, 201 New Stine Rd, Bakersfield, CA 93309. San Joaquin Valley College-Bakersfield is a small college located in Bakersfield, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 568 students. San Joaquin Valley College-Bakersfield has an associate's degree program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated sixty-nine students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LICENSES

Pharmacy Technician

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Board of Pharmacy, 400 R Street, Suite 4070, Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 445-5014
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Pharmacy

LOCATION INFORMATION: Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California
Bakersfield, California photo by Bobak

Bakersfield is situated in Kern County, California. It has a population of over 321,078, which has grown by 30.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bakersfield, 90, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Bakersfield are valued at $191,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,038 new homes were built in Bakersfield, down from 1,820 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Bakersfield are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 19.3% of Bakersfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Bakersfield is 10.1%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Bakersfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Cornerstone Community Church, Coronado Gardens Missionary Baptist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are some of the churches located in Bakersfield. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Bakersfield is home to the Mesa Marin Raceway and the Avenue Oaks Country Club as well as Beale Park and Kern County Fairgrounds. Shopping centers in the area include Sagebrush Shopping Center, White Lane Plaza Shopping Center and Benton Park Shopping Center. Visitors to Bakersfield can choose from Best Western Heritage Inn, Best Western Hill House and America's Best Inn Bakersfield for temporary stays in the area.