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Career and Education Opportunities for Pharmacist Technicians in Chicago, Illinois

If you want to be a pharmacist technician, the Chicago, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 14,930 people work as pharmacist technicians in Illinois. This is expected to grow 30% to about 19,370 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for pharmacist technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 30.6% over the next eight years. Pharmacist technicians generally prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist.

Income for pharmacist technicians is about $13 per hour or $27,210 per year on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $13 hourly or $27,710 per year. Incomes for pharmacist technicians are not quite as good as in the overall category of Pharmacy in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Pharmacy category nationally. Pharmacist technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: certified pharmacy technician , drug coordinator, and pharmaceutical care associate.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including fifteen within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as a pharmacist technician. 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

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 They also receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.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

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago 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

Northwestern College-Southwestern Campus - Bridgeview, IL

Northwestern College-Southwestern Campus, 7725 South Harlem Avenue, Bridgeview, IL 60455. Northwestern College-Southwestern Campus is a small college located in Bridgeview, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 995 students and an admission rate of 90%. Northwestern College-Southwestern Campus has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Olive-Harvey College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Olive-Harvey College, 10001 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60628-1696. City Colleges of Chicago-Olive-Harvey College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,063 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Olive-Harvey College has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated six students in 2008.

Nothwestern College - Chicago, IL

Nothwestern College, 4829 North Lipps Avenue, Chicago, IL 60630. Nothwestern College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 847 students and an admission rate of 83%. Nothwestern College has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated four students in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College, 1900 W Van Buren, Chicago, IL 60612-3197. City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College is a medium sized college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,202 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College has a one to two year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College, 7500 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60652-1299. City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College is a medium sized college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,711 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated twenty-six students in 2008.

Everest College-Skokie - Skokie, IL

Everest College-Skokie, 9811 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL 60077-1074. Everest College-Skokie is a small college located in Skokie, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 188 students and an admission rate of 45%. Everest College-Skokie has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated twenty-eight students in 2008.

Everest College-Chicago - Chicago, IL

Everest College-Chicago, 247 South State Street #400, Chicago, IL 60604. Everest College-Chicago is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 596 students and an admission rate of 48%. Everest College-Chicago has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated 117 students in 2008.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated ninety-eight students in 2008.

Everest College-Merrionette Park - Merrionette Park, IL

Everest College-Merrionette Park, 11560 S. Kedzie, Merrionette Park, IL 60803. Everest College-Merrionette Park is a small college located in Merrionette Park, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 295 students and an admission rate of 55%. Everest College-Merrionette Park has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated forty-four students in 2008.

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated sixty-five students in 2008.

South Suburban College - South Holland, IL

South Suburban College, 15800 South State Street, South Holland, IL 60473-1200. South Suburban College is a medium sized college located in South Holland, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,105 students. South Suburban College has a one to two year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated five students in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S Truman College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S Truman College, 1145 W Wilson Ave., Chicago, IL 60640-6063. City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S Truman College is a large college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,835 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S Truman College has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated forty-eight students in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N Narragansett, Chicago, IL 60634-1500. City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College is a large college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,677 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated three students in 2008.

Robert Morris College - Chicago, IL

Robert Morris College, 401 S State Street, Chicago, IL 60605. Robert Morris College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,555 students and an admission rate of 79%. Robert Morris College has an associate's degree program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant.

Coyne American Institute Inc - Chicago, IL

Coyne American Institute Inc, 330 North Green Street, Chicago, IL 60607-1300. Coyne American Institute Inc is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 840 students. Coyne American Institute Inc has a one to two year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant.

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: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Address: 320 West Washington, Springfield, IL 62786

Phone: (217) 782-8556
Website: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.