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Career and Education Opportunities for Pharmacist Technicians in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Pharmacist technicians can find many career and educational opportunities in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area. About 5,740 people are currently employed as pharmacist technicians in Massachusetts. By 2016, this is expected to grow 29% to 7,400 people employed. 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.

Pharmacist technicians earn about $14 per hour or $29,600 per year on average in Massachusetts and about $13 per hour or $27,710 per year on average nationally. Earnings for pharmacist technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Pharmacy in Massachusetts and not quite as good as general Pharmacy category earnings nationally. People working as pharmacist technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: drug coordinator, pharmacist assistant, and certified pharmacy technician .

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Cambridge where you can study to be a pharmacist technician, among 149 schools of higher education total in the Cambridge area. 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 They also receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.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.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Cambridge 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.

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts photo by Scs

Cambridge is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 105,596, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Cambridge, 142, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Cambridge are priced at $1,078,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, twelve new homes were constructed in Cambridge, down from twenty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Cambridge are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 65.1% of Cambridge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 38.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cambridge is 5.6%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Cambridge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Western Avenue Baptist Church, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chapel and Cambridgeport Baptist Church are some of the churches located in Cambridge. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Cambridge is home to the Great Court and the Cutter Square as well as John A Ahern Field and Sheridan Square. Shopping malls in the area include Porter Square Shopping Center, The Atrium Shopping Center and Cambridgeside Galleria Shopping Center.