Career and Education Opportunities for Pharmacist Technicians in San Diego, California
If you want to be a pharmacist technician, the San Diego, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. 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.
Income for pharmacist technicians is about $17 hourly or $35,830 yearly on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $13 hourly or $27,710 per year. Pharmacist technicians earn less than people working in the category of Pharmacy generally in California and less than people in the Pharmacy category nationally. Pharmacist technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: drug coordinator, pharmacy technician, and pharmacist assistant.
There are three schools within twenty-five miles of San Diego where you can study to be a pharmacist technician, among sixty schools of higher education total in the San Diego area. The most common level of education 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 They also receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.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 San Diego include:
- Cardiac Technician. Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
- 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
Pima Medical Institute - Chula Vista, CA
Pima Medical Institute, 780 Bay Blvd Suite101, Chula Vista, CA 91910. Pima Medical Institute is a small school located in Chula Vista, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 853 students. Pima Medical Institute has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated eighty-six students in 2008.
Kaplan College-Vista - Vista, CA
Kaplan College-Vista, 2022 University Dr, Vista, CA 92083-7736. Kaplan College-Vista is a small college located in Vista, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 973 students. Kaplan College-Vista has a one to two year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated forty-five students in 2008.
Valley Career College - El Cajon, CA
Valley Career College, 878 Jackman St, El Cajon, CA 92020-3057. Valley Career College is a small college located in El Cajon, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 310 students and an admission rate of 78%. Valley Career College has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated forty 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: 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: San Diego, California
San Diego is situated in San Diego County, California. It has a population of over 1,279,329, which has grown by 4.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Diego, 141, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Diego are valued at $323,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-one new homes were constructed in San Diego, down from seven hundred forty-eight the previous year.
The three big industries for women in San Diego are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 35.0% of San Diego residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in San Diego is 10.5%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of San Diego residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Penasquitos Nazarene Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Paul E Kidd African Methodist Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in San Diego. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.
San Diego is home to the Zlac Rowing Club and the Rancho Los Penasquitos Golf Course as well as Adobe Bluffs Park and John F Kennedy Park. Shopping malls in the area include San Diego Factory Outlet Shopping Center, San Carlos Shopping Center and Montgomery Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to San Diego can choose from Best Western Posada at the Yac, Beachfront San Diego and Banana Bungalow Hostel San Diego for temporary stays in the area.