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Career and Education Opportunities for Pharmacist's Aides in Columbia, Maryland

If you want to be a pharmacist's aide, the Columbia, Maryland area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 760 working pharmacist's aides in Maryland; this should shrink 9% to about 690 working pharmacist's aides in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for pharmacist's aides are expected to shrink by about 6.3%. In general, pharmacist's aides record drugs delivered to the pharmacy, store incoming merchandise, and inform the supervisor of stock needs.

Income for pharmacist's aides is about $10 hourly or $21,700 yearly on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $9 per hour or $20,100 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Pharmacy, people working as pharmacist's aides in Maryland earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Pharmacy nationally. Jobs in this field include: pharmacy clerk, pharmacy helper, and dispensary attendant.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including two within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a pharmacist's aide. Pharmacist's aides usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a pharmacist's aide if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Pharmacist's Aide

Pharmacist's Aide video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, pharmacist's aides record drugs delivered to the pharmacy, store incoming merchandise, and inform the supervisor of stock needs. They also may operate cash register and accept prescriptions for filling.

Pharmacist's aides answer telephone inquiries, referring callers to pharmacists when needed. They also maintain and clean apparatus, work areas and shelves. Equally important, pharmacist's aides have to greet customers and help them locate products. They are often called upon to accept prescriptions for filling, gathering and processing needed data. They are expected to execute clerical tasks such as filing, compiling and maintaining prescription reports, and composing letters. Finally, pharmacist's aides receive, store and inventory pharmaceutical supplies, notifying pharmacists when levels are low.

Every day, pharmacist's aides are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for pharmacist's aides to ready prescription labels by typing or operating a computer and printer. They are often called upon to ready solid and liquid dosage medications for dispensing into bottles and unit dose packaging. They also compound, package and label pharmaceutical products under direction of pharmacist. They are sometimes expected to furnish customers with data related to the uses and effects of drugs. Somewhat less frequently, pharmacist's aides are also expected to ready prescription labels by typing or operating a computer and printer.

They also have to be able to ready, maintain and record records of inventories, receipts, purchases and deliveries, using a variety of computer screen formats and restock storage areas, replenishing items on shelves. And finally, they sometimes have to deliver medication to treatment areas, living units, residences and clinics, using various means of transportation.

Like many other jobs, pharmacist's aides must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Pharmacist's Aide Training

All-State Career School - Baltimore, MD

All-State Career School, 2200 Broening Hwy Ste 160, Baltimore, MD 21224. All-State Career School is a small school located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 622 students and an admission rate of 65%. All-State Career School has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated thirty-four students in 2008.

TESST College of Technology-Baltimore - Baltimore, MD

TESST College of Technology-Baltimore, 1520 S Caton Ave, Baltimore, MD 21227-1063. TESST College of Technology-Baltimore is a small college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,075 students. TESST College of Technology-Baltimore has a one to two year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated forty students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.