Career and Education Opportunities for Pharmacist Technicians in Boston, Massachusetts
Pharmacist technicians can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Boston, Massachusetts area. There are currently 5,740 working pharmacist technicians in Massachusetts; this should grow by 29% to 7,400 working pharmacist technicians in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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 $14 per hour or $29,600 per year on average in Massachusetts. 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 Massachusetts, and not quite as good as the overall Pharmacy category nationally. Jobs in this field include: pharmaceutical care associate, pharmacy technologist, and pharmacy technician.
The Boston area is home to 151 schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Boston where you can get a degree 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 training to become 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 They also receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.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 Boston 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.
- Licensed Dispensing Optician. Design, measure, and adapt lenses and frames for client according to written optical prescription or specification. Assist client with selecting frames. Measure customer for size of eyeglasses and coordinate frames with facial and eye measurements and optical prescription. Prepare work order for optical laboratory containing instructions for grinding and mounting lenses in frames. Verify exactness of finished lens spectacles. Adjust frame and lens position to fit client. May shape or reshape frames.
- Pharmacist. Compound and dispense medications following prescriptions issued by physicians, dentists, or other authorized medical practitioners.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Pharmacist Technician Training
Lincoln Technical Institute - Lowell, MA
Lincoln Technical Institute, 211 Plain St, Lowell, MA 01852. Lincoln Technical Institute is a small school located in Lowell, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 260 students. Lincoln Technical Institute has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated six students in 2008.
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology - Boston, MA
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, 41 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116. Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology is a small school located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 535 students. Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology has a one to two year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated six students in 2008.
Lincoln Technical Institute - Somerville, MA
Lincoln Technical Institute, 5 Middlesex Ave, Somerville, MA 02145. Lincoln Technical Institute is a small school located in Somerville, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 385 students. Lincoln Technical Institute has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated five students in 2008.
Everest Institute-Chelsea - Chelsea, MA
Everest Institute-Chelsea, 70 Everett Ave - 4th Floor, Chelsea, MA 02150. Everest Institute-Chelsea is a small school located in Chelsea, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 150 students and an admission rate of 66%. Everest Institute-Chelsea has a less than one year program in Pharmacy Technician/Assistant which graduated thirty-five 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.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is situated in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 609,023, which has grown by 3.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Boston, 136, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Boston are valued at $216,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were constructed in Boston, down from forty-eight the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Boston are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 35.6% of Boston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.3%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Boston is 8.2%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.
The percentage of Boston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Brighton Congregational Church, Leslie Lindsay Chapel and Universalist Meeting House are some of the churches located in Boston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Episcopal Church.
Boston is home to the Metropolitan Water Works Pumping Stations and the Mystic Pier 1 as well as Schoolboy Stadium and Liberty Square. Shopping centers in the area include Legion Shopping Center, Longwood Galleria Shopping Center and Neponset Circle Shopping Center. Visitors to Boston can choose from Federalist Restaurant, Eco-Logical Solutions and Omni Parker Hotel for temporary stays in the area.